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The Sport Pilot and Light-Sport Aircraft Regulations (continued)

the light-sport category classification which exceeds the aircraft weight, stall speed and limits previously allowed by the ultralight regulation. The FAA believes that the new Sport Pilot Rule and light-sport aircraft category certifications will provide for an existing 10,000 aircraft to be certified as light-sport aircraft under the new regulations (which will include ultralights, amateur-built aircraft, kit aircraft, and aircraft fitting within the LSA definition), and approximately 10,000 people are expected to become sport pilots and flight instructors. Additionally, this new rule is targeted to generate an additional 9,000 pilots and aircraft owners in the future, according to agency estimates.

The new Sport Pilot regulation now provides for operation of fat ultralights and two-place aircraft that meet the LSA limitations. These LSA regulations will subject a large number of ultralight aircraft that were not subject to any aircraft certification, inspection or maintenance requirements to a uniform set of operational and maintenance criteria. Also, former ultralight pilots will be required to accomplish minimum testing and demonstrate a certain flight proficiency so as to operate these ultralights, which fall within the LSA definition.

These new regulations will also provide growth opportunities for aircraft manufacturers, both domestically and internationally, who will be able to produce ready-to-sell and kit LSAs to the recreational flying community at a greatly reduced price than could have been provided with aircraft which were required to undergo the FAA aircraft certification as codified in 14 CFR Part 23, which added significantly to aircraft design and construction costs.

inspections on their own LSA. The following is required to earn these ratings:

  • Repairman inspection rating – complete a 16 hour course on inspection requirements of a particular class of LSA; and

Maintenance repairman rating – complete a 120 hour maintenance course for aircraft (104 hours for weight-shift and powered parachute or 80 hours for glider or lighter- than-air aircraft).

LSA owners have the choice of having either (1) an LSA repairman, (2) an FAA airframe and power plant (A&P) mechanic, or (3) an FAA authorized repair station to perform maintenance or inspections on their aircraft. LSA owners who receive a repairman inspection rating may also inspect their own aircraft.

Conclusion This new Sport Pilot Rule and LSA certification is exciting for the recreational flying community, and will provide many benefits which will include promotion of safety; decrease in the cost of flying and maintaining LSA aircraft; providing light-sport pilots with the notices of FAA programs, notices to airmen, and supplemental training; and the regulation of the repair, inspection and maintenance of LSA through certified repairmen and A&P mechanics.

There is a growing industry for the manufacture of light-sport aircraft. LSA aircraft can be manufactured and sold ready-to-fly assuming the aircraft meets consensus standards which will address aircraft design and performance, as The new Sport Pilot Regulation will dramatically affect the ultralight community in providing regulations and certifications for ultralight pilots and aircraft owners who were operating under 14 CFR Part 103 exemptions which allowed two-place ultralights to be used for training only. well as assurance quality systems requirements for both ready-to-fly and light- sport aircraft kits. This is a departure from FAA regulations which required an aircraft manufacturer to be an FAA type-certificate holder to manufacture complete aircraft or aircraft component parts. These consensus standards are being developed with the assistance of ASTM International and in coordination with aviation industry representatives and the FAA. One of the benefits of using consensus standards with the participation of ASTM International and aviation industry representatives is that the knowledge, talent and expertise of ASTM (one of the largest voluntary standards development organizations world-wide), the FAA and the aviation industry is being harnessed to develop consensus standards that represent the best industry standards to govern the manufacture of LSA.

What is an LSA Repairman? The FAA also created a new FAA repairman certificate rating which allows LSA repairmen to maintain and inspect LSA aircraft in addition to allowing LSA owners to perform annual condition

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