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ELSA - passenger prhohibited?

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FAA order 8130.2 is being revised and we at ANN undertook the job of reviewing over 300 pages of revisions. It’s a daunting task that is not yet complete but we have stumbled across a few disturbing issues. It looks like the operating limitations for some aircraft will prohibit passenger carrying that has not been addressed before.


These aircraft are:

  • Experimental light sport aircraft that formally held a special light sport aircraft airworthiness certificate.
  • Electric powered aircraft.
  • Warbirds
  • God Only Knows What Else...
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5. Procedure.

a. Use table C-1 below for issuing operating limitations for the following categories:

(1) 14 CFR 21.184—Primary.

(2) 14 CFR 21.185—Restricted.

(3) 14 CFR 21.189—Limited.

(4) 14 CFR 21.190—Light-sport.

(5) 14 CFR 21.191—Experimental.

(a) Paragraph (a), Research and development.

( B) Paragraph ( B), Showing compliance with regulations.

© Paragraph ©, Crew training.

(d) Paragraph (d), Exhibition.

(e) Paragraph (e), Air racing.

(f) Paragraph (f), Market surveys.

(g) Paragraph (g), Operating amateur-built aircraft.

(h) Paragraph (h), Operating primary kit-built aircraft.

(i) Paragraph (i), Operating light-sport aircraft.

b. Start at the top of the table and work down. If the certification basis and/or the notes match the aircraft you are certificating, issue the limitation.

c. Prohibit the carriage of passengers, flight over densely populated areas, and night or instrument flight rules (IFR) operations in the following:

(1) Experimental LSA aircraft that formerly held a special LSA airworthiness certificate;

(2) Aircraft unable to comply with 14 CFR 91.117(a) in normal cruise configuration;

(3) Aircraft for which the manufacturer’s or country of origin’s emergency checklist requires bailout or ejection in the event of an engine or other system failure;

(4) Any aircraft in which a single system failure will render the aircraft uncontrollable;

xx/xx/xxxx DRAFT 8130.2H

Appendix C


(5) Rocket-powered aircraft; and

(6) Electric-powered aircraft.



In C-2, C-3, near the end of the document. This section talks about issuing operating limitations.

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Thanks Jim,


I think this is the ELSA limitation:


The pilot in command of this aircraft must advise passengers that the 
aircraft does not meet the FAA safety requirements of a standard 
certificated aircraft. 
The carriage of passengers is prohibited
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So...ELSA, which adhere to ASTM standards, and are sometimes factory built, would be prohibited from carrying passengers, but E-AB aircraft which adhere to no standards and are often built in substandard conditions would have no such prohibition?  The RV-12 crowd will have a conniption.  


Between this, the sleep apnea thing, and ignoring the EAA/AOPA medical proposal, the FAA seems hell bent on kicking every hornet's nest they can possibly find.

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Quick question, slightly off topic. What is a "densely populated area?" I have corrected ATC when they have referred to me as experimental because of that rule.


Anything the FAA decides it is.  The yellow areas on sectionals for sure.  But the FAA has violated people for flying over a house or two in otherwise empty area, calling it a "congested area".  It's like careless and reckless, the FAA uses it as a catch-all to violate people they want to nail but don't necessarily have anything else on.


EDIT:  BTW Doug, you can fly over congested/dense areas in an experimental, the rules just specify that you do so in a manner such that, in the event of the failure of a power unit (engine), you could land without undue hazard to persons or property on the ground.  Note it says "undue", not "none".  So flying a little higher or making sure you have a less dense area within gliding distance would ensure you obeyed the letter and spirit of the regs.  In practice, you just fly with a normal conservative and safe mindset and you are good. 

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I'm certainly surprised about this but very happy that you posted. I was seriously considering changing my S-LSA to E-LSA but have now reconsidered.

Wait and see I guess.




Should you wait or hurry up?  If the order is revised will it effect ELSA's ( converted from SLSA ) limitations? Perhaps its a matter of do it now while the resulting limitations would allow a passenger?

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WOW ...all i have to say is the FAA can pucker up and KISS my Kentucky FOOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


When i dont have a passenger in my CT due to them "chainging" there minds well it wil be a cold day in hell.


This is why we still have handguns


mack brame

crofton ky

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If they are really worried about any of this, they can just add a "This aircraft may not be used for training except for instruction of the owner(s)" to the standard placard, and make it a more strongly worded rule that the placard has to be pointed out to passengers.  Turning every SLSA-ELSA conversion into a single seater is certainly not the right answer here.

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