EAAAirVenture OshkoshShopJoin

Combine the LSP & Recreation Pilot

Posted By:
Don Jonas
6
Posts
0
#1 Posted: 12/27/2010 21:00:29

This would provide a much greater and useful used, and new aircraft available market. There is a good selection of aircraft that fall just outside of the LSP requirements. I think the weight of the LSP airplane, results in a more unsafe design, due to the lighter structure. I know there is carbon fiber, but that doubles the cost, just look at carbon CUB. You can't touch one for less than 150K.

I could get a good Cessna 150 for 20K. I'am 79 years old in fairly good health.  I have been maintaining a 3rd class, for the last 4 yrs. I don't have the time to build a kit plane. I would like to use my drivers licence, for the recreation pilot.

 

I am a retired corp. and charter pilot. I was forced to fly only 2nd in command, by the insurance company, when I was 70.

I have over 18000 hrs, and have a nice house and 3600 sq ft. hangar on an airpark in Missouri ( 98Mo.) We have a 2800 ft very nice grass runway. I would like to keep flying my 1954 Cessna 170B for at least another 5 yrs.

 

Don Jonas



John Owens
31
Posts
4
#2 Posted: 12/27/2010 23:05:03 Modified: 12/27/2010 23:07:24

I always thought it was a shame they didn't stretch the gross weight limit enough to allow 150's and 152's, there are a number of those on the used market and would make a great resource for the Light Sport market.  In my case, if I want to rent a Light Sport aircraft I have to drive about 100 miles to get to the closest one, while the 152 that I earned my private pilot ASEL license 30+ years ago, is still available for rent about 2 miles from my home.

 



Frank Giger
Homebuilder or Craftsman
117
Posts
33
#3 Posted: 12/28/2010 05:09:07 Modified: 12/28/2010 05:36:00

If you're maintaining the 3rd class medical, just fly the Cessna!

 

My own suspicion on the red line drawn on weight was to specifically eliminate most of the used aircraft in the GA fleet for Sport Pilots (and those flying under Sport Pilot rules).

When the FAA decided to buck the international standards on weight and add more on, it became somewhat an arbitrary number based on negotiation rather than on hard rules.

I can just imagine the talk in some conference room somewhere:

"So we're going to let folks fly without a medical and use their driver's license."

"Finally those guys with their fat ultralights are going to have to get some sort of training.  Plus it'll hopefully get new people into flying - half the hours is half the cost, and most people don't fly at night anyway."

"What's the limitation on the planes again?"

"Well, we're working on the weight restrictions; Europe's is too low."

"Wait, Private Pilots who don't think they can pass the next medical check can fly under Sport Pilot rules."

"Yeah, so?"

"Keep most of the current fleet out of reach."

"Why?"

"The last thing we need is old medically unfit guys flying the antique aircraft that make up the bulk of the GA fleet."

"Antique aircraft?"

"How many people do you know that drive a car that's thirty five years old?"

"Yeah, you got a point; the fleet needs to be updated and these old planes retired.  Besides, if the net is too wide there'll be no incentive for anyone that flys daytime VFR to ever renew the physical."

Seriously, though, the Sport Pilot license and rule should be understood for what it is - a seperate category of license that fills a specific niche in aviation.  The primary purpose was not to keep seasoned pilots who (for whatever reason) don't want to renew their physical in the air - it's a loophole in the regs that allows them to do so.  A reasonable loophole, but ancilliary to the intent and purpose of the Sport Pilot license, and should be treated as such.

Too many Private Pilots think of the Sport Pilot license and rules backwards.  Indeed, I saw a website for a flight school that trumpeted that they gave Sport Pilot training for those that know or don't think they could pass a Class III physical; a pretty irresponsible position to take, IMHO.

It's like saying that since one can't see well enough to drive a motorcycle they'll take a bicycle onto the streets instead.

 

[edit]

I think a better solution would be to take a cue from the DMV on medical constraints and restrictions.

The reason Sport Pilots don't need a flight medical is the fact that the planes are simple, basic aircraft being flown in daytime VFR only.  No IFR.  No night time.  Fair weather flying in two seaters that don't leave much of a smoking hole.  Un pressurized cockpits so stay below 10K feet...oxygen use is not simple, basic aircraft stuff. 

Now think of all the skill requirements heaped on the Private Pilot.  Even if he never flys at night, IFR, or over 10K altitude, he's always got to be medically qualified to do so in the gov't's eyes since they don't know what he's going to do.  It's like having a HAZMAT CDL and having to always meet the requirements for driving a truckload of nuclear waste even when he's driving the family sedan for some ice cream.

