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Mon, Oct 08, 2018

Updated: LSA Shakeup! EAA Confirms Major Changes to LSA Weight/Speed Criteria

Out Of Right Field, EAA Confirms Massive LSA Reg Change For January Rulemaking Effort and Eventual NPRM

Updated, throughout 10.07.18 with additional or expanded detail: The first hints of an interesting rumor caught us a little off guard a few weeks ago, but recent comments and messaging from EAA's Jack Pelton has confirmed that massive changes are coming soon to an LSA near you.

The details are still sketchy, and a few text messages have confirmed the basics, but the initial reports indicate that the maximum weight criteria for a Light Sport Aircraft will be increased in a January Rulemaking effort, followed by an NPRM, due to cooperative efforts by EAA and the FAA--who are starting to look like they really want GA to succeed, after all.

We don't know a lot... but we do know (via EAA) that the max weight limit will skyrocket to 3600 pounds (nearly triple what we were saddled with a few years back), and that some form of maximum speed limit (as yet to be specified) will be increased to somewhere in the neighborhood of 150 mph (the text says, specifically, 'mph' but we're seeking clarification between mph and kts...). The effort includes 4-seat aircraft, of a simpler nature (no complex props or retracts are reportedly part of the discussion), and puts aircraft like the iconic Cessna 172 Skyhawk in a whole new category.

If that wasn't enough to shake things up, we've also had corroboration that an announcement of a renewal of the ADS-B $500 rebate program, that expired in February, is in the offing...

While much of this is all over the map, the basic data signals a major game-change in terms of GA manufacturing and operations... and the potential of a renaissance in GA -- if the market responds to what would be simpler/cheaper aircraft that are less cumbersome to operate, meets the response envisioned... but then again, the massive new business opportunities once envisioned after LSA was introduced, didn't excatly come to pass. Then again, in the opinion of many, the reason for the lackluster response to LSA was that the category offered too little, too late. This initiative certainly has the potential to change that.

We're awaiting callbacks from some of the major players in this effort, and will fill you in as soon as we have more detail.

FMI: www.faa.gov, www.eaa.org

 


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