Weather Considerations for Light Sport Aircraft Pilots

Managing weather factors is important for all aircraft but becomes more significant as the weight of the airplane decreases. Smaller, lighter weight airplanes are more affected by adverse weather such as stronger winds (especially crosswinds), turbulence, terrain influences, and other hazardous conditions. [Figures 16-6 and 16-7] LSA Pilots should carefully consider any hazardous weather conditions and effectively use an appropriate set of personal minimums to mitigate flight risk. Some LSAs have a maximum recommend wind velocity regardless of wind direction.

Figure 16-6. Crosswind landing.

Figure 16-6. Crosswind landing. [click image to enlarge]

Figure 16-7. Moderate mountain winds can create severe turbulence for LSA.

Figure 16-7. Moderate mountain winds can create severe turbulence for LSA.

[Figure 16-8] While this is not a limitation, it would be prudent to heed any factory recommendations.

Figure 16-8. Example of wind limitations that a LSA may have.

Figure 16-8. Example of wind limitations that a LSA may have.

Due to an LSA’s lighter weight, even greater distances from convective weather should be given. Low level winds that enter and exit a thunderstorm should be avoided not only by all airplanes but operations in the vicinity of convection should not be attempted in lightweight airplanes. Weather accidents continue to plague general aviation and, while it is not possible to always fly in clear, blue, calm skies, pilots of lighter weight LSAs should carefully manage weather-related risks. For example, some consideration should be given to flight activity that crosses varying terrain boundaries, such as grass or water to hard surfaces. Differential heating can cause lighter weight airplanes to experience sinking and lift to a greater degree than heavier airplanes. Careful planning, knowledge and experience, and an understanding of the flying environment assists in mitigating weather-related risks.