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Thread: When is an Ultra Light not and Can it be a LSA

  1. #21
    Dana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wmgeorge View Post
    Let me toss this out. Granted I am not a pilot and just learning, but for most of my 74 years I have been gainfully employed in some pretty techy fields thank you. So what IF the air craft in my question had been flown for a number of years as a Ultra Light or whatever but clearly qualified as a Light Sport Air Craft why can it not be inspected and certified air worthy and assigned a N number? Just because a deadline had passed, the air craft has flown, had logged time on the books. There are NO proceedures within the FAA to re-inspect on a case by case basis?
    When I was in the USAF on the flight line I saw a lot of repairs. I was an air craft electrician, mid 1960's Cessna 310s to B52s.

    What happens to a air craft after damage say from hard landing is it assigned to the junk pile never to fly again?
    I think you're still missing a couple of points. First, "Light-Sport Aircraft": the term means two different things, which causes many people confusion. Some aircraft may be registered as a LSA, "special LSA" or "experimental LSA." S-LSA is a factory built aircraft and certificated as such. E-LSA can be one of three things: either an approved E-LSA kit, a former ultralight that was registered during the transition period (no longer possible), or a certificated S-LSA that had the registration converted to E-LSA by the owner. None of these apply to you Today the only path to LSA certification is factory built (SLSA) or approved kit (ELSA). There are no exceptions.

    However, an aircraft registered in another category (standard, experimental, primary, etc.) that meets the LSA requirements (2 seat, 1320# gross weight, etc.) may be flown by a Sport Pilot as if it was an LSA, but it's still not registered as LSA; it's a standard or experimental or whatever. From an operational standpoint it's the same, but the paperwork and inspection requirements are different.

    A homebuilt aircraft not built from an approved ELSA kit gets an Experimental-Amateur Built airworthiness certificate. There are certain requirements for this, the most important one is that the aircraft must have been built for "education or recreation", that the "major portion" of the aircraft is indeed amateur built (the so-called "51% rule"). At the time of initial inspection, the applicant is required to show documentation (photos and build log) to prove that the major portion was indeed amateur built. If you have this documentation, no problem, even if the plane was previously flying as an ultralight. If not, then you can't do it, though some DARs may be more picky than others about the completeness of the documentation. I do know of already flying Quicksilvers that have successfully been registered as E-AB, but I don't know what level of documentation was provided.

    If the aircraft cannot be registered E-AB (insufficient build documentation) it may be possible to register it as Experimental-Exhibition. This is more restrictive, requiring yearly notification to the FAA of where and when you expect to fly it (airshows and such), though local "practice flying" is permitted. Some people take this route and some abuse it, though I don't know to what level the restrictions are enforced.

    In the case of a damaged aircraft, that's an entirely different thing as it already has an airworthiness certificate so it's just a matter of making repairs.

  2. #22

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    Interesting Dana but since I just received my new 2018 FAR-AIM can you list the regulations that cover this? I am really not in the market for purchasing right now until I get my ticket, but others may be interested.

    Interesting as he offers solution's to the issues or road blocks presented above... http://www.sportaviationspecialties....nformation.htm
    Last edited by wmgeorge; 06-06-2018 at 07:13 AM.

  3. #23
    EAA Staff Joda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wmgeorge View Post
    I just received my new 2018 FAR-AIM can you list the regulations that cover this?
    You won't find everything in the regulations, but here are a few that will help out. Look at 21.191. This regulation outlines the various experimental certificates. Pay particular attention to 21.191(i), which talks specifically about experimental light-sport aircraft. You'll note that 21.191(i)(1) relates to pre-existing aircraft that had not been issued an airworthiness certificate but met the LSA definition. You'll see that this provision can no longer be used for issuance of an airworthiness certificate. That leaves only approved LSA kits, and aircraft that were formerly SLSA that can be converted to ELSA.

    21.191(g) talks about amateur-built aircraft (which we commonly call "homebuilts"). These aircraft may or may not meet the LSA definition. If they do, they are eligible to be operated by sport pilots.

    21.190 talks about the Light-Sport category. These are what we refer to as "special LSA", or "SLSA". These are the factory-built aircraft sold ready to fly.

    For pilot certification rules, you need to go to part 61, sub-part J. This will cover the requirements for a sport pilot certificate.

    For specific procedures for certificating these aircraft, you need to go to FAA Order 8130.2J, which you can find by going to the FAA website (www.faa.gov) and doing a search for 8130.2. it's a large document, but all the info is in there regarding certification procedures for all the aircraft referred to above.
    Cheers!

    Joe

  4. #24

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    Thanks Joe for the help! I will do some reading right now its back to the kitchen remodel.

  5. #25
    EAA Staff Joda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wmgeorge View Post
    Thanks Joe for the help! I will do some reading right now its back to the kitchen remodel.
    More good info can be found here:

    https://www.faa.gov/aircraft/gen_av/light_sport/
    Cheers!

    Joe

  6. #26

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    @rwanttaja - these was the simplest and easiest way to understand the Ultralight/LSA difference. Honestly, it was like I had an epiphany looking at the illustrations.
    Last edited by tmnolte; 07-18-2018 at 01:45 PM. Reason: words

  7. #27

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    Also in FAR part 1 definitions light sport aircraft you can see if your airplane meets the requirments.

  8. #28

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    I’ve read all the posts and think I understand the Ultalght vs LSA. The prove it to myself, I would like to have the folks in this thread “vote” on my understanding.

    If I purchase an Aerolite 103 Ultralight built by the Factory, I then add some equipment, I also replace the engine and as a result, exceed the UL weight/performance limits, I have an airplane that IS an LSA of some kind but cannot be registered as a E-AB nor an E-LSA.

    There is one thing that is interesting and is a possible “loophole” is that all of the mods that I would install could be purchased from OEM and installed on the airplane at the factory before delivery. I’m assuming then it might be a S-LSA and could be converted to an E-LSA.

    If this is confusing to you as it is to me, let me know.

    Thanks.

  9. #29
    Dana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geezer View Post
    I’ve read all the posts and think I understand the Ultalght vs LSA. The prove it to myself, I would like to have the folks in this thread “vote” on my understanding.

    If I purchase an Aerolite 103 Ultralight built by the Factory, I then add some equipment, I also replace the engine and as a result, exceed the UL weight/performance limits, I have an airplane that IS an LSA of some kind but cannot be registered as a E-AB nor an E-LSA.
    The aircraft would not be an LSA of any kind, even though it may conform to the LSA limits. But you're correct that it can't be EAB or ELSA. At best you might be able to register it as experimental-exhibition, but I wouldn't count on it.

    There is one thing that is interesting and is a possible “loophole” is that all of the mods that I would install could be purchased from OEM and installed on the airplane at the factory before delivery. I’m assuming then it might be a S-LSA and could be converted to an E-LSA.
    No. That would only be possible if Aerolite had previously certificated that configuration as a S-LSA, which it hasn't.
    Last edited by Dana; 12-02-2018 at 07:36 PM.

  10. #30

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    Thanks Dana. So as I expected, if any mods to the Aerolite 103 result in exceeding Part 103 limits, it is no longer an ultralight by the rules, would fit the LSA definition but according to the FAA, basically can’t be registered in any “useful” LSA category.

    Leaves me with two alternatives, keep any mods to an existing ultralight within Part 103 rules or buy the kit with anything I want that exceeds the ultralight rules, build it and then register it as an E-AB.

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