Sportstar Owners - A place to hang out!

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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drseti
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Re: Sportstar Owners - A place to hang out!

Postby drseti » Sat Jan 06, 2018 6:47 pm

jfleming wrote:The LAME who looked over it gave it a perfect bill of health, and some 200 hours later, she is performing nicely. :)


Very glad to hear that, John.
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Re: Sportstar Owners - A place to hang out!

Postby jfleming » Sat Jan 06, 2018 6:51 pm

:) In fact, 2 LAMES. The first was organised prior to purchase to carry out a full inspection and report.

Then, once I flew it home, I had my lAME perform a 100hr as a starting point. :)

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Re: Sportstar Owners - A place to hang out!

Postby 3Dreaming » Sat Jan 06, 2018 9:15 pm

drseti wrote:
jfleming wrote: last year I bought her with only 167 hours. Not bad for a 2006 model! :D


Actually, I have to respectfully disagree. 167 hours on a 12 year old plane (that is, an average of just 14 hours a year) is very bad for the engine. :( Engines live longest when they're flown frequently. Those that sit idle most of their lives seldom reach TBO, because they are prone to internal corrosion. This is actually discussed this month in Mike Busch's AOPA blog.

Which is not to say that you didn't get a great buy. Just be sure to do a borescope inspection inside the cylinders. And, to keep the engine and yourself healthy, fly it often.


I don't think it is as big of an issue with Rotax compared to Lycoming or Continental.

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Re: Sportstar Owners - A place to hang out!

Postby akroguy » Sun Jan 07, 2018 4:29 pm

Rotax is supposedly less subject to corrosion than the steel cylinder'd Lyco/Conti's.

Mine lives in the arid desert. We haven't had any moisture here in 90+ days. Kinda sucks for agriculture, water reservoirs and the like, but for metal things, it's great.

I put 25 hrs on mine since October. I'm keeping the oil moving on a regular basis. :D

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Re: Sportstar Owners - A place to hang out!

Postby drseti » Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:10 pm

akroguy wrote:I put 25 hrs on mine since October. I'm keeping the oil moving on a regular basis. :D


Good on you, mate. And, I'll bet you're having a blast doing so!
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
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Re: Sportstar Owners - A place to hang out!

Postby akroguy » Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:53 pm

Having lots of fun, indeed! Now, I'm digging into the maintenance manual and find myself confused over who can do what. (Yeah...imagine that!)

Example: page 4-29

4.10.2 Bleeding
Type of maintenance: line.
Authorization to perform: -Aircraft owner (only for ELSA)
-Sport pilot or higher

So, one OR the other can perform or one AND the other (both) must apply (including the aircraft being ELSA) to be legal?

I'm a Private Pilot and owner of the Sportstar, registered SLSA.

Even the procedure to do an oil fill or change has the same requirements. Performing a pre-flight is the same too! So, must I change registration to ELSA to do an oil change or a 'legal' pre-flight?? :? :shock:

Thanks, Dr. Paul for your guidance and enthusiasm.

Brian

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Re: Sportstar Owners - A place to hang out!

Postby ShawnM » Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:30 am

Hi Brian,

Your manual reads like mine, it reads "Sport Pilot or Higher" you as a PPL are "higher" and are allowed to perform the work. It does not mean both are required.

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Re: Sportstar Owners - A place to hang out!

Postby 3Dreaming » Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:29 pm

The FAA is pretty specific about who can perform maintenance and what type they can perform. The owner of an airplane can not necessarily perform maintenance, except for an experimental aircraft. Anybody can perform maintenance on a aircraft with a airworthiness certificate in the experimental category. For a SLSA (a special airworthiness certificate in the light sport category) the owner must also hold a sport pilot or higher pilot certificate. If the aircraft has a standard airworthiness certificate you must hold a recreational pilot or higher to perform preventive maintenance.

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Re: Sportstar Owners - A place to hang out!

Postby akroguy » Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:14 pm

Thank you, gents. I guess I'm on the third (and likely final) iteration of understanding owner/operator regs. First airplane, I built an RV8 so had repairman's cert for that. The joys of experimental cannot be understated. :wink: Then, I bought a C-180 so had to embrace paying crazy sums of money for ancient parts....all for that PMA/TSO stamp.

Is it safe to assume maintenance operations not defined in the manual require higher mechanic certifications? How about changing plugs?

