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LSA and VLA (merged)

europaxs wrote:

Where exactly is that stated?

I don’t think it is stated anywhere, it’s only an assumption by that Bob? But, all European non certified engines have a written warning in their manual saying that the engine is not a certified aircraft engine and must not be used in any condition or circumstance where you are not able to land safely in the event of an engine failure, or something like that. This pretty much rules out IFR. Legally this means nothing, and no certification will help you in a SEP in IMC and the engine stops in any case. It does one thing, it makes it impossible for an aircraft manufacturer to “certify” the use of that engine for IFR.

mh wrote:

Not necessarily. If you fly a proven design, yes, but if an aircraft leaves you in an uncontrollable situation, or one where you need too much workload to control the aircraft while tangling other problems, it might as well be a design flaw. Just claiming that loss of control is always just a pilot error is too lazy and might disguise deeper problems with the design. The Smaragd/Peregrine comes to mind…

Theoretically I agree, but you should read the report I linked to instead of flying off into totally unrelated and peculiar things. It’s about pilots used to flying certified aircraft of the C-172 performance/handling class then suddenly with no training or preparation whatsoever jumps into their RV or Lancair or a Rutan canard. The exact same airplane that have been flown for years by one or two or three previous owners with no problems. That is what this is about. That is what causes the larger number of accidents in experimental aircraft.

it makes it impossible for an aircraft manufacturer to “certify” the use of that engine for IFR.

How does that impact e.g. the UK LAA IFR project? That’s not LSA, I know…

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

That is a very good question. There are several Rotax-powered aircraft on the list. Same goes for many Rotax-powered N-reg. Experimentals which are also operated under IFR.


Doesn’t Rotax also make certified versions of their engines (the 912A#, F#, S#)?

EPKP - Kraków, Poland

They do indeed, I was wondering why nobody mentioned them.

EBZH Kiewit, Belgium

The issue there is whether, in order to get the VFR-only restriction on the current permit removed, you have to change the engine.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

The last word is to come from the permit issuer, but yes, that seems logical.
Would have to make sure first though that your plane is certified or certifyable with both the non-certified and the certified engine. From the point of view of a certifier/permit issuer they are separate engines, after all.

Last Edited by at 27 Apr 18:31
EBZH Kiewit, Belgium

I checked the Rotax 914 F/UL POH (1.4 – safety notice) and it doesn’t contain a restriction to VFR other than “always make sure, that a successfull no power landing can be made”. On the same chapter/page "For each use of….Night VFR, IFR…. °

This is after a revision of Feb 1st 2015, in the edition of Apr 1st 2010 there is a passage contained stating “The Rotax 914 UL (non-certified version) is restricted to DAY VFR only”

Last Edited by europaxs at 27 Apr 20:36

Don’t know about the LAA, but the engine makes no difference for an experimental. A certified engine doesn’t really get all that certified when mounted in an experimental. Fuel, cooling, carb heat, and so on also need to be taken care of, and there is no way to certify that (whatever certification should mean in this circumstance). The main question is really about how wise it is to fly with any SEP, IFR in the soup, and the soup extends downward below VFR minima. Also, in a Lancair, the chances of surviving (without serious injury) in an off field landing when the engine stops isn’t all that great even in clear blue skies. It’s the equivalent of driving off the road, into the woods, at autobahn speed.

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