Change is afoot for the light sport aircraft class as the rules governing it—and its rough equivalents in the EU—adapt to fit the future. One change lies in the EU’s last EASA Basic Regulation for lightweight aircraft, which now allows for 600 kg “ultralight” or UL aircraft (akin to an LSA’s 1,320 lb limit) to certify under each country’s separate civil aviation authority. Germany is the first of the countries under EASA to declare itself part of this “opt-out” and implementing its own technical rules, under LTFUL 2018, and publish the regulations that allow companies to certify aircraft under these rules.
Tecnam announced last week that it had secured the certification of its P92 Echo MkII two-seat airplane under the new German rules, paving the way for use in that country as well as others who recognize the German certification. The MkII version of the P92 updates the original, with an increased cabin volume, wider seats, and better seat adjustment fore and aft. There’s an optional ballistic parachute, and Garmin G3X Touch flight deck with synthetic vision and ground proximity alerts.
According to the company, in non-European countries, the P92 MkII is available in the Ultralight, US Light Sport Aircraft and Experimental categories, whereas the certified version, the P92JS, is available as the European CS-VLA. With a maximum cruise speed of 115 ktas and a Rotax 912 ULS powerplant, the P92 Echo MkII shows well amongst LSAs of the class.