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ARTICLE: LSA seaplane invasion…Can it happen?


The LSA industry has great potential and this author opines that the skies may see many more of these innovative aircraft in the future. He also cites FAA Order 8130.2G CHG 1 as a potential inhibitant; for it will mandate an FAA visit to Spain, where the company designing this seaplane is located. The recent history of this industry was an initial burst of enthusiasm and regulatory release followed by reconsideration by the FAA of that relaxation. The new Order reflects a need to examine the level of compliance by the company offering the LSA.

This increased level of FAA concern should cause the entities seeking to create this new exciting aviation segment to take extra steps to assure that their policies, procedures, practices and papers meet or preferably exceed the agency’s expectations! History suggests that having sounded alarm the agency will clamp down on the nascent business with stultifying impact.

The author correctly hints that the FAA’s trips to Spain will be carefully considered for the first trip to the site. If the FAA team, in its review of the company’s compliance status, finds problems, such an issue may substantially delay any approval and may result in disapproval.

Any foreign LSA company preparing for an FAA review would be well advised to make sure that all aspects of its operations, particularly the paperwork which has been found generally to be deficient among LSA companies, are nearly perfect. It would be a cost beneficial exercise to bring a team of outside experts to assess the organization’s preparedness.

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