Night flying a Rotax UL

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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Night flying a Rotax UL

Postby ccandrews » Thu Jul 14, 2016 6:28 pm

I am certainly confused regarding night flying with a rotax UL engine.

lets say i have a LSA with a rotax 914UL and purchase the aircraft upgraded with a night package. FAR 33 puts night and IFR in pretty much the same category saying that it requires a certified engine which would be the rotax 914F, not the 914UL.

so with the 914UL does the night package (specifically in a tecnam p2008 or a TL-3000 sirius) permit the aircraft to be flown at night? according to the AOPA LSA FAQ it does not. ( ... port-pilot). but since the LSA is built to ASTM standards, is there more wiggle room that permits night flying with a non-certified engine? The Rotax 914UL manual says it can be used at night if the electrical system is upgraded to night aSTM requirements.

The P2008 turbo POH says:

2.1.22 Night
Night flight is approved if the aircraft is equipped as per the ASTM standard F2245-06 A2 - LIGHT AIRCRAFT TO BE FLOWN AT NIGHT as well as any pertinent FAR.

Does the FAR 33 not apply to LSA? does anyone have insight into this?


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Re: Night flying a Rotax UL

Postby 3Dreaming » Thu Jul 14, 2016 7:30 pm

First off I think the AOPA link is out of date. At this point Rotax doesn't prohibit night flight, but rather puts it on the shoulder of the aircraft manufacturer. For a SLSA if it meets ASTM standards for night flight in a SLSA, it has the required equipment of 91.205, and is allowed by the operating limitations attached to the airworthiness certificate you are good to go.

Part 33 is for certification of aircraft engines. SLSA aircraft are not required to have FAA certified engines, but they do have to meet ASTM standards.

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Re: Night flying a Rotax UL

Postby MackAttack » Sun Jul 17, 2016 2:50 pm

I have a Rotax 914-equipped Tecnam Astore - it has the "night package," which allows night flight per the ASTM requirements if the pilot is otherwise qualified to fly at night (e.g., a current private pilot license and meeting the medical requirements).

Sport pilots can't fly at night even if the plane qualifies as far as I know.

The P2008 can be ordered with the same package - with all three Rotax engine choices. It's not very expensive.

I did land my Astore at night on the way back from Sebring (or more accurately, during civil twilight) at Gulfport/Biloxi International. It was a breeze (I have a PPL but no medical), but the CFI flying with me was obviously qualified and it was during dual instruction.

I can't speak to how the TL3000 is equipped or what it's standards indicate however ...


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