Dan Johnson On LSA Rule Changes

Discussion in 'Home Builders and Sport Pilots' started by Stephen Poole, Jul 20, 2019.

  1. Stephen Poole

    Stephen Poole Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    https://www.bydanjohnson.com/latest...e-light-sport-aircraft-regulations-july-2019/

    TLDR quick summary, still in the early stages, and still years from becoming a New Rule:

    1. The FAA says that the new rules will be "less prescriptive" and more "performance based." (Their words.) The weight increase will indeed be derived by a "power index" formula.

    2. 4 seats for "personal use and flight training." Still no commercial carry-for-hire (naturally).

    3. Speed limits will be higher, but still won't threaten the Mooney or SR-22 markets. :)

    4. Single control of both throttle and prop will be permitted. For example, in the "takeoff" setting the prop is pitched for climb, in the "cruise" setting it's pitched for economy.

    5. Electric and hybrid propulsion will be permitted.
     
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  2. jallen0

    jallen0 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Can someone explain the "power-index rating" From the article: "This term means a formula-based method to replace maximum takeoff weight in the definition of a LSA, involving wing area, horsepower, and takeoff weight."

    Would you think this would allow 172's, 182's, etc types of planes to be allowed?
     
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  3. Stephen Poole

    Stephen Poole Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    Heh. First thing I wondered myself.
     
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  4. Clip4

    Clip4 En-Route

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    Unlikely a 182 due to engine over 200 hp and the CS prop. 172 or Warrior maybe.
     
  5. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    We may never know...
     
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  6. Stingray Don

    Stingray Don En-Route

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    The effort would be pointless if the 172 (and similar) were excluded
     
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  7. DaleB

    DaleB En-Route

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    If they keep the variable pitch restriction EXCEPT for single lever control, then the 182 is out. It'll be interesting to see if they limit powerplants to reciprocating, electric or hybrid. How many times do we need to cycle through new technologies stifled by regulations that don't allow them, like electric power now? What if some bright soul comes up with a practical small turboprop (for example) with single-lever FADEC control?

    It will be interesting to see how the proposed "performance index" shakes out. I fly an RV-12, which for the most part maxes out the LSA limits. Other than the number of seats and gross weight, it will also outperform a lot of larger, heavier, and/or more powerful certified airplanes. Why a Cessna 152, an up-rated Champ, or a later model Ercoupe (just to name a few) is not covered under the LSA rules is baffling. The ONLY disqualifying factor for a lot of airplanes is the gross weight -- their performance is suitably dismal to fall well within the LSA space. Yeah, I understand where the 1320 gross weight came from, but it's still arbitrary and nonsensical.

    If they allow 4-seat airplanes, it will be a seismic shift for LSA. If they allow actually carrying more than one passenger in 4-seat airplanes, even more so. I can only hope that something actually happens on this before I die of old age. If I read the article correctly, it could be 2026 before anything is actually put into place*. And that's if the FAA actually complies with the directives from Congress, something which thus far they have shown little to no interest in doing.

    I'm happy that the FAA leadership seems interested in expanding and supporting Light Sport. I suspect there are a lot of worker bees that see it as something new and dangerous and worth slow-walking to the maximum extent they can get away with it. You can call me cynical, but you can't say I'm cynical for no reason.


    * Do the math. NPRM deadline of 2023 most likely means December of 2023, assuming they don't just ignore the requirement and do it a few years late. Then 16 months for a final rule puts it into 2025; there's nothing that prevents the final rule from taking effect in 2026. Or even later.
     
  8. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    That makes you smarter (or at least, better informed) than me.
     
  9. Brad Z

    Brad Z En-Route

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    It's typically the other way around. The folks who write this stuff could pump out rules in days if Give my he opportunity (and they have) but it's usually management and the process that slows things down...clearance through internal FAA channels, clearance through DOT, OMB...
     
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  10. RyanShort1

    RyanShort1 En-Route

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    I hope they allow for reasonable LSA use for other operations like aerial photography. There's no great reason why a 50 year old Cardinal that's getting harder to support and occasionally gets scares like the need for a spar inspection is inherently safer to be flying than say a brand new 2019 Pipistrel SW with better mpg, almost as fast with fixed gear, better glide options, and a 'chute. Our European friends are a bit farther ahead of us in that regard... http://www.leuropevueduciel.com/index.php
     
  11. Cluemeister

    Cluemeister Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    Sadly, I think this is very accurate.
     
