FAA staffers will check a random sample of 29 light sport aircraft manufacturers over the next 10 months to assess how well they are applying the industry's consensus-based ASTM standards, EAA said last week. A meeting between FAA officials, EAA staff and LSA manufacturers at EAA AirVenture laid out the details of the FAA plan. The agency is trying to "get a picture of the health of the industry overall," one FAA staffer said at the meeting, and is not aiming to conduct a compliance audit of any particular manufacturer. Two teams of two FAA inspectors will assess each company, spending an average of eight hours to gather information and data for analysis. "By comparison, a compliance audit conducted by LAMA (Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association) takes 30 to 40 hours or more," LAMA chairman Dan Johnson told AVweb on Wednesday. The FAA will report the results of its research in September 2009, Johnson said.
The data will be used by the FAA to evaluate and report on the overall health and safety of the industry, EAA said. About 3,000 light-sport aircraft have been certified since the FAA rule was certified in September 2004.