Would you re-register as Experimental if you could?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by ssokol, Nov 21, 2014.

  1. ssokol

    ssokol Filing Flight Plan

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    Being an optimist, I would have to think that a rising GA tide would lift all boats - including the kit manufacturers. People build kit aircraft not just to have access to an owner-maintainable airplane. Some people honestly love crafting a flying machine with their own hands, and I don't think that a new Experimental sub-category would change that.
     
  2. GeorgeC

    GeorgeC Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Can LSA-eligible aircraft with standard airworthiness certificates (some Luscombes, Cubs, Ercoupes, etc) be converted to E-LSA?

     
  3. jnmeade

    jnmeade Cleared for Takeoff

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    Took my SLSA to ELSA over two years ago and would not want to go back. Would take my Champ experimental in a heartbeat, also my glider. I like the Champ but if I can find the time and money I am actively talking about building a Rans S-7 so I can do all the maintenance. I'd love to swap my glider out of E-AB (I didn't build it) to something I can inspect.
    One argument I've heard about not taking an SLSA to ELSA is a rumored increase in insurance cost. It did not happen to me and has not happened to anyone I've heard from.
    Standard certificated airplanes can't be converted (there may be some very rare occasions - a local V tailed Bonanza is experimental but it's used in a research capacity at the university) but it's seldom practical. Yes, a few will post the exceptions but it's not practicable for most of us.
    It may be technically possible to take an ELSA back to SLSA but one has to get the manufacturer to buy off on it - a course of action that has maybe been done a couple of times but is not something most manufacturers seem to be eager to sign up for, as they don't know what stresses, etc, have occurred, even if the plane is restored to original condition.
     
  4. petrolero

    petrolero Pattern Altitude

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    An experimental non-commercial designation is no panacea for existing certified aircraft.

    What would switching from certified to experimental do to my insurance costs? For that matter, what would it do to the valuation of my aircraft? How would I sell it? And what about pax... people are scared enough of small planes without stamping EXPERIMENTAL on the things - even if it's just for an "experimental" light bulb or even for an "experimental" EFIS?

    Switching to experimental would knock the entire commercial capability off my aircraft. And even if neither I nor the next buyer intended to exercise that option, it is still an option that I paid for that would disappear and take some value with it. Want to lease it back to a flight school? Nope. Forget that idea.

    So that entire portion of the value of my aircraft would have to be somehow replaced by the value of being able to install non-certified gear in my airplane. I don't see that happening.

    The real problem is that it is too costly and painful to get an aircraft certified in the first place and too hard to get STCs for mods. Those structural problems are a direct result of the bloated and inefficient and risk-averse FAA. That is what needs to be fixed. But there are some entrenched interests in keeping the certified aircraft world complicated.
     
  5. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Pretty certain the answer is no.
     
  6. Jimmy cooper

    Jimmy cooper En-Route

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    You said it! That's got to be greasy money and lobbyists involved.
     
  7. Jimmy cooper

    Jimmy cooper En-Route

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    Wrong ! Many champs, Cubs, t crafts, etc. fly LSA. I've owned three. As long as they qualify they can fly. But.......they can never return to previous status.
     
  8. GeorgeC

    GeorgeC Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Is the process the same as in post #38 above?

     
  9. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Are you sure we're talking about the came thing?

    Though a Champ might be "LSA eligible", its still got a white Airworthiness and is, I assume, Standard Category.

    I don't think you can just call a DAR and have him or her convert it to E-LSA.

    But if you've done it, and its an option, then I learned something today!

    And a pretty cool one!

    Anyway let me peruse the site of the fellow that did mine and see if that sheds light: http://www.sportaviationspecialties.com/Useful_Information.htm
     
  10. cowman

    cowman En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Two questions...

    #1 What will it do to my resale value?

    #2 Can I switch back easily/affordably to recoup any lost resale value if I want to put trade up in the future?


    That all said, for something like LEDs I've always heard it's easy to get field approval for LED landing lights and position lights. I would think you could do the same for the panel.
     
  11. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Touchdown! Greaser!

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    From the linked site:

    (E-LSA) Is one of three kinds:

    Previously unregistered "ultralight-like" vehicle that meets LSA specifications. These aircraft were required to be registered before January 31, 2008. However, as that deadline approached, the FAA issued exemptions which allowed the certification deadline to be extended to January 31, 2010 for any ELSA that was registered before January 31, 2008. The January 31, 2010 deadline is now past, so no other ELSAs will be certificated under this provision.

    A kit version of an S-LSA. Note that the January 31, 2008 deadline does not apply here.

    An S-LSA the owner elects to convert to E-LSA so he/she can make modifications & perform maintenance. Note that the January 31, 2008 deadline does not apply here.


    Neither a Champ nor a Cub seem to fit.

    Is that list incomplete?
     
  12. bnt83

    bnt83 Final Approach

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    Count me in.


    First thing to do is get rid of the terribly designed filtered air duct and air filter box on the 1968 Cessna 177.

    Then, a better battery box than the POS plastic one that Cessna built.


    Then start thinking about a way to build decent spinners that don't cost $3k a piece.



    Then start building new nose strut tubes. Lotta corroded ones out there.


    Then, who knows? The possibilities are endless
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2014
  13. jnmeade

    jnmeade Cleared for Takeoff

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    Pilots excersizing sport pilot privileges can fly an airplane that meets LSA criteria even though the airplane is not LSA. The airplanes you cite are in the standard airworthiness category. They can be flown by SP but they are not LSA and can not be recertified as such.
     
