E-LSA vs EAB

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E-LSA vs EAB

Post by tfleming on Mon Mar 23, 2015 12:56 pm

When you build a Trail you will have the option to build it to be an E-LSA (experimental light sport aircraft) or an EAB (experimental amateur built).  In either case your Trail will be a light sport aircraft and eligible to fly by Sport Pilots.  (Light sport aircraft are defined by their characteristics, not their certification.  That's why you can have certified aircraft that can be flown as light sport aircraft.)  What we're talking about is the options you have when you register the finished airplane.

So if you can register your Trail as either E-LSA or EAB, how do you choose?

E-LSA Benefits

The main benefit of an E-LSA certification is for condition inspections (this is what they call annual inspections in the light sport world, I don't know why).  As an E-LSA, the owner can take a 16hr LSA repairman/inspector course and gain approval to do his/her own maintenance and condition inspections.  For an EAB, subsequent owners would need an A&P to perform condition inspections.  This benefit may make your Trail more valuable when you go to sell it.

E-LSA Restrictions

To register your Trail as an E-LSA, it must conform to the same configuration as the S-LSA the model is based on.  That means no signification changes to the airframe and the engine must be a Rotax 912ULS.  If you want to use a different engine then you'll have no choice but to register your Trail as an EAB.

Note that your E-LSA Trail only needs to conform to the S-LSA model at the time of registration.  After that you're free to do what you want.  Strange I know but that's the way the regulations are written.
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tfleming

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