More reasonably, the FAA should put restrictions rather than simply pulling the whole ticket.  Let's say a pilot's vision is getting a bit iffy or they start getting concerns about the stress of a high workload on the pilot because of a minor irregular heart beat or blood pressure.  Fine.  You still get to fly, but it's now Daylight VFR, Single Engine Only (for examples).  Or maybe it's "Flight duration limited to four consecutive hours," or whatever.

No wonky loopholes, no "you're medically unfit to fly a Cessna 150 worth 25K but you're just fine to left seat a Skycatcher worth 125K" garbage.

Remember, the key to the medical rules for Sport Pilots is the lack of complexity of the aircraft and how it will be used.

The FAA is being lazy on this score.  Rather than deal with the issue head on they're encouraging the stupid loophole.



Don Jonas
6
Posts
0
#4 Posted: 12/28/2010 09:23:15

Thanks for the reply John.

You took the words right out of my mouth, at my age anything could happen. I would hate to not be able to get up in the air to go anywhere. Up in the air, I feel much safer than dodgeing a car just 2 or 3 feet away at a closeing speed of 150 mph.

DJ

 



Don Jonas
6
Posts
0
#5 Posted: 12/28/2010 09:27:56

Thanks for the info Frank

I guess there is no hope in getting anything changed with the rule in my lifetime tho.

Keep flying

Don



Bernard Pawlowski
23
Posts
11
#6 Posted: 12/28/2010 10:05:58

Frank you are right.  This also goes back to a previous post where someone argued about the validity of a 3rd class medical.  If safety is the primary concern, then the application of medical constraints is a better approach.

Bernie



Ron Wanttaja
246
Posts
98
#7 Posted: 12/28/2010 11:59:04
Frank Giger wrote:

 

My own suspicion on the red line drawn on weight was to specifically eliminate most of the used aircraft in the GA fleet for Sport Pilots (and those flying under Sport Pilot rules).

When the FAA decided to buck the international standards on weight and add more on, it became somewhat an arbitrary number based on negotiation rather than on hard rules.

The thing to remember is that the Sport Pilot weight limitation was negotiated UPWARD, not downward.  The original proposal was 1,200 pounds, which would probably have eliminated most classics.   The FAA bumped that to 1,232 pounds, then to 1,320 pounds.

I've attached a PDF of the FAA's announcement of the final version of Sport Pilot/Light Sport.  Page 66 is where the discussion starts regarding the weight limit.  Note page 69:

When the FAA initially set the proposed limits for the light-sport aircraft definition, the FAA did not look at currently built aircraft, either with type certificate approval or in the amateur built aircraft marketplace. The FAA’s proposed definition was to address aircraft to be designed and built for the sport pilot, rather than addressing existing aircraft for currently certificated pilots.



Files Attachment(s):
sportpilot_rule(1).pdf (972822 bytes)
Ron Wanttaja
Frank Giger
Homebuilder or Craftsman
117
Posts
33
#8 Posted: 12/29/2010 05:53:18

I will agree, Ron, that when the FAA set out the guidelines they did so with future, not existing, aircraft aircraft in mind.

One could argue quite convincingly that this shows no bias towards existing aircraft for currently certificated pilots one way or another.  It was like laying out specifications for a government bid for designs (thinking WWII); they didn't know what the plane will be, but they knew what it should be able to do and the constraints on weight, payload, etc.

Indeed, my own slightly raw nerve on the matter of complaints and negative comments regarding both the medical and aircraft requirements of Sport Pilots is attached to the statement.  I'm a Sport Pilot - neither better or worse than any other type of pilot - just operating in a different set of constraints, much like a multiple engine rated pilot operates differently than "just" a single engine rated one.

However, the people in the room making those decisions weren't operating in a vaccuum.  They knew darned well that while 1,320 pounds made a lot more sense than either 1,200 or 1,232 it also put the kibosh on most of the General Aviation fleet, being very cognizant of the weight of existing planes.  They also knew that if they ventured into weights that cut into it that the appearance of bias towards (or against) specific models of aircraft could never, ever be overcome.

And this goes right back to my thinking - while they wouldn't admit it, a casual calculous in the mental model was the existing and aging fleet.

