Is It Possible to Legally Fly a Cessna 150 as an LSA?

The requirement for light sport aircraft is a maximum gross weight of no more than 1,320 pounds for land-based aircraft.

When the Cessna 150 rolled out of the factory, its gross weight was 1,600 pounds. [Credit: Shutterstock]

Question: Is it possible to legally fly a Cessna 150 as a light sport aircraft? I have a sport pilot certificate. A friend has offered me his 1960s 150 with a 100 hp Continental O-200-A, and empty weight is about 1,100 pounds. If I take the passenger seat out and fly with partial fuel, it would be under the 1,320-pound weight limit.

Answer: The short answer is no, it is not legal to fly a Cessna 150 as a LSA, as the requirement for LSA is a maximum gross weight of no more than 1,320 pounds for land-based aircraft, or 1,430 if the aircraft is in the seaplane class. And by gross weight, this means the gross weight as listed on the type certificate when the aircraft rolled out of the factory, which for the 150 is 1,600 pounds.

You are not the first pilot to wonder about putting a two-place Cessna on a diet in an effort to fly it under light sport aircraft rules. Cessna 140 pilots have been pressing for a change or waiver to the regulations, as the certificated gross weight of that airplane is 1,450 pounds.

Do you have a question about aviation that’s been bugging you? Ask us anything you’ve ever wanted to know about aviation. Our experts in general aviation, flight training, aircraft, avionics, and more may attempt to answer your question in a future article.

Meg Godlewski has been an aviation journalist for more than 24 years and a CFI for more than 20 years. If she is not flying or teaching aviation, she is writing about it. Meg is a founding member of the Pilot Proficiency Center at EAA AirVenture and excels at the application of simulation technology to flatten the learning curve. Follow Meg on Twitter @2Lewski.

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