Us experience with the light sport aircraft rule
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US EXPERIENCE WITH THE LIGHT SPORT AIRCRAFT RULE. Earl Lawrence. A New Era Begins. September 1, 2004 the first set of aviation regulations for non-transportation aviation created Largest US aviation rulemaking project in over 50 years Affects all areas of FAA regulation:

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Earl Lawrence

A New Era Begins

  • September 1, 2004 the first set of aviation regulations for non-transportation aviation created

  • Largest US aviation rulemaking project in over 50 years

  • Affects all areas of FAA regulation:

    • Maintenance; Aircraft Certification; Pilot and Instructor Certification; Aircraft Operations

Major Highlights

  • New Factory Aircraft Certification category

  • First FAA implementation of Public Law 104

  • Costs to produce aircraft was cut in half

  • Cost to become a pilot was cut in half

Major Highlights

  • Aircraft owners can obtain training and certification to perform their own annual condition inspections

  • Manufacturers, NOT FAA, approve aircraft modifications

  • Maintenance and continued airworthiness standard- setting moved from FAA to industry (ASTM International)

FAA/Industry Action

  • First two factory aircraft certificated only six months after passage of rule

    • Primary category 1 ½ years for Katana

    • 1 year and 10 months for Quicksilver GT500

    • 9 years for RANS S-7

  • A total of over 30 SLSA certifications have been issued to date

FAA/Industry Action

  • New engines available conforming to ASTM International standards

    • Rotax 912 series

    • Jabaru four and six cylinder models

FAA/Industry Action

  • ASTM International completed, and received FAA acceptance of, standards for fixed-wing LSAs, gliders, powered parachutes, and weight shift aircraft

  • FAA trained and appointed over 100 DPEs for all categories of SP licenses (fixed, gyro, parachute, etc.)

FAA/Industry Action

  • FAA is actively refining and improving the original FAA policies and procedures for:

    • maintenance-training,

    • Practical Test Standards

    • Aircraft certification policies

    • Designated Airworthiness Representative Policies and Training

    • Designated Pilot Examiner Policies and Training

FAA/Industry Action

  • King Schools has a multimedia DVD training curriculum for sport pilots and Sport Pilot Instructors

  • EAA has a “conversion kit” to assist with certificating of two-place ultralights. Over 2,000 conversion kits sold to date

  • The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Sport Flying

FAA/Industry Action

  • 862 LSAs certificated or awaiting certification

  • 627 SP airman knowledge tests administered

  • 125 current DPEs have added SP examiner authority

  • 43 new SP DPEs have been created/designated

  • More than 100 New Sport Pilot Repairmen have been trained and certificated

·Aeropro CZ EuroFox

· Aerosport Ltd. Breezer

· Aerosport Ltd. C42 Ikarus

· Aerostar Festival

· Aircraft Manufacturing & Development CH601XL

· American Legend AL3C-100 Cub

· B&F Technik Vertriebs FK-9 Mark IV

Czech Aircraft Works CH-601-XL

· Czech Aircraft Works Mermaid

· Czech Aircraft Works Parrot

· Czech Aircraft Works Sport Cruiser

· Evektor Sportstar

· Fantasy Air Allegro

Flight Design CT

· GRYF Aircraft Spol MD 3 Rider

· Indus Aviation T211 Thorpedo

· Iniziative Industriali Italiane Sky Arrow 600 Sport

· Jabiru USA Sport Aircraft J170-SP

· Jabiru USA Sport Aircraft J250-SP

· JIHLAVAN Airplanes KP-5 Kappa

· Just Aircraft Highlander


· Remos Aircraft G-3

· Storm Aircraft Rally LSA

· Taylorcraft AvationTaylor Sport

· Tecnam Bravo

· Tecnam Echo Super

· Tecnam Sierra

· TL Ultralight Sting Sport

· Zlin Savage


Non Fixed Wing

Powered Parachutes

  • Summit II

    Weight Shift

    · Airborne WindsportsEdge XT-912-B

    · GTE 912

    · Tanarg 912



State of Industry

  • OEM’s

    • Most are European based

    • Many young and cash strapped companies but growing fast

    • Aircraft are currently being produced in Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK, US

State of Industry

  • Manufacturers

    • Many entering the market are experienced European companies

    • The Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association (LAMA) is the lead organization for the manufacturers and it has over 65 members.

  • Insurance Companies

    • Most are interested in providing insurance; weight shift and powered parachute still an issue

State of Industry

  • FAA

    • Education of the inspectors still a stumbling block to full implementation

  • FBOs

    • Just learning about the opportunities; reactions vary although schools of all sizes are offering training

  • Instructors

    • Cautious but when they are exposed to the opportunities they have recognized the economic benefits of the new rules

State of Industry

  • ASTM Standards

    • Over 3,000 ASTM International standards are used as the basis for national standards by reference in regulation in over 50 countries

    • Full International support in development of the standards

    • At least three Civil Aviation Authorities participated in the development of the standards

      • US

      • Australia

      • Canada

State of Industry

  • ASTM International Standards have been adopted for use in the Australia, US, and Colombia

  • ASTM International is being considered for adoption in Israel, Spain, South Africa, Canada, New Zealand

ASTM International Committee F37:Non-US Participation

State of Industry

  • Standards are written to be relevant regardless of the country in which they are used

  • Standards are separate from local regulations; they do not dictate limits such as weight, speed, or complexity of the aircraft

  • The aircraft categories that are allowed to use the ASTM standards, and enforcement of the standards, is left with the individual CAA

What Can You Do or Buy Today

  • Current FAA Pilot certificate holders can operate with a drivers license as their medical

  • Obtain a Sport Pilot Student Pilot Certificate

  • Hundreds of existing Amateur-built and Classic aircraft models can be flown by Sport Pilots

  • New Light Sport Aircraft are available

What Can you Do or Buy Today

  • Insurance for Pilots, FBOs and instructors is available for LSA airplanes

  • Current flight instructors can provide Sport Pilot training

  • Certificate “heavy” ultralight as Experimental

What Is NewAs a result of the rule

  • Aircraft manufacturers have quickly adopted use of ASTM International Standards world wide

  • Aircraft sales are strong

  • Industry self policing of compliance with ASTM International standards is starting to be put into place

  • Major education of regulators and industry still needed

What is New (cont.)

  • Flight Schools with new LSA report significant increase in new student starts

  • Autogas or unleaded Avgas, not Avgas, is the correct fuel and airport availability is an issue

  • Many owners will be certificated FAA Repairmen

  • Significant amount of misinformation about new regulations


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