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Interesting article on LSAs vs Certified and maybe a bridge in between?

Private field, Mallorca, Spain

I wonder how that situation maps onto Europe and the overflight/parking privileges here?

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Some latest US data on the subject. Note that ‘certified GA’ in this comparison only involves SEP. Fair enough i guess, to keep things (a little) comparable.

https://www.bydanjohnson.com/special-and-experimental-light-sport-sport-pilot-kits-compared-to-general-aviation/

Last Edited by aart at 20 Feb 15:42
Private field, Mallorca, Spain

Dan Johnson is an LSA promoter, so its necessary to consider the source when reading his articles. The elephants in the room are that Experimental Category aircraft are the real US competitor to LSA, plus the existing fleet. New production factory built certified single engine GA aircraft are not a large fraction of what’s happening in US GA… and neither is LSA.

Last Edited by Silvaire at 20 Feb 21:19

Peter wrote:

I wonder how that situation maps onto Europe and the overflight/parking privileges here?

LSA is EASA, and no overflight problems whatsoever (within EASA land)

But, US LSA is NOT the same as CS LSA even though the same basic industry standards are used. There are rather fundamental differences (from the top of my head):

  • US LSA has a max speed limitation (120 kts at SL, I think). CS-LSA has no such limit.
  • US LSA cannot have CS prop, CS-LSA can
  • US LSA cannot have retract, CS-LSA can
  • US LSA can fly aerobatics, CS-LSA cannot
  • Both can fly IFR N (found out a couple of months ago)
  • None of them can fly IFR
  • MTOW = 600 kg

These restrictions are of course nothing but bureaucratic nonsense. As the article show, the industry standard approach used in LSA is working just fine. This can be used for all small aircraft. Certification (as we know it) simply isn’t needed. It’s just a layer of bureaucracy that adds nothing but extra cost, and lots of it.

ENVA ENOP ENMO, Norway

LeSving wrote:

Both can fly IFR N (found out a couple of months ago)

Do you mean VFR night? Night VFR for EASA CS-LSA is basically not permitted, but it is possible to get exemptions.

Last Edited by Airborne_Again at 21 Feb 09:55
ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden

Yes. VFR N of course. I read the regulations about 2 months ago maybe. From what I understood VFR N is basically permitted, but it’s in a different regulation than the “basic CS-LSA”. There are no exemptions, only a requirement for instrumentation and lights. This was the intention from the start, but it came too late to be included in the original CS-LSA.

Anyway, that’s beside the main point here, which is the use of industry standard vs certification standard for light aircraft. That IS the fundamental difference between LSA and normal category aircraft. This is also very different from microlight and experimental/homebuilts.

ENVA ENOP ENMO, Norway

Certification (as we know it) simply isn’t needed. It’s just a layer of bureaucracy that adds nothing but extra cost, and lots of it.

In all fairness, EASA has introduced simpler certification rules so they are moving in ‘your direction’

https://www.easa.europa.eu/new-cs-23-–-smart-and-flexible-rules-support-innovation

The Bristell B23 is in the process of being certified that way.

Last Edited by aart at 21 Feb 15:59
Private field, Mallorca, Spain

LeSving wrote:

None of them can fly IFR

Owners in the US are moving their factory built LSAs into Experimental Category, which is termed E-LSA, with new operating limitations that remove the IFR restriction in exchange for a limitation to private flights. This also removes the burdensome LSA requirement to purchase all parts from the airframe manufacturer, which otherwise is a real concern – especially when that (potentially foreign) manufacturer and/or US distributor goes out of business. If it wasn’t for this feature of the US law, buying an LSA in addition to being extremely expensive would be very risky in terms of future maintainability & resale value.

LSA in the US (very broadly speaking) serves as a way to get factory built uncertified aircraft produced and sold, aircraft which can then be moved into E-LSA to increase utility and flexibility for the private owner. In that way LSA is more of ‘gateway’ than a category that in itself interests many US buyers. The end result is relatively low performance factory built E-LSA Experimentals supporting the higher performance Experimental Amateur Built (RV etc) market, allowing those who want a factory built Experimental Category aircraft to have it if they are willing to sacrifice performance to do so. Generally the Experimentals can fly IFR if equipped to do so.

Last Edited by Silvaire at 21 Feb 16:30
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