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Thread: Benefits of buying a LSA over a non-LSA?

  1. #1

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    Benefits of buying a LSA over a non-LSA?

    I'm looking at buying my first plane. Have been looking at j-3, pa-11, pa-18-95, legend cub, cubrafters (sport cub and sometimes for fun carbon cub.)

    Most all of these are "light sport." I have not been looking at LSA intentionally- it just happens that most everythigng I have been looking at is LSA.

    If I have my PPL, what exactly are the benefits of going lights sport? Is it just easier maintenance? I don't need an annual by an IA?

    I have medical, and don't anticipate losing it as I'm relatively healthy and relatively young (40.)- so I plan on keeping my PPL for the foreseeable future and won't be going to Sport Pilot or anything.

    So what are the benefits of LSA? Why do I hear some people say they would NEVER want to lose their LSA certificate?

    Should I be expanding my search to include non-LSA (mission is just having fun, flying slow, maybe doing trips within a couple of hours of home.)
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    Richgj3's Avatar
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    First off, even though a J3 and a PA11 can be flown as a Sport Pilot (Driver License Medical), they still need an annual by an IA. A PA 18-95 is not an LSA by definition as it’s GW is 1500 pounds.

    So, that leaves you with an SLSA or ELSA if you want the “ease of maintenance “.

    To answer your question directly, the only reason to buy an LSA instead of a Part 23 certified plane is the medical issue, or of course if you just happen to fall in love with a particular LSA. Realistically you can buy a nice PA18 150 for what you’re going to spend on a used Sport Cub and a nice Stock PA 12 for the same or less you’ll spend on a used Legend.

    You can stop reading here, or listen to my experience. I’m a CFIA and CFII. I’ve been flying for 53 years and have owned 8 airplanes in that time. I also have Type 2 diabetes. For many years I got a Special Issuance Second class. It was a giant pain every year. (Things are a bit better now). When the Sport Pilot rule came out I sold my 250 Comanche and my Great Lakes and bought the first Legend Cub and a ZO6 Corvette. . And I kissed my AME goodbye. I flew the Legend happily and legally until the Basic Med rule came out. I went and got a third class special issuance and Basic Med. the third class has long since expired but I’m flying a V35B Bonanza and my Cessna 170B happily and legally under Basic Med.

    The only benefit of owning an LSA or a part 23 plane that meets the GW requirements is being able to avoid the onerous FAA Aeromedical maze. Now with Basic Med, even that reason becomes less important.

    Rich
    Last edited by Richgj3; 07-29-2021 at 06:48 PM.
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  3. #3
    Richgj3's Avatar
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    Also, I donít know what an ďLSAĒ certificate is. If one is flying as a Sport Pilot and has a known disqualifying condition, that person can no longer exercise any airman privileges.

    Rich
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    Yes, but those "known disqualifying conditions" are less onerous. As I understand it, you can fly LSA or BasicMed with prostate cancer, but any cancer will disqualify you for third class. Not a medical professional, and not sure of that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob turner View Post
    Yes, but those "known disqualifying conditions" are less onerous. As I understand it, you can fly LSA or BasicMed with prostate cancer, but any cancer will disqualify you for third class. Not a medical professional, and not sure of that.
    Ibe been flying with prostate cancer since 1994. 2nd class, no restrictions.
    donít spread information that is way off base
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    hotrod180's Avatar
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    There are downsides of owning an actual LSA,
    as I believe you are pretty limited to what you can modify or change without the manufacturer's blessing.
    Even though you'd need an IA for annuals (for a factory built certified airplane) or an A&P (for an amateur built experimental),
    for that reason, I think I'd rather have one of those that "meets the definition of an LSA" than a factory LSA.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hotrod180 View Post
    There are downsides of owning an actual LSA,
    as I believe you are pretty limited to what you can modify or change without the manufacturer's blessing.
    Even though you'd need an IA for annuals (for a factory built certified airplane) or an A&P (for an amateur built experimental),
    for that reason, I think I'd rather have one of those that "meets the definition of an LSA" than a factory LSA.
    Yes. I am seeing some converting an S-LSA to E-SLA with a log book entry.

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    Richgj3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hotrod180 View Post
    There are downsides of owning an actual LSA,
    as I believe you are pretty limited to what you can modify or change without the manufacturer's blessing.
    Even though you'd need an IA for annuals (for a factory built certified airplane) or an A&P (for an amateur built experimental),
    for that reason, I think I'd rather have one of those that "meets the definition of an LSA" than a factory LSA.
    Good point which may not be obvious to the casual observer. Certified airplanes with Type Certificates usually have many Suplimental Type Certificates one can purchase ranging from big tires to high lift devices to propellers and even engines. If you own an SLSA the only changes you can make are ones tested and approved by the factory. If you want a tire size the factory has not tested and approved it doesn’t matter if there is an STC for that tire on Cubs of all flavors. You need the factory to approve it.

    Sure, you can take your SLSA you bought for $100k and move it into ELSA with the “stroke of a pen” and then do what you will but I’m not sure you wouldn’t need a DAR for some changes and a new test period. Maybe not in ELSA. In any case that stroke of a pen just devalued your airplane. The SLSA Legend is approved in its operating limitations for two types of Commercial ops. Flight instruction and towing a Light Sport Glider. Why you would do that is beyond me. If you use it for instruction you must do 100 hour inspections and have an IA sign off an annual inspection, but you can use it for that. You can’t with an ELSA.

