8 thoughts on “Light-Sport Aircraft—A New Way To Adventure

  1. Ok….first off you contradict yourselves by writing you can fly at night/IFR with the Light Sport ticket, than you show a chart that says you CAN’T fly at night.
    Than you say that the Rotax is a great engine, when in fact it is just about the ONLY engine available to LSA aircraft(it’s in over 99% of them..). This is a serious problem, and it’s probably the main reason folks like me, aspiring pilots who want to learn to fly via this ticket, are avoiding this class of aircraft. The 912S is a costly engine to keep flying, fact, and many sites and discussions with users of said engine, prove this. It may indeed reach it’s claimed 2000 Hour TBO, but it will cost you big time in the wallet to do so.
    No choice is not good in aviation. The reason this engine is used so much isn’t because of it’s reliability, it’s because of the pathetic gross weight that LSA aircraft users are forced to endure, 1320 lbs. That’s a very low number that forces manufacturers to not use much superior engines like the 0-200 or Lycoming 0-235. Those few that do use them are simply too heavy to carry more than one real sized human and some fuel. The Rotax’s low weight is the only reason it’s used so much, and that’s a shame.
    Until a real useful load update is done, the LSA class is just not a viable choice to us aspiring(and slightly heavier) US flyers. Period.

  2. Michael,
    No, he says that the AIRPLANE can be used at night or IFR if properly equipped and the pilot is rated for such (like me: a Private Pilot w/IFR endorsement) He did not say that a Sport Pilot can fly at night or IFR, just that the aircraft can.

  3. Michael:

    I note frustration in your comment and I have replied to you in detail via email. For the sake of other readers here I will summarize my response with the limited space we have available in these “comments” sections:

    I was referring to the IFR/night capability of the aircraft, not the light sport certificate. The airplane can fly IFR and at night with a properly rated pilot in command.

    The Rotax has been involved in as many accidents as other engines. The problem is narrowing it down to an engine problem. The NTSB doesn’t go to that level of detail. More Rotax engines are involved than other LSA engines simply because there are more of them installed by a huge margin. They are plagued by gearbox issues, but saying they will cost a lot of money to their owners is not a verifiable fact.

    Rotax engines fly across our oceans and deserts every day. We dont have enough experience with them to make a final judgement on cost. For now, they are highly reliable and fuel efficient machines.

    Marc C. Lee
    Plane & Pilot Magazine

  4. Your both right, I read that wrong, sorry. And your right on the money, Marc, I am frustrated. I’m the demographic the ticket was supposed to be designed for, but it simply morphed into just another pipe dream for us, and a dream for rich, retired folks who are already pilots, not folks who want to be one.

    I’m not a rich guy, obviously, but I am a bit better off than most. I went to Sebring two years ago and was disappointed and shocked, in that order, at the prices being asked for what in Europe were once low cost, easily accessible aircraft. It is so obvious that these companies are pandering not to new pilots, but to pilots who are selling their Bonanza’s and 182’s because of not getting their medicals anymore. Us new pilots simply don’t matter to them.

    I know quite a few folks who run 912 UL-S’s, and they aren’t that great. I never said they aren’t reliable, they are, but they cost a fortune to keep them that way. Continentals and Lycomings don’t have gearboxes that need expensive attention to the slipper clutch every 200 hours, or dual carbs that need constant attention to keep from messing up the way the engine runs due to the lousy linkage Rotax hasn’t fixed since it was released. Not to mention the mandatory rubber replacement every 500 hours(lots of rubber on a liquid cooled motor). The list goes on…If your an A&P, great, your set. If you need to pass the work on to one, than it’s gonna get bad, fast. I could go on here, but I think my point is made.

    I really, REALLY wanted to be a Private Pilot and not need to go the Sport Pilot route but I would have a disqualifying condition that would prevent me from doing that. I don’t see me doing this anytime soon, and I’m very much not alone here. Well paid shills like Dan Johnson aren’t helping any, either(he’s the president of LAMA, for crying out loud, of course he’s gonna say nothing but good about LSA’s….). I like you, Marc, your a good writer who has a good reputation, stay away from this before you get your good name sullied up.

  5. Michael, I was in the same boat with the same thoughts. But I think I found us an answer. If your a little patience with it. I searched, researched, and found that the 2007 and later American Champion Champ 7EC was my ticket to ride. it fits the LSA rules,new they are about 120 but when and that is seldom but be patience and a used one comes along usually for about 75 to 95. You get a REAL FAA Part 23 certified airplane that was certified in 1964 with a proven dependable and reliable Cessna 150 engine. The good old Continental 0 200. Roomy fly’s hands off, climbs 500 to 800 feet per minute depending on load. And if you put wheel pants and a metal 150 prop on it it will cruise about 105 mph, not the fastest but a very reasonable speed. Wide landing gear make it the easiest tail dragger ever built to land . I like you was scared of the Rotax turning 5,500 rpm all the time, but this little girl will have a mechanic at ever airport if you ever need one and she cruise nicely at 2400 rpm on about 5.7 gph. Oh and it is stressed to 5 positive and 2 negative!!! a Sunday afternoon barrel roll any one!!. Just my 2 cents worth. Check it out, I feel it’s that diamond in the rough!!

  6. Sorry for the late reply, Alan, been a bit busy. That looks like a good option, I’ll look into it. I’m in no rush at all, just getting tired of having no real choices here. Thanks for being in the “understanding” category, it’s nice to meet another person who wanted to fly badly enough to find an answer to the million dollar question of how to afford it 🙂 Thanks!

  7. i am looking for the peopele wants build up light helicopter or aircraft ,very long experience in aviations to sale aircraft and costummer to buy. i speaks many differenst languges and i know somme freinds have already light aircaraft teaching new pilot i need to be support to brings all these coustummer for you ,rotax is a very good engine nvery good and secure ingnation systeme also very good feull systeme and low cost maintenace easy to find all the spears parts ,waiting for any contact .thanks a lot merci beaucoup dankifell ifkharisto aubregado datseen chers mate

  8. The LSA segment has a lot of terrific aircraft.
    They take off quickly, climb quickly, glide far and use little runway on landing. Many have ballistic airframe parachutes.
    These attributes increase the margin of safety. Plus they are economical to operate.
    Most of all, the are FUN. And when I personally see airline pilots, current and retired with 30,000+ hours in big iron sing the praises of LSAs, I’m listening. I bought an FK-9 eight years and 1400 hours ago. Learning to fly was one of the best decisions of my life.
    “Just do it!”

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