Purchasing choices

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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Warmi
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Purchasing choices

Postby Warmi » Sun May 14, 2017 10:13 am

I am seriously considering purchasing a new Sling 2 - the plane flies ( and looks ) marvelously but it is on a bit on pricey side.

I have an option to have it build in US by a dealer , registered as E-LSA, which would result in close to 8% saving on the total price and more choices in selection of equipment etc ...
The other option is to get it done at SA (The Airplane Factory) as S-SLA and delivered to USA - again more expensive and can't really customize much but it is a S-SLA registered plane.

I have no problem with the plane being build in US as E-ELSA , overall quality will be the same or better with the same warranty etc .. , my only worry is , looking at , hopefully, distant future , if I have to sell that plane for some reason - will E-LSA certification hurt my re-sale value significantly ?
Also, for a low-time pilot like me ( really just finishing my Sport Pilot license with 30+ hours ), would I have problems with insurance given planes' E-LSA status ?
Thanks for you input.
Flying Sting S4 ( N184WA ) out of Illinois

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Re: Purchasing choices

Postby 3Dreaming » Sun May 14, 2017 11:33 am

Insurance is going to be high regardless of which airplane you get, because of your hours.

I find it odd that you say the ELSA has more equipment options, because to be registered as a ELSA it has to be an exact copy of the ASTM approved SLSA version.

As for resale value it seems opinions vary, but you will reduce the number of potential buyers if you decide to sell and it is a ELSA.

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Re: Purchasing choices

Postby TimTaylor » Sun May 14, 2017 1:32 pm

My personal preference would be to purchase an SLSA and maybe pay a little more. I'm sure they offer an SLSA fully equipped with everything you will ever want or need.
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Re: Purchasing choices

Postby FastEddieB » Sun May 14, 2017 4:54 pm

A couple big questions: are you mechanically inclined, and do you like to tinker?

In that case, E-LSA is a virtual no-brainer, IMHO.

My conversion from S-LSA to E-LSA actually reduced my premiums a hair, albeit because they slightly lowered the hull value they would insure my Sky Arrow for. $50k down from $65k, IIRC.

I would expect a slightly lower resale for an E-LSA, simply because there's a slightly smaller group of prospective buyers. Then again, for a select few an E-LSA may be desireable enough to command a small premium.

Either way, enjoy the process!
Last edited by FastEddieB on Mon May 15, 2017 6:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Purchasing choices

Postby howardnmn » Sun May 14, 2017 11:04 pm

The factory-built SLSA will likely be better than the US dealer's ELSA simply because the factory has much more experience
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Re: Purchasing choices

Postby FastEddieB » Mon May 15, 2017 6:22 am

And, of course, you can take delivery as an S-LSA and convert to E-LSA at your convenience if you choose to in the future.

Some added cost - Probably $300 or $400. But it's an option.

As an aside, I believe a majority of Carbon Cubs leave the factory as E-LSA's. There, the only difference is paperwork.
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Re: Purchasing choices

Postby MrMorden » Mon May 15, 2017 12:45 pm

3Dreaming wrote:Insurance is going to be high regardless of which airplane you get, because of your hours.

I find it odd that you say the ELSA has more equipment options, because to be registered as a ELSA it has to be an exact copy of the ASTM approved SLSA version.

As for resale value it seems opinions vary, but you will reduce the number of potential buyers if you decide to sell and it is a ELSA.


The Sting could be inspected and receive the experimental airworthiness certification, and then have avionics/equipment installed by the dealer once it's ELSA. It only has to be an exact copy for that one moment when the DAR is looking at it; after that you can do as you please with it as long as it continues to adhere to LSA performance limitations.

I recently turned my SLSA CTSW into an ELSA. Two different DARs said they didn't think the sales price would be affected at all, it's just a different type of owner that might buy it, with some overlap. Also, the vast savings on maintenance if you do a lot of it yourself will make up for any lost value in due course. It's a matter of how you choose to spend & save your money.

