Why I added IFR Capabilities to my Light Sport Airplane (LSA)
The concept of LSA was introduced to lower the entry requirements for new pilots so that more people could discover and enjoy the perks of flying. It is a simple, easy to understand, and affordable introduction to general aviation. But hopefully these pilots will enjoy flying so much that they will continue to add to their ratings. In my case, I am a Certified Flight Instructor-Instrument (CFII)and my daughter has her private pilot’s license. So the primary operators of our airplane are rated beyond LSA. My daughter wants to pursue an instrument rating in the future, but she does not want to go rent an airplane if we already own one. By adding the IFR option, we can go to the lake, have fun, then shoot an approach when we come back. Have fun and grow as a pilots—not only learning seaplane skills but instrument skills also. Garmin’s G3X is becoming popular and it is not that much more to add an external navigator like the GPS-175. Being able to use the aircraft for multiple objectives makes the decision to purchase an aircraft much easier. At this time, the consensus among LSA experts is that I can file and fly IFR but not IMC in my S-LSA. At this time, I only want the capability to train my daughter and to keep my own proficiency so I don't need to fly in IMC. But having the capabilities for an emergency situation gives me some extra peace of mind (I also feel like the ASTM committee may allow IMC in the future).
SEAMAX was the only company willing to accommodate my request for IFR capabilities and have since added the IFR capabilities to other SEAMAX aircraft including an aircraft that is registered as an Experimental LSA which are allowed both IFR and IMC. For more on the IMC topic ByDanJohnson click here.