Light Sport N-Numbers Available, Not Recommended

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You can now get an N-number for your ultralight or homebuilt but, ironically, it would mean you can't fly it. The conundrum comes as various parts of the massive Light Sport/Sport Pilot implementation process fail to synchronize in the creation of the new aircraft class. According to EAA, the part of the FAA that deals with registration is ready to go and forms were available on Friday to make the transition. Problem: The parts of the FAA that deal with the necessary licensing and airworthiness certificates won't be ready for months. "With FAA's release of the registration form, it is possible to get an N-number for your ultralight," said EAA spokesman Charlie Becker. "However, EAA is counseling members to wait ... because, without an airworthiness certificate, you're grounded." The FAA won't begin issuing experimental light-sport aircraft airworthiness certificates until Jan. 15, 2005. Once the plane is registered, you need a sport pilot certificate (or better) to fly it. EAA is suggesting that pilots carefully plot out the sequence and timing of the paperwork to minimize the amount of time required to get flying under the new rule. In the meantime, it's suggesting you wait and see how it all develops.