Experimental Amateur built vs. ELSA

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Includes: Highlander, Escapade, Summit and SuperSTOL.

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Experimental Amateur built vs. ELSA

Postby Tazz » Thu Feb 14, 2008 5:38 pm

I have read with interest the various postings on this subject. I purchased a Highlander this past summer and was told by Just it was a ELSA compliant kit. I have come to find out this is not true, as Just has not completed the necessary documentation with the FAA. In conversation with Troy, it is not apparent they are necessarily going to do this. He said "they will be looking into it". I am quite upset with the situation. Troy seems to be an "amateur built" at heart and can't seem to see any value in the ELSA. I think there is great value in the plane being an ELSA. I feel it comes in to play in the resale value of the aircraft. If you go to sell an "amateur built" it has that stigma and a lot of people are not comfortable with that. A potential buyer also has to deal with the annual being done by an A & P and the associated cost. If the aircraft is a ELSA, a potential buyer is being offered a aircraft that has a linege to a SLSA (a marketable point) and more importantly the buyer can take the 16 hour course and do the annual himself (definate advantage in cost and convienence). With a ELSA you have a aircraft that would be attractive to a "amateur built" friendly customer as well as a aircraft that would be attractive to a potential SLSA buyer, and of course a someone looking for a ELSA. At my local EAA chapter we have two people who bought new SLSA planes and had them recertified to ELSA upon delivery for the maintainence reasons mentioned.

Some of the postings on this subject indicated the belief you can certify as a "experimental amateur built" and then later convert to a ELSA (I guess, assuming Just is going to do the paper work). You can't do this. ELSA's are either ELSA kits, SLSA recertifications or fat ultralights that made the Jan. 31 deadline for conversion. For a ton of information on this subject, go to the article in the May 2005 issue of "Kitplanes" titled "Amateur-built vs. SLSA vs. ELSA.......great reading and very, very informative.

...........food for thought.
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