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Thread: converting an lsa to a ga

  1. #1

    converting an lsa to a ga

    I have searched the net for several days and am either typing the wrong search terms or there is no info on it.I just ordered plans for the sonerai 2. Now it makes more sense once I get the craft built to certify it as an lsa to get hours and spend less in training and insturmentation to get flying. But once I am able to upgrade avionics and get flight hours I would like to recertify the aircraft as a general aviation plane so I can fly at night and during ifr.Now I know you can't downgrade to lsa but is it possible to upgrade?ThanksChad

  2. #2

    Join Date
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    Here is my take:
    The Sonerai will need an amateur built airworthiness certificate. You as a plans builder cannot choose to certify any plans built aircraft as an LSA (actually called SLSA or ELSA) nor would you want to. Only the manufacturer can do that.
    But if the aircraft has a certificated gross weight less than 1320 and speeds are within the rule, it can be flown with just a sport pilot certificate (for day and VFR) even if it has IFR equipment. (as far as I know, others can advise)

    p.s. At first, I thought you were the Chad Jensen from EAA staff, but since this is your first post, I suspect that you are someone else with the same name. This could be confusing.

  3. #3

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    I'm confused. Are you planning on training in the airplane you build?

    I second what Bill said. You will 'certify' the airplane as experimental/amateur-built, period. If it meets LSA performance specs, you can fly it with sport pilot cert.

  4. #4
    Ok I just found out the plans designer does not list the plans as lsa compliant. Stall speeds too high. If I did order a compliant set of plans and did not put avionics in before my airworthiness I can still fly it as an lsa. Now let's say I get my ticket for sport pilot and get 100 hours in a year. In this time I am saving my mony and I buy an avionics package so I can fly my aircraft at night and during ifr. But I can't legally because my aircraft is only lsa rated. So can I get my aircraft recertificated and get my night and ifr hours in my aircraft and fly my aircraft as a general aviation with no night or ifr restrictions?

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by chadjensen View Post
    But I can't legally because my aircraft is only lsa rated. So can I get my aircraft recertificated and get my night and ifr hours in my aircraft and fly my aircraft as a general aviation with no night or ifr restrictions?
    If you build a plane from plans, it will be 'certifed' as experimental/amateur-built, period. Won't be any "LSA only" restrictions. Nothing to recertify.

  6. #6
    Ok great news. The only limiting factor would be my certifications. I could use my plane for any conditions so long as its equipped and I'm certified. Sweet.

  7. #7
    WacoJoe's Avatar
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    Having built and flown a Sonerai II myself, I would say that it is very difficult to keep a Sonerai's performance within the LSA envelope. It's just too danged FAST! Even without wheel pants installed mine would easily cruise at 150+ mph, which is well above the limit for LSA. The weight is okay (the Sonerai II gross weight is 950 lbs) and the stall speed is OK (at least it was on my airplane) but the maximum speed is too great. If you need a plane that meets the LSA definition, I would suggest you look for something other than a Sonerai II.

    Regarding certification, there is nothing to stop you from equipping an amateur-built aircraft for flight at night or under IFR. These operations are allowed by the amateur-built operating limitations so long as the aircraft meets the minimum equipment requirements of 14 CFR 91.205. And even if the aircraft does not meet these requirements when it is originally certificated, the equipment may be installed later. There would be no need to re-certificate the aircraft.
    Cheers!

    Joe

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by chadjensen View Post
    Ok I just found out the plans designer does not list the plans as lsa compliant. Stall speeds too high. If I did order a compliant set of plans and did not put avionics in before my airworthiness I can still fly it as an lsa. Now let's say I get my ticket for sport pilot and get 100 hours in a year. In this time I am saving my mony and I buy an avionics package so I can fly my aircraft at night and during ifr. But I can't legally because my aircraft is only lsa rated. So can I get my aircraft recertificated and get my night and ifr hours in my aircraft and fly my aircraft as a general aviation with no night or ifr restrictions?
    I'm confused. I looked at the Great Plains web site http://www.greatplainsas.com/sonerai.html and they list stall speeds for the Sonerai 1 &11 as 45 MPH. The Sonerai 11 Stretch as 50 MPH. Thats less than the Sport Pilot limit of 45 KNOTS. They do claim that it will do over 140 MPH wide open. Maybe you could dumb down the prop. (use a climb prop)

  9. #9

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    hmm. sounds like a lot of apples being compared to pineapples. AS I UNDERSTAND THE REGS, when an EAB is issued an airworthiness certificate, the manufacturer (builder) sets the max gross weight and determines the operating limits through paperwork, then flight tests to confirm the aircraft performs safely. the max speed for an LSA is set at the manufacturer's (the aircraft builder, not the engine maker) allowed max continuous power. along with other limitations for operation, a manufacturer may paperwork-limit the continuous power to limit the speed to stay in LSA. the aircraft need not be equipped for ifr or night when test flown, since avionics and lights are not major modifications as defined in PT 43. if it fits LSA, it's an LSA, which may or may not be equipped for night or IFR even though a light-sport pilot can't fly it that way legally. but a private pilot could, if appropriately rated. so build it like you want, test it to see if it fits, tweak it if it doesn't, retest, repeat as necessary. swear it complies, fly it as allowed by regulation. what did i miss?
    Last edited by cdrmuetzel@juno.com; 08-07-2012 at 10:20 PM.

  10. #10
    Ok so what if I put a derated prop on it to get the speed down. Then once I get my private pilots cert. I change my prop over to increase my top speed and am over the max speed of lsa? Also on the stall speed issue I was getting my info from this forum. http://sonerai.proboards.com/index.c...=199ThanksChad

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