Welcome Guest. Sign in or Signup

4 Answers

Equipment of ELSA to get private pilot in it?

Asked by: 2384 views , ,
Light Sport Aircraft, Private Pilot, Student Pilot

I got my sport pilot license in my skyranger experimental light sport three years ago. 

My 50 year old son would like to complete his private in it. 

It lacks night lighting.... Other than tail strobe. So we know we'd have to remedy that. Wing tip red and green needed. Any other lights?
What else might we need to add for it to be sufficiently equipt for him to be able to complete his private in it? 

It has standard six pack instruments minus artificial horizon.
Very nice modern iFly 720 GPS.
Good radio.
Oh, and magnetic compass.


By the way.. He started training two years ago and lapsed....has 20 hours and was soloing when he ask logged time. And, yes, we have CFIs familiar with our ELSA and willing to train in it.

a,so, are there specific requirements fir those wingtip green and red lights...remembering that our aircraft us experimental?

4 Answers

  1. Ray Salmon on Feb 25, 2014

    You would need a white steady tail light to complete the position light installation. The only requirements I could find for the position lights were contained in Part 23, which is not applicable to you. There a couple of Advisory Circulars out there that talk about position light installation (Google search will pull them up), but again, it is for aircraft with a standard airworthiness certificate. Part 91 only specifies that you have them. It doesn’t prescribe anymore of a standard than that.

    0 Votes Thumb up 0 Votes Thumb down 0 Votes

  2. Alex Censor on Feb 26, 2014

    Thanks Ray.

    Actually I can get a pretty good handle on the issue of lights. Not even that onerous to just set up the lights to meet the standards for certified aircraft.

    The other issue more likely to be a show stopper is:
    The private requires 3 hours of simulated instrument flying training IIRR in the plane.
    Wouldn’t that mean it would have to have sufficient instruments, such as a VOR or a certified GPS “installed”?
    And isn’t an artificial horizion required?


    0 Votes Thumb up 0 Votes Thumb down 0 Votes

  3. Best Answer

    Ray Salmon on Feb 26, 2014


    So long as the aircraft is not operated IMC, or under IFR, then it is not *required* to have an artificial horizon or be equipped for IFR flight. FAA order 8900 even says you can take an instrument rating practical test in an airplane not properly equipped. Having said that, without an artificial horizon you are basically flying partial panel. IMO, not the easiest or best way to introduce a new pilot to instrument flying.


    +2 Votes Thumb up 2 Votes Thumb down 0 Votes

  4. Alex Censor on May 12, 2014

    Hi Ray (and all interested),

    You wrote, in part —
    “….without an artificial horizon you are basically flying partial panel. IMO, not the easiest or best way to introduce a new pilot to instrument flying. …”

    Probably be not THAT hard or THAT expensive to add an artifical horizon to my ELSA … and not a bad idea. Can even add that with some extra medium cost hardware that would have our GPS put an artifical horizon on its screen.

    The object behind this inquiry ISN’T to introduce him to instrument flying. For that, or anyone serious about instrument flying I’d strongly suggest taking a serious course in instrument flying ….. even if they don’t intend to get instrument rated…… or at least take an online tutorial and then spend plenty of time on Microsoft Flight Simulator practicing flying in IMC.

    The purpose is to see if he could go all the way to his private pilot rating using only or mostly my owned ELSA….. which would cost a very small fraction of what it would cost to finish up if he has to pay rental on a 172 or even 150 .
    If he has to show up to his practical flight exam with a rented Cessna he’d have to spend a lot more paid hours in it to have that really good familiarity. In contrast he’d have virtually unlimited relatively cheap access (fuel only, at 3.5 gallons per hour) to build time and solo experience in my ELSA if he can take it to his practical test.

    Was worried that the Private Pilot practical might REQUIRE the plane have certain instruments I don’t have in it…… because as far as I know a DPE can ask the student pilot to get under a hood (not so? Is that common?) and do some basic manuvers that might be very difficult without at least an artifical horizion.

    0 Votes Thumb up 0 Votes Thumb down 0 Votes

Answer Question

Our sincere thanks to all who contribute constructively to this forum in answering flight training questions. If you are a flight instructor or represent a flight school / FBO offering flight instruction, you are welcome to include links to your site and related contact information as it pertains to offering local flight instruction in a specific geographic area. Additionally, direct links to FAA and related official government sources of information are welcome. However we thank you for your understanding that links to other sites or text that may be construed as explicit or implicit advertising of other business, sites, or goods/services are not permitted even if such links nominally are relevant to the question asked.