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By way of introduction, I am a high-time pilot (5000+), rated for fixed-wings & helicopters. Love the forum.

I am buying a SportCruiser for my sons. I chose SportCruiser because it was the most similar in flying characteristics to my Cirrus SR-22. I also think it is the best looking LSA on the market.

In the past, I've built an experimental Velocity 173 (I no longer own it, it's now often used outside Velocity's tent at airshows as a demo). I found owning and maintaining an experimental a breeze. What I liked most was not beholding to a manufacturer for LOAs. My other Light Sport is an FAA certified plane (Ercoupe), a winner at Oshkosh in 2003. I modified that plane using 337 forms and STCs - not difficult.  

Since my experience in the LSA market is limited, I have a basic question. Do you think converting a SportCruiser from SLSA to ELSA would be detrimental to its market value? What about other disadvantages? It seems to me that it would bypass the "Czech-delay" for mods, etc.



Front Left.jpg

On the Line 3.jpg

Velocity on Taxiway.jpg

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Great Idea !

going Experimental E-LSA has many advantages,  but is not for everyone.  

As I expect you may already know,  Experimental aircraft may NOT be used for hire,   and they may (or may not,  depending on the aircraft equipment and Maintenance logs and practices), experience a potential decrease in Market Value - to SOME Pilots who don't "like" Experimental aircraft.   

Many Pilots,  however,  prefer Experimental Aircraft for the flexibility and freedom of equipping the aircraft with the latest FAA recommended safety equipment,  such as ADS-B OUT and IN,   Angle of Attack measurement and Display,   State of the Art NAV/COM equipment,  more...

In the USA FAA Regulated Airspace,  an E-LSA must always REMAIN a Light Sport Aircraft (1320 lbs limit,  120 Knots CAS limit,  Fixed Ground Adjustable propeller,  more)

but,  an E-LSA may be equipped for IFR flight and flown in IMC,   assuming of course that the Pilot In Command has an Instrument Rating, 

and an E-LSA Owner may make "Minor" and "Major" changes to the aircraft (within the USA LSA boundaries) without requiring  a Letter of Authorization from the manufacturer,  Czech Sport Aircraft.  The USA E-LSA FAA Operating limitations are quite different from S-LSA Operating Limitations.



for more  ideas on the Pros and Cons of converting your S-LSA to E-LSA


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1 hour ago, DenverTom said:

What I liked most was not beholding to a manufacturer for LOAs.

Welcome Tom, my first question would be.....are you interested in adopting any more sons?  :D

My second question is are you looking for new or used? If used, the best thing you could do is convert it to E-LSA if you want to make any changes because LOA's from CSA are like unicorns and bigfoot, you'll never seen one in your lifetime. :ph34r:

If your buying new then there's not much to upgrade or change or need for LOA's. You could then convert it a few years down the road when you are ready to make changes, remember there's no such thing as a unicorn.....or a LOA. :P

That being said and to answer your basic question, in my opinion with a used SportCruiser the answer is no it won't affect the value. In my case I feel it increased the value because of the many improvements I've made. I also believe that my 2007 SportCruiser is far better AND SAFER than it's S-LSA counterpart of the same year or even a little newer because I have so many upgrades and improvement. One thing though, be sure to be very thorough and detailed with your logs. But something tells me you probably already know this. 

Some will tell you that you are limiting your buyers market but again I dont think this is the case. Again, the freedom you get with experimental is priceless and many, many buyers see this.

A S-LSA converted to E-LSA is really the best of both worlds. It's factory built so you dont have to worry "did the builder do a good job?" Of course they did, it was built by the factory silly. :D

I dont see any disadvantages at all in converting to E-LSA.

I've seen your old Velocity many times at various shows and I've had a demo ride at the factory in a XL with a friend from upstate New York who is interested in buying one. The attempt to stall it was amazing, and I do mean ATTEMPT because it just won't stall.

Just my 2¢ and once again welcome to our little corner of the web.




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How difficult is it to switch to E-LSA ? Is it just a matter of changing the registration? I plan on keeping my plane forever so I am not concerned with resale value. Also I have the 16 hour mechanic license and would certainly benefit from doing my own annual and maintenance.

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It’s not difficult at all Harold. You just have to find a DAR in your area with the specific ability to do the conversion. Not all DAR’s are created equal..

It's a thorough inspection of the plane, logbooks and some paperwork, oh and money. :D

Once completed you need to change a few of your interior placards and add the “experimental “ placard.

Be glad to talk with you more about it if you like..

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Can I assume that the main reason for the conversion is to do your own maintenance and not because your worried about getting a LOA/MRA for some changes?

I have talked with Lou and he tells me that getting a LOA/MRA for a Bristell is routine and takes about a week.

What a concept, a LSA company that issues LOA's/MRA's in a timely fashion. Sorry, many of you know I had to throw that one in there. :P

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You are correct Shawn, but I am in no hurry the plane is new and has all the latest and greatest gadgets... but saving on the inspections and maintenance would be nice. Also I prefer to do what ever maintenance that I can and am allowed. 

So far the Bristell folks have been great to work with... excellent team.

thank you for your assistance. 

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