There is also another advantage: the airplane gets new operating limitations. The DAR I worked with wrote in my limitations that my airplane can be flown IFR if properly equipped. For me it's just kind of neat, but that could be a huge advantage to somebody with a medical, or BasicMed, who wanted to pursue an instrument rating. ASTM does not allow IFR flight in an SLSA.
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Re: Purchasing choices

Postby 3Dreaming » Mon May 15, 2017 2:31 pm

MrMorden wrote:
3Dreaming wrote:Insurance is going to be high regardless of which airplane you get, because of your hours.

I find it odd that you say the ELSA has more equipment options, because to be registered as a ELSA it has to be an exact copy of the ASTM approved SLSA version.

As for resale value it seems opinions vary, but you will reduce the number of potential buyers if you decide to sell and it is a ELSA.


The Sting could be inspected and receive the experimental airworthiness certification, and then have avionics/equipment installed by the dealer once it's ELSA. It only has to be an exact copy for that one moment when the DAR is looking at it; after that you can do as you please with it as long as it continues to adhere to LSA performance limitations.

I recently turned my SLSA CTSW into an ELSA. Two different DARs said they didn't think the sales price would be affected at all, it's just a different type of owner that might buy it, with some overlap. Also, the vast savings on maintenance if you do a lot of it yourself will make up for any lost value in due course. It's a matter of how you choose to spend & save your money.

There is also another advantage: the airplane gets new operating limitations. The DAR I worked with wrote in my limitations that my airplane can be flown IFR if properly equipped. For me it's just kind of neat, but that could be a huge advantage to somebody with a medical, or BasicMed, who wanted to pursue an instrument rating. ASTM does not allow IFR flight in an SLSA.


He is looking at a Sling, not a Sting. I Know a ELSA can be changed after certification, but it seems like a lot of trouble for a dealer to set the airplane up twice to get the special equipment they are offering.

On value it is all just speculation, until you actually sell it. Only then can you make the determination if you lost value because of going ELSA. For me Going ELSA wouldn't save anything on maintenance. :wink:

ASTM doesn't allow flight in IMC in a SLSA manufactured after a certain point. A pilot flying under BasicMed could do instrument training or file IFR in a SLSA, as long as it is in VFR weather conditions if it has the required equipment and test performed.

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Re: Purchasing choices

Postby MackAttack » Mon May 15, 2017 2:47 pm

I can only add a couple quick points to this discussion (I fly a Tecnam SLSA). First, I would get quotes from a couple insurance brokers ahead of time - you should be able to answer the insurance question pretty quickly and easily.

Second, and not discussed yet in the thread, is the warranty. Will there be a difference in the warranty between SLSA and the ELSA? I would worry a little about finger pointing between the dealer/builder and the kit maker (The Aircraft Factory in South Africa) in terms of getting service and my guess is you may find warranty service on the airframe a little harder to come by (the engine will be covered either way by Rotax, the prop by the prop maker and avionics by that manufacturer). That would be another point in favor of SLSA to me.

My own view is that once the factory warranties expire, that's a good time to convert to an E-LSA and start tinkering. But that's just one pilot's opinion.

Also, I would get the Dynon or Garmin avionics either way - they try to push you to a South African avionics brand - which I'm sure is fine - but there aren't that many shops that will work on them as opposed to Garmin or Dynon.

Please keep us posted and good luck!

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Re: Purchasing choices

Postby MrMorden » Mon May 15, 2017 3:00 pm

3Dreaming wrote:He is looking at a Sling, not a Sting. I Know a ELSA can be changed after certification, but it seems like a lot of trouble for a dealer to set the airplane up twice to get the special equipment they are offering.

On value it is all just speculation, until you actually sell it. Only then can you make the determination if you lost value because of going ELSA. For me Going ELSA wouldn't save anything on maintenance. :wink:

ASTM doesn't allow flight in IMC in a SLSA manufactured after a certain point. A pilot flying under BasicMed could do instrument training or file IFR in a SLSA, as long as it is in VFR weather conditions if it has the required equipment and test performed.


Mis-typed sting, meant Sling, sorry.

