Light-Sport Aircraft (LSA)


Means an aircraft, other than a helicopter or powered-lift that, since its original certification, has continued to meet the following:
  1. A maximum takeoff weight of not more than—
    1. 1,320 pounds (600 kilograms) for aircraft not intended for operation on water;
    2. 1,430 pounds (650 kilograms) for an aircraft intended for operation on water.
  2. A maximum airspeed in level flight with maximum continuous power (VH) of not more than 120 knots CAS under standard atmospheric conditions at sea level.
  3. A maximum never-exceed speed (VNE) of not more than 120 knots CAS for a glider.
  4. A maximum stalling speed or minimum steady flight speed without the use of lift-enhancing devices (VS1) of not more than 45 knots CAS at the aircraft's maximum certificated takeoff weight and most critical center of gravity.
  5. A maximum seating capacity of no more than two persons, including the pilot.
  6. A single, reciprocating engine, if powered.
  7. A fixed or ground-adjustable propeller if a powered aircraft other than a powered glider.
  8. A fixed or feathering propeller system if a powered glider.
  9. A fixed-pitch, semi-rigid, teetering, two-blade rotor system, if a gyroplane.
  10. A nonpressurized cabin, if equipped with a cabin.
  11. Fixed landing gear, except for an aircraft intended for operation on water or a glider.
  12. Fixed or retractable landing gear, or a hull, for an aircraft intended for operation on water.
  13. Fixed or retractable landing gear for a glider.
(FAR definition).

An FAA-registered aircraft, other than a helicopter or powered-lift, that meets certain weight and performance. Principally it is a single-engine aircraft with a maximum of two seats and weighing no more than 1,430 pounds if intended for operation on water, or 1,320 pounds if not. It must be of simple design (fixed landing gear (except if intended for operations on water or a glider), piston powered, nonpressurized, with a fixed or ground adjustable propeller). Performance is also limited to a maximum airspeed in level flight of not more than 120 knots calibrated airspeed (CAS), have a maximum never-exceed speed of not more than 120 knots CAS for a glider, and have a maximum stalling speed, without the use of lift-enhancing devices of not more than 45 knots CAS. It may be certificated as either Experimental LSA or as a Special LSA aircraft. A minimum of a sport pilot certificate is required to operate light-sport aircraft. (PCG definition).

Source: 14 CFR Federal Aviation Regulations, PCG

Refer to:

  • 14 CFR Part 1, §1.1