What's the minimum VFR analog avionics you need in a LSA?

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Timstertimster

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I guess I could actually study airplane design and get an actual pilots license and then is know the answer.

But where us the fun in that. I was wondering: what's the minimum that you have to have to legally fly an LSA?
My guesses are:
- compass
- oil temp
- oil pressure
- altimeter
- tachometer
- fuel level
- battery charge


In this hypothetical aitplane, I'm not flying at night. I have a fixed gear. The engine is something like an 0-200 or something else very simple and old school.
 

Timstertimster

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As it happens, I did first google it. It came up with A TOMATO FLAMES as a mnemonic guide and it seems a lot more than I've seen on some videos with people flying their kitfoxes and such. Some planes seem to have just 3 gauges and I wonder: how can people fly like that?

I took what 91.205 seems to stipulate and whittled that down some, based on my assumptions. I figured maybe if you're under 103, then the 91.205 might not necessarily apply.

Nice avatar. Is that you? Looks, uhh, cozy in that seat.
 

bmcj

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As it happens, I did first google it. It came up with A TOMATO FLAMES as a mnemonic guide.
My guesses are:
- compass
- oil temp
- oil pressure
- altimeter
- tachometer
- fuel level
- battery charge
Well, if their mnemonic is a TOMATO FLAMES, then the mnemonic for your guess could be a FAB COOT.
(interpret that any way you want ;))
 

cluttonfred

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This is not LSA-specific but gives the essentials, my additions inside asterisks:

(b) Visual-flight rules (day). For VFR flight during the day, the following instruments and equipment are required:
(1) Airspeed indicator.
(2) Altimeter.
(3) Magnetic direction indicator. ***Compass***
(4) Tachometer for each engine.
(5) Oil pressure gauge for each engine using pressure system.
(6) Temperature gauge for each liquid-cooled engine.
(7) Oil temperature gauge for each air-cooled engine.
(8) Manifold pressure gauge for each altitude engine. ***N/A for normally-aspirated engines***
(9) Fuel gauge indicating the quantity of fuel in each tank. ***Could also be mechanical indicator or sight gauge***(10) Landing gear position indicator, if the aircraft has a retractable landing gear. ***N/A***
Source: eCFR — Code of Federal Regulations
 

BJC

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So what is legally required for an E-AB LSA?

BJC
I looked at some FAA documents, and found two designations: SLSA and ELSA.

SLSA is factory built to the standards.

There are three cases of ELSA of interest, the so-called fat ultralights / two seat ultralight trainers, kits that meet the standards, and kits that have, after being certified as ELSA, have been modified into the Experimental category, but still meet the LSA aircraft criteria.

The fat ultralights don't have a minimum instrumentation standard.

As far as I can tell, there are instrumentation standards that SLSA aircraft must comply with. (I haven't read the standard. Can anyone who has confirm this?) Ditto for ELSA compliant kits.

So, if you build from a kit, you must install the instruments that were used to comply with the standard. If you then convert it to an experimental, you can make any mod that you want. My guess is that, were you to remove all instrumentation, and there were to be a compliance case, you would need the same instruments as for any day VFR experimental. (Don't know if this case has been tested. Anyone know?)

Overall, not a simple, logical certification, this LSA thing.


BJC
 

Timstertimster

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Thanks for all the info.

I guess I could get the e1 and Flight-2 from Velocity Singles
And install those into anything as long as I convert it to experimental.

I wonder how practical these tiny displays are in real life, though.
 

Pops

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The last thing I will give up is an oil pressure gauge. I can live without everything else.

Dan
 

brushworth

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Just a little tidbit from the FARs, this is the minimum equipment list for VFR flying (day and Night) in the US.

Sec. 91.205

Powered civil aircraft with standard category U.S. airworthiness certificates: Instrument and equipment requirements.

