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Planepilot
01-31-2020, 02:42 PM
I own a Champ with a Gross Weight of 1300 pounds. If I change out the landing gear to "No Bounce" gear, I can increase my gross weight to 1350 pounds but the Champ will no longer be a Light Sport.

I have been warned that if I go to 1350 pound gross weight, I can never go back to a Light Sport category and a higher than 1320 pound gross weight will a negative impact on the Champs value.

I can not find the regulations on legacy aircraft that fall into the light sport category. Where can I find these regulations? I have looked at FAR 21.190 and FAA Order 8130-2H.

Richgj3
01-31-2020, 04:20 PM
Try EAA web site.

jnorris
01-31-2020, 04:33 PM
You need look no farther than the definition of a light-sport aircraft, in FAR 1.1.....

Light-sport aircraft means an aircraft, other than a helicopter or powered-lift that, since its original certification, has continued to meet the following:
(1) A maximum takeoff weight of not more than—
(i) 1,320 pounds (600 kilograms) for aircraft not intended for operation on water;

Note that it states "since its original certification, has continued to meet....". That means that, if at any time the aircraft is configured so as to fall outside the LSA definition, it is forever outside the definition.

Planepilot
01-31-2020, 05:08 PM
Thanks Joe! I must have read that 10 times in Part 1.1. Not being an aircraft maintenance type person, that sailed over my head. So to be clear, “continuous” means you can’t break the paperwork seal. Once you do, you can’t go back to original no matter what you do. Not even with a conformity inspection?

It must also be true that an airplane that starts out at a slightly higher gross weight than 1320 pounds can not be modified to a light sport even if the modification is allowed by the TCDS? My Champ started out its life with a gross weight of 1350# and was modified to a gross weight of 1300# by changing its landing gear to standard oleo struts. Complete with 337 documentation and logbook entries. It has been flown in the light sport category for years. With the Part 1.1 definition, this isn’t legal and my Champ is not, and never will be, a light sport aircraft. I may as well go back to 1350# and be done with it?

dgapilot
01-31-2020, 07:18 PM
Thanks Joe! I must have read that 10 times in Part 1.1. Not being an aircraft maintenance type person, that sailed over my head. So to be clear, “continuous” means you can’t break the paperwork seal. Once you do, you can’t go back to original no matter what you do. Not even with a conformity inspection?

It must also be true that an airplane that starts out at a slightly higher gross weight than 1320 pounds can not be modified to a light sport even if the modification is allowed by the TCDS? My Champ started out its life with a gross weight of 1350# and was modified to a gross weight of 1300# by changing its landing gear to standard oleo struts. Complete with 337 documentation and logbook entries. It has been flown in the light sport category for years. With the Part 1.1 definition, this isn’t legal and my Champ is not, and never will be, a light sport aircraft. I may as well go back to 1350# and be done with it?

You are correct in that it would not be legal for someone with only Sport Pilot privileges. To be sure, there is no such thing as a “light sport category” aircraft. There are Standard category aircraft that meet the definition of light sport for the purpose of allowing Sport Pilots to fly them, ant there are Special Light Sport aircraft, and Experimental Light Sport aircraft. There are even Experimental Amateur built aircraft that meet the definition of light sport to allow sport pilots to fly them.

In the case of your Champ, if it, at any time, was operated or certified at a gross weight over 1320 lbs, it can no longer be flown by someone who only has Sport Pilot privileges.


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bob turner
02-01-2020, 11:59 AM
Doesn't have to make sense.
Reminds me of the medical issue - if you have never, ever held an FAA medical you can fly Sport practically forever.
On the other hand, if you flunked your last medical, you cannot fly Sport or BasicMed. Ever. Until you pass an FAA third class or better once.

jnorris
02-01-2020, 05:08 PM
To be sure, there is no such thing as a “light sport category” aircraft...."

Actually, there is. Those "special light-sport aircraft" that you mentioned are in fact certificated in the "light-sport" category, under 14 CFR 21.190. Their airworthiness certificate says "Light-Sport" in the category section.

dgapilot
02-01-2020, 05:11 PM
Actually, there is. Those "special light-sport aircraft" that you mentioned are in fact certificated in the "light-sport" category, under 14 CFR 21.190. Their airworthiness certificate says "Light-Sport" in the category section.

