Menu Sign In Contact FAQ
Welcome to our forums

LSA and VLA (merged)

I have some questions regarding the two EASA certifications CS-LSA and CS-VLA

  • Are they already effective or is it a legislative work in progress ?
  • Can you go in any airspace and land at any airport ?
  • Is it possible to fly NVFR and IFR ?

CS-VLA is in force since 2003.

SEP up to 750kg, 2 seats, 45kt may stall speed, VFR day only and no aerobatics.

CS-LSA since 2009

SEP 600kg, 2 seats, 45kt, VFR day only, non-turbine

SSEA 650kg


All airspaces to B, no A as this is IFR only.

EGBE - Coventry, United Kingdom

My questions are as follows, please help me to understand VLA.

  1. According to regulations, LSA is lighter than VLA.
  2. It seems to VLA is from Part23 class in Europe and LSA is from ASTM F2245 in USA.
  3. I don’t know the merits of VLA althouth high cost to get the Type certificate(TC).
  4. How much does it cost to get TC issues normally in Europe.
  5. All flight instrument should be TSO certified?
  6. VLA airplane can land on the airport?
I have a lot of questions about the concept of VLA like the needs, technologies, future plans, and so on.

Thanks for your reply in advance.

Last Edited by Peter at 05 Dec 11:07

If you are really interrested you will have more questions after these. I would recommend you to read through the rules and regulations. For EASA CS-LSA and CS-VLA you can find them online:




There is a range of aircraft know as Very Light Aircraft which are ‘certified’ under ‘CS-VLA’. At least ‘certified’ is the word that I see used to describe them.

Some, if not all, are home builds, and they have a maximum design weight of 750kg (perhaps a bit more is allowed if including a BRS. I’m not sure on that).

What does ‘certification’ mean in this context? Is it simply a design specification that allows it to be registered and flown as an experimental or does it have some ICAO recognition?

I’m particularly thinking of the DynAero MCR4S, which is a home build.

It seems unlikely that you’d be allowed to self maintain a certified aircraft on an Easa register, yet it also seems perverse that you’d be allowed to build your own aircraft but not allowed to maintain it!

So really, I’m asking what is the position with this ’Very Light Aircraft; class of aircraft (rather than the MCR4S specifically).
Can you maintain them yourself assuming the necessary skills?
Can you fly them within Europe without needing to get permission from each country you will pass through?
Can you fly them internationally in the same way as an ICAO certified aircraft?

The only documents that I could find relating to the requires in this category stated that it was 2 seats max, but the MCR4S has four seats and is ‘certified’ in this category. Can anyone point me to the ‘current’ requirements for this category?


EIKH Kilrush


As I understand, it is just a simpler form of certification and max 2 seats, max 750 kg etc etc. Maintenance and such is like any other EASA aircraft. Certainly not an experimental/homebuilt. The MCR 4S is a homebuilt, registeed in the experimental category.


In practical terms, there is no difference in the operation of a VLA and other certified aircraft. It has a full ICAO-compliant CofA. So no overflight permits required.

Only difference is that the certification process is a bit more lean for the manufacturer.

All else is the same. Maintenance, too (Part-M). ELA1might change that but it has nothing to do with VLA.

Mainz (EDFZ), Germany

Thanks guys.

The MCR 4S is a homebuilt, registeed in the experimental category.

Looks like you are correct. I don’t know where I got it that the MCR4S was a VLA.

From the DynAero website
Qubq. The MCR-4S is available in kit form in respect with the CNSK regulation (specific kit airworthiness certificate) or in the “experimental” category ,depending on the registration country.

EIKH Kilrush

Following on from here here is the stuff from the US AOPA mag, Mike Busch who definitely knows what he’s talking about. I can’t post the whole article but quoting a few bits is OK:

The article explains the “escape clause” to the US Exp category but that option is not available in Europe.

I can see why LSA is a failure in the USA. The owner is over a barrel. The Q is whether this is such a big issue in Europe, where the regulatory regime, varying anyway on a per-country basis, demands complicance with a lot of the MM anyway.

The IMC flight issue is probably not going to worry the vast majority of European pilots whose permits ban IFR anyway, but it does make it a dead end for many.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Peter wrote:

The IMC flight issue is probably not going to worry the vast majority of European pilots whose permits ban IFR anyway, but it does make it a dead end for many.

CS-LSA is different from the US-LSA in many ways. In a CS-LSA there is no IFR, no NVFR, no aerobatics. On the other hand the US-LSA has a speed limit of 120 mph, no retract, no CS prop. For the rest of it the CS-LSA is very much like any other aircraft regarding maintenance and pilot rating, hence pretty much useless as a cheaper or easier plane than an ordinary C-152 (except glass and carbon is way cooler).

I really do not understand the LSA thing when we have microlights that do the same, only with zero bureaucracy and owner maintenance, and experimentals that do everything under the sun that an aircraft is capable of, with the same owner maintenance and relaxed bureaucracy.

39 Posts
Sign in to add your message

Back to Top