Two Weeks To Taxi Approved

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Glasair's controversial Two Weeks To Taxi program, in which builders of Glasair Sportsman aircraft build an almost-complete aircraft in two weeks at Glasair's facitlity in Washington State, has been endorsed by the FAA's Production and Airworthiness Division after a week-long audit. "The FAA's on-site team found that the "lean manufacturing" processes employed, combined with the provided educational assistance, accelerates the Sportsman build time significantly without violating the spirit or intent of Part 21, Section 21.191(g)," the company said in a news release.

More than 100 Sportsmans have been built in the program, in which company staff lay out tools, round up the necessary parts and provide instruction to customers who, according to the FAA's findings, do at least 51 percent of the work. "We have worked very, very hard to develop a program that makes aircraft building more accessible, more organized, and as efficient as possible, while staying within the letter and spirit of the amateur built rule," said Glasair CEO Michael Via. The company says it will expand the program. The decision would seem to set the tone for the current discussion by the FAA's Amateur-Built Rulemaking Committee, which is reviewing the level of participation required by builders in all aspects of the construction of their aircraft. Among those auditing the Glasair program was Frank Paskiewicz, who heads up the FAA's Production and Airworthiness Division and is a key member of the 51 percent rule committee.

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