  12. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    What is it that prevents you from using an LSA aircraft for something like aerial photography?
     
  13. Cluemeister

    Cluemeister Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    Not allowed to use LSA/sport pilot combo in furtherance of a business.
     
  14. Terry M - 3CK (Chicago)

    Terry M - 3CK (Chicago) Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    That’s your license (sport pilot) not the plane.

    Isn’t it a matter licensing? Need a commercial for commercial operations?
     
  15. DaleB

    DaleB En-Route

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    They lifted the 600 kg weight limit from European "ultralight" classes, from what I have read.
     
  16. RyanShort1

    RyanShort1 En-Route

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    Sec. 91.327

    Aircraft having a special airworthiness certificate in the light-sport category: Operating limitations.

    (a) No person may operate an aircraft that has a special airworthiness certificate in the light-sport category for compensation or hire except-
    (1) To tow a glider or an unpowered ultralight vehicle in accordance with §91.309 of this chapter; or
    (2) To conduct flight training.

    What we do is IMO at least as safe as flight training or towing and safety could be enhanced by newer modern aircraft. I would hope the FAA would allow for aerial photography as long as the crew only consisted of essential crew (photographer / sensor operator) and a commercially pilot and no passengers.
     
  17. amster105

    amster105 Filing Flight Plan

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    They jumped on Basic Med pretty quick (by FAA standards at least) and within the allotted time.
     
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  18. Terry M - 3CK (Chicago)

    Terry M - 3CK (Chicago) Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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  19. dmspilot

    dmspilot En-Route

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    They had no choice.
     
  20. Stephen Poole

    Stephen Poole Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    Yeah, there'd have to be an STC or the like for a modification that *combined* the throttle and prop control. I.e., a single control that does both.

    Edit: and yeah, still no ruling on precisely how they're going to do this "power index" thingie. Don't know if 200HP (or higher) would be permitted at all.
     
  21. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    Why would you say that? The last directive from Congress resulted in BasicMed being implemented. The FAA was very willing and very prompt to implement that program exactly because Congress directed it.
     
  22. Clip4

    Clip4 En-Route

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    A photographer/ sensor operator is not essential crew regardless of what you fly. Nor is a camera or sensor operator qualified to determine if the aircraft design is safe.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2019
  23. RyanShort1

    RyanShort1 En-Route

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    No, I’m saying that it should become an option. Company X is owned by the owner. Said owner buys an aircraft for aerial photography and hires a sensor operator or photographer that is the whole reason for the flight’s existence. For my company’s purposes, the photographer is essential crew. There is absolutely no point in sending the pilot up flying if no photographer is on board. As long as a commercial pilot is in the pilot’s seat and no “non-working on the flight” passengers are being carried, there is no substantial difference from a student being in the seat with a CFI (ie. Not a passenger - at least not for purposes of travel) or a photographer with a commercial pilot. Both are the “reason” for the flight and no one is holding out to the public.
    Yes, I know it’s not “crew” in one sense, but it is a “crew” (not passengers) in reality and would be viewed as such in any military or even civilian police situation. For that matter, we consider flight attendants “crew” right? Lots of pretty important stuff gets done with crews like this from LIDAR surveys, aerial photography of infrastructure, search and rescue stuff, surveillance, etc.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2019
  24. Clip4

    Clip4 En-Route

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    I work for a aerial photo company. The camera/sensor operator is not a crew member because they have no duty associated with the operation of the aircraft vs a flight attendant has a duty associated with the operation of the aircraft.

    Under the important stuff getting done definition, anyone on board writing employment associated correspondence is crew.
     
  25. RyanShort1

    RyanShort1 En-Route

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    I’d argue that in our case the photographer actually directs the flight - determining where the flight needs to go (navigation) how long it needs to stay on location, altitudes, etc... even to the degree of bank angle needed, and I’d guess that’s generally true for the majority of aerial photogs in PAPA from what I hear at our conferences.
     
