Can convert LSA to E-LSA to fly faster than 120 kts.?

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).

Moderator: drseti

skyleader
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Jun 02, 2018 5:08 pm

Can convert LSA to E-LSA to fly faster than 120 kts.?

Postby skyleader » Thu Jun 07, 2018 10:39 am

If one buys a pre-built LSA is it permissible to convert to E-LSA with a speed increase beyond 120 kts.? (Question refers to US based LSAs.)
If so, what are medical requirements (if pilot has pvt/comm certificate) to fly the E-LSA? Driver's license? Basic Med? Class 3?

TimTaylor
Posts: 656
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:17 pm

Re: Can convert LSA to E-LSA to fly faster than 120 kts.?

Postby TimTaylor » Thu Jun 07, 2018 11:24 am

Commercial Pilot Airplane Single & Multiengine Land; Instrument Airplane; Sport Endorsement Airplane Single Engine Sea; Flight Instructor Airplane Single And Multiengine; Ground Instructor Advanced Instrument

skyleader
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Jun 02, 2018 5:08 pm

Re: Can convert LSA to E-LSA to fly faster than 120 kts.?

Postby skyleader » Thu Jun 07, 2018 11:33 am

That is the thread I was looking for. But I still do not see a definitive answer if one converted their LSA to E-LSA operating outside LSA limits. Would this simply convert aircraft to Experimental category and one flies accordingly?

TimTaylor
Posts: 656
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:17 pm

Re: Can convert LSA to E-LSA to fly faster than 120 kts.?

Postby TimTaylor » Thu Jun 07, 2018 11:42 am

If you take it outside the LSA limits, I don't know how it would be classified, but you would definitely need a Private or higher to fly it. A Sport Pilot can only fly LSA. You would also need a current medical or Basic Med.
Commercial Pilot Airplane Single & Multiengine Land; Instrument Airplane; Sport Endorsement Airplane Single Engine Sea; Flight Instructor Airplane Single And Multiengine; Ground Instructor Advanced Instrument

User avatar
smutny
Posts: 54
Joined: Fri Dec 30, 2016 2:26 pm

Re: Can convert LSA to E-LSA to fly faster than 120 kts.?

Postby smutny » Thu Jun 07, 2018 11:45 am

Short answer, no.

Long answer from the FAR's:

§21.191 Experimental certificates.
Experimental certificates are issued for the following purposes:
(i) Operating light-sport aircraft. Operating a light-sport aircraft that—
(2) Has been assembled—
(i) From an aircraft kit for which the applicant can provide the information required by §21.193(e); and
(ii) In accordance with manufacturer's assembly instructions that meet an applicable consensus standard;


When you look at 21.193(e) you see:

§21.193 Experimental certificates: general.
An applicant for an experimental certificate must submit the following information:
(e) In the case of a light-sport aircraft assembled from a kit to be certificated in accordance with §21.191(i)(2), an applicant must provide the following:
(1) Evidence that an aircraft of the same make and model was manufactured and assembled by the aircraft kit manufacturer and issued a special airworthiness certificate in the light-sport category.
(4) The manufacturer's statement of compliance for the aircraft kit used in the aircraft assembly that meets §21.190(c), except that instead of meeting §21.190(c)(7), the statement must identify assembly instructions for the aircraft that meet an applicable consensus standard.


Then you hop back to 21.190(c) to read:

§21.190 Issue of a special airworthiness certificate for a light-sport category aircraft.
(c) Manufacturer's statement of compliance for light-sport category aircraft. The manufacturer's statement of compliance required in paragraph (b)(1)(iii) of this section must—
(2) State that the aircraft meets the provisions of the identified consensus standard;


What does all that mean? When an aircraft is approved for sale as a SLSA, it meets the consensus standard as set forth by the ATSM. If that manufacturer wants to offer an ELSA, then that aircraft must be identical to the SLSA. When you move your SLSA to ELSA you are, by default, meeting that standard as the ELSA is identical to the SLSA. You can now do repairs and alterations, that do not affect its LSA compliance status, without factory oversight or approval.

So, if your modification changes the following:

Light-sport aircraft means an aircraft, other than a helicopter or powered-lift that, since its original certification, has continued to meet the following:
(2) A maximum airspeed in level flight with maximum continuous power (VH) of not more than 120 knots CAS under standard atmospheric conditions at sea level.


Then you can not do the change.

