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Greetings from Missouri


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Hello everyone. I’m new to the group and currently going through pre-buy and annual inspection of (hopefully) my first plane, a 2009 Sportcruiser (SLSA). It is a beautiful plane in great condition, but unfortunately the previous owner recently passed away and due to health issues the plane was last inspected and flown in 2018. All log books are complete and plane has always been hangared. All Service Alerts/Directives/Bulletins were completed as of 5/1/17, but no record of others since then have been complied with.

Some of the pros on this plane are 3rd Gen NLG already installed, fuel return line SB is N/A based upon aircraft serial number. Airframe and Engine are 205 hrs with 75+ compressions; New 3 blade Sensenich prop only 10 hrs. The plane passed all other parts of the annual inspection, except for those outstanding SA/SD/SB’s.

Some of the cons are BRS rocket is passed expiration; BRS chute repack due next October; Rotax 15 year limit in 2024; Transponder not ADSB and needs to be replaced; original TruTrack EFIS still fully operational as far as I can tell, but I will want to upgrade to Dynon Skyview.

What options do I have if parts are not available or have a ridiculously long lead time in order to comply and pass inspection? I most likely will be taking it to ELSA sooner rather than later, but I assume I can only do that after it is approved to be airworthy.

Seeking advise on other things I need to watch out for and best options moving forward. Thanks!

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10 hours ago, whiskeypapa said:

 

  I most likely will be taking it to ELSA sooner rather than later, but I assume I can only do that after it is approved to be "airworthy".

Seeking advise on other things I need to watch out for and best options moving forward. Thanks!

Yes, the aircraft must have a current condition inspection (Annual) to convert to E-LSA.  (Not "airworthy", but "in a condition for safe operation".)

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The SportCruiser “Big 5” cost items:

1.  Five Year Rotax Rubber exchange.  Prices vary greatly but $5,000 is a good plug number

2.  ADS-B Out. SLSA is expensive.  The compliant transponder is about $3500. You could forego it, take it ELSA and use Skybeacon or a similar lower cost option.

3.  Third Gen nose gear.  Looks like you’re good to go.

4.  BRS repack and rocket.  I’ve lost the bubble on costs.  Rockets were out of stock but I think they have them now.  Long lead times seem to be getting better.

5.  ELT.  The AmeriKings go bad.  Not a high dollar item buy something to plan for.

Verify the return line is actually present.

I’m not sure the older instrument panels are tall enough to fit Skyview unless you go with a smaller screen.

Sounds like a solid low time airframe.  Recommend getting a very meticulous pre-buy from someone who really understands the SportCruiser.  Make sure to inspect the main gear legs for cracks.

 

 

 

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Welcome WhiskyPapa and congrats on the plane. I hope all goes well with it.

Sounds like the plane is almost in order, there are a few SB's that will need addressing that came after May of 2017. First, as FlyAgain stated, VISUALLY VERIFY the return line is actually there and don't go by serial numbers. Make sure the log entry is there as well. There other little things are changes to the POH and CG that need to be in your logbook and there are SB's for them. As Mel stated LSA's have never been "airworthy" and don't let any A&P write that in your logbook. :D Find a LSRM who knows how to write logbook entries for light sport aircraft. 

That said, here's my 2¢.....get a current condition inspection and immediately do the E-LSA conversion. The closer the two are together the easier it'll be according to two different DAR's I've used here in Florida. 

Here's what I think you'll need:

  • of course you'll need a new rocket, the chute is good for now and will pass an inspection. Worry about it next October.
  • You do not need ADS-B to pass a condition inspection, leave the current transponder as-is, you can use it later with many ADS-B options after you are E-LSA
  • you will need to get the transponder inspected as this is required every two years. You local avionics shop can do this for about $125, put the certification sticker they give you in the aircraft logbook
  • The Rotax TBO, not an issue, you go "on condition" at 2000 hours or 15 years, you are not required to overhaul the engine.
  •  When you are ready to upgrade the panel, you can fit Dynon HDX 10" screens in the legacy, shorter instrument panels. I've personally made a set of panels for this.

You don't need to worry about parts or lead times to get the plane ready to pass a condition inspection. You are almost there. Have a look at the publications page for the SportCruiser and you can see the list of SA's and SB's that apply to your aircraft. Here's a link: https://cruiseraircraft.cz/tech-publications/?tp=1 Most of them wont apply, if you need help sorting through them let me know, I'll be glad to help you navigate them.

There are 2 AD's that actually effect your aircraft, typically AD's are for certified, GA aircraft but there is equipment on your LSA that is affected. One is the ignition switch, which is probably already in compliance. A simple check of the back of the ignition switch will tell you. CSA issued a SB for this in October of 2019 and the details are in the SB. The other is the ELT if you have the Ameriking AK-450. If it'll pass an ELT inspection you can still use it but it'll be something you'll want to consider upgrading in the future. 

Do the bare minimum to get the condition inspection completed and then get the paperwork ready for the E-LSA conversion. The plane has to be in the same configuration it came from the factory to have the DAR sign off on the E-LSA conversion and have a current condition inspection. Not every DAR can do the conversion so you'll need to find one in your area who can do this. I can help you with this also. 

