Another oldie but goodie is a classic metal-covered aircraft built by various companies from 1946 to 1960: the Luscombe Silvaire. What makes them look so retro is that they are metal covered rather than fabric covered (though some early models had fabric-covered wings). Only the models 8A and 8B qualify for sport-pilot operation.
If you decide that one of these classic birds is for you, make sure it meets the weight limit for LSAs. Because the weight of a Silvaire is very near the class limit, if someone upgraded the plane with additional instruments you might find that it’s too heavy to qualify.
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There are many other older aircraft that qualify for sport-pilot operation. Cruise speed typically isn’t what makes them ineligible, it’s usually their gross weight. Fortunately, you can check a plane’s certification records to determine the gross weight.
These standard-certified airplanes must be certified to not exceed sport-pilot limitations. You cannot simply take the back seat out of an over-the-weight-limit plane to fly it within the weight limit.
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