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Thread: Raising Gross on e-ab

  1. #1

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    Raising Gross on e-ab

    I have been looking at a Legend Texas sport cub built in 2009. It is e-ab.

    The kit could have been certified to 1600# gw- or the builder could elect 1320# for lsa. The builder opted for lsa and did 1320#

    Once set to 1320 can that gross weight be raised to the 1600# on the original kit or is it stuck there for the life of the plane? If it can be done- who can do it and how? Does it have to be the original builder?

    Are there many legend cubs out there that are not light sport? Seems like most I see for sale are light sport.

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    With any E-AB, the builder decides what gross weight he wants to use. The kit provider make recommendations for what gross weight and CG range, but ultimately it is the builder. W&B data didn’t go in the airworthiness file until last year when they started using the AWC portal for application and issuing airworthiness certificates, now it does go in. Given that, there will be a record of what you decided as your original gross weigh and CG range. Now, if someone wants to exceed what the kit provider recommended, as a DAR, I have to make a Safe for Flight determination. If requesting a higher gross weight, I’ll be looking for engineering data to support it, just like I look for engineering data for an original design.


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    jnorris's Avatar
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    Raising the gross weight is considered a "major change", and can be accomplished by following the major change procedure found in the aircraft's operating limitations. Since the kit vendor has established a 1600 lb max gross, you'd have no issue raising it to at least that level. The operating limitations should be in the aircraft, as they were issued by the FAA as a part of the airworthiness certificate. Find the paragraph that talks about "incorporating a major change" and follow the procedure outlined. it will involve putting the aircraft back in to phase 1 (flight test) and testing it to the new gross weight. Once the testing is complete, make the appropriate logbook entries as specified in the operating limitations, update the weight and balance report, and you're all set.
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    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgapilot View Post
    If requesting a higher gross weight, I’ll be looking for engineering data to support it, just like I look for engineering data for an original design.
    I don't wish to creep the thread, but you raise a question. Are you looking for engineering data just for kit built E-ABs or all Amateur-builts? This is the first reference I've heard indicating engineering was possibly required for an amateur built airplane. There are many of them which had none.
    N1PA

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    Quote Originally Posted by jnorris View Post
    Raising the gross weight is considered a "major change", and can be accomplished by following the major change procedure found in the aircraft's operating limitations. Since the kit vendor has established a 1600 lb max gross, you'd have no issue raising it to at least that level. The operating limitations should be in the aircraft, as they were issued by the FAA as a part of the airworthiness certificate. Find the paragraph that talks about "incorporating a major change" and follow the procedure outlined. it will involve putting the aircraft back in to phase 1 (flight test) and testing it to the new gross weight. Once the testing is complete, make the appropriate logbook entries as specified in the operating limitations, update the weight and balance report, and you're all set.
    If the gross weight of an E-AB can be increased as a major change, and I'm not saying it can't be, why wouldn't reducing the gross weight be possible too? Seems reasonable, but AOPA says:

    "Can I change the weight of an experimental amateur-built that I have built so it meets the 1,320-pound limit for light-sport aircraft?

    As the builder of a home-built airplane that has yet to receive its experimental airworthiness certificate, you may decrease or increase the weight as necessary to have the airplane meet the definition of light-sport aircraft, which is defined as having a maximum gross weight of 1,320 pounds. However, once a weight limit has been set as part of the airplane's experimental amateur-built certification process, the original builder, future owners, and repairmen are prohibited from making any modifications to the weight for the purpose of meeting the definition of light-sport aircraft."

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    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frequent_flyer View Post
    If the gross weight of an E-AB can be increased as a major change, and I'm not saying it can't be, why wouldn't reducing the gross weight be possible too? Seems reasonable, but AOPA says:

    "Can I change the weight of an experimental amateur-built that I have built so it meets the 1,320-pound limit for light-sport aircraft?