I also think there was J-3 Cub owner on the panel, since it weighs 1,220 pounds. 
tongueout



Dana Hague
29
Posts
2
#9 Posted: 12/30/2010 06:30:24

One could argue that they had to set the limit somewhere, so 1320 makes as much sense as any other number.  While extending it to include, say, a C-150/152 (which I wish it did) might make sense, there will always be another aircraft which falls outside the limit.  The 1320 limit makes sense, though, since it's the same as the 600kg European limit.

As for SP legal aircraft... I'd rather fly a 20K old Taylorcraft than a 20K old C-150 any day.

The whole LSA thing was originally pitched as a way to make all the 2 seat "fat ultralights" flown under "training" exemptions legal... license the planes and pilots and ditch the training exemptions.  Nothing more.  Somewhere along the way the process got hijacked by the importers of expensive new European aircraft (and Cessna, naturally, loved the idea of a cheap way to certificate a new model).  I'm not saying a simplified certification process is a bad thing (it isn't), but now the ultralight world is in serious trouble, since few ultralight manufacturers have the resources to certificate their aircraft even under the simplified LSA procedures.  The LSAs that do exist aren't "ultralight like", far from it, so they're not suitable for ultralight training (and way too expensive, too), and most of the former ultralight BFIs (those few who actually were instructing) have quit since they can't use their converted ELSA (former "ultralight trainer" for paid instruction any more.



Don Jonas
6
Posts
0
#10 Posted: 12/30/2010 11:23:19

Hi Dana

I haven't flown any ultralights, but I know I would like anything I could fly. I learned to fly in a J3 Cub, back in 1955. Back then I think I needed to get a sign off to fly one of the airplanes with a training wheel (nose wheel). Yes the Ercoupe(training wheel), Luscombe, Taylorcraft, Cub & Aeroncas, are all good airplanes, and I have flown, and enjoyed them all, The reason I mentioned the Cessna 150 is the number available to select from. I would like to fly the my Cessna 170 as a sport pilot. The 4 place allows me to not only to occasionally to have 4 people, but to take plenty of baggage with only 2. This is why I would want the increase of weight.

Thank you vary much for your comments.

Don Jonas



Frank Giger
Homebuilder or Craftsman
117
Posts
33
#11 Posted: 1/2/2011 02:30:52 Modified: 1/2/2011 02:40:31

Under sport pilot rules, though, you'd only be allowed to fly with one passenger at any rate - indeed, you'd have to remove the other two seats!

In many ways the Sport Pilot license plays into the hands of the home builder if it doesn't help out the average production aircraft.

One would think EAA membership, which I presumed was deeply into experimental aircraft, would be pretty non-plussed about the Sport Pilot license and rules, as most homebuilts fall into one of the sets of LSA compliancy.

The problem is instruction in experimentals, not the experimentals themselves.  It's a matter of squares being rectangles in what can be flown under Sport Pilot rules.

For example, the Nieuport 11 replica I'll be building this summer will not be an LSA.  However, it will fall under the AP-2 aircraft set (conventional gear with a cruising speed less than 87 knots and weighing way less than 1,320 pounds).

The plane I'll take tail dragger training in, a J3 Cub, isn't an official LSA either; however, it also falls into the AP-2 set based on its design and so is good to go.

The largest problem with the LSA market is Bells and Whistles Demand (composite materials, glass cockpits, etc.).  There's a huge hole in the market that making a sucking sound that just isn't being filled for a basic aircraft the intent of the Sport Pilot regs and rules were made for.  If a company were to start building J-3's or Champs on license it could be done with a sticker price at the 50K range.

Unfortunately, the demographic of current pilots, when looking at new aircraft, demands rich corinthian leather seats to match the color scheme of the autopilot button and the accent trim to the Garmin 1000 glass panels (with dual GPS, Traffic Information System, Terrain Warning System, backup primary instruments, integrated Stormscopes and XM satellite weather receivers, naturally) and so it probably wouldn't sell.

 



Michael Murphy
Warbirds of America Member
17
Posts
3
#12 Posted: 1/2/2011 09:18:20

Why does the FAA require a person to  pass a medical test to fly an airplane in the first place? I can see a military or professional pilot needing to meet certain health requirements but why should I have to meet similar requirements just to fly a Cherokee 140 to a fly-in breakfast?



