• Please take a moment and update your account profile. If you have an updated account profile with basic information on why you are on Air Warriors it will help other people respond to your posts. How do you update your profile you ask?

    Go here:

    Edit Account Details and Profile

NEWS General Aviation goodness - Light Sport Aircraft rules change coming

ChuckMK23

Former H-46 Driver
pilot
#1
@Griz882 and @Jim123 will appreciate this news. I was at a CFI event this weekend and FAA folks shared news of significant changes coming to Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) rules.

LSA gross weight limits will be increased to 3600 pounds and 4 seats! NPRM will take place in January '19 and FAR changes will be issued by mid year 2019.

Definitely a culture shift in FAA from "regulators" to add "promoters" of aviation. I was shocked at this, personally. Nice to see. Will open up a lot of aircraft that folks can operate without a medical .....
 

ChuckMK23

Former H-46 Driver
pilot
#3
No fucking way! Will this be expanded to night VFR?
Unknown @Griz882 - the full text is in final revision so we should see drafts through orgs like AOPA soon. I asked and will not include constant speed prop but we may see a simple horsepower limit vs speed limit.

In anycase the FAA Administrator intent is to allow C172 and PA-28's into Light Sport as is.
 

Jim123

DD-214 in hand and I'm gonna party like it's 1998
pilot
#4
LSA gross weight limits will be increased to 3600 pounds and 4 seats! NPRM will take place in January '19 and FAR changes will be issued by mid year 2019.
Yep- this is shifting the FAA/American Light Sport Aircraft definition away from what a lot of other countries classify as Ultralights and into something a lot bigger, though still not particularly fast. I'm good with that... it's the aeronautical equivalent of using a regular driver's license to operate a motorhome or a U-Haul truck as long as it is below a certain weight.

I'm not totally onboard with with the no constant speed prop thing, but I get it because the target demographic is occasional flyers. When you look at a lot of gear-up GA incidents, it comes down to task saturation and old habits (like if you learned on airplanes with fewer handles and levers in the cockpit), and I think prop rpm is cognitively a lot like that. If a pilot wants to fly something bigger, faster, and better than an LSA then that is what PPL or better certification is for.
 

Griz882

Well-Known Member
pilot
#5
Talked to a pal at VKX who noted that the LAMA study sent to the FAA recommended a mash up of Basic Med and LSA rules, basically limiting LSA to anything under 3600 gross weight and below 18,000 and 250 knots. The rest (IFR, complex,...) would be a matter of training just like a PPL but without the medical. It looks like the FAA is looking at a menu of options. Good news in any case.
 

RedFive

Well-Known Member
pilot
Contributor
#12
Why are you guys all excited about this? Honest question. This sounds terrible...why would we want minimally experienced guys out there with bigger equipment? I mean, I guess a mid-air is a mid-air, if they're 1,000 pounds or 3,000 pounds, but I don't understand why more LSA is good?
 

wink

VS NFO. Blue and Gold Off. Former Recruiter.
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
#13
As I see it, you made the point. A simple 4 seat airplane flies just like a simple 2 seat plane. Higher gross weight only means slightly higher speeds. If you can hold speed in the pattern in a two seat plane you can fly a pattern holding a speed 8 knots faster.

It is true the net result of an accident may be worse at higher weights, and certainly you could kill twice the number of people on board, but I don't think the rate of accidents goes up when one jumps from a 2 seat plane to a 4 seat plane with attendant gross weight increase. Last I saw LSA pilots do not have an appreciable higher mishap rate.
 

RedFive

Well-Known Member
pilot
Contributor
#14
I dunno, Wink. I hear what you're saying and maybe when I'm 90 and can't hold a medical I'll change my tune, but I didn't understand LSA when they started it and I still don't really. What did we gain by implementing said program? There is a higher mishap rate, though there is less data compared to conventional aviation so one mishap has more impact on the numbers in LSA than it would for the rest of us:

http://www.aviationconsumer.com/iss...ident-Review-Nothing-to-Celebrate_7228-1.html
 

ChuckMK23

Former H-46 Driver
pilot
#15
Why are you guys all excited about this? Honest question. This sounds terrible...why would we want minimally experienced guys out there with bigger equipment? I mean, I guess a mid-air is a mid-air, if they're 1,000 pounds or 3,000 pounds, but I don't understand why more LSA is good?
Ultimately the goal is more activity / growth. It gets safe growth in a population of pilots that can fly Day VFR without a medical (away from B/C airspace). Not a bad thing. The original intent was to provide a cheaper pathway to flying - with reduced pilot training requirements of teh Sport and Recreational pilot certificates - but that never panned out.

As @RedFive pointed out, the lighter aircraft with lighter control forces are more difficult to fly and are more accident prone especially close to the ground. A 3600 pound C-206 absent of managing the engine is easier / easiest to fly.

A new Cessna 172 is north of $400K. We need a pipeline of non Part-23 certified aircraft that people can fly easily for someone who is a educated working professional and has a passion for aviation. Increasingly flying is a well off dude's activity.
 
Top