When is an Ercoupe eligible as an LSA?

OK, I just talked with Joe Norris at the EAA.

Please remember that neither he nor I are lawyers nor FAA officials.  This is simply my recording of our discussion and our best attempt to clarify this issue based on our knowledge.

Here are the possible cases and my summary of the discussion:

  1. The airworthiness certificate is now and has always been for a 415-C or 415-CD model and the are no maintenance documents showing conversion to a higher model – no logbook entries, no form 337 on file with the FAA, no modification of the data plate.  Good to fly as LSA
     
  1. The airworthiness certificate is now and has always been for a 415-C or 415-CD model however there are log book entries that show conversion.  Assume it is not valid to fly as LSA
     
  1. The airworthiness certificate is now and has always been for a 415-C or 415-CD model however there is a form 337 on file with the FAA that shows conversion.  Assume it is not valid to fly as LSA  Joe didn’t think that a form 337 is required as part of the model up-conversion, that only a log book entry and data plate change were needed.  However, if a form 337 is filled out and submitted as part of an up-conversion, then it constitutes documentary evidence of a model change.
     
  1. The airworthiness certificate is now and has always been for a 415-C or 415-CD model and the log books were lost and there is no form 337 on file with the FAA, no modification of the data plate.  Good to fly as LSA  (Should not be a problem if the logbooks were lost prior to release of the SP/LSA rule and you have recent replacement log books, but, beware of possible challenge if the log books were lost more recently.  The FAA might well be suspicious and talk to prior owners. Ed)
     
  1. The airworthiness certificate is now and has always been for a 415-C or 415-CD model and the are no maintenance documents showing conversion to a higher model – no logbook entries, no form 337 on file with the FAA, no modification of the data plate.  However, the registration shows or, in the past, showed an incorrect model number.  Joe says this is a frequent paperwork glitch and has no bearing.  If it’s wrong now, correct it. Good to fly as LSA
     
  1. The airworthiness certificate is now and has always been for a 415-C or 415-CD model and the are no maintenance documents showing conversion to a higher model – no logbook entries, no form 337 on file with the FAA, no modification of the data plate. However, someone incorrectly told an insurance company the model was a D or later.  Joe says this is a paperwork glitch that has no bearing on LSA status with the FAA. Good to fly as LSA

I think that covers all the relevant cases.

Joe mentioned that pretty much everyone agrees that it’d be proper for there to be an exception or divergence issued for the special case of these Ercoupes.  That’s something that’d have to be done through the type club at least and may require other assistance.  I have heard that Skip is working on this and has such cooperation.  Whether there will be success or not, we’ll have to wait (perhaps years) and see.

Ed