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Thread: LSA qualified Classics

  1. #1
    Badcellist's Avatar
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    Goggles LSA qualified Classics

    After many, many years and many hours flying high performance SELs, I have decided to make a sojourn into the world of a downgraded (no offense intended) PPL to Sport Pilot. That being said, I have been reviewing the specs for a variety of Classic aircraft with the intent to purchase one that I can fly under the LSA category. The Luscombe 8A is one that (with some attention to Max gross weight) seems to fall into that category.

    My query is: Are there other classics that are candidates for LSA that I should also consider and what are the hidden pitfalls for which I should be aware?

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    There are lots. J-3 Cubs, of course, though Cubs are slower (and more expensive!) than almost any other aircraft of that vintage. All B model Taylorcrafts. Aeronca Champ, probably Interstate Kadet, Porterfield, many others. Cessna 120, I think (but not the 140). Some models of Ercoupe (later ones, like the C-140, have too high gross weight). Later Lucsombes are too heavy, too. The rag and tube planes like the Cubs, T-Craft, and Champs are probably easier to repair than the all metal planes. There's a wing strut AD on the T-Craft and I think there's something on the Luscombes, too.

    Note that you can't reduce the gross weight of an aircraft to meet the LSA specs; if it was ever certificated at a higher gross weight then it's permanently ineligible for LSA.

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    Neither the Cessna 120 or 140 qualify. Same 1450 pound gross weight for both.

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    Here is a partial list from EAA that covers the more common ones.http://www.sportpilot.org/learn/lsa/..._aircraft.htmlDon't forget that there are many light, low and slow experimental amatuer-built aircraft that can be flown under Sport Pilot rules. J-3 Cub replicas, Pober/Corben single- and two-seat Ace models, Pietenpol Air Camper and many more.
    Last edited by cluttonfred; 04-27-2012 at 03:52 PM. Reason: fixed bad link
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    Badcellist's Avatar
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    Goggles

    Quote Originally Posted by Dana View Post
    Note that you can't reduce the gross weight of an aircraft to meet the LSA specs; if it was ever certificated at a higher gross weight then it's permanently ineligible for LSA.
    Thanks for the heads-up... This is a tidbit for which I was unaware...

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    I owned two of the "classics." A 7AC Champ and a Luscombe 8A with a 1250 GW. I later converted it to an E model using a factory letter as authority.

    I liked the Champ, but I really liked the Luscombe because it was faster. 85 MPH vs 105 MPH. Also, the Luscombe was/is the only classic that was approved for aerobatics. I had an aerobatic supplement to my POH.

    The Champ rode better in turbulence than the 8A/E. 8's through 8C's have a 1250 GW. The rare 8D is 1310 and the E's and F's dress out at 1450.

    Bob

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    Badcellist's Avatar
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    An interesting twist to the Sport License...

    As I mentioned, as part of a plan to fly under the Sport Pilot category (downgrading my PPL) and avoiding the requirement for a 3rd class medical exam I went to my local FBO yesterday to plop down my PPL, Logbook, and CA drivers license and complete a BFR.

    As I was about to start the BFR in a Cessna 162 Skycatcher, the Flight Instructor mentioned that I would be unable to rent this plane even if I had a current BFR. When asked why, he informed me that a 3rd class medical was required if I wished to rent it unaccompanied by a Flight Instructor.

    I think this falls under a 'Catch 22'. Yes, you can have a Sport Pilots License but, No, you can't use an airplane...

    Ergo, the BFR ended abruptly. It appears that there are other limitations to the Sport Pilot License beyond the flight and loading specs....

    If I want to fly in the left seat as a PIC, I just as well get my 3rd class medical and fly the Mooney's and Pipers in which I have many hours...

    Food for thought.
    Last edited by Badcellist; 04-30-2012 at 08:59 AM.

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    Medical for Sport Pilot Flying

    The FAA does not require any medical (other than drivers license) for LSA flying, but many insurance companies that cover FBO rental fleets do. It sort of defeats the purpose of the LSA regs, but until insurers get a clue as to the safety of the drivers license medical it appears to be something we have to deal with.

    For my personal LSA airplane the insurance company has no such requirement.

    Dave Prizio

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Prizio View Post

    For my personal LSA airplane the insurance company has no such requirement.

    Dave Prizio
    You answered my unstated query... That is - if I buy a Luscombe 8A, or equivalent, will I be able to get insurance as the PIC?

    I may go ahead and get my 3rd class anyway. Although, at 62, I am concerned about passing it...
    Last edited by Badcellist; 04-30-2012 at 01:33 PM.

  10. #10
    Matt Gonitzke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badcellist View Post
    You answered my unstated query... That is - if I buy a Luscombe 8A, or equivalent, will I be able to get insurance as the PIC?
    Why not simply call an insurance company and find out? That's the only way to know for sure...

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