Is Raising The LSA Weight Limit A Good Idea?

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Late in 2018, the FAA confirmed that it's planning to raise the 1320-pound limit on light sport aircraft. But is that really a good idea? In this video report recorded at the Deland Sport Aviation Showcase, AVweb polled a few manufacturers to find out.


 
 
 
 
 

 

Comments (4)

I disagree strongly that the Euro 600KG LSA initial rules were "arbitrary" since it purposely and intentionally excluded existing training class 2 seaters. Reality was that taking away structure and useful load actually made aircraft more expensive, less capable, and less attractive for the rigors of being used for training.

Posted by: Mark Fraser | November 5, 2018 8:14 AM    Report this comment

A Good Idea?

If you're a manufacturer and designed limited to 1320 or, a consumer that purchased a $100K+ LSA then no, it's a terrible idea.

If you currently own a single engine certified GA aircraft, it's a great idea.

If you wait till after the weight increase and purchase a legacy LSA, it would probably be a pretty good idea.

If you wait till after the weight increase to purchase a single engine certified GA aircraft, it would probably be a poor idea.

Posted by: Robert Ore | November 5, 2018 11:30 AM    Report this comment

Increasing the max weight of an LSA is an overdue idea. The low limit imposed by the original LSA rules made it so that the vehicle had to be a flimsy toy in order to meet the weight limit. Is that what we want to do? Force people to fly in an unsafe, flimsy toy? I don't think so. Weight per se is not even a meaningful criteria as the basis for LSA architecture. It is something that is easy to understand and measure, but it has little to do with what the category was even created for. It is a classic example of how a do-gooder approaches a problem. Their "solution" is always something that creates problems worse than what they portend to solve.

The current LSA rules (focussing on weight) is the same ideology that drives EPA Mileage Standards for cars. The result is flimsy automobiles that are low quality and death traps if you get hit by a larger vehicle. It is not an intelligent way to do anything.

Legitimate rules would include such things as how many people can ride in the airplane (not how many seats there are), an altitude limit (i.e., the RVSM floor level, 29,000 feet, or maybe the floor for oxygen use), and maybe number of engines (2?). The limitations should be simple and few in number. The "weight" of the aircraft has little to do with anything in formulating what the intent of the LSA rules are. Which is to keep people flying safely without burdensome training and medical requirements.

LSA aircraft should be able to include any and all technology that is available. I am talking turbine engines, FADEC, full glass avionics, and the capability for digital flight management systems. Why do we want to condemn people to a 1930's vehicle that has no instruments and is justifiably an outdated anachronism? I do not decry anybody who wants to fly such a craft. But why are we making LSA pilots have no other choice? If I want to spend $1M on a highly capable LSA then why should I be prevented from doing so?

The entire rule set for LSA need to be re-thought and re-done. Now is a very good time.

Posted by: Mark Chopper | November 8, 2018 1:42 PM    Report this comment

no comment

Posted by: hendrie peddemors | November 13, 2018 3:35 PM    Report this comment

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