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Light Sport Aircraft Certification by Consensus 30 th FAA Aviation Forecast Conference. Light Sport Aircraft - Defined. Maximum gross weight-1,320 lbs, 1,430 lbs for seaplanes. Maximum stall speed-51 mph (45 knots)

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light sport aircraft defined
Light Sport Aircraft - Defined
  • Maximum gross weight-1,320 lbs, 1,430 lbs for seaplanes.
  • Maximum stall speed-51 mph (45 knots)
  • Maximum speed in level flight with maximum continuous power (Vh)-138 mph (120 knots)
  • Two-place maximum (pilot and one passenger)
  • Single, non-turbine engine, fixed propeller
  • Fixed landing gear, except for an aircraft intended for operation on water or a glider
what do these things look like
What Do These Things Look Like?
  • Airplane (Land/Sea)
  • Gyroplane
  • Airship
  • Balloon
  • Weight-Shift-Control (Trike Land/Sea)
  • Powered Parachute
certification categories
Certification Categories
  • Experimental Light-Sport
    • Existing two-place ultralight trainers
    • Future production kit-built aircraft
      • Non-commercial/recreational use only
  • Special Light-Sport
    • Factory ready – fully manufactured
      • May be used for instruction and rental
transition of existing ultralight trainers
Transition of Existing Ultralight Trainers
  • Inspected by Designated Airworthiness Representative (DAR)
  • Remedial action taken as necessary
  • Airworthiness certificate issued by FAA
    • Experimental Light-Sport Category
  • N-Number registration and placards
    • Must then be flown only by certificated pilots
    • Approximately 10,000 aircraft
future production kit aircraft
Future Production Kit Aircraft
  • Experimental Light-Sport Category
  • Sold as kits to any level of completion
    • Meet consensus standards
    • Includes standards for assembly instructions
  • Not believed to be the major growth area for the future LSA fleet at this time
    • Many kit manufacturers products to remain as experimental amateur-built
fully manufactured aircraft
Fully Manufactured Aircraft
  • Special Light-Sport Category
  • Factory completed aircraft
    • Dealers can complete if part of QA process
  • Meet all applicable consensus standards
  • Can be used for rental or instruction
  • Most industry interest shown in Special-LSA
    • 100 to 200 fixed wing aircraft per month in 2005
    • Estimated to rise to 400 per month by 2007
    • Does not include trikes or powered parachutes
how do we certify these purely recreational aircraft
How do we Certify These Purely Recreational Aircraft?
  • Part 103 – Ultralights
  • Insufficient standardization to allow industry to grow and prosper beyond historic levels
    • No design and performance standard
    • No production standard
    • No quality assurance standard
    • No maintenance or inspection standard
how do we certify these purely recreational aircraft1
How do we Certify These Purely Recreational Aircraft?
  • Part 23 – Airworthiness Standards
  • Part 21 – Certification and Production
    • Proven to be too expensive and cumbersome for very light, inexpensive recreational aircraft
    • Market is more like that of recreational vehicles, motorcycles, and boats, than traditional general aviation aircraft
we needed to strike a balance between no standard at all and full blown federal regulation
We Needed to Strike a Balance Between No Standard at All and Full Blown Federal Regulation
  • All Departments of the US government have been instructed to, whenever possible, delegate standard development to industry consensus standards setting organizations.
how are the standards used for aircraft certification
How Are the Standards Used for Aircraft Certification?
  • No Type Certificate or Production Certificate is issued
  • Manufacturer certifies to FAA that their product complies with applicable standards
  • Manufacturer certifies that the quality assurance and continued airworthiness programs meet the standards and are in place
many approaches contemplated
Many Approaches Contemplated
  • EAA has long-established relationships with engineering and standardization organizations
  • Due to need for full participation by industry, consumers, and government (not just engineers), several organizations were ruled out due to their internal procedures
astm deemed to be best suited for arriving at consensus through broad participation
ASTM Deemed to be Best Suited for Arriving at Consensus Through Broad Participation
  • EAA had long experience with ASTM through participation in aviation fuel and lubricants committees
    • Development of EAA’s auto gas STC program and high octane unleaded fuel research
  • Approached ASTM seeking support for Light Sport Aircraft standards in mid-2001
who or what is astm
Who or What is ASTM?
  • ASTM International is one of the largest voluntary standards development organizations in the world, a trusted source for technical standards for materials, products, systems, and services.
astm what do they do
ASTM: What Do They Do
  • All stakeholders involved
  • Neutral forum
  • Consensus-based procedures
  • Private and public sector cooperation
  • Aircraft manufacturer
  • Federal agencies
  • Pilot associations
  • Professional societies
  • Maintenance professionals
  • Trade associations
  • Financial organizations
  • Academia
  • Insurance industry
130 technical committees
130 Technical Committees

Ten examples:

