While I am sympathetic to Cessna 140 owners wishing to fly their planes as Light Sport Aircraft, I ask a larger question — why can’t I fly my 172 as an LSA? That is to say, me and one passenger, day VFR?
I am 6 foot, 3 inches and weigh rather more than the “average” 170 pounds. My wife is tall as well, and proportional. There is no way the two of us could fly, say in a new Cessna 162, with even half full gas tanks and meet the gross weight requirement. If we could find a lighter plane that would be legal with fuel, it would certainly be sluggish in the air, with a very anemic rate of climb, etc.
Yet, my 172 flies at LSA speeds, is most probably safer statistically than any LSA aircraft, old or new, has a tricycle gear, and is well proven. Its only problem with the LSA specification is its weight.
I would say the LSA specification should allow any plane to be used that has a stall speed of less than say 50 knots, a cruise speed not exceeding 125 knots, a fixed pitch propeller, fixed landing gear, not more than four seats, tricycle gear unless the pilot has tailwheel training, and can be flown day VFR only with not more than one passenger.
I submit and contend that the aircraft gross weight limitation for the LSA class is a stupid and very likely illegal limit. It unquestionably favors people who are smaller and lighter over larger people. Making the gross weight the defining limit of the LSA is extremely discriminatory to larger people — either endangering their personal safety or eliminating their participation altogether. That is not supposed to be what this country is about.
Grants Pass, Ore