Learn to Fly - find a flight instructor for flight training Join EAA and learn to fly

Join EAA

Home
Learn to Fly
Pilots
Aircraft
Training
The Rules
Ask the Expert
News and Media
EAA Sport Pilot Magazine
EAA Sport Pilot Sourcebook
Shop Sport Pilot

Search www.sportpilot.org  

EAA Sport Pilot Hotline - 1-877-FLY-1232

EAA Sport Pilot Events
Sport Pilot News > News Archive

10/13/05 - SPECIAL LSA AND NIGHT/IFR FLYING

Some confusion exists in the aviation marketplace regarding the use of special light-sport aircraft (S-LSA) for flying at night and/or under instrument flight rules (IFR). The ASTM consensus standards that govern the manufacture and production of S-LSA specifically address day/visual flight rules (VFR) operations only.

First, sport pilots, or those exercising sport pilot privileges, are restricted from flying at night or in IFR conditions, so they may not operate an S-LSA, or any aircraft, at those times.

Other properly rated pilots may fly an S-LSA in those conditions if allowed per the aircraft’s operating limitations and if it is equipped per FAR 91.205. Additionally, FAR 91.327(d) requires all S-LSA to be operated in accordance with the aircraft’s operating instructions. An aircraft’s operating instructions are different from operating limitations; operating instructions are issued by manufacturers—engine, airframe, and accessory—while operating limitations are issued by the FAA.

Many S-LSA are equipped with Rotax engines. Rotax’s operating instructions prohibit the use of a Rotax engine at night or in IFR conditions unless it is the FAA type-certificated engine; that is, certificated to FAR Part 33. Rotax’s non-certificated engines are indicated by the letters “UL” after the engine series number; for example, 912UL, 912ULS, and 914UL.

Additionally, S-LSA airframe and engine manufacturers may place restrictions against the use of their aircraft and/or engines for night/IFR operations. For example, other S-LSA are powered by Jabiru engines; these engines are certificated to JAR-22H and are limited to day/VFR operation.

Bottom line: some S-LSA can be equipped for night and IFR operation; be sure to tell the manufacturer/dealer if your intent is to operate the aircraft under those conditions…and make sure you have the proper ratings.

For more information, call EAA’s Aviation Service at 888/EAA-INFO (322-4636) or e-mail
info@eaa.org.


EAA Aviation Center, 3000 Poberezny Road, Oshkosh, WI 54902
Phone: 920/426.4800

All content, logos, pictures, and videos are the property of EAA Copyright © 2014 - Experimental Aircraft Association, Inc.
If you have any comments or questions contact webmaster@eaa.org | Disclaimer/Privacy Statement