Progress Reported On LSA Maintenance Issues

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FAA officials met with representatives from the sport-pilot industry last week at the EAA Aviation Center in Oshkosh, Wis., to discuss maintenance issues for light sport aircraft (LSA). Progress was made in the ongoing effort to make it easier for schools to train repairmen. "The repairman and maintenance courses are among the final pieces remaining to complete the basic [LSA] infrastructure," said Earl Lawrence, EAA's vice president of industry and regulatory affairs. The group agreed to use experts from the ultralight industry as instructors, and the FAA said it will allow class sizes of up to 25 students, which will make the courses more affordable. Among those at Oshkosh for two days of discussions were officials from FAA headquarters in Washington, D.C., and the FAA Sport Pilot Office in Oklahoma City.

"During this meeting, EAA and industry officials emphasized to FAA the vital importance of effective and practical regulations for light-sport aircraft maintenance," said Lawrence. "Using safety and practicality as our cooperative goals, we made great progress to revise the previous policy that was first unveiled earlier this year." Currently, light-sport aircraft can be maintained and inspected by an FAA-certificated airframe-and-powerplant (A&P) mechanic or authorized repair station. However, the FAA rule also provides for individuals to earn a light-sport repairman/maintenance rating to do the maintenance and annual condition inspection for any light-sport aircraft, as well as other condition inspections. Lawrence expects a revised procedure to be available from FAA by the end of the year.