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Thread: Rumor of Light Sport Weight Limit Change

  1. #11

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    Whatever the gross weight change is, if adopted by the FAA, it will effectively and summarily place the nails in the coffin for factory new SLSA's and the myriad of North American companies that manufacture them. European companies will be much less effected. For years now the greatest threat to the category would be the inclusion of 150's and 152's. You can count on tremendous push back by LAMA.

  2. #12
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Floatsflyer View Post
    Whatever the gross weight change is, if adopted by the FAA, it will effectively and summarily place the nails in the coffin for factory new SLSA's and the myriad of North American companies that manufacture them. European companies will be much less effected. For years now the greatest threat to the category would be the inclusion of 150's and 152's. You can count on tremendous push back by LAMA.
    Not sure, Floats. My good friend (and former co-defendant) Dave "Nauga" Hyde keeps saying to wait until there's something more official. We don't really know how the FAA is going to go, on this.

    There are two aspects: The FAA definition of "Light Sport Airplane" which defines what Sport Pilots can fly, and the regulations the govern the simplified certification of Special Light Sport Airplanes and Experimental Light Sport Airplanes (14CFR 21.190, for those playing at home).

    The FAA could conceivably split the two; allow Sport Pilots to fly aircraft up to 3,600 pounds, etc., while continuing to allow simplified certification for smaller aircraft.

    After all, if brand-new Cessna 172s become Sport Pilot eligible, they're STILL twice as expensive as most of the current ready-to-fly SLSAs.

    Yes, all those Cessna 150s and 152s are going to appeal to Sport Pilots But are the used 150s even in the same market? Are there people who rub their chins, trying to decide between a brand-new $150,000 CTLS or a $15,000 Cessna 150? People with the bucks will buy new; the rest of us will buy old and used, if we buy at all.

    Aviat is touting the "152 Re-imagined," a ground-up restoration including a freshly-overhauled Lycoming. The price on that is estimated at $125,000...and will probably rise. In an even-price situation, it may not be all that competitive.

    Again, we don't know what the FAA is actually going to do. With the changes in the Sport Pilot eligibility criteria, they may play with the Light Sport Airplane ones. It's quite possible the SLSA/ELSA limits will go upward (though not to the extent of the Sport Pilot criteria), and actually make it EASIER to make a marketable airplane under the simplified ASTM process. Icon found it easier to get a waiver than color within the lines; might as give its competitors a pass, too.

    Ron Wanttaja
    Last edited by rwanttaja; 10-08-2018 at 12:04 PM.

  3. #13
    DaleB's Avatar
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    Maybe, maybe not. I have a sneaking suspicion we'll find out just how much extra gross weight leeway was designed into some of them. They'll adapt.

    Comparing a 150 or 152 to, say, an RV-12 - there's really no comparison. And it's not like we'll suddenly see anyone cranking out more modern versions of the 172, Cherokee, AA5, whatever. If I could legally fly a 172 instead of my ELSA, I wouldn't.
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  4. #14
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    Hi, all:
    Here's the latest, which you may find helpful. The 3,600-pound limit is something we've presented to the FAA in the early discussions about the far-reaching MOSAIC plan for aircraft certification, but it's very early in the discussions. This is also the concept that would create additional possibilities for homebuilt aircraft while keeping the 51 percent rule. The FAA is not going to start any rulemaking process until at least January, so anything for public comment is a minimum of at least a year or more away. Here is the link:

    https://www.eaa.org/en/eaa/eaa-news-...lt-regulations

  5. #15
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Thanks, Dick!

    Ron Wanttaja

  6. #16

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    So the emperor has no clothes, eh?

    3600 MTOW, max 45 knots stall speed, max level speed 120 knots, max 2 seats, fixed pitch prop. Does such a plane exist presently? Why would it be marketable? Whose the buyer- Winnebago owners who have always dreamed of flying them? Better talk to the Sherpa aircraft people and ask them first.

  7. #17
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Floatsflyer View Post
    So the emperor has no clothes, eh?

    3600 MTOW, max 45 knots stall speed, max level speed 120 knots, max 2 seats, fixed pitch prop. Does such a plane exist presently? Why would it be marketable? Whose the buyer- Winnebago owners who have always dreamed of flying them? Better talk to the Sherpa aircraft people and ask them first.
    Pelton used a 172 as an example of a plane that would meet the proposed limits, so the speeds and seat limits are obviously going to be reviewed. Other sources have mentioned a 150 knot speed limit, vice the current 120 kt.

    We'll probably have to wait for the NPRM in January to see what's being proposed.

    Ron Wanttaja

  8. #18

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    I don't get the raison d'Ítre for any of this. Why is EAA trying to create a solution for which there is no problem. If I was a SLSA manufacturer I'd be apoplectic. The SLSA space is a failing market category. Just take a look at year over year sales. I don't see how this rule making proposal helps.

  9. #19
    DaleB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Floatsflyer View Post
    I don't get the raison d'Ítre for any of this. Why is EAA trying to create a solution for which there is no problem.
    I suspect maybe you don't get it simply because you're not flying with Sport Pilot privileges. I am, and I certainly do get it. The Sport Pilot program has proven to be successful in ways the FAA never intended or imagined, I think, and it would seem there is some thought that it can be expanded.
    Quote Originally Posted by Floatsflyer View Post
    If I was a SLSA manufacturer I'd be apoplectic. The SLSA space is a failing market category. Just take a look at year over year sales. I don't see how this rule making proposal helps.
    Assuming no other changes, it lets SLSA manufacturers offer bigger, faster airplanes to a wider audience. Hypothetical example... how about an SLSA Bearhawk, withthe SP rules expanded to allow a Sport Pilot to fly it? Now you have something that's a good choice for a flying club, or for partnerships/co-owners without worrying about one not being able to renew their medical.

    If I were an SLSA manufacturer, I'd be building the next prototype to have it ready to go next year - along with its ELSA counterpart kits.
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  10. #20
    Mike Switzer's Avatar
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    I can certainly see a reason for a weight increase. I am large enough that unless I find a 110 lb instructor the only way I can fly in most aircraft that currently qualify is solo. My instructor & I together are over 500 lb, that doesn't leave much room for fuel.

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