    As the builder of a home-built airplanethat has yet to receive its experimental airworthiness certificate, you may decrease or increase the weight as necessary to have the airplane meet the definition of light-sport aircraft, which is defined as having a maximum gross weight of 1,320 pounds. However, once a weight limit has been set as part of the airplane's experimental amateur-built certification process, the original builder, future owners, and repairmen are prohibited from making any modifications to the weight for the purpose of meeting the definition of light-sport aircraft."
    Once it is certified.......You may not reduce the weight to meet LSA requirements.
    N1PA

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    Quote Originally Posted by skywagon8a View Post
    I don't wish to creep the thread, but you raise a question. Are you looking for engineering data just for kit built E-ABs or all Amateur-builts? This is the first reference I've heard indicating engineering was possibly required for an amateur built airplane. There are many of them which had none.
    When I'm doing a certification, I accept that a reasonable amount of engineering has gone into the kit and consider it "safe" based on the published limits. If a builder wants to go beyond the published limits, that's when I want to see some justification. For one off designs, I want to see enough to satisfy myself that it will be safe - mind you, safe is a relative term. FAA considers every EXPERIMENTAL aircraft is safe as it relates to protecting the public. They don't care if the owner/pilot is killed, just don't crash into the school or subdivision. An Experimental certificate is a license to kill yourself, but not kill the public. From my personal perspective, I want to have a little better feeling that the owner/pilot at least has a chance.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skywagon8a View Post
    Once it is certified.......You may not reduce the weight to meet LSA requirements.
    Yes, I understand what my quote says.

    As written I could reduce the weight to 1,350 with no issue. I could also reduce the weight to 1300 as long as I had no intention of meeting LSA requirements. Maybe I just want a good reason to never have to give anyone a ride. What stops the next owner from using it as LSA?

    Seems to be an arbitrary limitation with no safety basis.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by frequent_flyer View Post
    Yes, I understand what my quote says.

    As written I could reduce the weight to 1,350 with no issue. I could also reduce the weight to 1300 as long as I had no intention of meeting LSA requirements. Maybe I just want a good reason to never have to give anyone a ride. What stops the next owner from using it as LSA?

    Seems to be an arbitrary limitation with no safety basis.
    Recognize it would always be E-AB (or Standard, or whatever), jut that a person with a Sport Pilot Certificate can operate it if it meets the definition of Light Sport. To be a Light Sport aircraft (either Special or Experimental (the prior "heavy ultralights excluded)) it needs to meet the ASTM standards and be either a S-LSA, or a kit derived from an S-LSA.

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    Deleted my post. Didn’t read the OP in detail, so my comments were moot.

    Rich

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    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frequent_flyer View Post
    If the gross weight of an E-AB can be increased as a major change, and I'm not saying it can't be, why wouldn't reducing the gross weight be possible too? Seems reasonable, but AOPA says:

    "Can I change the weight of an experimental amateur-built that I have built so it meets the 1,320-pound limit for light-sport aircraft?

    As the builder of a home-built airplane that has yet to receive its experimental airworthiness certificate, you may decrease or increase the weight as necessary to have the airplane meet the definition of light-sport aircraft, which is defined as having a maximum gross weight of 1,320 pounds. However, once a weight limit has been set as part of the airplane's experimental amateur-built certification process, the original builder, future owners, and repairmen are prohibited from making any modifications to the weight for the purpose of meeting the definition of light-sport aircraft."
    That rule was written in when LSA was approved to keep people from modifying all kinds of airplanes so they could fly them under the Sport Pilot rules. Basic Med changed the need I believe from a medical standpoint.
    Steve Pierce

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  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by frequent_flyer View Post
    Yes, I understand what my quote says.

    As written I could reduce the weight to 1,350 with no issue. I could also reduce the weight to 1300 as long as I had no intention of meeting LSA requirements. Maybe I just want a good reason to never have to give anyone a ride. What stops the next owner from using it as LSA?

    Seems to be an arbitrary limitation with no safety basis.
    I mostly ignored the light sport stuff when it was introduced but have now found the reason for the AOPA statement. 14 CFR part 1.1 has this definition:

    "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; or (ii) 1,430 pounds (650 kilograms) for an aircraft intended for operation on water.........."

    The pertinent part of the definition is "since its original certification, has continued to meet the following:"

    Expect everyone knew that except me.

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