Brazil Expands LSA Regs for Larger, Faster Aircraft

The updated rules for light sport aircraft bring the South American country closer to international standards.

Brazil’s ANAC has expanded LSA classification beyond two-seaters like this Bristell, to allow airplanes with up to four seats and a maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) of up to 1,361 kg (3,000 pounds). [Courtesy: BRM Aero]

Brazil’s national aviation regulator, Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil (ANAC), has announced new rules for light sport aircraft (LSA) to include larger, more powerful aircraft. 

Approved in July as amendments to Brazilian Civil Aviation Regulations (RBAC) No. 1 and No. 21, the changes allow airplanes with up to four seats and a maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) of up to 1,361 kg (3,000 pounds) to be classified as LSAs. Electric motors are also allowed for propulsion under the new LSA regulations, as well as variable-pitch propellers.

ANAC said the changes will be applied under the LSA category standards developed by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) International).

The new regs also will reduce the cost for approval of new designs for LSAs compared to the type certification process, ANAC said, while maintaining acceptable safety standards. 

Currently in the U.S., the FAA only allows LSAs with a top speed in level flight of 120 knots, two seats maximum, and MTOWs under 1,320 pounds—1,430 pounds for seaplanes.

Brazilian LSA Regs: Before and Now

Seats: 2 seats 4 seats
Maximum speed: 120 kts 185 kts
Maximum stall speed: 45 kts61 kts
MTOW: 600 kg (1,322 pounds)1,361 kg (3,000 pounds)
Props: Fixed or ground adjustableVariable pitch allowed
Propulsion: Piston enginePiston or electric propulsion
Source: ANAC

The new regulations came after regulators conducted a survey last year to assess views from the public on advantages and disadvantages of LSAs compared to other categories—such as certified and amateur-built experimental aircraft.

Thom is a former senior editor for FLYING. Previously, his freelance reporting appeared in aviation industry magazines. Thom also spent three decades as a TV and digital journalist at CNN’s bureaus in Washington and Atlanta, eventually specializing in aviation. He has reported from air shows in Oshkosh, Farnborough and Paris. Follow Thom on Twitter @thompatterson.

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