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  #1  
Old 09-20-2018, 05:39 PM
Stosh111 Stosh111 is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Paris, IL
Posts: 1
Default E-LSA

I have noticed a few RVs, in addition to RV 12s, are designated as light sport aircraft. One RV 9A with an 0-320 engine was listed for sale in the light sport class. Is this rare? Are other nose wheel RVs able to meet the light sport classification?
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  #2  
Old 09-20-2018, 07:40 PM
Ed_Wischmeyer's Avatar
Ed_Wischmeyer Ed_Wischmeyer is offline
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Savannah, GA
Posts: 791
Default

The term LSA is an oft abused and widely misunderstood term.

A plane is an LSA ONLY IF it has been shown to meet ASTM standards by going through their approval process. A Sport Pilot can fly an LSA without a medical.

An E-LSA is an approved LSA that was not built by the factory. Because an E-LSA conforms 100.0% to an approved LSA design, it only requires a five hour flight test period.

Now here's where the confusion sets in. A Sport Pilot can fly any kind of airplane that meets LSA weight, speed and other criteria, whether it is an approved LSA or not. So a Sport Pilot could fly an Experimental, Amateur Built or a Standard Category airplane, as long as those planes complied with the LSA criteria.

However, an Experimental, Amateur Built plane that conforms to LSA criteria but is not an approved LSA is NOT an E-LSA. It is an E-AB, but it still can be flown by a Sport Pilot.

Yes, there were a few RV-9As that complied with the LSA criteria, but they gave away payload to do that. They could be flown by Sport Pilots without a medical, but they were not LSAs.

I may have screwed up a minor detail or two along the way, but you get the idea.

Ed
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RV-8 (steam gauges), RV-9A at KSAV (Savannah, GA; dual screen G3X with autopilot, GTN 650)
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  #3  
Old 09-20-2018, 10:02 PM
rvbuilder2002 rvbuilder2002 is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Hubbard Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed_Wischmeyer View Post
An E-LSA is an approved LSA that was not built by the factory. Because an E-LSA conforms 100.0% to an approved LSA design, it only requires a five hour flight test period.
Not entirely true......

A lot of the reason the E-LSA category exists is that it is the category that was originally used to try and legalize all of the over weight and 2 place (supposedly for training only ) ultralights.

There was a period of time where any aircraft that could be shown (or was at least claimed) to qualify with the LSA requirements of max gross weight, stall speed, etc., could be certified in this category. This opportunity expired on Jan 31, 2010, so any RV other than an RV-12 that is certified as an E-LSA, was certified before this date. After that date, the only E-LSA's are aircraft that are copies of an already certified SLSA

As already mentioned, an airplane doesn't have to be an LSA for a Sport Pilot to legally fly it. It just has to have performance and specifications that meet the LSA requirements. This is on the honor of the pilot, just as it was with the person that applied for E-LSA certification of an RV9A. And since all pilots are honorable; I am certain that said RV-9A never has been flown heavier than 1320 lbs
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  #4  
Old 09-21-2018, 08:30 AM
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jnorris jnorris is offline
 
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Location: Oshkosh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rvbuilder2002 View Post
There was a period of time where any aircraft that could be shown (or was at least claimed) to qualify with the LSA requirements of max gross weight, stall speed, etc., could be certified in this category.
Scott is correct. I called this the "open enrollment period". During that window of time, any aircraft that was presented as meeting the definition of a light-sport aircraft (LSA) could have been certificated as E-LSA. I did a couple of Sonex in E-LSA category, and a few other homebuilts that you don't really associate with the light-sport category.

I know of at least 2 RV-9s that were snuck in during this period. I say "snuck in" because I don't really think the airplane truly meets the LSA definition, in that it's hard to believe that that aircraft has never been operated outside the definition since it's original certification. It's hard to keep an RV-anything other than a -12 from going faster than 120 kts at maximum continuous rated power.

Yes, I know there are all kinds of ways to "legally" meet the requirements. Look at some of the Cubs from Cub Crafters. I mean, really? An 180 horsepower Cub that's an LSA?? But, according to the paperwork it is indeed legal.

Just don't ever put anything in writing, or video, that shows the airplane doing something outside the LSA definition!!

