Australian Flying

Light Sport Evolution

Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) is not a generic description, it is a thing that conforms to one of a few ASTM standards. Fixed-wing aircraft generally conform to ASTM 2245 for design, performance and operation. Those standards define all LSAs by a series of characteristics, mainly:

• no more than two seats
• an MTOW not exceeding 600 kg (650 kg for amphibians)
• fixed gear (relocateable for amphibians)
• single engine
• maximum stall speed in landing configuration of 45 knots

There are several others, but these ones are enough to describe the basic concept.

The other condition is that the manufacturer takes responsibility for the continuing airworthiness, not CASA, the FAA or other authorities. That's an important point: just because an aircraft meets the LSA standard, it's not an LSA unless the manufacturer so certifies it. Many aircraft that meet the standard are “certified” as recreational; the two are not one and the same.

LSAs have put new aircraft ownership within economic reach of many people and injected new blood into an ageing GA fleet. Provided a pilot's mission matches the restricted nature of the LSA, they are very viable aircraft.

The guide presented here is not comprehensive due to the ever-changing nature of an industry that has relatively low entry costs. These are the most popular aircraft on the market, and for the sake of brevity, we've restricted the inclusions to fixed-wing aircraft that have an MTOW of at least 544 kg.

Aeropilot Legend 600

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