Hope this info that I and others has helped and let us know if you need any more help or have other questions.

 

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Awesome info! Thanks so much for all of the tips and helping me get this Cruiser back to “a condition of safe operation”. I’m using an A&P w/ Rotax IRMT certification for the pre buy and annual condition inspection. He has the list of everything in the technical publications, but I will make sure to follow up with him on those items specifically you all mentioned. We currently have the ignition switch (SB-73), fuel system arrangement inspection(SA-12), and NLG reinforcement bracket (SB-48) and those other POH, CG, oil filter, CO detector, cooling tube inspection items that need to be complied with and documented in the logbook. I will certainly ask him to verify and document that the fuel return line is present and ask him to triple check main landing gear while he’s at it! The ELT did pass inspection this go around, but I will plan on getting that replaced soon. I also forget to mention in the prior post that the 5 year rubber replacement is due next May. If ELSA though, is it still a $5k job? 
 

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9 hours ago, whiskeypapa said:

Awesome info!  I also forget to mention in the prior post that the 5 year rubber replacement is due next May. If ELSA though, is it still a $5k job? 
 

The difference between S-LSA and E-LSA on the 5 year rubber replacement is that it is not required (but probably prudent) for E-LSA.  But the bigger difference is that with E-LSA you won't have to pay the price for  "GENUINE ROTAX" parts.

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1 hour ago, ronin5573 said:

Ironically the genuine Rotax fuel hose doesn't need to be replaced as it Teflon. 

Before it was genuine rotax teflon fuel line it was genuine rotax rubber fuel line and that's why the 5 year rubber was invented. :P

If you have a newer 912 they now come with teflon hoses. 

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482AFFD2-B85E-4588-ABDD-44DF53DA1C72.thumb.jpeg.94f232ba88ca6503efb1ee1fccc1af47.jpeg

This is the best picture I have, that I believe shows the fuel return line, but I’m not really certain.

I also don’t know if SA-SC-012 Fuel line arrangement and SB-SC-048 NLG Reinforce bracket are in compliance. If not, is there a supplier that can provide the parts? A&P tried to contact FLT, but no response yet. He had to travel out of town for a few days, and I found out later that it’s been a few years since he had worked on Sportscruisers.

If anyone is an A&P or LSRM that is familiar with all of these SB’s from the last 3 years, please PM me if that is preferable to discuss these questions. I’m really just trying to make sure everything that needs to be completed gets completed before I purchase. Thanks!

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Hi Will, thanks for the pic as it helps. I see a few things that are not factory and are questionable. Look at my pic below, there are 4 circles/ovals on the right side that jump out at me. The items I circled were not done by the factory and need to be investigated. The top one on the right is a 110v A/C plug. If there's any engine heater on the plane it's not authorized. The other wiring is certainly questionable and was not installed by the factory.

507329397_SCEngine.thumb.jpg.cd35226b7d8a87e542b05e9d86240fa5.jpg

The small circle on the left is just to point out the the overflow line from the expansion tank to the overflow bottle is pinched pretty good with a wire tie and it needs to be cut off the overflow line. 

As for SA-SC-012 and SB-SC-048, are there log book entries? The fuel line arrangement can be done with off the shelf parts, you are just adding a Andair check valve to the fuel line arrangement. The firewall stiffener kit was provided free of charge by CSA when it first came out. This is a factory part and can only come from the factory. There may be stock in Utah since they break a lot of NLG's there. 

Give me a call anytime tomorrow and we can talk if you need to.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I’m happy to update that I am now the owner of 941JB! A big thank you to my wife for her support and my good friend Dave for helping me to locate this plane. Also thank you to those of you on this forum, and especially ShawnM for the calls, texts and emails to answer my many questions. I discovered a couple of squawks with the avionics during the flight home, but other than that, it flies great! I look forward to being a part of this community and sharing in the journey.

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315EF4AC-FEC6-40C1-BBEB-F7BA3A789113.thumb.jpeg.1a9d327844b5de5939e7846dbd9f9e99.jpeg

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@whiskeypapa, Congratulations on 1 Juliet Bravo!  😃👍🏻   And welcome to the Czech Aircraft Works (CZAW) brotherhood!  😜  We're all family on this forum (Sportcruiser/Piper Sport owners), but as I'm sure others may have advised, the factory has a special, distant "pay no mind" corner for the CZAW produced Sportcruisers.

The plane looks beautiful!  Glad the flight home was mostly uneventful and the avionics squawks can be sorted quickly and easily.

Recommendation (especially if tied-down outdoors):  Buy a gust lock, and a good canopy cover.  

Looking forward to reading more about your experience with your Sportcruiser!

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Awesome news Will and congratulations on the purchase and your safe trip home. Now the fun REALLY begins. Let us know if you have questions on the avionics but first and foremost get started on the E-LSA paperwork with your local DAR. This will make the avionics upgrades hassle free. Feel free to reach out to me anytime if you need any help. Enjoy your new plane!!! 

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