So yes, there are aircraft that you wouldln't normally associate with LSA that have E-LSA airworthiness certificates. And there are airplanes that don't say "light-sport" anywhere on their paperwork that are perfectly legal to be operated by sport pilots. It's up to the pilot to verify that the are operating an aircraft that meets the LSA definition. And it's the pilot's responsibility to be able to prove compliance if the FAA decides to check. Never forget that.
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  #5  
Old 09-21-2018, 10:34 PM
dothetime dothetime is offline
 
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Location: Boynton Beach, Florida
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Default Elsa

Another way an aircraft can be a ELSA is to take an existing SLSA and convert it into a ELSA
I converted my AMD built 601XLB SLSA to a ELSA
Dave
N601XP
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  #6  
Old 09-21-2018, 11:15 PM
rvbuilder2002 rvbuilder2002 is offline
 
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Location: Hubbard Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dothetime View Post
Another way an aircraft can be a ELSA is to take an existing SLSA and convert it into a ELSA
I converted my AMD built 601XLB SLSA to a ELSA
Dave
N601XP
True.
I was speaking just in the context of new / initial certification.

There are quite a few E-LSA's that have been converted from S-LSA's.

It is a great way for someone who is not a builder to get an airplane of known build quality but then have the freedom to modify, do all of there own repairs and maintenance (with an S-LSA an owner is limited to only the same work approved for owners of certificated aircraft), and if an owner takes the 16 hr Repairman Inspector training course, they can then do the condition inspection them self as well.
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RV-6A (aka "Junkyard Special ")
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  #7  
Old 09-22-2018, 06:35 AM
texdog texdog is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Fredericksburg, Tx.
Posts: 211
Smile LSA to Elsa

What paper work do I have to do for the FAA to convert LSA to ELSA. We have to do it because there aren't any parts or support from the manufacturer, Cessna. You can PM if you need to keep it RV. THANKS.
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  #8  
Old 09-22-2018, 07:51 AM
Mel's Avatar
Mel Mel is offline
 
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Location: Dallas area
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texdog View Post
What paper work do I have to do for the FAA to convert LSA to ELSA. We have to do it because there aren't any parts or support from the manufacturer, Cessna. You can PM if you need to keep it RV. THANKS.
Converting a Cessna SLSA would be the same procedure as converting an RV-12 SLSA. You will need to submit a program letter and airworthiness application (8130-6) to your local FSDO or DAR. The inspector will inspect the aircraft to make sure that it has not been changed from the original configuration, that it has a current condition inspection, and issue a new airworthiness certificate and operating limitations. The only changes you will need to make is the "Passenger Warning" and change the "Light-Sport" placard to an "Experimental" placard. That's about it.
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Mel Asberry..DAR since last century
A&P/EAA Tech Counselor/Flight Advisor/Nat'l Test Pilot School
Specializing in Amateur-Built and Light-Sport Aircraft
<rvmel(at)icloud.com>
North Texas (8TA5)
RV-6 Flying since 1993, 172hp O-320, 3-Blade Catto (since 2003)
Legend Cub purchased 12/2017
FRIEND of the RV-1
Eagle's Nest Mentor
Recipient of Wright Brothers "Master Pilot" Award
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  #9  
Old 09-22-2018, 08:15 AM
texdog texdog is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Fredericksburg, Tx.
Posts: 211
Thumbs up ELSA

Mel,
Thanks, the FSDO has been working on this for three days, with four different inspectors. I guess the question doesn't come up very often. You can't even buy tires for the Skycatcher anymore.
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T82 Fredericksburg,Tx.
Don't make easy hard!
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RV6A owner
L19 sold
Dues paid 2015,16,17
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  #10  
Old 09-22-2018, 08:33 AM
Mel's Avatar
Mel Mel is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Dallas area
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texdog View Post
Mel,
Thanks, the FSDO has been working on this for three days, with four different inspectors. I guess the question doesn't come up very often. You can't even buy tires for the Skycatcher anymore.
If you would like, have the FSDO guys give me a call. I've done many of these conversions.
__________________
Mel Asberry..DAR since last century
A&P/EAA Tech Counselor/Flight Advisor/Nat'l Test Pilot School
Specializing in Amateur-Built and Light-Sport Aircraft
<rvmel(at)icloud.com>
North Texas (8TA5)
RV-6 Flying since 1993, 172hp O-320, 3-Blade Catto (since 2003)
Legend Cub purchased 12/2017
FRIEND of the RV-1
Eagle's Nest Mentor
Recipient of Wright Brothers "Master Pilot" Award
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