Dana Hague
29
Posts
2
#13 Posted: 1/2/2011 09:26:20 Modified: 1/2/2011 09:28:11
Frank Giger wrote:

 

The largest problem with the LSA market is Bells and Whistles Demand (composite materials, glass cockpits, etc.).  There's a huge hole in the market that making a sucking sound that just isn't being filled for a basic aircraft the intent of the Sport Pilot regs and rules were made for.  If a company were to start building J-3's or Champs on license it could be done with a sticker price at the 50K range.

 

I don't know about that. There are quite a few outfits making Cub and other classic light plane replicas. All are in the $100K range. Liability and labor costs keep the cost high. If it [i]could[/i] be done for $50K I think somebody would be doing it, and they'd clean up the market.

 



Neal Miller
IAC Member
23
Posts
4
#14 Posted: 1/2/2011 11:29:31

 

Many Europeans tend to be smaller than many Americans.  I for one could increase my useful load at least 40lbs if I'd shed my spare tire...and unfortunately I don't mean a spare landing gear tire.

You get 2 average over x-year American male pilots, and you're prolly close to 400+lbs before anything else is added.

While a gross weight increase would be nice, I'd rather see turbocharging and inflight adjustable props approved.

 

In many ways, I think the price of aviation is dropping in real dollars before our very eyes if you consider capabilities and lifespan. Especially if you self build.  Things like better structures, seatbelt airbags and ballistic chutes are saving lives every month. 2000+ hr engines will outlive many pilots.

We will see the price continue to drop because tech is driving down price while driving up capabilities.  Materials sciences is blooming.

Electric aviation is also going to change things.  Diesel tech too.

Don't know if I'll live long enough, but things like 3-D printing will really begin to change things.  You broke that irreplaceable  WW2 engine block?  We'll run off another, come back Tuesday.  This new one will weigh a 1/3 less and will take twice the abuse!

 



Terrifying Flying Service. If you fly with us once, you'll never fly with anyone else.
Ron Wanttaja
246
Posts
98
#15 Posted: 1/2/2011 12:19:16
Dana Hague wrote:

 

I don't know about that. There are quite a few outfits making Cub and other classic light plane replicas. All are in the $100K range. Liability and labor costs keep the cost high. If it [i]could[/i] be done for $50K I think somebody would be doing it, and they'd clean up the market.

Aerotrek has a couple of models less than $70K:

http://www.fly-aerotrek.com/pricing.htm 

It's sort of an Avid/Kitfox clone, complete with folding wings.  Met a guy at the home drome who has one, he really likes it.  He's parked a big trailer on a tiedown spot and gets the benefit of a hangar for quite a bit less.

 



Ron Wanttaja
Frank Giger
Homebuilder or Craftsman
117
Posts
33
#16 Posted: 1/2/2011 23:50:23

Hey, that's a sexy little plane!

In a few years I'll be looking for used models to hit the classifieds!

I got a bit on a rant on plane prices and so should amend my words.  Since there isn't a used LSA market to speak of yet, everything is still at sticker price....and it's a shocker!

Plus I'm super cheap.  My homebuilt will go under 15K total.



Dana Hague
29
Posts
2
#17 Posted: 1/3/2011 12:08:13

But is a $70K LSA a better value than, say, a $25K recently restored Taylorcraft? Not for me it isn't... 



Don Jonas
6
Posts
0
#18 Posted: 1/3/2011 12:53:28

Hi Dana:

 

I agree the Taylorcraft would be much better.

I think I will rebuild my 7/8 scale Nieuport, and the heck with the FAA flight med.

 

Don Jonas



Don Jonas
6
Posts
0
#19 Posted: 1/3/2011 14:31:33

Hi Frank:

About your nieuport;

I'm rebuilding a 7/8 size Nieuport 17. In 2001,I made a precautionary landing, due to a hot engine, on the Missouri River Levi. This was while I was in the airport pattern at Creve Coeur Airport (1H0). I had a x tail wind, only about 8mph, but the side load on the gear was more than the design could stand. The gear broke and I went up on the nose and left wing. I made new gear about 6mth latter.

After that I was very busy flying and bought 15 ac at Woodliff Airpark (98MO) in 2003.. Built a 3600 sq ft hangar on it i n 2006. Built a house in 2009, moved in Nov 2009. After 1 yr now.I think it is time to get the Nieuport in the air again. I will sell the Cessna 170 and get a good Luscumbe 8 E. I retired in 2007 from flying for a living, now I will fly, because I love it. The heck with the FAA Medical.

 

 

Buy the way, Frank, you are aware of Dick Starks Kansas City Dawn Patrol, are you not? They have a vary good web sight.

Common intrust

Don Jonas