EAA/AOPA Applaud NPRM On MOSAIC Plan To Redraw LSA Certification


The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) this morning (July 19) announced its support for a pre-publication version of an FAA Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on the MOSAIC package of aircraft-certification updates. MOSAIC is an acronym for the Modernization of Special Airworthiness Certificates, a long-standing initiative involving cooperation between EAA, AOPA, other GA advocates and the FAA, designed to “expand opportunities for light sport aircraft [LSAs],” according to EAA.

EAA CEO and Chairman of the Board Jack Pelton said, “MOSAIC had its genesis with a conversation between EAA and FAA officials nearly a decade ago, as we focused on safely creating more aviation opportunities for those who wanted to participate. Now that the NPRM is being released, we will study it closely and supply focused comments to ensure that the goals of this EAA-inspired initiative remain in the final language developed by the FAA.”

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) also pushed hard “to expand the light sport aircraft definition, relax most current operating limitations, and allow certain operations for hire reserved for certified aircraft.” AOPA President Mark Baker said, “Modernizing the light-sport category for the thousands of our members that fly these aircraft is something we’ve been long pushing for, and it just makes sense. We’re pleased to see the FAA take this first step to help modernize the general aviation fleet and provide more options for pilots.”

AOPA also noted the FAA agreed with its request “to allow sport pilots flying light sport aircraft to perform certain commercial operations, such as product demonstration for engines or other modifications. These privileges would also extend to experimental aircraft that have flown at least 50 hours, provided that the applicant has established an inspection and maintenance program.”

EAA enumerates its goals for the MOSAIC program as including:

“Changing the limitations of LSAs from an arbitrary weight to performance-based metrics will allow for larger and more capable aircraft and permit a wider range of students and instructors to fly them, significantly increasing access to flight training. This will afford flight schools more opportunities to refresh their fleets by making larger and more durable LSAs a viable option for training operations;

“Removing the restriction that powered LSAs must have a reciprocating engine. This will enable future electric, hybrid, distributed power, and other new propulsion technologies;

“Expanding the sport pilot certificate. By leveraging sport pilots’ system of training and instructor endorsements, we believe that current and future sport pilots can expand the privileges of their initial certificate to operate larger and more capable aircraft. This would apply to both sport pilots and higher-rated pilots operating under the privileges of a sport pilot certificate, enhancing a pathway for existing pilots to remain active in general aviation.”

Pelton added that the NPRM “will also undoubtedly be a topic of conversation as we gather for EAA AirVenture Oshkosh next week.” Public comment on the NPRM will be open for 90 days following the official date of publication in the Federal Register, expected either later this week or sometime next week as AirVenture is underway.

Mark Phelps
Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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  1. 318 pages!!! OMG!!! Like I always say, “The FAA … making simple s%$t hard since 1958.”

    I tried to go through it but it’s just too much; I guess I’ll have to hire an attorney. All I got out of it SO far is they’re increasing the stall speed to 54kts … big deal 🙁 .

    • Actually seems like a big deal, it’s going to add thousands of eligible planes to the definition with the weight (3000 pounds) and speed limits. Also constant speed/variable pitch props, folding gear, etc.

      The current insanity of being able to fly a J-3 Cub but not a Cessna 120 will hopefully come to a deserved end.

      I do hope lobbyists aren’t able to torpedo this. It’s a step in the right direction.

  2. If you’d bother looking, the sample text for the new Mosaic standards itself is quite lean. The rest is current regs, history, rationales, & competing inputs. Also, the sample contains aircraft build standards, mechanic training & certification, pilot licensing, higher rated pilots exercising LSA privileges, how MOSAIC LSA fits in with other classes like experimental, standard, special & utility.

  3. I know, and trust, at least one of the principals behind this enhanced LSA rule making. I am all in! Way to go FAA (and EAA).

    If you have something to add to the NPRM now is the time to express your wants and wishes via the comment process. Your comment will be read. Be part of the process.

    Once approved it will be up to the flying public to prove it was the correct decision by flying their aircraft safely. Be part of the solution and in doing so you will be an important part the next great enhancement to LSA.

  4. Mark, AOPA actually INTERFERED with expanding Sport Pilot earlier when they and industry flacks Dan Johnson and Roy Beisswenger kept lobbying to add commercial revenue ops of little or no use to everyday sport pilots instead of just expanding aircraft eligible!
    FAA is expanding Sport Pilot to allow gross weights up to 3,000 pounds, stall speeds up to 54knots, retractable gear, cruise speeds up to 250knots, and use of 4 seat aircraft (with only pilot and 1 pax aboard). The author of “Sport Pilot Encyclopedia” [sold by Aircraft Spruce, etc) has begun advising book purchasers that on July 24 the FAA will finally publish an NPRM for comments on a new 61.316 with these and other changes expanding Sport Pilot operations that could be effective NLT November 1, 2023.
    [See Docket No.: FAA-2023-1377; Notice No. 23-10]

  5. Get ready for some opposition. Remember when the airline pilots union fought, and successfully watered down, BasicMed? Don’t be surprised if the legacy piston airplane manufacturers have their lobbyists working OT also. The monopoly they have been enjoying will come to an end. All the opposition will be in the name of safety of course.