LAMA Works On LSA Initiatives With FAA
The Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association (LAMA) is having good luck working with the FAA on initiatives to benefit the LSA community, according to LAMA Chairman of the Board and President Dan Johnson. In this podcast, Johnson spoke with AVweb about LAMA’s process in developing these initiatives and how the association has been coordinating with the FAA.
Johnson said that LAMA has been honing these initiatives for the last four years. They began with a list of 26 goals for the future of LSA aircraft and whittled it down to the four most important. Those initiatives include expanding commercial use (what LAMA is calling aerial work) of LSAs. As it stands, LSAs can, in some circumstances, be used for flight instruction, rental and towing. The idea is to eventually provide space for working pilots to use LSAs—and thus take advantage of their often lower fuel burns and reduced emissions—for additional tasks. An example given was pipeline patrols.
Another initiative is an allowance for electrically powered LSAs. Johnson believes that LSAs and electric propulsion make a lot of sense, given the size of most light sport models. LAMA would also like to see fully built gyroplanes for sale in the U.S. and single-lever control, in-flight adjustable propellers for LSAs.
According to Johnson, LAMA, the U.S. Ultralight Association and the FAA are working together on methods for providing some exemptions for these activities. The hope is that this will allow LAMA and others to gather data on how these changes would function in order to provide good information for future regulation. Though he doesn’t believe new regulations will ever come quickly, Johnson was clear that the FAA has been very open to working with LAMA and the LSA community.