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New to flying (really new) New to SportCruiser


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Hello everyone. I'm new here and new to aviation. My son just started flight training in the Air Force and I couldn't stand the thought of him getting to fly and me not doing it. Soo.. I'm buying a SportCruiser and I've hired a CFI and I've passed my medical... and here goes. The Plane I am buying has low hours and is in Oklahoma. I live in Utah.  I do have a question or two.

1) The plane I am buying is a 2008 without ADS-B. I know from reading the forum there is only one acceptable and legal solution. My question is, should I just get the plane certified as an E-LSA now so I can have a choice of ADS-B or should I just bite the bullet and get the GTX335? What should the E-LSA certification cost? If this were the only change I do to the plane would it be worth the time and money?

2) I did talk to a DAR in Oklahoma and he did not seem real familiar with the plane or the process. There must be DARs more familiar with the process. How do I find one? Should we (My CFI and I) fly it home, find a DAR here and then get the E-LSA before getting an ADS-B?

3) Will changing to E-LSA change affect the rate?

 

Thanks for all the great information I have already got from this forum I'm look forward to much more.

 

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3 hours ago, coryb said:

Hello everyone. I'm new here and new to aviation. My son just started flight training in the Air Force and I couldn't stand the thought of him getting to fly and me not doing it. Soo.. I'm buying a SportCruiser and I've hired a CFI and I've passed my medical... and here goes. The Plane I am buying has low hours and is in Oklahoma. I live in Utah.  I do have a question or two.

1) The plane I am buying is a 2008 without ADS-B. I know from reading the forum there is only one acceptable and legal solution. My question is, should I just get the plane certified as an E-LSA now so I can have a choice of ADS-B or should I just bite the bullet and get the GTX335? What should the E-LSA certification cost? If this were the only change I do to the plane would it be worth the time and money?

2) I did talk to a DAR in Oklahoma and he did not seem real familiar with the plane or the process. There must be DARs more familiar with the process. How do I find one? Should we (My CFI and I) fly it home, find a DAR here and then get the E-LSA before getting an ADS-B?

3) Will changing to E-LSA change affect the rate?

 

Thanks for all the great information I have already got from this forum I'm look forward to much more.

 

Hi Coryb, welcome to the forum and you picked a great plane to purchase. The legacy SportCruisers (pre 2010) are lighter and faster the the later ones. Here's my opinion and suggestions for you: (take them at face value, $0.00)

1 - There is only one acceptable and legal solution for ADS-B if the plane is a S-LSA, you are correct. The GTX-335 is only OUT and HALF the picture. In my opinion it's useless without some sort of ADS-B IN to actually "see" the traffic and weather around you. This is where the problems start. The only option would be a portable ADS-B in box linked wirelessly to your ipad. Not the best solution at all in my opinion. This is what they call "clutter" in the cockpit. :D 

Please know, you will get no support from the factory on a 2008 aircraft. You can buy some parts but support is non-existent. Converting to E-LSA would be the best thing you could do, in my opinion of course, as this will allow you the freedom to update the aircraft with today's newer avionics.

ADS-B won't be the only change you'll want to do to the plane, ask me how I know. :D I've done a lot of upgrading to my 2007 because the avionics were old and discontinued. I assume the 2008 has the Garmin 496 GPS in the panel? Both the 396 and 496 are discontinued and cumbersome to navigate. It probably has the SL-30 or SL-40 COM and a 327 transponder. The 327 transponder is great and still good to use today. Switching to E-LSA will allow you to install the Aera 660 and the GTR-200 COM in the same holes in the panel and bring the plane into the 21st century. An amazing combo and then coupled to ADS-B IN/OUT, it's nothing short of awesome. Lots of very cool features and it'll lessen your workload immensely. And of course increase the "wow" factor. 

Cost for the E-LSA conversion varies around the country, I paid $400 about 4 years ago here in Florida. I've heard it can run up to $700+ in other parts of the country. Finding a DAR that can do the conversion is another issue. Have a look at the DAR directory for one in your area and find out who may be able to help you. Contact your local FSDO as well and they can point you in the right direction. 

Converting any legacy SportCruiser to E-LSA is worth every penny it costs. It'll save you from banging your head on your desk for hours. Again, ask me how I know. :D

2 - I'd be glad to help you find a DAR that can help you if you want. I've been through the process and know several around the country that can do this. Before converting to E-LSA you have to be certain that the previous owner didn't do anything illegal to the plane by changing our or adding something that wasn't legal per S-LSA rules. The factory allows ZERO changes from the way it rolled off the assembly line. If anything is different from what's in the equipment list in the POH it'll have to be removed. If he/she did it'll kill your chances of getting the conversion done. Get a pre-buy inspection by someone who knows the aircraft and what it came with from the factory. I can't stress this enough. There are owners out there who add things they are not allowed to and it'll bite the next owner in the a$$ if you are not careful. Legally, it can't even pass an annual condition inspection if something is different/changed on a S-LSA. 

3 - If you mean insurance rates, you shouldn't see any change in coverage or the premium, if you do it'll be very minimal. I've seen some actually go down. :o  

Let me know if I can be of any help, glad to do it.

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ShawnM thanks for the reply I was told that you were the expert on this. Will it be easier for me the find the right DAR in Oklahoma Or bring it home to Utah first and find someone here? I know another SC owner here that wants to do it also. Like I said I'm very new to aviation, how hard would be to operate the plane without a ADS-B until this can be done? The plane is in Tulsa.

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cant go wrong following shawns advice. like to tell you about what happened to me when i flew yesterday near class c airspace in omaha. i do not have adbs out in my sportcruiser so after taking off at council bluffs i have to stay below 2500 feet as i head  north east for about 15 miles. i call ed departure control about 5 nm ne  after takeoff and clearing local airport traffic and told controller i would remain at 1900 msl until clear of airspace charlie.  he told me i was cleared to any altitude i wanted or needed as long as i remained on frequency.  i  told him i would climb to 3000 msl and he approved. unsure if other atc facilities would do this. maybe air traffic was light and controller had time to work with me. i think you can get pre authorization to enter class c airspace for air craft ferrying 24 hr advance notice. but dont do it twice....faa frowns on repeated requests and will deny. 

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Ditto with MikeOmaha - Shawn's on point with his advice.

I changed to E-LSA when I got my plane to the West Coast.  Most definitely use recommended DARs as some are more expensive than others.

I would wait until your are E-LSA to select your method of ADS-B compliance.  CSA's approved solution is the bare minimum and they chose that solution to make it easy for them, not for you.  You really do want the full ADS-B In/Out solution.  Shawn's recommended Aera 660/GDL-82/GDL-39 3D (or now GDL-52) will give you a full puck around your plane and you'll hear the audible announcements of traffic, etc.

As for insurance - zero difference.

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