  26. Clip4

    Clip4 En-Route

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    Does he also need to comply with this regulation?

    91.17 Alcohol or drugs.
    (a) No person may act or attempt to act as a crewmember of a civil aircraft—

    (1) Within 8 hours after the consumption of any alcoholic beverage;

    (2) While under the influence of alcohol;

    (3) While using any drug that affects the person's faculties in any way contrary to safety; or

    (4) While having an alcohol concentration of 0.04 or greater in a blood or breath specimen. Alcohol concentration means grams of alcohol per deciliter of blood or grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath.

    (b) Except in an emergency, no pilot of a civil aircraft may allow a person who appears to be intoxicated or who demonstrates by manner or physical indications that the individual is under the influence of drugs (except a medical patient under proper care) to be carried in that aircraft.

    (c) A crewmember shall do the following:

    (1) On request of a law enforcement officer, submit to a test to indicate the alcohol concentration in the blood or breath, when—

    (i) The law enforcement officer is authorized under State or local law to conduct the test or to have the test conducted; and

    (ii) The law enforcement officer is requesting submission to the test to investigate a suspected violation of State or local law governing the same or substantially similar conduct prohibited by paragraph (a)(1), (a)(2), or (a)(4) of this section.

    (2) Whenever the FAA has a reasonable basis to believe that a person may have violated paragraph (a)(1), (a)(2), or (a)(4) of this section, on request of the FAA, that person must furnish to the FAA the results, or authorize any clinic, hospital, or doctor, or other person to release to the FAA, the results of each test taken within 4 hours after acting or attempting to act as a crewmember that indicates an alcohol concentration in the blood or breath specimen.

    (d) Whenever the Administrator has a reasonable basis to believe that a person may have violated paragraph (a)(3) of this section, that person shall, upon request by the Administrator, furnish the Administrator, or authorize any clinic, hospital, doctor, or other person to release to the Administrator, the results of each test taken within 4 hours after acting or attempting to act as a crewmember that indicates the presence of any drugs in the body.

    (e) Any test information obtained by the Administrator under paragraph (c) or (d) of this section may be evaluated in determining a person's qualifications for any airman certificate or possible violations of this chapter and may be used as evidence in any legal proceeding under section 602, 609, or 901 of the Federal Aviation Act of 1958.


    While your camera sensor operator provides the desired orbit profile,

    91.3 Responsibility and authority of the pilot in command.
    (a) The pilot in command of an aircraft is directly responsible for, and is the final authority as to, the operation of that aircraft.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2019
  27. RyanShort1

    RyanShort1 En-Route

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    That wouldn’t cause an issue with any of our operators, and a lot of the aerial photographers I talk to are also licensed pilots anyway and already comply with those rules.

    Are you in basic disagreement with the idea that it would be better to work out a way with the FAA to use newer efficient aircraft for these kinds of missions? My guess is that most hurdles like you are bringing up could be addressed if people were a bit open minded.

    One other point is that most of even the professional tier aerial photographers own their own aircraft. It’s kind of silly that a photographer / owner can fly a 1950 Cessna with a commercial pilot in the right seat to help keep him safe and put the aircraft in the right spot but not a CTLS, Tecnam, or Pipistrel.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2019
  28. Clip4

    Clip4 En-Route

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    One of the models you list, Tecnam, has an accident rate almost 4x higher than a 172. That is one really good reason not to allow this plane for a commercial purpose.
     
  29. RyanShort1

    RyanShort1 En-Route

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    Really? Maybe that has to do with the pilot experience level vs actual aircraft safety? You and I both know we could come up with a list of certified aircraft with similar accident rates.
     
  30. Clip4

    Clip4 En-Route

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    25% of LSA accidents are ATPs and Comms, but as long as the LSA accident rate is so high the FAA is not going to allow for commercial use.

     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2019
  31. Salty

    Salty En-Route PoA Supporter

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    I’m struggling to find the logic in including a 182 in light sport. You’d have to include half or more of the rest of single engine fleet if you include it.

    172 sure, 182, uh, no.
     