    These things may or may not affect your decision. Just don’t paint yourself in a corner. Also, if Experimental Amateur Built appeals to you from a maintenance perspective, there are a number of EAB planes for sale that are not LSA that would fulfill your mission.

    You can only convert SLSA to ELSA with the blessing of a DAR or FAA and a new AW and operating limitations. See the next post.

    Rich
    Last edited by Richgj3; 07-30-2021 at 02:51 PM.
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    Changing S-LSA to E-LSA requires a DAR to issue a new Airworthiness Certificate and operating limitations, it is not just the stroke of a pen in the log book.
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richgj3 View Post
    Also, I don’t know what an “LSA” certificate is. If one is flying as a Sport Pilot and has a known disqualifying condition, that person can no longer exercise any airman privileges.

    Rich
    Hey Rich- I meant losing the LSA certification on the airplane- not the person. As an example a Carbon Cub EX/FX experimental can be grossed at 1320 for LSA or 1800+. I hear of many people selecting the lower 1320 when they certify- must be some compelling reason not to just grab the extra 500# useful.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cardiff Kook View Post
    Hey Rich- I meant losing the LSA certification on the airplane- not the person. As an example a Carbon Cub EX/FX experimental can be grossed at 1320 for LSA or 1800+. I hear of many people selecting the lower 1320 when they certify- must be some compelling reason not to just grab the extra 500# useful.
    I assume that compelling reason is they have no medical or expect to have no medical in the foreseeable future. If you start at a higher gross weight, you can’t go back later on……or ever.
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    The benefits of LSA is that you’re getting the latest and greatest technology for less. To me this is the best two seat tandem in production. All metal wing, electric retractable slats, double slotted flaps, carbon fiber drooped tips, frise pushrod ailerons. Its the summation of everything I love in aviation and the ultimate fun machine! Rotax 915 turbo provides the pull in these videos. https://fb.watch/75EreS1Wb5/

    https://youtu.be/VPqTh_hZNoI
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    Only watched one. Assuming standard runway markings, a J3 can do that well. It does look good.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob turner View Post
    Only watched one. Assuming standard runway markings, a J3 can do that well. It does look good.
    Put another way. I don’t think a J3 can do this. https://youtu.be/S-pLdKLJZuI

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    Quote Originally Posted by jetcat11 View Post
    Put another way. I don’t think a J3 can do this. https://youtu.be/S-pLdKLJZuI
    Why would a J-3 want to do that?
    N1PA
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    Quote Originally Posted by jetcat11 View Post
    Put another way. I donít think a J3 can do this. https://youtu.be/S-pLdKLJZuI
    That demo is all about HP, put 150HP on a J3 and it could do all that if you wanted to. Personally I like the pleasant flying characteristics of a 65 hp J3.

    The one thing they Zlin has going for it is the turbo for high density altitude stuff. I fly a motor glider with a 915 turbo, and for high altitude that is a beast.


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    Quote Originally Posted by dgapilot View Post
    That demo is all about HP, put 150HP on a J3 and it could do all that if you wanted to. Personally I like the pleasant flying characteristics of a 65 hp J3.

    The one thing they Zlin has going for it is the turbo for high density altitude stuff. I fly a motor glider with a 915 turbo, and for high altitude that is a beast.


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    I respectfully disagree. I guess I must be seeing something else then. The 29’ wing coupled with those deep chorded ailerons is what enables such quick and precise response. A 35’ USA-35B isn’t going to have that roll rate no matter how much HP you throw at it.

    The only thing going for it is the turbo? What about that wing?
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  18. #18

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    The advantage of LSA is it allows operating under Sport Pilot rules. BasicMed made the Sport medical rules moot for many potential Sport participants. The disadvantage of LSA is weight and passenger restrictions and very limited utility. The gamble with LSA right now is investing in a 1320# airplane when there’s a good chance that limit will be raised.

    I strongly considered buying a Carbon Cub for E-LSA but BasicMed came onto the scene and that allowed me to choose an airplane that fit my needs better. That’s no knock on the <1320# fleet. Each of us has different priorities and different conditions to consider.
    Last edited by stewartb; 08-01-2021 at 09:41 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    The advantage of LSA is it allows operating under Sport Pilot rules. BasicMed made the Sport medical rules moot for many potential Sport participants. The disadvantage of LSA is weight and passenger restrictions and very limited utility. The gamble with LSA right now is investing in a 1320# airplane when thereís a good chance that limit will be raised.

    I strongly considered buying a Carbon Cub for E-LSA but BasicMed came onto the scene and that allowed me to choose an airplane that fit my needs better. Thatís no knock on the <1320# fleet. Each of us has different priorities and different conditions to consider.
    If you follow the Dan Johnsonís LSA updates on his site it seems LSA is going to go to 2000# or more and likely up to 200hp. The adjustable prop thing is up in the air from my memory.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Utah-Jay View Post
    If you follow the Dan Johnson’s LSA updates on his site it seems LSA is going to go to 2000# or more and likely up to 200hp. The adjustable prop thing is up in the air from my memory.
    Not even an NPRM yet. Once it makes it to an NPRM, figure another 3 to 5 years to become a rule. There is NOTHING that happens fast within the Federal Government.
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    Youíve just never dealt with the IRS!


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    Quote Originally Posted by dgapilot View Post
    Not even an NPRM yet. Once it makes it to an NPRM, figure another 3 to 5 years to become a rule. There is NOTHING that happens fast within the Federal Government.
    Dan is saying 2023, can’t remember if it was beginning or the end of and that would be 2024. No it is not eminent

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