View Full Version : SuperCub as a E-LSA?
11-24-2005, 09:06 PM
My wife's sister in-law's husband's sister in-law's son's father has been asking if a home built super cub could be registered and an Experimental Light Sport Aircraft and then flown by a Sport Pilot under a valid U.S. Driver licence? (E-LSA is not yet law)
Weight and Balance would have to meet the requirements, ie. gross weight 1320, etc (builder sets the gross weight)
What do I tell him?? :wink:
11-25-2005, 02:07 AM
I think you should tell him to build it really, really lite and start losing ALOT of weight if he wants to actually ride in it.
11-25-2005, 04:39 AM
Joe Norris needs to "weigh" in on this.
My guess is that if you stay within the restrictions of E-LSA you can build an airplane that looks like anything you want (Super Cub). I don't know how the rules read for "scratch built" E-LSA.
Bushwacker Air in NY state is offering an E-LSA Cub kit and experimental "Super Cub" kit. I'd bet the structures are virtually identical.
11-25-2005, 11:51 AM
I was thinking maybe Joe would check in on this.
11-25-2005, 01:57 PM
I think it would have to be registered as an experimental-amateur built. If it meets the LSA restrictions (1320 max gross weight, etc), then it can be flown by a sport pilot, or by a private pilot (or higher) under SP rules.
As I understand it, to be an E-LSA, the producer has to have factory-certified a prototype as a Special-Light Sport Aircraft (S-LSA). To quote the EAA's Sport Pilot Sourcebook: "Only manufacturers that have already received an S-LSA airworthiness certificate are eligible to offer an E-LSA kit." Clear as mud, eh?
As I see it, the main advantage of an E-LSA is that someone other than the builder can do maintenance/inspections on it, after taking the required FAA-approved classes to earn an LSA maintenance and/or inspection license. An experimental must have the inspections done by the holder of the repairman's certificate (in other words, the builder) or an A&P.
11-25-2005, 05:46 PM
I built a (PA-11 Replica). Call it what you want. Put a 0-200 in it and souped it up all I could. It's gross is 1320. Uses a 72/50 prop for cruse and a 80/27 on floats. Cruses wide open at 115. I flew it cross country to Canada from Texas with my wife who is a private with a med with a gross of 1750. If you build it from scratch and it ain't a kit, you can set the gross, but if you want it to go through with no problems, call it something that meets the LS rule and make it a replica.
12-06-2005, 08:14 PM
The bottom line on this issue is this:
So long as the aircraft meets all the points called out in the LSA definition, has never been issued an airworthiness certificate in this or any other country, and receives its ELSA airworthiness certificate before 31 January 2008, it's eligible for said certificate. It doesn't matter what you call it. It doesn't matter if it looks like some other airplane (i.e., a Super Cub) or not. Anything goes!
That being said, if the aircraft also meets all the requirements for amateur-built certification I don't see why you'd want to go ELSA. An amateur-built certificate will be easier to get (due to the greater number of inspectors who can issue amateur-built airworthiness certificates), and will result in a broader set of operating limitations. AND you'll be eligible for the repairman certificate without having to take the 16 hour course.
But of course if the airplane does not meet the requirements for an amateur-built certificate then ELSA would be an attractive option while it's still available.
As a practical matter, you'd have to build an awfully light airplane to make it truly useful as a sport pilot-eligible airplane. If the empty weight starts getting up in Super Cub territory (900+ pounds) you don't have much useful load at a 1320 lb gross.
12-06-2005, 08:24 PM
As I understand it, to be an E-LSA, the producer has to have factory-certified a prototype as a Special-Light Sport Aircraft (S-LSA). To quote the EAA's Sport Pilot Sourcebook: "Only manufacturers that have already received an S-LSA airworthiness certificate are eligible to offer an E-LSA kit."
That's only one way to get an ELSA certificate. The option you point out is called out in 14 CFR 21.191(i)(2), which pertains to kits offered by manufacturers specifically as ELSA kits. (These kits don't have to meet amateur-built certification rules, but do have to meet ASTM consensus standards.)
What's being discussed in this thread is a "limited time offer" found in 14 CFR 21.191(i)(1), a regulation which was intended to deal with existing unregistered aircraft - primarily "fat ultralights" and ultralight trainers. However, the rule was not written with many restrictions, so the opportunity exists to build any aircraft, from any kit or from scratch, and bring it into ELSA. It only has to meet the LSA definition, cannot have been certificated in the US or any other country before, and must receive its ELSA certificate before 31 January 2008.
12-06-2005, 08:45 PM
Thanks Joe that's what I wanted to know. . . . . .I think . . . What did he say????? :crazyeyes:
12-07-2005, 01:49 PM
The advantage to registering as an experimental is that you can get the repairman's certificate without taking any courses. But if it is registered as an E-LSA, if & when you sell it the next guy can get a repairman/inspection certificate for it. Not so with the experimental. That would be a plus when it comes time to determine the price. That would increase the value to me,if I was the potential buyer.
12-07-2005, 03:15 PM
The advantage to registering as an experimental is that you can get the repairman's certificate without taking any courses. But if it is registered as an E-LSA, if & when you sell it the next guy can get a repairman/inspection certificate for it.
But the disadvantage of certificating the aircraft as ELSA (which is also an experimental category, as is experimental amateur-built - there is no such thing as "Experimental" all by itself) is that its operating limitations will contain the following language:
"This aircraft may not be operated over an open air assembly of persons, over densely populated areas, or in congested airways."
But if the aircraft is certificated in the experimental amateur-built category, its operating limitations will include the following language:
"Except for takeoffs and landings, this aircraft may not be operated over densely populated areas or in congested airways."
"This aircraft is prohibited from operating in congested airways or over densely populated areas unless directed by air traffic control, or unless sufficient altitude is maintained to effect a safe emergency landing in the event of a power unit failure, without hazard to persons or property on the ground."
Note that the ELSA is not allowed to fly over densely populated areas for any reason at any time, even for takeoff and landing, whereas the amateur-built (aka "homebuilt") aircraft is allowed to fly over densely populated areas and in congested airways for takeoff and landing purposes at all times (even during the initial flight test period) and also as directed by ATC or so long as sufficient altitude is maintained to effect a safe emergency landing in the event of a power unit failure, without hazard to persons or property on the ground (after the flight test period has been completed).
Regardless of the repairman certificate issue, the issue of flight over densely populated areas might be a big deal for the owner, depending on where the aircraft is to be based.
Further, the ELSA is going to be restricted from flying at night or under IFR regardless of how the aircraft is equipped and what pilot certificate the pilot holds, whereas the amateur-built aircraft will be allowed to fly at night or under IFR so long as the aircraft is equipped in accordance with 14 CFR 91.205 and the pilot holds the appropriate ratings and medical certificate.
Personally, I'd prefer the broader operating possibilities of the amateur-built aircraft even though subsequent buyers could not get the repairman certificate for the aircraft. Needing to have an A&P do the condition inspection each year is a small price to pay for the added operational flexibility.
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