FAA STREAMLINES LIGHT SPORT AIRCRAFT RULES, BUT FOR SAFETY/AIRWORTHINESS REASONS MAINTAINS DOCUMENTATION STANDARDS

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ARTICLE:  Sport-Plane Makers Warned by FAA to Stop Evading Rules

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The FAA created a new category of aircraft called Light Sport Aircraft and established rules that are less demanding than the rules for General Aviation aircraft. The intent was to allow some innovation and increased activity in this small airplane segment. The number of vehicles that have qualified for this category this category is impressive evidence of the interest in this category.

In spite of the simplified rules and the FAA’s positive attitude towards this developing industry segment, an FAA audit of the manufacturers detected problems. The report indicated inadequate quality control documentation and that when correction notifications were required, the manufacturers lacked a system to disseminate messages. The FAA expressed similar concerns with foreign manufactured LSAs.

The FAA gets kudos for streamlining the certification process for the LSA, but that does equate to the FAA changing its high standards for proper documentation and quality control. LSA manufacturers should ensure that they have the resources and experience to meet the regulatory compliance requirements. JDA has a cadre of professionals who have significant experience in dealing with the FAA rules (Aircraft and Product Certification.)

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