Increasing speed/weight limits for LSA?

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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skyleader
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Increasing speed/weight limits for LSA?

Postby skyleader » Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:59 pm

Can anyone share insight into the possibility the FAA will increase speed &/or weight limits for LSAs in the near future? IMO, it seems illogical to handicap these excellent aircraft at such low, artificially-limited restrictions. Such a move would open a new venue for LSA sales for those of us who like to fly cross country.
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TimTaylor
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Re: Increasing speed/weight limits for LSA?

Postby TimTaylor » Thu Jun 21, 2018 3:33 pm

Why do people keep asking this question? If you don't have a Private or higher, get one and fly whatever aircraft you want. Light Sport and LSA is what it is. Who knows if and when it will ever be changed, but it meets a need as is.
Commercial Pilot Airplane Single & Multiengine Land; Instrument Airplane; Sport Endorsement Airplane Single Engine Sea; Flight Instructor Airplane Single And Multiengine; Ground Instructor Advanced Instrument

comperini
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Re: Increasing speed/weight limits for LSA?

Postby comperini » Thu Jun 21, 2018 3:37 pm

TimTaylor wrote:Why do people keep asking this question? If you don't have a Private or higher, get one and fly whatever aircraft you want. Light Sport and LSA is what it is. Who knows if and when it will ever be changed, but it meets a need as is.


I agree.. Ever since the original NPRM for Sport Pilot came out, people have always been wanting to redraw that line in the sand. The FAA has to put a limit on it somewhere. The FAA already increased the weight once! The original Light-Sport NPRM proposed 1,232 lbs. It was increased to the current 1,320.
- Bob
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http://www.sportpilotinstructor.com

skyleader
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Re: Increasing speed/weight limits for LSA?

Postby skyleader » Thu Jun 21, 2018 4:47 pm

TimTaylor wrote:Why do people keep asking this question? If you don't have a Private or higher, get one and fly whatever aircraft you want. Light Sport and LSA is what it is. Who knows if and when it will ever be changed, but it meets a need as is.


Yes, I "have a Private or higher" certification... ATP. People keep asking this question because they desire to improve and broaden LSA parameters. The mentality of "it meets a need as is" never improves the aviation community.
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TimTaylor
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Re: Increasing speed/weight limits for LSA?

Postby TimTaylor » Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:11 pm

skyleader wrote:
TimTaylor wrote:Why do people keep asking this question? If you don't have a Private or higher, get one and fly whatever aircraft you want. Light Sport and LSA is what it is. Who knows if and when it will ever be changed, but it meets a need as is.


Yes, I "have a Private or higher" certification... ATP. People keep asking this question because they desire to improve and broaden LSA parameters. The mentality of "it meets a need as is" never improves the aviation community.

Sport Pilot and LSA was designed to meet a certain segment of aviation. Expanding it beyond it's current definition does not necessarily improve the aviation community. If the definition of LSA is expanded, it could quite possibly change the requirements for a Sport Pilot certificate. For instance, why not greatly expand LSA capability and eliminate Sport Pilot?
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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Re: Increasing speed/weight limits for LSA?

Postby 3Dreaming » Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:50 pm

skyleader wrote:Can anyone share insight into the possibility the FAA will increase speed &/or weight limits for LSAs in the near future? IMO, it seems illogical to handicap these excellent aircraft at such low, artificially-limited restrictions. Such a move would open a new venue for LSA sales for those of us who like to fly cross country.


LSA limits are not just about the aircraft, they are also about the pilots who are allowed to fly them. The term LSA was created to go along with the new, in 2004, sport pilot rating. This is a rating the FAA created for people to learn how to fly slow basic aircraft. IMO the aircraft that have come to market since then have far exceeded any imagination the FAA had when the rule was implemented.

If your concern is really about the airplanes, then you should be pushing for the part 23 rewrite to be put into effect. It should allow a different certification path for these airplanes to allow them to fly faster and carry more weight, without putting faster heavier airplanes in the hands of sport pilots who are not trained to fly them.

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Re: Increasing speed/weight limits for LSA?

Postby dstclair » Thu Jun 21, 2018 6:14 pm

3Dreaming wrote:
skyleader wrote:Can anyone share insight into the possibility the FAA will increase speed &/or weight limits for LSAs in the near future? IMO, it seems illogical to handicap these excellent aircraft at such low, artificially-limited restrictions. Such a move would open a new venue for LSA sales for those of us who like to fly cross country.

If your concern is really about the airplanes, then you should be pushing for the part 23 rewrite to be put into effect. It should allow a different certification path for these airplanes to allow them to fly faster and carry more weight, without putting faster heavier airplanes in the hands of sport pilots who are not trained to fly them.
Excellent point on the part 23 rewrite being a potential path for heavier, faster and more complex superS-LSAs. That being said, Dan Johnson (http://www.bydanjohnson.com) reported at Sun-n-Fun that the FAA was considering 4 changes to the S-LSA: 1) Gyros 2) Increase MTOW 3) Single-Lever controllable prop 4) I forgot the 4th one....

I verified the MTOW and controllable prop points with an ASTM member and he said the FAA had agreed in principle to both. He also guessed that it would be years away before any changes are actually made.
dave

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drseti
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Re: Increasing speed/weight limits for LSA?

Postby drseti » Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:55 pm

Even the simplest and least controversial FAR change requires a minimum of five years to wend it's way through the bureaucratic and regulatory quagmire. Don't hold your breath on seeing any such changes within your flying lifetime. Remember that Basic Med took almost two decades to become reality.
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MrMorden
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Re: Increasing speed/weight limits for LSA?

