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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Wings Of Freedom

A brief review, some reminiscence and a broad-stroke celebration of Light-Sport Aircraft

LSA And Sport-Pilot Review

In case you're new to LSA or are a bit rusty on the basics, here's a bare-bones list of the salient points for the light-sport aircraft category and sport-pilot license, as created and revised by the FAA.

Light-Sport Aircraft
• Maximum gross weight: 1,320 pounds (1,430 pounds for seaplanes)
• Maximum speed, level flight, maximum continuous power: 120 knots
• Maximum two-person capacity
• Maximum stall speed: 45 knots
• Fixed or ground-adjustable prop (special allowance for motorgliders like the Phoenix and Pipistrel Sinus allows pilots to legally feather props in flight—a drag-reducing necessity for efficient, engine-off soaring flight)
• Unpressurized cabin
• Fixed landing gear
• Single, reciprocating engine

Sport-Pilot Rule
• At least 17 years of age
• Either a 3rd class FAA medical or current and valid U.S. driver's license required. (This goes hand in hand with a pilot's understanding that before every flight pilots must self-certify they are medically fit to fly the airplane.)
• Training: 20 hours minimum flight instruction; FAA written test required
• Sport pilot flight time accrues toward more advanced pilot ratings
• No passengers may be carried for compensation or hire, or for business purposes.
• Daytime VFR flight only
• Certified general aviation aircraft that fit the LSA category can be legally flown by sport pilots with sport pilot restrictions.
• Maximum occupants: two
• Maximum altitude 10,000 feet MSL (or 2,000 feet AGL, whichever is higher)
• Fly in Class E and G airspace. B, C and D airspace is also legal, with training and instructor endorsement.


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