Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) Gyroplanes
A Xenon like this one can be yours too.
From one extreme to another we have all different passions and share the same adventure. From the person building from plans to the kit builder some people just cannot get in the air quick enough. Thanks to the EAA and FAA there is another option available called Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) or sport pilot ready. These gyroplanes can put you in the air quicker than the other options but there are some caveats you need to be aware of.
The same manufacturers of the kits usually offer these gyroplanes as complete aircraft in the LSA category. Other manufacturers only will make their aircraft as an LSA aircraft and do not offer any kit form.
Let's start with the bad news first. The aircraft itself will have restrictions on weight, speed, complexity, and other criteria, which must be met in accordance with this class of aircraft. The operation of the gyroplane will have certain restrictions as well. The same gyroplane kit built by the homebuilder as an amatuer built experimental may in fact have greater performance and fewer restrictions and if properly equipped fly in a greater variety of flight conditions.
Sport pilot was created for the recreational pilot or the person who simply likes to take short flights or on the weekends. This type of flying is for fair weather fliers only and during daylight hours only. Still interested? Then let us look at the positive points of considering the LSA gyroplane.
a. The pilot does not require an aeromedical physical. As long as the pilot retains their drivers license the pilot can meet the physical requirements of the sport pilot license.
b. Sport pilot ready aircraft can get you flying quicker. A LSA gyroplane is a complete aircraft that is built to a common industry standard and meets flight standards as established by the FAA. The owner may or may not assist with the construction of the gyroplane. Some facilities or kit manufacturers may allow the owner or builder to assist with the construction and reduce the cost of the aircraft.
c. A standard amatuer kit may qualify for certification in the LSA category and built by the owner entirelyto the standards for light sport aircraft certification and operate the gyroplane with the restrictions of that certification.
d. A LSA gyroplane built by an authorized facility may still be maintained by the owner to include normal inspections required to maintain an airworthy aircraft if the owner attends an approved maintenance course certifying you legally with the FAA.
There is one point you must understand completely. Once an aircraft is certified as LSA it will always be an LSA aircraft and the same holds true for a gyroplane certified as an amatuer built experimental. You can NEVER re-certify an aircraft to another category. So be absolutely sure that the way you certify your gyroplane will not impose restrictions on the types of missions you intend to fly. Please totally inform yourself by checking the FAA, EAA and PRA web links on LSA and Sport Pilot information.
Be aware that you are buying a complete aircraft and the price tag will most likely reflect that.
Check out what is offered in LSA gyroplanes and you may be in the air sooner than you ever thought possible.
Sport Copter Inc.