  14. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I have been browsing around looking for any vintage Champs or Cubs recertified as E-LSA and haven't come across any, nor any mention of the possibility.

    Jimmy implied he had seen it done, going so far as to say they coukd not be converted back.

    Jimmy, do you have examples or a source? I think I'd still prefer a modern E-LSA like my Sky Arrow, but as I said before an E-LSA vintage Champ or Cub would be cool.
     
  15. jnmeade

    jnmeade Cleared for Takeoff

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    Ed, there is an FAA document out that tells the whats and whys of converting. I don't have it in front of me so can't cite it, but I've read it. What he is saying is extremely difficult to do.
     
  16. Jimmy cooper

    Jimmy cooper En-Route

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    I had to go light sport in 2000. Since then I've owned, two taylorcraft 65 hp and an aeronca champ 85 hp. All were under 1320 lbs gross and all three qualified as light sport. If you go to tap or barnstormers, look at Luscombe, aeronca , t craft. It will often say.....sorry does not qualify as light sport....or, qualifys for light sport. IE: the 65 hp Luscombe qualifys, the 8E and the 8F does not. On and on. There are a lot of them restored and flying, otherwise they would be history. A 65 hp , including a cub is a boring airplane to me but at least I was flying. Supercub , entirely different! 8F Luscombe , 90 hp, same. If you Google taylorcraft fun you will eventually come to a girl showing you a red and creme taylorcraft 65 hp with polished prop. I sold this not long ago. It was flown from baltimore to stellar airpark in Arizona to its current owner. It's light sport. ( trophy winner) if I implied they are experimental I'm sorry. They are not.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2014
  17. JHW

    JHW En-Route

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    Who cares? Just give us the option to do it. If you want to maintain the ability to put your plane on a 135 certificate then dont exercise the option.
     
  18. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Touchdown! Greaser!

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    When I converted my Sky Arrow to E-LSA, my insurance premium dropped a tiny bit. Now about $950/yr.

    But part of that was because they would now only insure the hull for $50k. Before I think I had $60k of coverage - on a plane that was $75.5k new in 2007.

    Resale may go down a bit, since the pool of prospective buyers is smaller without those wanting it for rental or flight instruction. Then again, some small slice of buyers may see the E-LSA certification as a plus, so who knows?
     
  19. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Jimmy,

    Understood.

    Your original post correcting me sure made it sound like you thought all those "LSA compliant" could be converted to E-LSA. There may be some path to that, as Jim Meade suggested, but if so I don't think it's the same, easy and straightforward way S-LSA's can be converted by a DAR.

    I'm 100% thrilled with my plane's Experimental status and can't imagine ever going back!
     
  20. jnmeade

    jnmeade Cleared for Takeoff

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    At the risk of beating a dead horse, let me comment on the terminology a little bit because others may get mislead or confused.
    The critical issue in parts of this discussion thread is whether or not an airplane can be flown by a person with a Sport Pilot certificate or one with another certificate who is exercising Sport Pilot privileges. Those persons can fly any airplane that meets light sport criteria.
    A number of airplanes may meet light sport criteria as defined in FAR 1.1. These airplanes may be certificated as standard, experimental amateur built, special light sport or experimental light sport. My Champ, J3 Cubs, and so forth, are certificated as a standard aircraft, not as a light sport aircraft. However, because they meet the criteria of a light sport aircraft, they may be flown according to Sport Pilot privileges.
    The problem arises when we try to call a Champ a light sport aircraft when it is not. What we should be saying is it can be flown by a Sport Pilot.
     
  21. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Touchdown! Greaser!

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    At a seminar I took from Prof Shuch in Lock Haven a few years ago, "Stepping Up To Light Sport", his stance mirrored yours. Made a point that those Cubs and Champs were best thought of a Standard Category aircraft that just happened to be Light Sport eligible.

    But...

    If you refer to FAR 1.1, you'll find that the FAA definition of Light Sport Aircraft would include those Cubs and Champs. So it's not wrong to refer to them as Light Sports, by definition. Even though they are certified otherwise.

    So, Prof. Shuch has changed his stance.

    Admittedly confusing, but there you have it.
     
  22. Jimmy cooper

    Jimmy cooper En-Route

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    Joining the willing to beat a dead horse crowd..... I should have said "qualify as light sport". We are lost in semantics. Most ads read this way in tap, etc. conversely, many ads for 8e or 8f Luscombes , etc. will read " not LSA"
     
  23. GeorgeC

    GeorgeC Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Mel Asberry confirmed via email that the answer is no.

    [​IMG]

     
  24. Jimmy cooper

    Jimmy cooper En-Route

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    YES! I think exp. is just fine. I flew a rans courrier a year ago. Great aircraft. It may be that as the current 40-60 year old cessnas, pipers, Mooneys finally collapse, it may be all there is.
     
  25. txflyer

    txflyer En-Route

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    Fly it like you STOL it ♦
    Sign me up.

    I want the skywagon to look like this for ~$10K ...


    [​IMG]
     
  26. Challenged

    Challenged Pattern Altitude

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    Same as txflyer; not going to spend $35,000 on certified avionics in order to redo my panel, but I'd be all over the non-certified variants if I could put them in my plane.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk
     
  27. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 Final Approach

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    +3. Yep. Same here.
     
  28. mkosmo

    mkosmo Pattern Altitude

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    Is that the Bonanza with the PLF in it?