Registering an ultralight as an LSA

Discussion in 'The light stuff area' started by MX304, Oct 19, 2011.

Help Support HomeBuiltAirplanes Forum by donating:

  1. Oct 19, 2011 #1

    MX304

    MX304

    MX304

    Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Texas
    Can someone clarify something for me? I know there was a certain time period that allowed owners of two seat ultralights to register them as light sports. Can a single seat aircraft still be registered LSA? I am looking at a Quicksilver 400 that has never been registered. If I were to buy it, I would like to register it E-LSA since it would open up more fields to fly to and from in the area.
     
  2. Oct 19, 2011 #2

    bmcj

    bmcj

    bmcj

    Well-Known Member HBA Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2007
    Messages:
    12,835
    Likes Received:
    4,798
    Location:
    Fresno, California
    Likely impossible... difficult at best. If the Q-400 is on the FAA list of acceptable LSA/E-LSA aircraft, then you might have a chance. Otherwise, I think the most likely avenue open to you is to have the plane broken down to the individual components, then document the build from the ground up in order to register it as an Experimental. This is still up to your local FAA inspectors as to whether it meets the 51% rule, so check first before you spend a lot of time and money doing that.

    Be mindful of how you ask the question though... the way you present the situation to them may affect their decision. Get some additional advice and find out what information to volunteer and what information is better left unsaid. For example, they might approve a build from basic components, but if they knew it was once a flying aircraft, it may change their take on it.

    I'm not advocating dishonesty here... I'm just saying learn how they want/need it presented to them in order for them to help you reach your goal.
     
  3. Oct 19, 2011 #3

    Dana

    Dana

    Dana

    Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2007
    Messages:
    8,548
    Likes Received:
    2,963
    Location:
    CT, USA
    You cannot register an existing ultralight as E-LSA; that transition period has passed. However, you may be able to register it as E-AB if you can provide documentation of the build, i.e. proof that it was indeed "amateur built". I have a friend who did this (he really did build his GT-400, albeit some 20+ years before he registered it and he sold it and bought it back before registering it).

    If it was factory built you'd have a problem, and it may be up to the local guy's interpretation of whether the Quick kit was too prefabricated to meet the 51% rule.

    -Dana

    Atheists are people who have no invisible means of support.
     
  4. Oct 20, 2011 #4

    MX304

    MX304

    MX304

    Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2009
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Texas
    Thanks guys. The airframe has never flown and it's about 90% complete. It would be very easy to break back down into a pile of components then document the build from there. It also needs the sails and a couple of other big components so I could provide proof that I purchased at least some things as parts of a build. I am going to go look at it this weekend and decide what to do. It's such a good deal that I might buy it, build it as an ultralight, then sell it and buy something else. I really wish I could get my hands on a set of plans for a Drifter II, or a Drifter II airframe that someone didn't want 20k for.
     
  5. Oct 22, 2011 #5

    etterre

    etterre

    etterre

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Messages:
    313
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO, USA
    I've often wondered if anyone has actually done this... There's always at least a few "really great deals" on Barnstormers for a U/L or 2 seat fat U/l that, if you pay real close attention, doesn't have an N number. I know that nobody is going to come out and say something like "Yeah, I got my Buzzhopper 2-seat registered as an E-AB just like that as N1234. Bought it from a guy who had missed the ELSA deadline, rebuilt it, and got my paperwork done by Rob Robertson who's a DAR in Salem." It'd be nice to know that somebody has a "friend" who had done it and what sort of paperwork was submitted and what strategy they used. Was the original craft documented as a "box of parts" for the bill of sale... or was it sold as a "wrecked Kolb Slingshot" that the builder then rebuilt and registered as a "Bob Slingshot serial #1."
    I know this can be done and have it be FAA-legal... I've seen stories about E-AB's that started out life as a certified aircraft that were considerably re-worked and were then re-registered. The first one that comes to mind is a crazy Helio that the re-builders put Hummer tires/wheels on, and an air horn, and I (think) a turbine. I remember that that Helio may not be the best example since I think it got some "unkind attention" from the FAA after the magazine article (Sport Aviation?) was published.
     
  6. Oct 26, 2011 #6

    mstull

    mstull

    mstull

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2005
    Messages:
    1,263
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    West Texas
    I would avoid buying the Quicksilver. Why put yourself through that hassle or risk. Buy a registered LSA or legal U/L instead.
     

Share This Page

arrow_white