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Re: Sportstar Owners - A place to hang out!

Postby 3Dreaming » Mon Jan 15, 2018 5:02 pm

akroguy wrote: Is it safe to assume maintenance operations not defined in the manual require higher mechanic certifications? How about changing plugs?


Maintenance items not included in the manual will require procedures to be furnished by the manufacturer, and they may or may not require higher certification.

SLSA aircraft are kind of unique. They are manufactured to a standard accepted by the FAA, of which ASTM happens to be the only accepted standard. ASTM requires that manufacture's of aircraft produced under the standards be provided with a maintenance manual. They further require that they list what qualifications a person must have to perform a task. For airworthiness reasons any work or modification must not take the aircraft out of ASTM compliance.

Now the tricky part ASTM doesn't have any way of enforcing who performs what work on a SLSA, but the FAA does. The FAA has long had in place requirements for who could do what to a airplane. For preventive maintenance you need to look the same place as you did for your Cessna 180, and that is in CFR part 43 appendix A.

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Re: Sportstar Owners - A place to hang out!

Postby ShawnM » Mon Jan 15, 2018 5:39 pm

akroguy wrote:Thank you, gents. I guess I'm on the third (and likely final) iteration of understanding owner/operator regs. First airplane, I built an RV8 so had repairman's cert for that. The joys of experimental cannot be understated. :wink: Then, I bought a C-180 so had to embrace paying crazy sums of money for ancient parts....all for that PMA/TSO stamp.

Is it safe to assume maintenance operations not defined in the manual require higher mechanic certifications? How about changing plugs?


As the owner or sport pilot (or higher) you can change your own plugs in a SLSA. This is preventive maintenance. As stated see CFR 43, appendix a, section c to be exact. Either E-LSA or S-LSA you are allowed to change the plugs and perform preventive maintenance as outlined in the FARs just like certified aircraft. A LSA manufacturer cannot override or make new regs beyond the FAA regs. They also cannot allow you to perform anything that is NOT allowed in the regs.

The LSA manufacturer should outline, key word being SHOULD, what you as the owner or sport pilot can and cannot do but they dont always cover everything in detail.

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Re: Sportstar Owners - A place to hang out!

Postby akroguy » Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:04 pm

You guys are awesome. Thank you!

I'm sure I'll encounter more conundrums as time goes by. Knowing you guys are in my corner makes this regulatory transition that much easier.

Like my ATC controller neighbor has reminded me over the years, "never try to understand the regs. They don't make meds strong enough to deal with that".

Cheers!

Brian

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Re: Sportstar Owners - A place to hang out!

Postby 3Dreaming » Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:49 pm

ShawnM wrote:
As the owner or sport pilot (or higher) you can change your own plugs in a SLSA. This is preventive maintenance. As stated see CFR 43, appendix a, section c to be exact. Either E-LSA or S-LSA you are allowed to change the plugs and perform preventive maintenance as outlined in the FARs just like certified aircraft. A LSA manufacturer cannot override or make new regs beyond the FAA regs. They also cannot allow you to perform anything that is NOT allowed in the regs.

The LSA manufacturer should outline, key word being SHOULD, what you as the owner or sport pilot can and cannot do but they dont always cover everything in detail.


For experimental any person can do any work on the airplane. The only thing you need credentials for is performing the condition inspection.

For SLSA just being an owner doesn't allow you to perform maintenance. A student pilot owner can not perform and approve for return to service preventive maintenance on their aircraft.

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Re: Sportstar Owners - A place to hang out!

Postby ShawnM » Wed Jan 17, 2018 8:16 am

The regs are as clear as mud. :mrgreen:

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Re: Sportstar Owners - A place to hang out!

Postby jfleming » Fri Jan 19, 2018 6:53 pm

Sounds like you guys have similar issues to us.

For example, I am about to fit a new RPM gauge to my Sporty. Mine has the RPM and the MAP right over on the right side - in front of the Pax. Trouble is, I have an inflight adjustable prop, and so RPM becomes something I need to keep an eye on.

SO... in order for me to fit a new one, or even relocate the existing, (to Pilot's side) I have to gain a Letter of Authority from Evektor and have it done by a certified LAME.

I have the RPM gauge on the way, and the LOA with it - but what a pain. It's just an RPM gauge!! It's not like I am reshaping the wings!

Happy to get the LAME To fit etc, but why the rest of the nonsense is beyond me!


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