On value, of course, it's all speculation. Nothing is known until a check is in your hands.

The difference is my ELSA *can* be flown in IMC if it's properly equipped, not just training and filing in VMC. Probably not the best platform for doing that, but it would be legal! :)
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RTK
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Re: Purchasing choices

Postby RTK » Tue May 16, 2017 7:29 pm

The Sling is a beautiful LSA. I have sat in 2 and really like how it's laid out and constructed. The only down side to the Sling is that it's heavy. Unless you are willing to live without the BRS, and/or are fairly lean, you likely are not going to be able to fly with both a passenger and full fuel. Having said that, if your heart is set on the Sling, I would recommend going with the S-LSA version for resale value. While the aircraft is not substantially different as an E-LSA (and you don't need letters of authorization, or LOAs, to make changes to the aircraft), as Andy stated, you'll lose a portion of the buyers because they would want the certificated aircraft.

Alternatively, I don't know if you've looked at the SportCruisers or Piper Sport (2010-2011)? These can be had at a good price now-a-days, and are a similar low-wing aircraft with a lot of popularity and support, and slightly better available payload. The only downside is that you're looking at aircraft that will need to go through the 5 year hose replacement and repack of the BRS parachute, so factor that into your offer price if you' have any interest in those aircraft.

FWIW, I went with the SportCruiser and am extremely happy. And while my insurance isn't cheap, it also isn't hideously expensive either. (As of this writing, I'm a sub-100 hours Sport Pilot.)

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Re: Purchasing choices

Postby MrMorden » Wed May 17, 2017 7:53 am

One more quick note:

Choosing an airplane based on resale value is a bit like picking a girlfriend based on how desirable other guys might find her after you break up. :lol:
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Re: Purchasing choices

Postby Merlinspop » Wed May 17, 2017 10:56 am

MrMorden wrote:One more quick note:

Choosing an airplane based on resale value is a bit like picking a girlfriend based on how desirable other guys might find her after you break up. :lol:

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Re: Purchasing choices

Postby Warmi » Tue May 30, 2017 5:58 pm

Well , looks like this is it.

After careful consideration , I just couldn't justify spending so much money on Sling 2 ( ELSA or SLSA.) As MrMorden pointed out "New plane smell is not worth tens of thousands of dollars". I really loved the Sling but , frankly, my only option was a new ( and extremely expensive ) plane or perhaps waiting for a used one ( how long ? given that there are only about dozen or so Slings in the whole country) . There was one available a few months ago , 2011 or so with about 1000 hours on it ( obviously a trainer), for 100K+ but I missed that.

Since my preference was always for a low wing ...instead , I am about to pull the trigger on this baby: http://sportair.aero/wp-content/uploads ... /N603B.pdf

Sting S4 with only 154 hours for, what I think, is a reasonable price.

Got the financing lined up ( with a decent down payment ) , getting things arranged with Bill Canino of SportairUSA and will be heading there sometime next week for a few days with my CFI and hopefully, if we like the plane, flying back together to Chicago.
Ultimately, the idea is to finish my pilot training in my own plane ( right now ,I am a student-pilot with about 30+ hours in Remos GX ).
Got a T hangar lined up in a near-by ( 20 minutes away ) airport for just $300 a month - still trying to find a reasonable insurance but it looks like everything is falling into place - it is actually pretty scary in a way, I was always looking forward to this day .. but that's a lot of money and a huge commitment :-)

Will let you guys know ...
Flying Sting S4 ( N184WA ) out of Illinois

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Re: Purchasing choices

Postby RTK » Wed May 31, 2017 9:37 am

Good luck with the Sting S4! There's someone on YouTube named StingFlight that flies his Sting in Northern California and does a great job posting videos of his flights. Not sure if you've seen them, but worth watching as they're entertaining.

If the Sting doesn't work out, take a look at CynamonB's SportCruiser. It's priced very well and appears well equipped. Of course I'm biased as a fellow SportCruiser / PiperSport owner, but I do like the aircraft and it's probably a closer competitor to the Sling (all metal aircraft.)


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