Joe, if you read my entire post, I covered SLSA, and ELSA


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jnorris
02-01-2020, 05:21 PM
So to be clear, “continuous” means you can’t break the paperwork seal. Once you do, you can’t go back to original no matter what you do. Not even with a conformity inspection?

Remember that there is no change in paperwork. A standard category aircraft that meets the LSA definition will not say "light-sport" anywhere on it or in its paperwork. It simply meets the LSA definition by virtue of its specifications and performance. But your basic principal is correct. If an aircraft that meets the LSA definition is somehow modified so as to fall outside the definition, it is no longer eligible for operation by sport pilots. Nothing changed in the paperwork, but the airplane physically does not meet the LSA definition any longer. At that point, even if the aircraft is then changed back to its original configuration, it is still ineligible for operation by sport pilots and will always be, because it has not continually met the definition of a light-sport aircraft.


It must also be true that an airplane that starts out at a slightly higher gross weight than 1320 pounds can not be modified to a light sport even if the modification is allowed by the TCDS?

Correct. The aircraft you describe has not met the LSA definition continually since its original certification. It was initially ineligible for operation by sport pilots, so it will always be ineligible no matter what happens down the line.



My Champ started out its life with a gross weight of 1350# and was modified to a gross weight of 1300# by changing its landing gear to standard oleo struts. Complete with 337 documentation and logbook entries. It has been flown in the light sport category for years. With the Part 1.1 definition, this isn’t legal and my Champ is not, and never will be, a light sport aircraft. I may as well go back to 1350# and be done with it?

Correct. Your Champ has NEVER been eligible for operation by sport pilots, and if it has been operated as such these operations have not been legal. You might as well put it back to 1350 and enjoy the extra useful load.

As an aside, you can thank the folks at the Cessna 120/140 for this restriction. Back when the light-sport rules were still in discussion and being issued as a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), the 120/140 club jumped the gun and applied for an STC to lower the gross weight of their airplanes so as to make them eligible. The FAA basically said "Oh sh*t, if these people thought of this, a lot of other people will try it too. That's gonna be a mess". So they specifically wrote the rule to prohibit this from happening. Yes, you can lower the gross weight, but it won't make the aircraft sport pilot-eligible. Boom.

If the 120/140 club would have waited until after the final rule was published, the FAA might have missed that loophole. But we'll never know.

Dan Gervae
02-02-2020, 06:57 PM
Well, if the announcement that the FAA May increase the weight for LSA 3600 lbs and four place aircraft...it won’t matter....I think that was what they stated...3600 lbs��
https://www.planeandpilotmag.com/article/heres-why-new-lsa-rules-will-change-everything/#.Xjdi0SRMHDs

bob turner
02-02-2020, 09:22 PM
Dan - read that carefully. Article is 2018; author is sure there will be an NPRM in January 2019. We should have bet him.

Chip D
02-03-2020, 07:36 AM
Hell, I would like to see Light sport go to at least 1500#. Then my pa-18 95 would be in that class.

CharlieN
02-03-2020, 07:49 AM
To me 1650 or 1700 would be logical simply to get more simple trainers in such as the 150-152. The 1320# weight being based on European rules was not well thought out for our countries needs.
The weight up at 3600# really defeats the purpose of what Light sport is intended for and I just don't think a Cessna 206 or Cherokee 6 should be considered a "Light sport".
I am not really a fan of the weight going up enough to fit 172s in to the exception, they should find the happy spot to let the logical selection of two place aircraft in.

Chip D
02-03-2020, 08:16 AM
Charlie,
I agree that if they got the 2 seat Cessna's in would be good. Going to 3600# and 4 to 6 place would defeat the purpose totally.

stewartb
02-03-2020, 08:58 AM
Moving the limits up would be deregulating much of GA by expanding a category that already exists. If that doesn't fit your perception if what the category is supposed to be? So be it. It would be good for the vast majority of us.

Dan Gervae
02-03-2020, 09:31 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XY1PttWHEqc

bob turner
02-03-2020, 08:20 PM
Thanks. I watched the first two minutes; I think he said that they have until 2023 to do this. Too bad somebody hasn't done an article with footnotes since then - I read lots faster than I listen.