Update on LSA limits from Oshkosh

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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Update on LSA limits from Oshkosh

Postby c162pilot » Mon Jul 30, 2018 6:42 pm

I attended Oshkosh from Thursday to Saturday this year. During the week there had been a meeting between representatives of the FAA and the principals of some of the US based LSA manufacturers. I spoke with three of the CEO's and all where optimistic coming out of this meeting. From what I understand more than gross weight is being discussed including top speed, constant speed propellers and retractable gear. It appears the key thing the FAA has not decided on is if the new limits will be absolute values based i.e. Maximum Gross Weight of 750 Kg's or performance based i.e. Gross Weight can be variable but you must demonstrate that the plane stalls at 45 KCAS for example. So still lots of work to be done.

What I learnt from the CEO of a S-LSA and E-LSA manufacturer is that if planes are tested now to higher weights during design, certification and manufacture and certified now at 600 Kgs then they will be able to be re-certified at the higher weight when announced as long as they can demonstrate compliance to the new standards what ever they may be. A good example this would be the Sling 2 as it is currently tested and certified in South Africa to 700 Kgs but de-rated in the USA to 600 Kgs.

However none of this is likely to happen any time soon. The NRPM should be out in about 6 months (perhaps around the time of Sun 'n Fun) and then it will take another 18 months or so to become regulation. Also there as no mention on how this impacts Sport Pilot License.

Regardless in my opinion in general this is good for the LSA aircraft industry.

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Re: Update on LSA limits from Oshkosh

Postby TimTaylor » Mon Jul 30, 2018 7:56 pm

I didn't think "learnt" was a word, so I looked it up. To my surpise, it is.
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MrMorden
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Re: Update on LSA limits from Oshkosh

Postby MrMorden » Tue Jul 31, 2018 11:20 am

Thanks for the info.

The changes to LSA should not affect the SP license, other than to allow SPs to fly airplanes captured by the new regs. Since the definition of SP is one who can fly LSA, it would require quite a contortionist re-imagining of the SP rating to outright exclude some LSA from that rating. However, what might happen is that there could be an endorsement to fly airplanes of a gross more than 1320, or Vh more than 120KCAS, or stall greater than 45KCAS, or whatever performance metric, in the same way there is an endorsement for a SP to fly airplanes with Vh greater than 87KCAS.
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Re: Update on LSA limits from Oshkosh

Postby ShawnM » Tue Jul 31, 2018 4:53 pm

MrMorden wrote:Thanks for the info.

The changes to LSA should not affect the SP license, other than to allow SPs to fly airplanes captured by the new regs. Since the definition of SP is one who can fly LSA, it would require quite a contortionist re-imagining of the SP rating to outright exclude some LSA from that rating. However, what might happen is that there could be an endorsement to fly airplanes of a gross more than 1320, or Vh more than 120KCAS, or stall greater than 45KCAS, or whatever performance metric, in the same way there is an endorsement for a SP to fly airplanes with Vh greater than 87KCAS.


All good points Andy and I agree with you. If/when it happens I believe that it'll be another endorsement in your log book if you choose to do so. Whatever changes come in the future it won't affect me as I'll still be flying my E-LSA SportCruiser around.

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Re: Update on LSA limits from Oshkosh

Postby chicagorandy » Tue Jul 31, 2018 6:29 pm

One of the true barriers to a person getting a Sport Pilot license in my Chicago Metro area IS the dearth of SP instructors and LSA aircraft for rent. Were the 150 and similar planes to get approved much of that issue would drastically decrease.

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Re: Update on LSA limits from Oshkosh

Postby Warmi » Tue Jul 31, 2018 6:39 pm

Actually, believe or not, Chicago area is not that bad ... There are 2 schools specializing in Light Sport planes with 5 different LSAs. You an also rent Remos planes at Aurora ...

I remember reading about folks driving hundred+ miles for a lesson ... so ,while nowhere near as accessible as for PP certified pilots, we don’t have it that bad.
Flying Sting S4 ( N184WA ) out of Illinois

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Re: Update on LSA limits from Oshkosh

Postby Turn & Slip Inn » Wed Aug 01, 2018 10:24 am

Here’s a different perspective regarding expanding the weights/performance of LSA aircraft: from outside the airfield fence. As a former glider pilot looking at obtaining a sport pilot certificate the availability of aircraft remains a major barrier in parts of the country.

