Annual Expense in Owning an ELSA (Good News & Bad News)

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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Re: Annual Expense in Owning an ELSA (Good News & Bad News)

Postby drseti » Fri Jan 05, 2018 10:22 pm

Well put, Andy.
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Re: Annual Expense in Owning an ELSA (Good News & Bad News)

Postby Warmi » Fri Jan 05, 2018 10:27 pm

Makes sense - good enough for me.
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Re: Annual Expense in Owning an ELSA (Good News & Bad News)

Postby FastEddieB » Fri Jan 05, 2018 10:50 pm

Andy covered a lot of what I was intending to reply to warmi’s query.

Let’s say I find a crack in my nosewheel. Let’s further say that getting an exact replacement from Italy is several hundred dollars.

I go to Tractor Supply and find a wheelbarrow wheel and tire of about the same dimensions for $29. I determine it will be a safe substitute - and how I determine that is entirely up to me. Ideally, I would want to check load and speed ratings and that sort of thing, but “Looks like it should work” might be all that was involved. As an aside, the Cheng Shin tire on my nosewheel sure looks like it was sourced from a wheelbarrow or riding mower.

Image

Anyway, the key is in the word “Experimental”. I’m free to experiment with a wheelbarrow wheel and tire if I want. Or a John Deere tractor voltage regulator. And like any experiment, there’s always a chance an experiment will fail. So it may not be for everyone.

As Andy pointed out, by law passengers must be informed of the Experimental nature of the aircraft, first with 2” letters screaming EXPERIMENTAL where the passenger boards, and then with a cockpit placard plainly visible to the passenger, like this:

Image

Once Experimental, it is pretty much anything goes.* And insurance companies write policies and collect premiums on Experimentals knowing that fact. I think they would have a hard time denying coverage to an owner of an Experimental for experimenting.


*For ELSA, one cannot make any modification that would take it out of the Light Sport category. For instance, as much as a flight-adjustable or constant speed propeller might aid performance, it’s a no go.
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Re: Annual Expense in Owning an ELSA (Good News & Bad News)

Postby drseti » Fri Jan 05, 2018 11:13 pm

FastEddieB wrote: As an aside, the Cheng Shin tire on my nosewheel sure looks like it was sourced from a wheelbarrow or riding mower.


As an aside to your aside, my SLSA came from the factory with those same Cheng Shin wheelbarrow tires. They looked pretty flimsy. That's why I obtained an LoA from the manufacturer to replace them with Michelins!
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
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Re: Annual Expense in Owning an ELSA (Good News & Bad News)

Postby Warmi » Fri Jan 05, 2018 11:23 pm

It all makes sense ... so then the question becomes , what sort of premium increases you are seeing for going experimental ?
It sounds like it could be substantial given the open ended ‘let’s experiment how it flies with one wing being shorter’ type of deal ( obviously I am being a bit facetious here but the question still stands )

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Re: Annual Expense in Owning an ELSA (Good News & Bad News)

Postby FastEddieB » Fri Jan 05, 2018 11:30 pm

Warmi wrote:It all makes sense ... so then the question becomes , what sort of premium increases you are seeing for going experimental ?


My rate actually went down a little.

But the reason was as an Experimental they would only insure my hull to $50k - I think as an SLSA it was $65k.

I believe the liability premium remained the same.

I’m sure Andy has a more recent experience to recount if he wants.
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Re: Annual Expense in Owning an ELSA (Good News & Bad News)

Postby TimTaylor » Sat Jan 06, 2018 2:31 pm

So, your insurance company immediately applied a $15,000 depreciation factor to going ELSA vs SLSA. I'll bet you wouldn't drop the selling price by $15,000 if you decided to sell it.
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Re: Annual Expense in Owning an ELSA (Good News & Bad News)

Postby Jim Hardin » Sat Jan 06, 2018 3:58 pm

Normor767's post reminded me. I have four extra gas can vents (Amazon).

IMG_0423s.jpg
IMG_0423s.jpg (187.08 KiB) Viewed 2197 times


If anyone would like these, IM your address and they are yours.

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Re: Annual Expense in Owning an ELSA (Good News & Bad News)

Postby ShawnM » Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:12 am

Jim Hardin wrote:Normor767's post reminded me. I have four extra gas can vents (Amazon).

If anyone would like these, IM your address and they are yours.


I sent you a PM.

Shawn

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Re: Annual Expense in Owning an ELSA (Good News & Bad News)

Postby MrMorden » Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:03 am

Warmi wrote:It all makes sense ... so then the question becomes , what sort of premium increases you are seeing for going experimental ?
It sounds like it could be substantial given the open ended ‘let’s experiment how it flies with one wing being shorter’ type of deal ( obviously I am being a bit facetious here but the question still stands )

Thanks


Mine did not change at all, and the hull value insured remained the same through AIG.