It's important to note, your question asks "...fly faster than 120 kts.?" That leads me to believe that you, like many others, have the misconception that sport pilots are not allowed to fly faster than 120kts anywhere, any time. That is not true, the aircraft have to meet the above certification standard, but conditions change, and with that speeds that the aircraft are capable of.
John Smutny
LSRM - A/WS
Normandy AIrcraft @ S36

TimTaylor
Posts: 656
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:17 pm

Re: Can convert LSA to E-LSA to fly faster than 120 kts.?

Postby TimTaylor » Thu Jun 07, 2018 11:59 am

I'm not sure you are correct when you say, "you cannot do the change." If you take it out of LSA limits, it MIGHT be possible for it to fall within some other classification, but it would no longer be an LSA and could not be flown by a Sport Pilot or someone operating under Sport Pilot privileges and limitations.
Commercial Pilot Airplane Single & Multiengine Land; Instrument Airplane; Sport Endorsement Airplane Single Engine Sea; Flight Instructor Airplane Single And Multiengine; Ground Instructor Advanced Instrument

skyleader
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Jun 02, 2018 5:08 pm

Re: Can convert LSA to E-LSA to fly faster than 120 kts.?

Postby skyleader » Thu Jun 07, 2018 12:04 pm

John-
Thanks for providing clarity upon this issue. I was hoping there was a way to modify an LSA (with Rotax 915) to cruise in the 140 knot area.
Specifically, I am interested in ordering a Bristell RG with the 914 engine, preferably the 915 engine if available. Don't see any cruise speed data on those options yet. Thanks again.

User avatar
drseti
Posts: 5675
Joined: Sat Nov 28, 2009 6:42 pm
Location: Lock Haven PA
Contact:

Re: Can convert LSA to E-LSA to fly faster than 120 kts.?

Postby drseti » Thu Jun 07, 2018 12:10 pm

The Bristell RG is not, was not, and can never be an LSA. Retractable gear is not allowed, period. IF you build one from kit, it can only be registered in the US as an E-AB.
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof H Paul Shuch
PhD CFII DPE LSRM-A/GL/WS/PPC iRMT
AvSport LLC, KLHV
fly@AvSport.org
AvSport.org
facebook.com/SportFlying
SportPilotExaminer.US

User avatar
smutny
Posts: 54
Joined: Fri Dec 30, 2016 2:26 pm

Re: Can convert LSA to E-LSA to fly faster than 120 kts.?

Postby smutny » Thu Jun 07, 2018 12:12 pm

I'll stand by my statement, and here's why...

§21.191 Experimental certificates.
Experimental certificates are issued for the following purposes:

(a) Research and development. Testing new aircraft design concepts, new aircraft equipment, new aircraft installations, new aircraft operating techniques, or new uses for aircraft.


The OP made no mention of doing an R&D project and the aircraft would have to be returned to it's starting certification once the project is complete.

(b) Showing compliance with regulations. Conducting flight tests and other operations to show compliance with the airworthiness regulations including flights to show compliance for issuance of type and supplemental type certificates, flights to substantiate major design changes, and flights to show compliance with the function and reliability requirements of the regulations.

The very suggestion was born from deviating from existing regulations, so this doesn't fit.

(c) Crew training. Training of the applicant's flight crews.

Crew training in an LSA? Doubtful.

(d) Exhibition. Exhibiting the aircraft's flight capabilities, performance, or unusual characteristics at air shows, motion picture, television, and similar productions, and the maintenance of exhibition flight proficiency, including (for persons exhibiting aircraft) flying to and from such air shows and productions.

This one gets tossed out a lot, but I'm not seeing an everyday LSA fitting in any of the descriptions here.

(e) Air racing. Participating in air races, including (for such participants) practicing for such air races and flying to and from racing events.

Reno? Doubtful. Maybe SARL.

(f) Market surveys. Use of aircraft for purposes of conducting market surveys, sales demonstrations, and customer crew training only as provided in §21.195.

No mention if the idea behind the mods was to sell them.

(g) Operating amateur-built aircraft. Operating an aircraft the major portion of which has been fabricated and assembled by persons who undertook the construction project solely for their own education or recreation.

Nope, not 51%.

(h) Operating primary kit-built aircraft. Operating a primary category aircraft that meets the criteria of §21.24(a)(1) that was assembled by a person from a kit manufactured by the holder of a production certificate for that kit, without the supervision and quality control of the production certificate holder under §21.184(a).

Nope, not a kit.

(i) Operating light-sport aircraft. Operating a light-sport aircraft that—

This is where it would be after ELSA conversion.
John Smutny
LSRM - A/WS
Normandy AIrcraft @ S36

TimTaylor
Posts: 656
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:17 pm

Re: Can convert LSA to E-LSA to fly faster than 120 kts.?

