Basic Parameters of the Certification of Aircraft and Airmen for the Operation of Light-Sport Aircraft Rule

This following synopsis provided by:

This is a synopsis of the definition of a light-sport aircraft category, the requirements to obtain a sport pilot certificate, and requirements to obtain a repairman certificate with a maintenance or inspection rating. For more complete details, see EAA’s final analysis of the rule.

Light-Sport Aircraft:

bulletMaximum gross takeoff weight—1,320 lbs (599 kg.), 1,430 lbs for seaplanes.
bulletLighter-than-air light-sport aircraft maximum gross weight—660 lbs (300 kg.)
bulletMaximum stall speed—51 mph (45 knots)
bulletMaximum speed in level flight with maximum continuous power (Vh)—138 mph (120 knots)
bulletTwo-place maximum (pilot and one passenger)
bulletSingle, non-turbine engine only, includes rotary or diesel engines
bulletFixed or ground adjustable propeller
bulletUnpressurized cabin
bulletFixed landing gear, except for an aircraft intended for operation on water or a glider
bulletCan be manufactured and sold ready-to-fly under a new Special Light-Sport aircraft certification without FAR Part 23 compliance. Aircraft must meet consensus standards. Aircraft under this certification may be used for sport and recreation, flight training, and aircraft rental.
bulletCan be licensed Experimental Light-Sport Aircraft (E-LSA) if kit- or plans-built. Aircraft under this certification may be used only for sport and recreation and flight instruction for the owner of the aircraft.
bulletCan be licensed Experimental Light-Sport Aircraft (E-LSA) if it was kit- or plans-built and operated as an ultralight trainers. Aircraft must be transitioned to E-LSA category no later than January 31, 2008.
bulletWill have FAA registration—N-number.
bulletAircraft category and class includes: Airplane (Land/Sea), Gyroplane, Airship, Balloon, Weight-Shift-Control (Trike Land/Sea), and Powered Parachute.
bulletU.S. or foreign manufacture of light-sport aircraft is authorized.
bulletAircraft with a standard airworthiness certificate that meet above specifications may be flown by sport pilots. However, that airworthiness certification category will not be changed to a light-sport aircraft. Holders of a sport pilot certificate may fly an aircraft with a standard airworthiness certificate if it meets the definition of a light-sport aircraft.
bulletMay be operated at night if the aircraft is equipped per FAR 91.209 and the pilot holds at least a Private Pilot certificate and a minimum of a third-class medical.
 

The Sport Pilot Rule:

A sport pilot may exercise flight privileges in one or more of the following aircraft categories:

bulletAirplane (single-engine only)
bulletGlider
bulletLighter-than-air (airship or balloon)
bulletRotorcraft (gyroplane only)
bulletPowered Parachute
bulletWeight-Shift control aircraft(e.g. Trikes)

The sport pilot rule:

bulletCreates a new student sport pilot certificate for operating any aircraft that meet the definition of a light-sport aircraft.
bulletCreates a new sport pilot flight instructor certificate.
bulletRequires FAA knowledge (written) and practical (flight) test.
bulletCredits ultralight training and experience toward a sport pilot certificate.
bulletCredits sport pilot flight time toward more advanced pilot ratings.
bulletRequires either a 3rd class FAA medical certificate or a current and valid U.S. driver’s license as evidence of medical eligibility (provided the individual does not have an official denial or revocation of medical eligibility on file with FAA).
bulletDoes not allow carrying passengers for compensation or hire
bulletAllows sharing (“pro-rata”) operating expenses with another pilot.
bulletAllows daylight (civil twilight) flight only.
bulletAllow sport pilots to fly vintage and production aircraft (standard airworthiness certificate) that meet the definition of a light-sport aircraft.

Sport Pilot Flight Instructors:

The new sport pilot/light-sport aircraft rule:

bulletCreates new sport pilot flight and ground instructor certificates.
bulletAllows instructors to use ultralight exemption experience.
bulletAllows conversion to sport pilot instructor status for ultralight instructors.
bulletAllows current CFI’s to train sport pilots.

Repairmen Certificates
The sport pilot/light-sport aircraft rule creates two new Light-Sport Repairmen certificate—with either a maintenance or inspection rating. To earn an FAA repairman certificate of any type, you must be:

bulletAt least 18 years old
bulletSpeak, read, and understand English
bulletDemonstrate the requisite skill to determine whether an E-LSA or S-LSA is in a condition for safe operation
bulletU.S. citizen or legal permanent resident for a Inspection rating—complete a 16 hour course on the inspection requirements of the particular class of light-sport aircraft;
bulletfor a Maintenance rating—complete a course – 120 hours (airplane category); 104 hours (weight shift or powered parachute); 80 hours (glider or lighter-than-air) -- on the maintenance requirements of the particular class of light-sport aircraft.

Other LSA Maintenance Options
The annual condition inspection on special light-sport airworthiness certificated aircraft--can be completed by:

bulletAn appropriately rated mechanic—that is, A&P
bulletAn appropriately rated repair station; or
bulletA light-sport repairman with a maintenance rating.

Preventive maintenance can be performed by a certificated pilot (Sport Pilot rating or higher)

The annual condition inspection on experimental light-sport airworthiness certificated aircraft--can be completed by:

bulletAn appropriately rated mechanic—that is, A&P
bulletAn appropriately rated repair station; or
bulletA light-sport repairman with a maintenance rating; or
bulletA light-sport repairman with a inspection rating (only on your own aircraft).

No rating is required to perform maintenance on experimental light-sport airworthiness certificated aircraft.

 

 

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This site was last updated 09/19/14