Originally Posted by Jesse
But isnít that exactly what the Light Sport rules were? No more medical required. Easier certification.
Even though basicmed was a law, it also did much the same thing.
But from the FAA's POV, those were simply reinterpretations (for Basicmed they at least claim the same standards technically apply) or additional restrictions (in the case of LSA, it was adding regulations to two-seat ultralights--at least as they saw it). And with Basicmed they were pretty much forced by an act of Congress to make it happen. Anyone here really think the FAA would have done it on its own?
A wholesale change to the LSA weight, not just an exemption like Icon has, would be both the FAA admitting it chose a bad figure, but would also mean the FAA would have to contradict its earlier reasoning.
Go read the final Sport Pilot rule as it was published in the Federal Register. Specifically, pay attention to the FAA's comments on why it did things the way it did. The FAA honestly, truly intended for LSAs to mainly be "fat ultralights"--open-frame, cloth-wing aircraft with no electrical system, and mostly topping out under 85kt or so. They set the limits they did (speed, weight, etc.) just to give a little margin or room for outliers, and to allow a few more existing aircraft for training purposes. And they figured the primary purpose of LSAs would be to train ultralight pilots.
They never expected that the vast majority of LSAs would be up near at least one of the limits, and be more or less "real" airplanes. Something like the new RV-12, with glass cockpit and EFI, was completely out of their imagination. And I think if you got a time machine and showed them what has actually played out, the final rule would have been far more restrictive.