Aviation Consumer article about SLSA Weight - Super Legend

Talk about airplanes! At last count, there are 39 (and growing) FAA certificated S-LSA (special light sport aircraft). These are factory-built ready to fly airplanes. If you can't afford a factory-built LSA, consider buying an E-LSA kit (experimental LSA - up to 99% complete).

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Cluemeister
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Aviation Consumer article about SLSA Weight - Super Legend

Postby Cluemeister » Fri Apr 29, 2016 8:44 am

Interesting article in this month's Aviation Consumer about the Super Legend's weight in particular, and SLSA weight limits in general. Quoting from the article:

"The original Legend has about a 500-pound useful load on an empty weight of 825 pounds, but the Titan-equipped HP is 80 pounds heavier than that, with an empty weight of about 905 pounds. In fact, it pushes the limit on LSA empty-weight requirements.

Realistically, with fuel aboard for more than an hour of flight, it’s a single-person airplane, albeit one with good endurance. With 30 gallons of useful fuel aboard, the airplane can steam along on reduced power at 5 GPH and cruise for five hours comfortably at about 92 to 95 MPH.

And this gets us to the dirty little secret of light sport aircraft. The arbitrarily low gross weight is the most oft-ignored rule in aviation. The blunt truth is that the experimental version of the Super Legend has a gross-weight limit of 1750 pounds. With full fuel and two 200-pounders aboard, the EAB version would still be 260 pounds under that limit. Make your own moral judgment on the advisability of doing this or not, but the airplane can be flown safely at that higher loading."


What do others think of this author's suggestion that the low gross weight of light sport aircraft is the most oft-ignored rule in aviation?

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Re: Aviation Consumer article about SLSA Weight - Super Lege

Postby MackAttack » Fri Apr 29, 2016 9:06 am

Interesting and probably right. I'm sure Legend gives over-gross demo flights at SNF, the light sport expo and Oshkosh all the time in full view of FAA folks. Many LSAs are certificated in Europe to 750 kg (1650 lbs). The risk is not so much exceeding the capability of these aircraft but being over gross when you have an incident or accident and everybody finds out. Which could affect insurance recovery and possible action on your ticket. But I don't know if that has actually occurred ...

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Re: Aviation Consumer article about SLSA Weight - Super Lege

Postby MrMorden » Fri Apr 29, 2016 9:32 am

Cluemeister wrote:What do others think of this author's suggestion that the low gross weight of light sport aircraft is the most oft-ignored rule in aviation?


I think it's a tie with cloud clearances.

But gross weight in general is "oft-ignored"...not just for LSA. It's always tempting for pilots to try to stuff that last bag in, or carry full fuel when they should really drain out a few gallons to make gross weight.

Doing so *will* affect the flight characteristics of the airplane. I won't speak to the safety or morality of doing so, but it's definitely going to get you violated if you get caught by the FAA.
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Re: Aviation Consumer article about SLSA Weight - Super Lege

Postby FastEddieB » Fri Apr 29, 2016 9:38 am

Regardless of how commonplace it is to operate over the 1320 lb limit, a pilot has to decide whether he wants to be the kind of pilot that bravely attempts to follow ALL regulations, or the type to be cavalier and pick and choose which ones he or she chooses to follow.

Reading a lot of accident reports over a lot of years, I can certainly tell you which is more likely to be in one.
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Re: Aviation Consumer article about SLSA Weight - Super Lege

Postby SportPilot » Fri Apr 29, 2016 10:16 am

.......
Last edited by SportPilot on Thu May 05, 2016 4:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Aviation Consumer article about SLSA Weight - Super Lege

Postby Cluemeister » Fri Apr 29, 2016 11:13 am

SportPilot wrote:Why does this topic keep coming up? There is nothing arbitrary about 1320 lbs and Light Sport rules and LSA specs are what they are. Get a Private if you don't want to fly as a Sport Pilot.


It keeps coming up because it's in a news story in Aviation Consumer this month. I thought it was interesting enough to ask if people agreed or disagreed with the author's claim about what he sees as the most ignored rule in aviation.

Mr.Morden said it was a tie with cloud clearances. :)

What is the most ignored rule in general aviation? Weight? Cloud clearance? Required maintenance? Other?

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Re: Aviation Consumer article about SLSA Weight - Super Lege

Postby 3Dreaming » Fri Apr 29, 2016 1:15 pm

MackAttack wrote:Interesting and probably right. I'm sure Legend gives over-gross demo flights at SNF, the light sport expo and Oshkosh all the time in full view of FAA folks. Many LSAs are certificated in Europe to 750 kg (1650 lbs). The risk is not so much exceeding the capability of these aircraft but being over gross when you have an incident or accident and everybody finds out. Which could affect insurance recovery and possible action on your ticket. But I don't know if that has actually occurred ...


LSA (Light Sport Aircraft), is a term defined by the CFR's here in the United States, and does not apply in Europe. To Be a LSA the gross weight must not excede 1320 pounds for a land plane or 1430 for a sea plane. In fact according to the CFR's if the individual airplane has been certified at a higher gross weight any place in the world it can never be a LSA.

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Re: Aviation Consumer article about SLSA Weight - Super Lege

Postby MrMorden » Fri Apr 29, 2016 1:33 pm

3Dreaming wrote:In fact according to the CFR's if the individual airplane has been certified at a higher gross weight any place in the world it can never be a LSA.