Postby MrMorden » Fri Jun 22, 2018 9:24 am

This is a natural questions, and everybody thinks of it at some point. I don't understand why people get bent out of joint when it comes up. It's not like it's the same person asking it over and over, and there *has* been some media coverage (Dan Johnson and others) of this topic, so it makes sense people would bring it up.

Everybody has an opinion on it, but nobody's opinion is less valid than anybody else's. That's why they are opinions.
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comperini
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Re: Increasing speed/weight limits for LSA?

Postby comperini » Fri Jun 22, 2018 9:37 am

skyleader wrote:Yes, I "have a Private or higher" certification... ATP.


Many of us are "private or higher". That's not the point.

I'm not trying to be argumentative. Maybe I don't understand the argument. You want to fly cross countries in LSAs. 100-120 Kts is too slow? Everyone always wants to go 30 kts faster, or haul just a little more luggage. If you want to fly faster or haul more, there are planes to do that in. They just don't say "LSA" on their airworthiness certificate.
- Bob
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dstclair
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Re: Increasing speed/weight limits for LSA?

Postby dstclair » Fri Jun 22, 2018 9:38 am

drseti wrote:Even the simplest and least controversial FAR change requires a minimum of five years to wend it's way through the bureaucratic and regulatory quagmire. Don't hold your breath on seeing any such changes within your flying lifetime. Remember that Basic Med took almost two decades to become reality.
I agree, Paul. The current LSA regs are a known commodity and provide excellent flying options. Someone considering a purchase should make their evaluation based on what is in place today and any improvements in the future are a bonus. Personally, the current LSA regs have served me well for over 10 years and neither the MTOW and CAS maximums have limited my missions -- which have included 500-1000nm trips with a pax.
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MrMorden
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Re: Increasing speed/weight limits for LSA?

Postby MrMorden » Fri Jun 22, 2018 1:17 pm

comperini wrote:
skyleader wrote:Yes, I "have a Private or higher" certification... ATP.


Many of us are "private or higher". That's not the point.

I'm not trying to be argumentative. Maybe I don't understand the argument. You want to fly cross countries in LSAs. 100-120 Kts is too slow? Everyone always wants to go 30 kts faster, or haul just a little more luggage. If you want to fly faster or haul more, there are planes to do that in. They just don't say "LSA" on their airworthiness certificate.


I generally agree.

I have flown many long cross countries in my CTSW, From my home base in central Georgia to Michigan, Oshkosh, and out west. Longest one-way so far was over 1400nm over two days. It's very doable, unless your goal is to takeoff at 7am on the East Coast and land the same day on the West Coast. If you are trying to make a tight schedule, you're attempting to use an LSA for "utility", instead of its intended mission of "fun", and are bound to be disappointed.

That said, at LSA speeds a 500nm round trip, or 700nm one-way is very doable in a day if the weather cooperates, I have done it several times. I even did a 478nm leg (Pontiac, IL to Winder, GA) with no stops in 4.3hrs, coming back from OSH and attempting to beat forecast weather rolling in at the destination. So I guess it depends how you define "long cross country" and "reasonable timeframe".
Andy Walker
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2007 Flight Design CTSW E-LSA

TimTaylor
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Re: Increasing speed/weight limits for LSA?

Postby TimTaylor » Fri Jun 22, 2018 1:57 pm

Nobody is getting bent out of shape. It's just that LSA is what it is and goes hand in hand with the Sport Pilot certificate. If you change LSA, then you need to revisit Sport Pilot. Now that we have Basic Med, that solves the problem of LSA for most Private and higher (except those of us who missed out). Personally, I would like to see LSA changed to cover C150 and Cherokee 140, but not if it drastically changes the Sport Pilot certificate requirements. Sometimes it's best to leave things alone. I think this might be one of those times. IDK.
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MrMorden
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Re: Increasing speed/weight limits for LSA?

Postby MrMorden » Fri Jun 22, 2018 2:17 pm

TimTaylor wrote:Nobody is getting bent out of shape. It's just that LSA is what it is and goes hand in hand with the Sport Pilot certificate. If you change LSA, then you need to revisit Sport Pilot. Now that we have Basic Med, that solves the problem of LSA for most Private and higher (except those of us who missed out). Personally, I would like to see LSA changed to cover C150 and Cherokee 140, but not if it drastically changes the Sport Pilot certificate requirements. Sometimes it's best to leave things alone. I think this might be one of those times. IDK.


I don't think you have to revisit Sport Pilot to revisit LSA. There is no reason the FAA could not increase max gross of LSA to be 2000lb and max stall speed to be 55kt, and leave SP alone. After all, the regs define SP as being able to fly LSA, so the new regs capture the expanded LSA specs as flyable by SP. It could be that the FAA has had enough positive experience with SP/LSA rules to decide that SP is so successful at 1320lb that it's worth trying the same rule in an expanded weight and stall envelope.

I'm not holding by breath, and I'm fine with the current setup. But I think there are a lot of ways that rule changes could help build aviation, be more fair (medical catch-22, anyone?), or otherwise be a bit better.
Andy Walker
Athens, GA
Sport Pilot ASEL, LSRI
2007 Flight Design CTSW E-LSA

TimTaylor
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Re: Increasing speed/weight limits for LSA?

Postby TimTaylor » Fri Jun 22, 2018 2:23 pm

2000 pounds? Why not 6000 pounds? At what point would they decide you need a medical or Basic Med? Any significant change to LSA should be accompanied by an total reevaluation of the Sport Pilot certificate. When is 20 hours of training no long enough?
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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