Sport Pilot Writtens, Instructors, Examiners, Dates ... Issues

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About three dozen representatives from the aviation industry met at the FAA's newly minted Light-Sport Aviation Branch in Oklahoma City last week and spent three days working on the details of the Sport Pilot regulations. On the agenda were defining the practical test standards for all Sport Pilot ratings; written tests for Sport Pilots and Sport Pilot instructors; Sport Pilot examiners; Light-Sport Aircraft operating limitations and airworthiness issues; Light-Sport Aircraft repairman courses; and requirements for Light-Sport Aircraft designated airworthiness representatives. The FAA expects the final operating limitations for Experimental Light-Sport Aircraft to be completed later this fall, in time for the initial training sessions for Sport Pilot designated pilot examiners, EAA said at its Sport Pilot Web site on Friday. At the meeting, FAA officials confirmed that the FAA's Registration Office in Oklahoma City will be ready to accept student pilot applications for Sport Pilot certificates beginning Nov. 15, EAA said. The FAA expects to begin issuing the first Sport Pilot certificates by early January 2005. "This session is a historic milestone," said Earl Lawrence, EAA vice president of government and industry relations. "It is a groundbreaking approach for FAA to include the aviation community in the development of testing standards and inspection processes, rather than just giving them review privileges after the fact. FAA has made clear it's willing to make this a cooperative venture."