FAA Expected To Exempt Ultralight Trainers From Regs

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A pending deadline that would make it difficult to find aircraft that could legally be used for ultralight training will probably be extended or discarded by the FAA, EAA said this week. When the sport pilot rules were developed several years ago, the FAA allowed the use of two-seat ultralight E-LSA trainers only until Jan. 31, 2010. The idea was that by then, enough ultralight-like two-seat Special LSAs would be operating to take on the job of training ultralight pilots. However, only three manufacturers have produced S-LSAs that are suitable for the ultralight training market, and the down economy and the difficulty of obtaining financing have slowed sales. The lack of suitable trainers would create a safety issue, says EAA, "because people wanting to fly ultralights or ultralight-like aircraft will not be able to take flight training in ultralight-like aircraft." The FAA is now evaluating the situation, EAA said, but one way or another, it seems likely that the current trainers now in use will be allowed to be used after the deadline.

No matter which remedy the FAA chooses, either extending the deadline or effectively eliminating it, owners will have to obtain a new airworthiness certificate and operating limitations, EAA said.