  • A1 on Steel, Stainless Steel, and Related Alloys
  • D2 on Petroleum Products and Lubricants
  • E50 on Environmental Assessment
  • F8 on Sports Equipment and Facilities
  • F15 on Consumer Products
  • F24 on Amusement Rides and Devices
  • F25 on Ships and Marine Technology
  • F37 Light Sport Aircraft
  • F38 Unmanned Air Vehicle Systems
  • F39 Normal and Utility Category Airplane Electrical Wiring Systems
standards and related information why develop them
Standards and Related Information -Why Develop Them?
  • Aid in design, manufacturing, performance, operation and maintenance
  • Advance safety, health, quality
  • Increase public interest, product certainty, and information availability
  • Transfer technology to the marketplace via standards, handbooks, manuals, and training
  • Passports to the global market
astm committees impacting aircraft design and manufacture
ASTM Committees Impacting Aircraft Design and Manufacture
  • Committee F37 Light Sport Aircraft
    • F37.10 GliderF37.20 AirplaneF37.30 Power ParachuteF37.40 Weight ShiftF37.50 GyroplaneF37.60 Lighter than AirF37.70 Cross CuttingF37.70.02 LSA Audit Task GroupF37.70.10 Hang Glider and Paraglider Tandem Operations Task Group
  • Committee F38 Unmanned Aircraft
    • F38.01 AirworthinessF38.02 Flight OperationsF38.03 Operator Qualifications
  • Committee F39 Airplane Electrical Wiring
    • F39.01 Design, Alteration, and CertificationF39.02 Inspection, Maintenance, and Repair
standards required by lsa regulation
Standards Required by LSA Regulation
  • Design and Performance
  • Required Equipment
  • Quality Assurance
  • Production Acceptance Tests
  • Aircraft Operating Instructions
  • Maintenance and Inspection Procedures
  • Continued Airworthiness
  • Manufacturer’s Assembly Instructions
    • Experimental Light-Sport Kits Only
f37 light sport aircraft
F37 Light Sport Aircraft
  • Committee and subcommittees have been working for over two years – Chaired by EAA
  • Q4 2004 – All standards completed for the design and manufacture of airplanes and powered parachutes
    • Excluding maintenance and repairman standards
  • FAA has formally accepted the new standards
    • Published in Federal Register March 3, 2005
other completed standards
Other Completed Standards
  • Airframe Emergency Parachutes
  • Engine Design and Manufacture
  • Gyroplane - design, operating, and airworthiness
    • Gyroplanes are not eligible for Special LSA airworthiness certificates under existing regulations
  • Lighter Than Air – manufacture, quality, and airworthiness
standards to be completed
Standards To Be Completed

Before Special and Experimental Light-Sport Aircraft can be sold, several standards have yet to be completed and fully balloted.

    • Maintenance and Inspection Procedures
    • Identification and Recording of Major Repairs and Major Alterations
    • Complete in Q2 or Q3 2005
  • FAA policy regarding training and certification of repairmen requires additional work
for your reference airplane standards
For Your Reference:Airplane Standards
  • Design, Performance, Required Equipment, Operating Instructions
    • ASTM F2245-04
  • Quality Assurance, Production Acceptance Testing
    • ASTM F2279-03
  • Continued Airworthiness
    • ASTM F2295-03
for your reference powered parachute standards
For Your Reference:Powered Parachute Standards
  • Design and Performance
    • ASTM F2244-03
  • Required Equipment, Operating Instructions
    • ASTM F2243-03
  • Quality Assurance
    • ASTM F2240-03
  • Production Acceptance Testing
    • ASTM F2242-03
  • Continued Airworthiness
    • ASTM F2241-03
for your reference gyroplane standards
For Your Reference:Gyroplane Standards
  • Design and Performance, Required Equipment, Operating Instructions
    • ASTM F2352-04
  • Continued Airworthiness
    • ASTM F2415-04
for your reference lighter than air standards
For Your Reference:Lighter Than Air Standards
  • Quality Assurance and Production Acceptance Tests
    • ASTM F2353-04
  • Continued Airworthiness
    • ASTM F2354-04
for your reference optional standards
For Your Reference:Optional Standards
  • Airframe Emergency Parachutes
    • ASTM F2316-03
  • Engine Design & Manufacture
    • ASTM F2339-04
where can i obtain copies of the lsa standards

Where Can I Obtain Copies of the LSA Standards?

ASTM International

100 Barr Harbor Drive

P.O. Box C700

West Conshohocken, PA 19428-2959

(610) 832-9585


  • FAA and industry have been favorably impressed
    • Ability of process to draw disparate and competing interests toward consensus
    • Quality of ASTM support for the process
    • Quality of the standards themselves
  • Standards are living documents
    • Must be reviewed at least every two years
    • Updates likely more frequent – contrasts dramatically with regulatory solutions
lsa paving the way for others
LSA – Paving the Way for Others
  • Process has already been expanded to other aeronautical projects where consensus documents can be more complete and timely than regulation
  • F38 – Unmanned Aircraft
  • F39 – Aircraft Electrical Wiring
    • Large number stakeholders
    • Disparate industry and government segments
    • Competing interests
  • A model for the future!!