Loading up the LSAs

May 1, 2008 by Steven W. Ells, Associate Editor

I spent a couple of hours at Light Sport Airplanes West on the Salinas Municipal Airport, California, last week.

The biggest surprise was the amount of gear–avionics, flat panel EFIS, and accessories such as pitot heat, etc.–that some owners are packing into these airplanes. Because of this, the director of maintenance told me that LSA West has instituted a policy of automatically specifying an option on all Rotax-powered airplanes. The option is a 40-amp supplemental alternator since the standard system only supplies 20 amps.

The other option that they try to talk everyone into buying is carburetor heat. The twin carburetors on Rotax engines are mounted above and close to the water-cooled cylinder head–inlet air is drawn in from an area that’s in close vicinity to the exhaust system so carburetor heat is an option.

One advantage of LSA is that many more airplanes can be stacked in a standard sized hangar.

3 Responses to “Loading up the LSAs”

  1. Paul Richfield Says:

    “One advantage of LSA is that many more airplanes can be stacked in a standard sized hangar.”

    —With a front-end loader?

  2. Steve Ells Says:

    Stacked, in this case, is a term I first heard in the Navy meaning putting as many foldy winged airplanes as possible into the hangar deck of a carrier; it also is used at most maintenance shops and means the same thing sans the foldy wing part

  3. Eric Says:

    Steve, are there many flight schools or FBOs around the country that have LSAs available for rent to pilots who are Light Sport only (ie, in the full sense of the regulation, without an FAA medical)? There are none that I know of in the Pacific Northwest and it seems like a major hurdle to the LSA concept.

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