Jack Pelton comments on LSA weight restrictions

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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c162pilot
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Jack Pelton comments on LSA weight restrictions

Postby c162pilot » Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:28 am

https://www.avweb.com/avwebflash/news/LSA-Weight-Restrictions-Changing-231209-1.html

According to this article in AVweb still two years away. Anybody got any insight on what the new limits will be? Even a modest increase of a 150 lbs would definitely help sales of heavier empty weight planes like the Sling 2 and Ranger. I wonder if existing LSA’s will be able to be STC’d to the new Gross Weight?

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Re: Jack Pelton comments on LSA weight restrictions

Postby Warmi » Tue Jul 24, 2018 4:44 am

Well, one thing it is going to do is to kill the aftermarket for LSAs that can’t be STCed .... :D
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Re: Jack Pelton comments on LSA weight restrictions

Postby drseti » Tue Jul 24, 2018 6:29 am

There is no such thing as an STC for non-certified LSAs. There can never be. How can you issue a supplement to a type certificate if no type certificate exists?
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Re: Jack Pelton comments on LSA weight restrictions

Postby drseti » Tue Jul 24, 2018 7:04 am

drseti wrote:There is no such thing as an STC for non-certified LSAs.


Now, that said, I can foresee a market impact in two areas:

(1) SLSA manufacturers will be able to design and market a new SLSA+ aircraft that is even better equipped, carries more fuel, can use the heavier engines like the 915, and will be actual two-place aircraft (with no need for the "wink-wink, nudge-nudge, just fly it over-gross" attitude I've long been railing against). But these will be top-end, top-dollar aircraft. At maybe $200k to $250k, they're not going to impact the market for used lightweights.

(2) the rule change will make slightly-overweight legacy aircraft Sport Pilot Eligible, which will probably enhance their market value. But they will still be 50 year old aircraft, which will not significantly impact the market segment that wants shiny new.

Bottom line: since expensive, heavy SLSA+ and fat legacy aircraft will each attract it's own market segment, this should have little impact on the used SLSA market.
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
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Re: Jack Pelton comments on LSA weight restrictions

Postby FastEddieB » Tue Jul 24, 2018 7:16 am

I wonder if the owner of an ELSA could raise the maximum gross above 1,320 lbs, based upon his or her estimation of the safety of doing so?

I mean, let’s say I knew for a fact that my Sky Arrow was identical to models rated elsewhere to 1,450 lbs (I’m not). But I think others may be in that situation where the 1,320 lbs is a clearly arbitrary limit.
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Re: Jack Pelton comments on LSA weight restrictions

Postby ShawnM » Tue Jul 24, 2018 7:29 am

FastEddieB wrote:I wonder if the owner of an ELSA could raise the maximum gross above 1,320 lbs, based upon his or her estimation of the safety of doing so?

I mean, let’s say I knew for a fact that my Sky Arrow was identical to models rated elsewhere to 1,450 lbs (I’m not). But I think others may be in that situation where the 1,320 lbs is a clearly arbitrary limit.


To remain a LSA aircraft in the US you still have to conform to the LSA guidelines set forth by the FAA. Anything outside those guidelines is no longer a LSA. Right now that's 1320 until further notice. It would be like the wild, wild west if owners could raise the MTOW based upon his/her own estimation. :mrgreen:

Why is everyone hell-bent on changing this rule? :o

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Re: Jack Pelton comments on LSA weight restrictions

Postby FastEddieB » Tue Jul 24, 2018 7:37 am

I thought it would be clear I was talking about the situation after the LSA weight limit being discussed in this thread.
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Re: Jack Pelton comments on LSA weight restrictions

Postby drseti » Tue Jul 24, 2018 7:37 am

ShawnM wrote:Why is everyone hell-bent on changing this rule? :o


Americans are greedy, Shawn. They want more of everything. A 6000 pound, retractible, injected, turbocharged, constant speed prop, six-place pressurized twin LSA for $100k would sell really well, I'm sure!
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Re: Jack Pelton comments on LSA weight restrictions

Postby drseti » Tue Jul 24, 2018 7:38 am

FastEddieB wrote:I thought it would be clear I was talking about the situation after the LSA weight limit being discussed in this thread.


We are, but new rules are seldom if ever retroactive, so we're also talking about planes built after the rule change.
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Re: Jack Pelton comments on LSA weight restrictions

Postby drseti » Tue Jul 24, 2018 7:41 am

For legacy certified aircraft, the FAA rules, so anything is possible. But SLSA and ELSA are under ASTM's purview. I think they represent the big hurdle.
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
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Re: Jack Pelton comments on LSA weight restrictions

Postby Warmi » Tue Jul 24, 2018 7:42 am

drseti wrote:
FastEddieB wrote:I thought it would be clear I was talking about the situation after the LSA weight limit being discussed in this thread.


We are, but new rules are seldom if ever retroactive, so we're also talking about planes built after the rule change.



Why would that be the case ?

If you the new definition states that LSAs can go up to , say , 1500 Lbs gross .. why wouldn't manufacturers of existing LSA models be able to raise their gross ( if it is safe to do so ) the way Aeroprakt did for their A22L ?

https://foxbatpilot.com/2018/04/13/a22l ... -increase/
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Re: Jack Pelton comments on LSA weight restrictions

Postby ShawnM » Tue Jul 24, 2018 7:46 am

drseti wrote:
ShawnM wrote:Why is everyone hell-bent on changing this rule? :o


Americans are greedy, Shawn. They want more of everything. A 6000 pound, retractible, injected, turbocharged, constant speed prop, six-place pressurized twin LSA for $100k would sell really well, I'm sure!


LMAO, I'll take 2 Paul, where do I sign? :mrgreen:

Sadly, you're right.

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Re: Jack Pelton comments on LSA weight restrictions

Postby c162pilot » Tue Jul 24, 2018 8:19 am

I once owned several Diamond DA40s that had a Gross Weight Modification raising the take off weight (but not the landing weight) by about 100 pounds. For planes that did not ship from the factory with this modification Diamond made available a kit that could be retroactively installed to certain model DA40's that could bring existing DA40's up to the same Gross Take off Weight. I assume something like this (not calling it a STC) could be applied to S-LSA's. In my personal case the 2003 Grumman Tiger I am now flying is going to Australia with my partner in November of 2018 and I am in the market for a new aircraft. The Vashon Ranger would be ideal accept that as it is now it is too heavy. Neither would I be willing to buy one now and hope that the Gross Weight will be raised sometime in the future so I will most likely wait and see. BTW, I do not think Jack Pelton would have been so public in his comments if he did not feel strongly this was likely to happen. He is not typical of the snake oil Silicon Valley types I deal with daily in my work life selling vaporware.

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Re: Jack Pelton comments on LSA weight restrictions

Postby Sling 2 Pilot » Tue Jul 24, 2018 8:23 am

If the FAA is going to make a change, it will most likely happen at a venue such as OSHKOSH or Sun N Fun. Keep your fingers crossed. Again, I'll believe it when I see it in writing.

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Re: Jack Pelton comments on LSA weight restrictions

Postby drseti » Tue Jul 24, 2018 8:54 am

Warmi wrote: why wouldn't manufacturers of existing LSA models be able to raise their gross ( if it is safe to do so ) the way Aeroprakt did for their A22L ?


That Aeroprakt change was for the Australian market. I doubt FAA would be so compliant in the US.
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
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