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Thread: Rumor of Light Sport Weight Limit Change

  1. #1
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Rumor of Light Sport Weight Limit Change

    On the Pilots of America forum page, they're reporting a tweet from AOPA Editor-in-Chief Tom Haines that says the FAA will be issuing a NRPM in January to raise the Light Sport Airplane weight limit...to 3,600 pounds!

    https://www.pilotsofamerica.com/comm.../#post-2611186

    The obvious reaction is that this is a typo; that the actual limit will be 1,600 pounds (which will get the Cessna 150, but not the 152, in play). However, someone says that Haines has confirmed the 3,600 pounds.

    Obviously, OTHER light sport limits will still exist. Probably still required to be fixed gear, my guess is that they'll keep the two-seat limit (though may change it to just a occupant limit, rather than a seat count). The current light sport rules do not allow STC'ing a design to qualify, but we'll have to see if that changes as well.

    Ron Wanttaja

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    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    I like this picture that someone posted with the above thread....


    Have to say I'm skeptical....

    Ron Wanttaja

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    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Looks like the FAA *is* looking at 3,600 pounds.

    "Baker invited Jack Pelton, EAA chairman and CEO, onto the stage. On Jan. 19, 2019, Pelton said, the FAA will publish a notice of proposed rulemaking that seeks to raise the weight limit for light sport aircraft from the current 1,320 pounds to 3,600 pounds. “That will allow you to fly in a 172, have four seats in the airplane, and fly 150 mph,” said Pelton, who also anticipates a rule change that would allow professional builders to construct experimental amateur-built aircraft."

    https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/...bondale-fly-in

    It's sounding like the speed limit is going up, and that more than two seats will be allowed.

    This is an apparent upcoming Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM), it wouldn't be going into effect for quite a while.

    Ron Wanttaja

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    Thanks for the update and link. How long do you think 'quite a while' is? Several years?, five years? Just wondering.

    Quote Originally Posted by rwanttaja View Post

    This is an apparent upcoming Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM), it wouldn't be going into effect for quite a while.

    Ron Wanttaja
    Last edited by Kim; 10-07-2018 at 04:07 PM. Reason: clarity
    EAA 745 - White Bear Lake MN

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    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim View Post
    Thanks for the update and link. How long do you think 'quite a while' is? Several years?, five years? Just wondering.
    The NRPM will include a comment period, generally about 90 days. They'll have to assemble the comments, de-conflict them, and come up with a modified version of the original proposal. Then the new rules will need to be coordinated within the government, etc.

    I'm guessing the whole process will take a minimum of one year, possibly two.

    Also, there's speculation that the "3,600 pounds" may have been a botched metric conversion. 1650 kilograms is about 3600 pounds; if the original value was 1650 POUNDS, someone may have assumed kilograms and run the conversion to 3,600 pounds.

    1650 pounds makes far more sense, as it will allow both the 150 and 152 into the Sport Pilot limits.

    AvWeb is saying 3,600 pounds....

    https://www.avweb.com/avwebflash/new...-231639-1.html

    ...and claims it's from a "high FAA source." But if their source is a same bad-at-math FAA guy AOPA is using, that would explain it.

    Ron Wanttaja

  6. #6
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    There has been quite a bit of talk over the past six months or so about possible rumored maybe someday LSA changes. If they're just talking about 152-class weights, then yeah, 1650 would do it and would also include a WHOLE LOT of airplanes that really don't make sense to not be included in LSA rules. Like Champs at 1450 GW, that sort of thing. It would still (inexplicably, IMHO) exclude others like Super Cubs and the like.

    If you're aiming to include 172/PA28/AA5 class airplanes, then you'd have to up it to 2500 or so. 3600 would include a whole lot of airplanes not usually found within the envelope you'd expect for even an upgraded Sport Pilot type set of limitations.

    Other changes would be needed to accommodate an awful lot of these planes, of course. Number of seats, probably stall speed, bump up cruise speed a little. There are planes that aren't LSA simply because of max gross weight, like upgraded Champ types, some later Ercoupes, etc. Lots of others -- even the 150/152 -- would require other changes to the limitations, like stall speed and cruise speed.

    From what I hear, the NPRM will include a bunch of changes other than just gross weight. The big question is, will any of it actually happen during our lifetimes? NPRMs come and go and get mangled and watered down and buried in bureaucracy. I'm mildly hopeful, but I'll believe any of it when I see it actually published as a new change to the regulations.
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    If they are gonna do it, they need to raise the weight far enough to include Tomahawks, C-152's, and Skippers.

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    While I agree that the 3600lbs sounds high, 1650lbs sounds low, since, I think, there are some 152's that exceed that.

    Also, I think people may be stuck in the mindset of 'Light Sport Aircraft' vs more of a 'Personal Aircraft', especially in that pilotsofamerica thread. The FAA's thinking behind this change could be more of 'what do most private pilot fly' thought process.

    Also, if this came from within the FAA itself or as a willing partner, hopefully there will be less bureaucratic fighting over it.

    Time will tell, and right now we do not have much to go on, but I would bet on 3600lbs being more likely than anything close to 1650lbs.

    Note, I base on opinions without any expertise whatsoever.
    Last edited by Kim; 10-07-2018 at 08:38 PM.
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    Common sense would say that 150, 152 even Cherokee 140's and the like should be included in light sport although the "Basic Med" covers them. Even my 11CC Chief is "slightly over" the light sport at 1350# although I fly under Basic Med for now. Something like 25-2600# would be a good starting point at least and cover a lot of light aircraft.
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  10. #10
    Mike Switzer's Avatar
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    3600 lb gross weight would include most 4 seat aircraft. The 182P I used to fly had a 3100 GW with the Trolltune STC.

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