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Thread: Sport pilot phase 1 for LSA compliant E-AB

  1. #1

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    Sport pilot phase 1 for LSA compliant E-AB

    Hi, I am starting up a small flying club with a Best-off Skyranger. It still needs the rest of it's phase 1 completed, so we are going to be doing that. However, one DAR we talked to who is helping us with the purchase said that a PPL or greater was required to fly the testing hours. I haven't found anything in the regulations or operating limitations that would suggest that is the case, and haven't seen anyone else mention this. Indeed, everything I've read really specifically omits any difference in pilot requirements for phase 1 vs phase 2. Am I missing something here? This is definitely a plane that 100% will meet the LSA criteria with wide margins (1200# gross, speed range from Vs=37mph to Vh=100mph) without issue.

  2. #2
    Dana's Avatar
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    Ask the DAR to cite the relevant regulation.

    My friend flew off the phase 1 on the Sonerai he built while was a student pilot. Yes, his instructor signed him off to solo in it.

  3. #3
    Airmutt's Avatar
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    This thread is just wrong on so many levels. And if you don’t understand the comment talk to any EAB insurance underwriter, an AOPA ASF rep, EAA”s Homebuilt Community Manager, or an FAA Safety Team rep.
    Dave Shaw
    EAA 67180 Lifetime
    Learn to Build, Build to Fly, Fly for Fun

  4. #4
    melann's Avatar
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    Look for this paragraph in your operating limitations:
    "The pilot in command must hold Airplane category and Single-Engine Land class certificate or privilege. The pilot in command must hold all required ratings or authorizations, and endorsements required by part 61. (7)"
    It says nothing about PPL or greater.
    Last edited by melann; 04-01-2021 at 06:40 AM.
    Mel, DAR since the Last Century, Specializing in Light-Sport and Experimental Aircraft. Certificated over 1,000 Light-Sport & Experimental aircraft.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by wmax351 View Post
    Hi, I am starting up a small flying club with a Best-off Skyranger. It still needs the rest of it's phase 1 completed, so we are going to be doing that. However, one DAR we talked to who is helping us with the purchase said that a PPL or greater was required to fly the testing hours. I haven't found anything in the regulations or operating limitations that would suggest that is the case, and haven't seen anyone else mention this. Indeed, everything I've read really specifically omits any difference in pilot requirements for phase 1 vs phase 2. Am I missing something here? This is definitely a plane that 100% will meet the LSA criteria with wide margins (1200# gross, speed range from Vs=37mph to Vh=100mph) without issue.

    I'd recommend listening to Mel......He's been at this a looooooong time.

  6. #6
    melann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by malexander View Post
    I'd recommend listening to Mel......He's been at this a looooooong time.
    Actually I was in the first group of DARs authorized to do LSA. IIRC, Joe Norris and I were the first 2.
    Mel, DAR since the Last Century, Specializing in Light-Sport and Experimental Aircraft. Certificated over 1,000 Light-Sport & Experimental aircraft.

  7. #7
    Airmutt's Avatar
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    Let’s talk safety..... First, I’m surprised and disappointed that no one from the EAA staff has weighed in on this thread. Is there anybody out there that really thinks that the average student is equipped to handle a potential UTE or IFE during Phase I testing; even for a cookie cutter kitplane?

    Back to the OP. As for the practicality, in order to receive a solo endorsement the CFI is required to provide flight training in the Make and Model. Do you have access to a Phase II Skyranger? Not questioning your flight skills but it’s highly unlikely you’re going to get an endorsement right up front that will turn you lose to “play” in your designated flight test area. As a CFI, I would NEVER sign off a student to fly a Phase I EAB. The liability is just too great.

    Bottom line, contact a chapter in your area or talk with the FAA and find someone qualified to fly off your Phase I. It will be faster, cheaper and safer in the long run.
    Dave Shaw
    EAA 67180 Lifetime
    Learn to Build, Build to Fly, Fly for Fun

  8. #8
    EAA Staff Tom Charpentier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Airmutt View Post
    First, I’m surprised and disappointed that no one from the EAA staff has weighed in on this thread.
    I've been keeping an eye on it, but Mel is absolutely correct and I don't have anything to add. I would be happy to help, however. If you want to talk, please call 800-564-6322 and ask for me.

    There is no rule or operating limitation that would preclude a someone other than a PPL from flying an aircraft in Phase I that they are appropriately rated/endorsed to fly. In fact, when we created the additional pilot program with the FAA we were sure to add a provision that allowed sport pilots (and even rec pilots) to be additional pilots (see AC 90-116, Page 14).
    Tom Charpentier
    Government Relations Director
    EAA #1082006

  9. #9
    DaleB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Airmutt View Post
    Let’s talk safety..... First, I’m surprised and disappointed that no one from the EAA staff has weighed in on this thread. Is there anybody out there that really thinks that the average student is equipped to handle a potential UTE or IFE during Phase I testing; even for a cookie cutter kitplane?
    Did you mean to say student, or Sport Pilot? One was mentioned in the subject line, the other was not. I don't think a student pilot flying off Phase I would be the greatest idea, but I suppose that would be a question for the student, his or her CFI, and maybe (maybe) the DAR.
    Measure twice, cut once...
    scratch head, shrug, shim to fit.

    Flying an RV-12. Building a Fisher Celebrity.

  10. #10
    Airmutt's Avatar
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    To be honest I got sidetracked by your comment about your student pilot friend who flew off a Phase I in a Sonerai but personally I would say a Sport Pilot flying off a Phase I would be solely dependent on his experience and skill level. For example, if he was say 100-150 hr SP and had no spin training I would say not only no but hell no.
    Last edited by Airmutt; 04-09-2021 at 05:55 PM. Reason: Corrected typos
    Dave Shaw
    EAA 67180 Lifetime
    Learn to Build, Build to Fly, Fly for Fun

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