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  32. RyanShort1

    RyanShort1 En-Route

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    I’m gonna respectfully ignore you from here out. The topic is expanding the capabilities of light sport which would hopefully bring improvements in structures and safety. If you don’t think they should be used for aerial photography, that’s fine. I have a lot of hours as a CFI in some light sport aircraft and I’m of the opinion that they would be just fine in what I believe would be a less demanding environment than flight training, which IS allowed under the current SLSA rules. Additionally, colleagues of mine in the Professional Aerial Photographers Association International have accumulated significant flight hours in aircraft like the Pipistrel as linked earlier in the thread.
     
  33. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips Pattern Altitude

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    The 172, in the latest iteration, would be a logical performance limit for LS. Except for speed, of course; I'd want that raised to 140 kts indicated, as some of the slick little planes can actually do that once you tweak the prop pitch.
     
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  34. DaleB

    DaleB En-Route

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    Please correct me if I'm wrong, but was the FAA not directed years ago to put certificate holders' photos on their pilot certificates?
     
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  35. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    And, they did. It just happened to turn out that every pilot looks like either Orville or Wilber...
     
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  36. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 En-Route

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    A broken clock is right twice a day. We all can throw examples. How about 'primary non commercial' for starters? Massacre in broad daylight, and nary a peep. I'm with the previous posters; old folks are gonna go to the grave waiting for Godot to enact meaningful change.

    I'm not even 40 and I teeter between selling the thing or landing it somewhere unpopulated and just walking away. The kabuki of certified is killing me. I'm struggling to find the value proposition to the pricing structure these days, and that's mostly FAA regulations inducing pressure into these low volume markets.
     
  37. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    Well, you are right and wrong.

    In 2011 the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act mandated that certificates would include a photograph. So you are correct, the FAA was directed to put photographs on certificates. They published a proposal for implementing this and started the process. The proposal is at: https://www.federalregister.gov/doc...192/photo-requirements-for-pilot-certificates. Before they could finish the process, Congress passed the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, which negated the requirement to put photos on certificates. The rule proposal was appropriately modified and the final rule was published here, minus the photo requirement: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FAA-2010-1127-0488.

    If you have the belief that the FAA disregards laws implemented by Congress, you are mistaken. They are a federal agency and, above all else, must follow the law.

    I found all this in about 10 minutes on Google. I suggest that if you have a belief that the FAA didn't do something, verify the requirement and then bring it up. I will join you in calling for the implementation.
     
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  38. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    There be reasons I own an E-AB that qualifies as an LSA.

    New fuel tank? Just make it.

    Master switch? Buy a current part from Mouser - no chasing after some unobtainable obsolete switch from the 1950's.

    Carb overhaul? Still have to pay through the nose for the kit, but labor is "free". (Actually, I am likely to make $5 from youtube for this. Eventually. If I live long enough.)

    Medical? fugetaboutit
     
  39. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Actually, his bringing it up without verifying it served a very useful purpose: It resulted in someone (you, in this case) providing correct and well-sourced information that many of us would not have found out about otherwise.

    I think people have a tendency to overlook the power of message-board threads in promoting information exchange. I know that the list of useful things that I have learned from threads like this is very long.
     
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  40. wanttaja

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    What's your source for that claim?

    An online search shows 13 Tecnam accidents over a 12-year period (from 2007 through the end of 2018). There were 68 registered aircraft in 2007 (the date of the first Tecnam accident) and about the 272 registered aircraft on 1 Jan 2019). That's an average of 170 aircraft, an average of 0.63% of the fleet having an accident in a given year.

    Over the same time period, there were 1,483 Cessna 172 accidents. There were 26,651 172s in 2007, and 20,995 as of 1 January). Average of 23,823 aircraft, giving a fleet rate of 0.51%. The Tecnam is a bit higher, but not four times higher.

    In any case, newly-introduced aircraft often have a higher accident rate. Of course, too, the small fleet sizes as the planes are introduced tend to produce inaccurate figures.

    Also, the Tecnam series has a wide variety of certification types. There are Standard category, Special Light Sport, Experimental Light Sport, and Experimental Exhibition Tecnams in the registry.

    Ron Wanttaja