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Jim Ragain

Experimental Category

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I have just started looking into taking my 2011 CTLS experimental, so that I can some day fly ifr in it. During my first conversation with the local DAR, he asked me which experimental category I would want to register it in.  To anyone who has done this before, which category should I specify?  Thanks.

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Thanks Ed.  This was a case of the blind leading the blind.  The DAR has obviously not done this before, and I did not understand what he was talking about.

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4 hours ago, Jim Ragain said:

I have just started looking into taking my 2011 CTLS experimental, so that I can some day fly ifr in it. During my first conversation with the local DAR, he asked me which experimental category I would want to register it in.  To anyone who has done this before, which category should I specify?  Thanks.

It is most definitely allowed, so long as the DAR lists it in the operating limitations.  I went though this about a year ago.  As for the operating category, you want "Experimental, Operating a Light Sport Aircraft".  Shoot me a PM if you need more information.  I can get you some information from my operating limitations (which when issued, become a part of the new airworthiness certificate).

Additionally, I would go to this site and go ahead and request the records for your aircraft (https://aircraft.faa.gov/e.gov/ND/). My DAR needed to see some stuff that were not in my records, including the paper work where the aircraft was originally "certified".

Overall, the process was pretty simple. , but I was using a DAR who had done this quite a few times.

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Yes, the ability to fly an E-LSA IFR, or at night, depends on the Operating Limitations given when the conversion is made. 

The relevant part of mine:

50249908966_8abda4c606_z.jpg

I know the structure is odd, but the end result is that night and IFR are allowed if properly equipped.

My Sky Arrow is equipped for night flight, but lacks at the very least an approved form of navigational capability - all I have is a Garmin 496 backed up with my iPhone or iPad running WingXPro. But granted that some LSA’s do have adequate equipment to operate IFR.

As an aside, Professor Shuch recently did an EAA webinar covering S-LSA to E-LSA conversions, coincidentally using my Sky Arrow as a test case. I’ll post a link below once I dig it up - you don’t need to be an EAA member to watch it.

Note: That reference to Phase 1 testing does not apply to a typical S-LSA to E-LSA conversion. It would only apply after a Major Modification to the aircraft.

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I received the attached set of operating limitations today from the local DAR who described them as "what my operating limitations would look like" after the conversion to ELSA.  I do not see the language that would allow IFR flight once the aircraft is properly equipped.  Would anyone who has done this conversion please review these and/or provide me with a copy of their new operating limitations?  Thanks.ELSA Airworthiness Limitations[1].docx

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Well, that’s a lot different than mine.

But, remember these are Limitations. By implication, anything not listed as a limitation would be allowed, consistent with FAR’s. 

A good person to ask would be Mike Huffman of Sport Aviation Specialties. He did my conversion and supplied my Operating Limitations and would be aware if there’s been a substantial change to the boilerplate Limitations since mine was done in 2009. 

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The boilerplate operating limitations can be found in Table D-1 of appendix D-1 FAA Order 8130.2J dated 2017.  You may want to review that appendix in it's entirety to see if there are entries you want.  It is different from the operating limitations approved for my ELSA some years ago.

This appendix aims to address many different types of aircraft, from a F-104 to a lawn chair with balloons.  Not all paragraphs are appropriate for an S-LSA to E-LSA conversion.

Note that if you want to change ELSA operating limitations once done, it must be done by your local FSDO.  It can't be done by a DAR.  In my experience, since I was not modifying the aircraft, I did not have to refly Phase one.

https://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Order/FAA_Order_8130.2J.pdf

Note that the number in parenthesis in your document equates to the paragraph number in the referenced table.  Your 15 is copied from the FAA 27.

Why do you have 12?  I don't think you have any fatigue life recording systems.

15.  What Airplane Operating Instructions do they mean - Flight Design?  Can this be modified?  By whom?  Maybe you are OK with the FD AOI.

16.  You have no externally mounted equipment or pylons.  Why is this in there?  I'd ask about it if it were me.  Maybe it is no harm, but it seems unnecessary.  (Maybe someone wants you prevent you using your GoPro?)

FAA 50 seems to address IFR, but I am not an expert on this. 

I would be leery of using a new DAR for this  change if you want to fly  IFR.  You might want to contact Carol or Brian Carpenter of Rainbow Aviation.  They did my FD, but I did have to have it modified by the Des Moines FSDO later.  Also Bill Kyle of Charles City, IA has experience.  He did my glider.

Again, the operating limitations in the Table are new in 2017 and we old-timers have different verbiage.  And again, if your DAR messes up, the FSDO must correct it.  You'll want to do it right the first time. 

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