Is there a way to determine what gross weight was given to the FAA for a specific N number experimental aircraft ?


Well-Known Member
Nov 29, 2009
Jackson, MI
I have gone through all of the documentation I received for my lightning and nowhere can I find the gross weight defined. I see examples of weight and balance with a gross weight of 1320 in the POH but nothing definitive on any FAA document ? Its not on the original Form 8050-88 (Affidavit of ownership). Its not on the FAA Certificate of registration (8050-3). Its not in the Special Airworthiness certificate (Form 8130-7) and finally its not in the Operating limitations (Form 8130-7). The gross weight is not stated anywhere in the FAA database when I look it up for the N number.

When the original builder constructer this example the factory was not yet offering a SLSA model, but the parts for it were available to those building an EAB which is what he did. Thus my example has the wing configuration of the LSA model with the longer span and is essentially identical (other than later year avionics) to the factory built LSA model. There is evidence that he did weight and balance calculations for the LSA gross weight. Presumably he was keeping his options open for the future in case he had a health problem come up which would allow him to go to a drivers license medical. However I can find nothing that confirms that he provided a LSA compatible 1320 gross weight to the FAA when it was registered.

In reviewing gross weight adjustment on EAB aircraft, it seems that one is able to raise the gross weight from 1320 to a higher number pretty easily. However the EAA consensus (from a DAR) is that it is a one way street and that one cannot LOWER the gross weight from 1525lb for the shorter winged "Classic" model to 1320lb which is the limit for the longer winged LS1 model.

Does anyone know where one can confirm what gross weight was provided to the FAA so that it can be clarified if my example can be flown by a sport pilot or not ? From a flight characteristics perspective the airplane is fully compliant in terms of stall speed and cruise speed.

Thank you