For example, established flight schools in my area (Omaha, Nebraska) currently do not offer sport pilot training, unless you have your own aircraft. At last check the nearest sport pilot program with aircraft available for rent (Iowa Flight Training) is located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; that’s a roundtrip of approximately 550 miles. Imagine for a moment you wanted to learn to fly, but you had to drive an 8-hour roundtrip for each lesson.

By expanding the weights/performance criteria to include aircraft such as the Cessna 140/150/152, Piper Tomahawk or Diamond DA20 more existing flight schools would be able to offer sport pilot training and services. In addition, the USAF aero clubs may consider offering the sport pilot training to service members. In my case, such a change would provide at least four flight schools an opportunity to expand their training programs to include light sport.

Several have mentioned the safety aspects of allowing an increase in the weights/performance of LSA aircraft. Others within this forum have briefly touched upon the benefits of standardized weights/performance with our European counterparts. Each has a valid point worthy of further discussion and detailed examination.

From my perspective, looking from outside the airfield fence, changing the weights/performance criteria to include more existing aircraft is logical. Such changes can only serve to improve general aviation and potentially grow the number of individuals within the sport using existing resources.

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Re: Update on LSA limits from Oshkosh

Postby drseti » Wed Aug 01, 2018 2:02 pm

Turn & Slip Inn wrote:Such changes can only serve to improve general aviation and potentially grow the number of individuals within the sport using existing resources.


I agree entirely. However, our objectives (improving GA, growing the pilot population) and the FAA's mandate (reducing number of accidents) do not exactly coincide.
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Re: Update on LSA limits from Oshkosh

Postby Wm.Ince » Wed Aug 01, 2018 2:16 pm

drseti wrote:. . . our objectives (improving GA, growing the pilot population) and the FAA's mandate (reducing number of accidents) do not exactly coincide.

I do not find those mutually exclusive.
Just because we improve GA and pilot numbers . . . that does not mean we can't reduce the accident Rate.
If the objective was to reduce "accident numbers," then getting rid of all GA airplanes and pilots would certainly accomplish that.
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Re: Update on LSA limits from Oshkosh

Postby drseti » Wed Aug 01, 2018 4:06 pm

And, if the FAA's mandate is to eliminate all aviation accidents -- well, we all know how that could be accomplished. :(
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Re: Update on LSA limits from Oshkosh

Postby Mark Gregor » Wed Aug 01, 2018 5:32 pm

Paul,
Although the mathematic equation you suggest makes sense on paper I’m not seeing it play out in the real world.
If it did wouldn’t we be seeing higher accident and death rates in the heavier aircraft?

The LSA accident record is not bad the heavier and higher stall speed in the 152s, 172s, warriors etc are even better not worse.

Mark Gregor

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Re: Update on LSA limits from Oshkosh

Postby drseti » Wed Aug 01, 2018 5:51 pm

Mark, the significance of KE is that impacts fatality rate, not total accident rate. In an EAA webinar a few years ago, I used 10 years of NTSB data to calculate percentage of accidents that resulted in serious injury or fatalities. The overwhelming majority of LSA accidents were no-injury (walk away accidents). For non-LSAs, something around 30% of reportabe accidents resulted in serious injuries or fatalities. You're right that the accident rate in LSAs is no better than for the GA fleet as a whole. But they result in much lower severity, in terms of injury or deaths. So, when you consider life and limb, the LSA constraints are indeed successful at improving safety.
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
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Re: Update on LSA limits from Oshkosh

Postby TimTaylor » Wed Aug 01, 2018 6:14 pm

I would rather make an off-airport landing in a SkyCatcher than in a B747.
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Re: Update on LSA limits from Oshkosh

Postby drseti » Wed Aug 01, 2018 6:22 pm

TimTaylor wrote:I would rather make an off-airport landing in a SkyCatcher than in a B747.


That's exactly what the KE equation implies. :)
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
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Re: Update on LSA limits from Oshkosh

Postby TimTaylor » Wed Aug 01, 2018 7:03 pm

drseti wrote:
TimTaylor wrote:I would rather make an off-airport landing in a SkyCatcher than in a B747.


That's exactly what the KE equation implies. :)

Exactly why I posted it.
Commercial Pilot Airplane Single & Multiengine Land; Instrument Airplane; Sport Endorsement Airplane Single Engine Sea; Flight Instructor Airplane Single And Multiengine; Ground Instructor Advanced Instrument


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