Postby TimTaylor » Thu Jun 07, 2018 12:19 pm

It would no longer be an LSA. I see no reason it couldn't be registered as an Experimental - Exhibition. Of course, it would be subject to whatever limitations that entails. I'm not suggesting it would be something that makes sense to do.

"Exhibition: to exhibit an aircraft’s flight capabilities, performance, or unusual characteristics for air shows, motion pictures, television, and similar productions, and for the maintenance of exhibition flight proficiency."

Who's to say every flight is not for maintenance of exhibition flight proficiency?
Last edited by TimTaylor on Thu Jun 07, 2018 12:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Commercial Pilot Airplane Single & Multiengine Land; Instrument Airplane; Sport Endorsement Airplane Single Engine Sea; Flight Instructor Airplane Single And Multiengine; Ground Instructor Advanced Instrument

User avatar
smutny
Posts: 54
Joined: Fri Dec 30, 2016 2:26 pm

Re: Can convert LSA to E-LSA to fly faster than 120 kts.?

Postby smutny » Thu Jun 07, 2018 12:23 pm

That is why I stated that Exp-Exhibition gets suggested a lot.

If the mods are to improve performance to support an air show routine, or for a movie, yeah you could possibly get FSDO approval.

If the mods are to just get to the $100 burger faster, not going to happen.
John Smutny
LSRM - A/WS
Normandy AIrcraft @ S36

TimTaylor
Posts: 656
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:17 pm

Re: Can convert LSA to E-LSA to fly faster than 120 kts.?

Postby TimTaylor » Thu Jun 07, 2018 12:27 pm

smutny wrote:That is why I stated that Exp-Exhibition gets suggested a lot.

If the mods are to improve performance to support an air show routine, or for a movie, yeah you could possibly get FSDO approval.

If the mods are to just get to the $100 burger faster, not going to happen.


Maybe, maybe not.
Commercial Pilot Airplane Single & Multiengine Land; Instrument Airplane; Sport Endorsement Airplane Single Engine Sea; Flight Instructor Airplane Single And Multiengine; Ground Instructor Advanced Instrument

User avatar
smutny
Posts: 54
Joined: Fri Dec 30, 2016 2:26 pm

Re: Can convert LSA to E-LSA to fly faster than 120 kts.?

Postby smutny » Thu Jun 07, 2018 12:31 pm

TimTaylor wrote:Maybe, maybe not.


Not. And I'll send the first person that can show me paperwork to the contrary (ELSA -> Experimental Exhibition) dated 2016 or thereafter, for use other than called out in the FAR's, a dinner for two to Ruth Chris Steakhouse (or equivalent local establishment).

No expiration date on this offer.
John Smutny
LSRM - A/WS
Normandy AIrcraft @ S36

Warmi
Posts: 500
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2016 5:35 pm
Location: Frankfort, IL

Re: Can convert LSA to E-LSA to fly faster than 120 kts.?

Postby Warmi » Thu Jun 07, 2018 12:34 pm

skyleader wrote:John-
Thanks for providing clarity upon this issue. I was hoping there was a way to modify an LSA (with Rotax 915) to cruise in the 140 knot area.
Specifically, I am interested in ordering a Bristell RG with the 914 engine, preferably the 915 engine if available. Don't see any cruise speed data on those options yet. Thanks again.

I think you just gonna have to order it as E-AB ,if they offfer that option - for instance the Airplane Factory offers all 3 for the line of Sling 2/4 airplanes: LSA/E-LSA or E-AB with higher gross etc ...

http://www.airplanefactory.com/aircraft/sling-2-kit/
Flying Sting S4 ( N184WA ) out of Illinois

User avatar
smutny
Posts: 54
Joined: Fri Dec 30, 2016 2:26 pm

Re: Can convert LSA to E-LSA to fly faster than 120 kts.?

Postby smutny » Thu Jun 07, 2018 12:39 pm

TimTaylor wrote:"Exhibition: to exhibit an aircraft’s flight capabilities, performance, or unusual characteristics for air shows, motion pictures, television, and similar productions, and for the maintenance of exhibition flight proficiency."

Who's to say every flight is not for maintenance of exhibition flight proficiency?


It says "...and for..." not "...or for...". So the aircraft must meet the previous criteria in order for maintenance and proficiency flights.
John Smutny
LSRM - A/WS
Normandy AIrcraft @ S36


Return to “Light Sport Aircraft”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests