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w3stie

Aircraft build and registration options

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I'm looking for help to clarify the position for LSA build and registration in Australia.

 

Currently looking at beginning a build of a SPA Panther LSA. It's a single seat aluminium kit build from Florida USA, that meets the US LSA rules (according to the website).

 

As I see it my options are to build under the SAAA or the RAA. If I go with SAAA I can register the Panther as a VH amateur built experimental? Is that correct?

 

If I go with RAA, it would be registered 55-xxxx. Correct?

 

So what are the advantages and disadvantages of each direction.

 

I got my GFPT years ago and haven't flown since the nineties. I would prefer to go the route of a recreational licence, but would see no great problems either way. But I would like to keep the cost of flying down.

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Rob

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LSA is a specific type of plane, it is built strictly to the design and there can be no changes during the build or even afterwards. If you build with SAAA as an amateur build experimental, you can change anything you want. It will be VH registered and have to be placarded as Experimental. You cannot use it for training or hiring out, except that you could receive training in it, if you are the builder and if you can find a flying instructor who is willing to train you in it. It will not be LSA.

I am not certain, but I think you may be able to hire it out and use it for training if it is RAAus reg and complies as an LSA.

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Although I'm not a member, I am impressed with the support given to me by several SAAA people while I was designing and building. They seem to have a greater focus on builders than does RAA.

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Posted (edited)

I have not long finished a build through SAAA, they were very good in all aspects.

 

VH rego means it would be easier to access controlled airspace, from memory 55 rego requires specific approval from CASA. 

Edited by Tasmag

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I was looking at the specifications of this aircraft some time ago and found it did not meet the requirements of the LSA category in the US so this would probably limit its acceptance in Australia I am guessing.

 

Firstly, it went faster than the allowed speed. LSA has a maximum speed limit of 120 kn full power straight and level, they are quoting 150 kn cruise speed. It is built in the experimental category in the US, I would be surprised if any are registered E-LSA any USA because the specs say it is way too fast. The other thing that needs to be looked at is a stall speed and I could not find the stall speed listed anywhere, if it still is too fast in stall speed it can't be in the LSA category.

Now, in Australia, with the RA-Aus (provided it fits into their registration categories) it would be registered in the 19 category as an amateur built aircraft, but you would need to prove 51% kit compliance. It could also be registered as an experimental LSA (E-LSA) again if it met the requirements and it would then carry either a 19 (as an experimental amateur built) or E23 or E24 (as an experimental LSA) registration prefix. They are running out of numbers and needed to change to the 23 series.

 

On my investigation it looks like a nice aircraft but there are some very big questions about its acceptance as a 51% kit if you go this way or its acceptance as an experimental LSA aircraft if you choose to go this way.

 

Note: a lot of what I know I am repeating from people who know more than me so I am hoping everything is 100% accurate in my reply to you but I am happy to be corrected

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You need to look at the Australian LSA rules TASMAG. US is a bit different, as is their generic use of "LSA" which can confuse things greatly here.

If it's just a kit plane, and I think it is, not an LSA or E-LSA by Australian definition, then you could go RAAus or VH. VH if you want to do aerobatics.

What if any licence do you currently have? RA, PPL, or both, or none? That will influence your direction quite a bit.

  • Agree 1

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 A few people with" skin in the game" that I know have always believed exp GA is the way to go in this country.. A "straight VH or an LSA cannot be modified without ridiculous restrictions and the passage of years . Don't mix the matter up with some cheap way of getting a licence/certificate. RAAus hours can still be used if you go about it the right way. LSA is to be avoided I believe.  There's too much restriction involved for a minor weight gain. Nev

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Posted (edited)

The aircraft is now 51% approved by the FAA.... https://support.flywithspa.com/support/solutions/articles/2000034165-eab-amateur-built-checklist-51-rule-letter-

 

In RAA it would be 19 (kit built) rego...... must be sub 600kg and sub 45 kts stall. No speed limits in Australia.

 

In vh exp....potentially greater weight is available if mfg allowed. If you wanted to go fast you would need a big engine (heavier) and a bigger engine requires more fuel so large fuel tanks and therefore heavier mtow again. Perhaps still heavier with GA CS prop too....

As stated, controlled access is available.

 

There was one built at Serpentine  (SABC) I think, as vh exp.

 

If I was already rpl/ppl I would probably go vh exp rather than downsize and perhaps limit performance and weight....however it depends on it's ultimate use I think.

 

Edited by Downunder

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The Panther at Serpentine is a 19 reg. aircraft. It has an O-320 in it, looks great and goes like a rocket. E-LSA's must be an exact copy of the kit manufacturer's S-LSA original. However, an LSA can also be built as an experimental and will remain an LSA provided any modifications don't take it out of the LSA parameters, which are less stringent in Australia than the FAA regs. The registration system adopted (E-LSA, S-LSA, Experimental) is separate from the LSA classification which is about performance specifications.

Edited by rgmwa

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20 minutes ago, rgmwa said:

The Panther at Serpentine is a 19 reg. aircraft.

Ok. Got that wrong. I was sure it was written up as vh xxx on the "completions board"....oh well....

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Thanks for the replies so far. It seems I have a lot to learn. So to recap, there are three ways of registering a home build or kit build aircraft;

 

VH experimental amateur built - managed by SAAA

Recreational Amateur built e.g. 19-xxxx rego - through RAA

LSA - if it meets the LSA requirements?

 

Who managed an LSA build? Is it the same process as amateur built with technical counsellors etc.?

 

Please feel free to correct any of the above, I'm trying to get the big picture.

 

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Only two ways for VH registration, either E-LSA (provided it meets the LSA criteria) or Experimental.  I believe it's the same for RAAus home/kit built aircraft. I know that few if any RAAus RV-12's are registered as E-LSA's, for example. I think they're all or nearly all  experimental.   E-LSA is big in the US mainly because builders think that makes them worth more when they sell. The weird thing over there is that having carefully followed the plans so they can register it as an E-LSA, once they've done that they can modify it any way they like, provided they don't compromise the LSA performance criteria.  SAAA will appoint a tech counsellor to help a VH builder if requested, and I think they are also happy to help RAAus builders. 

 

Edited by rgmwa

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Ring RAAus and aviod all the conjecture. That is what they are there for.

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I emailed RAA with some of these concerns but haven't heard back. Are they any more responsive by phone?

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I emailed RAAus yesterday about another matter and have a reply today. It was about a different matter so they may have thought it easier to answer. It was still unsatisfactory anyway.

They are obviously quick to reply when it suits them.

  • Haha 1

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To be honest, I've never seen an E24 or E23 RAA aircraft that was not factory built. Are there actually any? 

I have seen an E24 factory aircraft that had a non approved prop. 

 

 

 

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Can I put my own designed aircraft in RAA? At this stage I intend to be in Experimental GA.  But with building problems (using 3d printed parts extensively), it may not be finished for several years, I may have lost my Class 2 by then and need to go to RAA.

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A Panther with an 0-320!

Well I guess there's no substitute for horsepower:blink:

As for building, with the way RAA is heading, you're probably better building it VH experimental.

No annual membership fees

No annual rego fees

The test flying hoops are about the same

SAAA is orientated towards builders

You can do your own maintenance (yes I know, same either way)

You can do your own mods (to the best of my knowledge)

You could probably fly it on an RPL?

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7 hours ago, Geoff_H said:

Can I put my own designed aircraft in RAA? At this stage I intend to be in Experimental GA.  But with building problems (using 3d printed parts extensively), it may not be finished for several years, I may have lost my Class 2 by then and need to go to RAA.

Ask them. Lots of us have.

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