Luscombe Silvaire

Luscombe Silvaire

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.

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.

Stall Warning!

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.