Sport Pilot, Better Late? Or Never?...

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OMB on Sport Pilot/LSA: Not Now but Maybe...

FAA officials made clear on Tuesday at Sun 'n Fun how highly the agency views its still-pending sport pilot/light-sport aircraft (LSA) proposal ... sort of. Many view LSA as the salvation of sport, entry-level aviation and continued flying by older pilots. Meetings yesterday with industry leaders at Sun 'n Fun in Lakeland, Florida, LSA staffers confirmed that the OMB rejected the proposed rule but that FAA Administrator Marion Blakey pulled the rule for further explanation and possible changes. The action perhaps reflects momentum earned through time effort and money already spent. Among her other options -- throwing her hands up in frustrated disgust and letting it die. FAA LSA team leaders Sue Gardner and Scott Sedgwick were upbeat despite repeated delays of a rule that is deemed critical to the survival of some companies committed to production of ready-to-fly aircraft and kits. Expected by industry-watchers in May, the revelation of a final rule is now (again) expected later. Despite the years of effort, and waves of fanfare, death of the proposed rule is still a possible outcome.