I think the idea that most pilots have a sense of self preservation is priced into the premium. :)

Personally, I think the likelihood of a mishap is less about the type of airworthiness cert the airplane has and more about how well the airplane is maintained and whether the owner is conservative in how they do things. There are a LOT of certified and technically airworthy airplanes at my airport I would not set foot in.
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Re: Annual Expense in Owning an ELSA (Good News & Bad News)

Postby TimTaylor » Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:07 pm

I think the problem might be that sometimes you don't know what you don't know, whereas, an experienced A&P might. I don't think I would buy an ELSE from me. If I did, I would certainly get someone such as Paul to do a very thorough pre-buy.
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Re: Annual Expense in Owning an ELSA (Good News & Bad News)

Postby ShawnM » Sun Jan 07, 2018 4:01 pm

MrMorden wrote:............There are a LOT of certified and technically airworthy airplanes at my airport I would not set foot in.


Amen to that statement! :mrgreen:

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Re: Annual Expense in Owning an ELSA (Good News & Bad News)

Postby ShawnM » Sun Jan 07, 2018 4:11 pm

TimTaylor wrote:I think the problem might be that sometimes you don't know what you don't know, whereas, an experienced A&P might. I don't think I would buy an ELSE from me. If I did, I would certainly get someone such as Paul to do a very thorough pre-buy.


I dont mean to offend any A&P's here but what makes you think that an A&P knows more or is better than a LSRMA when it comes to light sport? They both have a certification and experience.

I think the statement "you dont know what you dont know" can certainly apply to an A&P.

Again, no offense, but I would not choose an A&P work on my LSA, be it an E-LSA or S-LSA. In my opinion they simply dont know enough about light sport.

I would always buy an E-LSA from me, I think I do a better job of maintenance and upkeep on my own plane since it's my a$$ on the line.

And I would have a THOROUGH prebuy on ANY light sport, again E-LSA or S-LSA. Mine took nearly all day when I bought it.

Ok, let the arrows fly....... :mrgreen:

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Re: Annual Expense in Owning an ELSA (Good News & Bad News)

Postby TimTaylor » Sun Jan 07, 2018 4:25 pm

I don't think a 14 hour course, or whatever it is, can teach you as much as you should know to maintain an airplane as well as an experienced A&P such as Paul. And yes, I would want him to be experienced with LSA and even the make and model I am flying. Feel free to disagree.

And don't read into my statement things I did not say. I did not say ANY A&P and I did not say ANY person who works on an ELSA. But, in general, if a guy who had no experience converts his aircraft from SLSA to ELSA and takes a 14 hour course, or whatever, I would be leary of buying that airplane later vs an SLSA that had ALWAYS been maintained by a licensed A&P with LSA experience.

I didn't say I wouldn't buy such an airplane. Knowing FastEddie, I would be confident in buying his airplane with a good pre-buy inspection.

And what makes me think this is common sense and 53 years flying experience. There are guys who can't change the oil in their car. They probably should not be maintaining their airplane.
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Re: Annual Expense in Owning an ELSA (Good News & Bad News)

Postby 3Dreaming » Sun Jan 07, 2018 5:05 pm

ShawnM wrote:
TimTaylor wrote:I think the problem might be that sometimes you don't know what you don't know, whereas, an experienced A&P might. I don't think I would buy an ELSE from me. If I did, I would certainly get someone such as Paul to do a very thorough pre-buy.


I dont mean to offend any A&P's here but what makes you think that an A&P knows more or is better than a LSRMA when it comes to light sport? They both have a certification and experience.

I think the statement "you dont know what you dont know" can certainly apply to an A&P.

Again, no offense, but I would not choose an A&P work on my LSA, be it an E-LSA or S-LSA. In my opinion they simply dont know enough about light sport.

I would always buy an E-LSA from me, I think I do a better job of maintenance and upkeep on my own plane since it's my a$$ on the line.

And I would have a THOROUGH prebuy on ANY light sport, again E-LSA or S-LSA. Mine took nearly all day when I bought it.

Ok, let the arrows fly....... :mrgreen:


Shawn,

You should choose a person who is qualified to do the work. Don't make the choice because they are a A&P or a LSRM.

A person only needs 3 weeks to become a LSRM. You learn the rules and regulations, but gain very little mechanical experience. To become a A&P it takes at minimum 1 year, and most programs take longer. If you do it based on work experience it certainly takes longer.

I started working at the local airport under a mechanic in 1980 during my junior year of high school. In 1982 I decided to go to a A&P school with a 1 year program. Class was 8 hours a day 5 days a week for a full year. I completed the program and practical exams in 1983. I have been a IA since 1990. I have been working on LSA since before the definition was created. I have been working on SLSA aircraft since 2007. I have Rotax training that I keep current. I have Flight Design aircraft and composite training.

To overlook someone like myself to work on a LSA because they are a A&P and not a LSRM would be foolish.


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