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Thread: Shopping / Repairing Questions?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Shopping / Repairing Questions?

    Hi all,

    I'm in the Los Angeles area, and I'm shopping for an airplane that may be E-LSA or EAB that is sport-able--and I'm guessing I prefer the Rotax 912ULS or iS to save on fuel--and to that end, I have questions. Perhaps some of you can help me sort this out?

    1. If I BUY an E-LSA and take the 16 hr. LSRI (inspection) course, can I then BOTH (a) inspect for annual Condition Inspections, and (b) repair my own E-LSA airplane as well? Object, part of overall intent to lower cost of ownership going forward. I get told different things by different people about the repair part of it.

    2. Sans LSRI which doesn't relate, if I BUY an EAB, then can I work on it when it needs it, except for CIs? I think I cannot any more than any other pilot on a TC'd airplane, but I've been told some weird things, such as "Sure, you can work on any Experimental...," which I think is NOT the case. But I thought I'd check with some folks here for input.

    3. Is there, generally, a perceived difference in value or safety of an E-LSA vs. an EAB?

    and

    4. If I BUILD a plane (Example: Kitfox?), then what are the advantages to registering it as E-LSA (weight capped at 1320), or EAB (weight also capped at 1320 so it'd be sport-able)? Different advantages

    (Note: I have a medical and have no medical contraindications, but I'm interested in taking advantage of the privileges in the Light Sport category asówhy not? I fly LSA anyway, for practical purposesóday VFRóso why not cut out the medicals also?)

    Thank you for any information or comments you'd like to share.

    Jen

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by eaajen View Post
    Hi all,

    I'm in the Los Angeles area, and I'm shopping for an airplane that may be E-LSA or EAB that is sport-able--and I'm guessing I prefer the Rotax 912ULS or iS to save on fuel--and to that end, I have questions. Perhaps some of you can help me sort this out?

    1. If I BUY an E-LSA and take the 16 hr. LSRI (inspection) course, can I then BOTH (a) inspect for annual Condition Inspections, and (b) repair my own E-LSA airplane as well? Object, part of overall intent to lower cost of ownership going forward. I get told different things by different people about the repair part of it.

    2. Sans LSRI which doesn't relate, if I BUY an EAB, then can I work on it when it needs it, except for CIs? I think I cannot any more than any other pilot on a TC'd airplane, but I've been told some weird things, such as "Sure, you can work on any Experimental...," which I think is NOT the case. But I thought I'd check with some folks here for input.

    3. Is there, generally, a perceived difference in value or safety of an E-LSA vs. an EAB?

    and

    4. If I BUILD a plane (Example: Kitfox?), then what are the advantages to registering it as E-LSA (weight capped at 1320), or EAB (weight also capped at 1320 so it'd be sport-able)? Different advantages

    (Note: I have a medical and have no medical contraindications, but I'm interested in taking advantage of the privileges in the Light Sport category as—why not? I fly LSA anyway, for practical purposes—day VFR—so why not cut out the medicals also?)

    Thank you for any information or comments you'd like to share.

    Jen
    If you purchase an EAB aircraft, yes, you may legally perform any repairs or maintenance with the following exceptions:

    1) Pitot static and transponder certifications must be conducted by a certificated shop
    2) The Condition Inspection entry in the logbook must be endorsed by an A&P or the holder of the Repairman's Certificate for that particular aircraft.

    If you build a plane, it can only be certified EAB unless you are building a kit produced by a manufacturer that holds E-LSA certification for that particular aircraft. The Vans RV-12 is an example of an aircraft that can be certified as either EAB or E-LSA.

    Jury is still out on percieved value of E-LSA vs EAB. Market value seems to be more a function of workmanship and market demand for a particular aircraft rather than what kind of airworthiness certificate it holds.
    Sam Buchanan
    EAA Technical Counselor
    The RV Journal RV-6 build log
    Legal Eagle XL build log
    APRS track

  3. #3
    CarlOrton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Buchanan View Post
    *snip*

    If you build a plane, it can only be certified EAB unless you are building a kit produced by a manufacturer that holds E-LSA certification for that particular aircraft. The Vans RV-12 is an example of an aircraft that can be certified as either EAB or E-LSA.
    Sam:

    OK; this might be a semantics issue, but I know of several Sonex builders who registered their Sonex' as E-LSA instead of E/AB. While Sonex advertises that their designs are Sport Pilot compliant, they have not received any type of "certification" for that classification. As far as I know, that is. They generally encourage all folks to build as E/AB simply because, in their view (and mine), it's just easier. If an E/AB meets LSA specs, then it can be flown by anyone, repairman certificates apply, etc. If built as an E/LSA, it could never be flown at night, as an example, since E-LSA are specifically lmited as daytime VFR only. Will gladly listen to any corrections to my assumptions.

    Carl Orton
    Sonex #1170
    http://mykitlog.com/corton

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by CarlOrton View Post
    Sam:

    OK; this might be a semantics issue, but I know of several Sonex builders who registered their Sonex' as E-LSA instead of E/AB. While Sonex advertises that their designs are Sport Pilot compliant, they have not received any type of "certification" for that classification. As far as I know, that is. They generally encourage all folks to build as E/AB simply because, in their view (and mine), it's just easier. If an E/AB meets LSA specs, then it can be flown by anyone, repairman certificates apply, etc. If built as an E/LSA, it could never be flown at night, as an example, since E-LSA are specifically lmited as daytime VFR only. Will gladly listen to any corrections to my assumptions.
    An E-LSA aircraft must be built precisely, no deviations, the same way the factory prototype was built that was certificated as E-LSA. This is the reason an E-LSA aircraft only needs a five hour phase 1 flyoff because it is identical to the factory built aircraft that the FAA signed off on. If the manufacturer has not put their compliant aircraft through that process, then builders can only register their planes as EAB. Or, if a builder doesn't build a precise copy of the manufacturer's E-LSA, then the aircraft must be registered as EAB. If the manufacturer hasn't satisfied the 51% rule with their E-LSA plane, the builder won't be able to register his plane as EAB and E-LSA will be his only option.

    E-LSA aircraft can be flown at night if properly equipped. It is the Sport Pilot License that prohibits a pilot from night flight, not the aircraft certification. A private pilot can fly an E-LSA plane under any conditions the plane is equipped to handle. If the E-LSA aircraft has been modified after the five hour flyoff with an IFR capable panel (this is legal), it can even be flown in IMC by an IFR rated pilot.

    I am not familiar with Sonex's situation, I'm sure someone with personal experience with Sonex will chime in. My primary point of reference is the RV-12.
    Last edited by Sam Buchanan; 01-09-2013 at 08:55 PM.
    Sam Buchanan
    EAA Technical Counselor
    The RV Journal RV-6 build log
    Legal Eagle XL build log
    APRS track

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    18
    Great. Good info. Thanks, guys.

    Jen

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