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New Member from Tallahassee FL

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Hello everyone. 


I am looking at a 2010 sport cruiser to do training in and time building. I have a question regarding the instrument portion of training/check ride. I know the cruiser is only certified for VFR, but can I use the plane for the IFR portion of the training and get a check ride in it. I know LSA's can fly IFR in VFR conditions. Also, can the cruiser be used with one person "under the hood" to split costs for time building? I have heard mixed things from different people. I have attached photos of the interior dash to show what gear is installed. I will add an actual equipment list as soon as I get it from the seller.

I hope the question is clear enough as I haven't quite mastered all the terminology yet.




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The Garmin 696 GPS is not IFR Capable, for example it cannot provide WAAS RNAV GPS guidance for LPV WAAS GPS Instrument Approaches.  

However, the Garmin SL30 NAV/COM can provide lateral guidance cues (CDI on your Dynon screens) for an Instrument Approach with an ILS or VOR Based guidance.

The SportCruiser is really NOT the aircraft a Pilot would want to fly in HARD IMC Weather,  even if an IFR Capable NAV COM were installed.  

Heated pitot tube ?  

De-icing equipment ?  

Stable platform in HARD IMC weather ?

Two radios ?  

Nope.   NOT a SportCruiser friendly environment.


Good VFR Weather ?  Light winds,  no or very little cloud cover ?   $ 100 hamburger flight ?   YES for a SportCruiser !


one more thought  - the FAA allows IFR Time Building,  with a safety Pilot in good VMC (VFR) weather,  IF the aircraft is a TAA Technically Advanced Aircraft.    

There ARE versions of the SportCruiser, typically with Dynon SkyView panels,  that DO qualify as a TAA Technically Advanced Aircraft.


I have flown our 2010 PiperSport (many years ago) with the SL30 NAV/COM providing CDI lateral guidance to the KADS Addison Airport (North Dallas) runway 15 (now 16) ILS system.

Recommend you contact ThrustFlight and ask which of their ~ 10 SportCruisers in the training fleet qualify as TAA.













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I agree with everything that the Admin said above, and the short answer is Yes.   I practiced for, and took, my private Pilot check ride in a Pipersport with the exact same combination you photographed above.  The approaches were all accomplished with the SL-30 and the CDI display of the D100.  This particular DPE wanted me to prove that I could navigate with the SL-30 and CDI in the event that the 696 became inoperable.   I was also told that the D100/D120/696 combo qualified as a TAA at the time. I am not aware if the standards for a TAA have changed since then. 

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So basically any SportCruiser with glass panel(s), a moving map display (either integrated into the glass like Skyview or a separate GPS with moving map like a Garmin product) and an autopilot will be considered a TAA aircraft.

I'd also recommend that you read the CURRENT operating limitations for the plane you are wanting to buy. It will spell out what's allowed. There are some SportCruisers that are day, VFR only. Newer SportCruisers for training as a TAA aircraft will certainly have different operating limitations than a 2010 PiperSport.

When in doubt contact your local FSDO and pay them a visit with the current aircraft operation limitations in hand.

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Thank Everyone. 

Shawn, what is a FSDO?

I was aware about not flying the craft in IMC, only for the training. I was mainly wondering specifically about the IFR Training, IFR Checkride, and Time building with someone under the "Hood" with out certified equipment. I have reached out to Thrust Flight per admin recommendations and am waiting for their call back.

On a side note, I also spoke with the sales rep at Cruiser (now the dealer of the Sportcruiser). He told me they just returned from a visit to the factory. They stressed the importance of more support for LOA's and Parts for legacy aircraft. Due to new products the factory will be bringing to market they understand they need to heal the image that has been developed with the previous poor service. We'll see how that plays out. He said they currently have about 2 planes worth of parts, and will be getting more frequent containers that specials orders can be put in to shorten wait times.And a turbine option should be coming.


Thank you everyone for your help!

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FSDO is your local Flight Standards District Office, yours would be in Jax so a phone call would be better. They can explain your options.

Do you have a copy of the operating limitations for that plane? Those would be helpful as well.

I'm just a lonely ole "Sport Pilot" so IFR to me is I Follow Roads. That I can do very well. :P You'd have to wait on better answers from our resident Private Pilots here.

If you believe ANYTHING coming out of the dealers mouth in Utah you're in for a rude awakening. The factory has NEVER wanted to support legacy aircraft and they continue to blow smoke up our "you know what" and it's been the same song and dance from them for nearly 8 years now. Nothing has changed in this time and nothing ever will. The parts they have on hand in Utah are to fix the broken aircraft in their flight school that get damaged on a regular basis. I know this first hand from the last A&P who worked for the dealer when it was here in Florida.

Dave our admin stated he's been waiting on a very simple part from the factory for over a year now, maybe longer.:o Still believe the folks in Utah?

All I'm saying is dont hold your breath waiting on the factory for anything, convert to E-LSA and move on from them. You'll save yourself a ton of headaches. Ask me how I know. :D

A turbine option? Really? They dont even know how to put a 912is engine in a SportCruiser let alone a turbine. What a bunch of idiots over there. :wacko: This has to be the 4th or 5th "project" that they say is "coming soon" and we never see it. I'll bet you see "new seats" in the next SportCruiser before you see a turbine. A turbine wont matter to the LSA market anyway. 

Stepping down off my soapbox now and going to enjoy my weekend putting the finishing touches on my new Skyview panel upgrade. :P

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