(a) General. Except as provided in paragraphs (c)(3) and (e) of this section, no person may operate a powered civil aircraft with a standard category U.S. airworthiness certificate in any operation described in paragraphs (b) through (f) of this section unless that aircraft contains the instruments and equipment specified in those paragraphs (or FAA-approved equivalents) for that type of operation, and those instruments and items of equipment are in operable condition. (b) Visual-flight rules (day). For VFR flight during the day, the following instruments and equipment are required:


  • (1) Airspeed indicator. (2) Altimeter.
    (3) Magnetic direction indicator.
    (4) Tachometer for each engine.
    (5) Oil pressure gauge for each engine using pressure system.
    (6) Temperature gauge for each liquid-cooled engine.
    (7) Oil temperature gauge for each air-cooled engine.
    (8) Manifold pressure gauge for each altitude engine.
    (9) Fuel gauge indicating the quantity of fuel in each tank.
    (10) Landing gear position indicator, if the aircraft has a retractable landing gear.
    (11) For small civil airplanes certificated after March 11, 1996, in accordance with part 23 of this chapter, an approved aviation red or aviation white anticollision light system. In the event of failure of any light of the anticollision light system, operation of the aircraft may continue to a location where repairs or replacement can be made.
    (12) If the aircraft is operated for hire over water and beyond power-off gliding distance from shore, approved flotation gear readily available to each occupant and, unless the aircraft is operating under part 121 of this subchapter, at least one pyrotechnic signaling device. As used in this section, "shore" means that area of the land adjacent to the water which is above the high water mark and excludes land areas which are intermittently under water.
    (13) An approved safety belt with an approved metal-to-metal latching device for each occupant 2 years of age or older.
    (14) For small civil airplanes manufactured after July 18, 1978, an approved shoulder harness for each front seat. The shoulder harness must be designed to protect the occupant from serious head injury when the occupant experiences the ultimate inertia forces specified in Sec. 23.561(b)(2) of this chapter. Each shoulder harness installed at a flight crewmember station must permit the crewmember, when seated and with the safety belt and shoulder harness fastened, to perform all functions necessary for flight operations. For purposes of this paragraph--

    • (i) The date of manufacture of an airplane is the date the inspection acceptance records reflect that the airplane is complete and meets the FAA-approved type design data; and (ii) A front seat is a seat located at a flight crewmember station or any seat located alongside such a seat.

    (15) An emergency locator transmitter, if required by Sec. 91.207. (16) For normal, utility, and acrobatic category airplanes with a seating configuration, excluding pilot seats, of 9 or less, manufactured after December 12, 1986, a shoulder harness for--

    • (i) Each front seat that meets the requirements of Sec. 23.785 (g) and (h) of this chapter in effect on December 12, 1985; (ii) Each additional seat that meets the requirements of Sec. 23.785(g) of this chapter in effect on December 12, 1985.

    (17) For rotorcraft manufactured after September 16, 1992, a shoulder harness for each seat that meets the requirements of Sec. 27.2 or Sec. 29.2 of this chapter in effect on September 16, 1991.

(c) Visual flight rules (night). For VFR flight at night, the following instruments and equipment are required:

  • (1) Instruments and equipment specified in paragraph (b) of this section. (2) Approved position lights.
    (3) An approved aviation red or aviation white anticollision light system on all U.S.-registered civil aircraft. Anticollision light systems initially installed after August 11, 1971, on aircraft for which a type certificate was issued or applied for before August 11, 1971, must at least meet the anticollision light standards of part 23, 25, 27, or 29 of this chapter, as applicable, that were in effect on August 10, 1971, except that the color may be either aviation red or aviation white. In the event of failure of any light of the anticollision light system, operations with the aircraft may be continued to a stop where repairs or replacement can be made.
    (4) If the aircraft is operated for hire, one electric landing light.
    (5) An adequate source of electrical energy for all installed electrical and radio equipment.
    (6) One spare set of fuses, or three spare fuses of each kind required, that are accessible to the pilot in flight.
 

Turd Ferguson

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"with a standard category U.S. airworthiness certificate"

Be sure to check applicability. If you have a special a/w certificate, 91.205 doesn't apply unless required by another rule/reg/etc.
 
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