Just to be clear, that's for an individual airframe, not for the TYPE.

For example, The Jabiru J230 is an airplane certified and flown in Australia at something over 1500lb and with four seats. In the USA, Jabiru stripped out the rear seats and set the weight at 1320lb. Perfectly legal as an LSA for that type.

But if you had an *individual* airplane, say serial number 12345, flying in Australia at 1550lb, you could not ship 12345 to the USA and fly it legally at 1320lb as an LSA. Once the airframe has been flown above LSA weight, it is forever a non-LSA. This most often comes up with older airplanes like Ercoupes, where the type certificate may have been for under 1320lb, but through STCs the airplane may have been flown above that weight in the past. These are not eligible for LSA use, even though they were factory built within LSA performance and weight limits.
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Re: Aviation Consumer article about SLSA Weight - Super Lege

Postby Flocker » Fri Apr 29, 2016 3:16 pm

Cluemeister wrote:
SportPilot wrote:What is the most ignored rule in general aviation? Weight? Cloud clearance? Required maintenance? Other?


FAR 91.103. (Proper flight planning)

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Re: Aviation Consumer article about SLSA Weight - Super Lege

Postby MrMorden » Fri Apr 29, 2016 3:19 pm

Flocker wrote:
Cluemeister wrote:
SportPilot wrote:What is the most ignored rule in general aviation? Weight? Cloud clearance? Required maintenance? Other?


FAR 91.103. (Proper flight planning)


If only because there is no way to fully comply with the regulation.
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Re: Aviation Consumer article about SLSA Weight - Super Lege

Postby Cluemeister » Fri Apr 29, 2016 3:23 pm

Flocker wrote:
Cluemeister wrote:
SportPilot wrote:What is the most ignored rule in general aviation? Weight? Cloud clearance? Required maintenance? Other?


FAR 91.103. (Proper flight planning)


A refresher from Jason Schappert:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzRV-_DtwPc

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Re: Aviation Consumer article about SLSA Weight - Super Lege

Postby 3Dreaming » Fri Apr 29, 2016 3:29 pm

MrMorden wrote: Just to be clear, that's for an individual airframe, not for the TYPE.

For example, The Jabiru J230 is an airplane certified and flown in Australia at something over 1500lb and with four seats. In the USA, Jabiru stripped out the rear seats and set the weight at 1320lb. Perfectly legal as an LSA for that type.

But if you had an *individual* airplane, say serial number 12345, flying in Australia at 1550lb, you could not ship 12345 to the USA and fly it legally at 1320lb as an LSA. That is correct.

Once the airframe has been flown above LSA weight, it is forever a non-LSA. I[color=#0000FF]t is not that it has flown above the weight limit, but rather it has been certified above the weight limit.[/color]

This most often comes up with older airplanes like Ercoupes, where the type certificate may have been for under 1320lb, but through STCs the airplane may have been flown above that weight in the past. These are not eligible for LSA use, even though they were factory built within LSA performance and weight limits. It is not just aircraft that were modified by STC, it could have been a change allowed by the type certificate.


The LSA version is never certified for a weight greater than 1320lb for a land plane. It matters not what the same airframe is certified to in gross weight for some other classification, other than to show how strong it is.

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Re: Aviation Consumer article about SLSA Weight - Super Lege

Postby Flocker » Fri Apr 29, 2016 3:39 pm

MrMorden wrote:If only because there is no way to fully comply with the regulation.


Good point.

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Re: Aviation Consumer article about SLSA Weight - Super Lege

Postby MrMorden » Fri Apr 29, 2016 6:18 pm

The LSA version is never certified for a weight greater than 1320lb for a land plane. It matters not what the same airframe is certified to in gross weight for some other classification, other than to show how strong it is.


I believe it only matters how it's certified in the US, and makes no difference what the weight is in another country. The Paradise LSA flies in South America at 1600lb, same exact airplane.

If you have documentation that states otherwise, I will admit to an error, but I don't think it matters to the FAA how another country operates.
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Re: Aviation Consumer article about SLSA Weight - Super Lege

Postby 3Dreaming » Fri Apr 29, 2016 7:17 pm

MrMorden wrote:
The LSA version is never certified for a weight greater than 1320lb for a land plane. It matters not what the same airframe is certified to in gross weight for some other classification, other than to show how strong it is.


I believe it only matters how it's certified in the US, and makes no difference what the weight is in another country. The Paradise LSA flies in South America at 1600lb, same exact airplane.

If you have documentation that states otherwise, I will admit to an error, but I don't think it matters to the FAA how another country operates.


Andy,
I have never said the exact same model of airplane could not fly at a higher weight in a different country and the same model be a LSA here in the USA. What I said was that an airplane can not be certified at a higher weight any where and still be a LSA.

I think you are misunderstanding the meaning of certified. An airplane is certified when it is issued a airworthiness certificate. This is done on a individual airplane basis. What the airworthiness certificate is certifying is different based on what type of airworthiness certificate is issued. This is why any airplane since its original certification can not be a LSA if it had a gross weight higher than 1320lb for a land plane. The fact that other airplanes of the same model have been certified at a higher gross weight means nothing when it comes to certification of a LSA aircraft other than to show design strength.


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