This following summary provided by:

Sport Pilot Preventive Maintenance, Maintenance, and Inspection Privileges

Preventive Maintenance—Experimental Light-Sport Aircraft

As with experimental amateur-built aircraft, anyone can perform maintenance or preventive maintenance on an experimental light-sport aircraft. However, any prohibitions or restrictions on maintenance contained in the operating limitations would have to be followed.

Preventive Maintenance—Special Light-Sport Aircraft

In the preamble to the proposed rule, the FAA states that it is their intent to permit sport pilots to be able to perform preventive maintenance on their personally owned special light-sport aircraft. As of this writing, EAA cannot find the regulatory basis for this in the proposal. When we sought clarification of this point, the FAA indicated that their approach toward extending the preventive maintenance privilege to sport pilots would be to include it in the operating limitations authorized by Part 91.319(e). EAA will seek further clarification on this point in the final rule by including this issue in our official comments to the docket.

Maintenance—Experimental Light-Sport Aircraft

As with experimental amateur-built aircraft, anyone can perform maintenance or preventive maintenance on an experimental light-sport aircraft. However, any prohibitions or restrictions on maintenance contained in the operating limitations would have to be followed.

Maintenance—Special Light-Sport Aircraft

It is specifically for this aircraft category that FAA is establishing a new repairman certificate (light-sport aircraft) with a maintenance rating. Persons who hold this certificate could perform both maintenance and required condition inspections on aircraft certificated in the special light-sport category, consistent with the manufacturer’s maintenance and inspection instructions. To qualify for this new repairman certificate (light-sport aircraft) with a maintenance rating, an applicant would need to complete an 80-hour training course acceptable to the FAA in the maintenance requirements of the category of light-sport aircraft intended to be maintained and inspected. Privileges would be limited to tasks outlined in the manufacturers instructions for continued airworthiness and the operating limitations of the airworthiness certificate for the aircraft. Repairmen with a maintenance rating would also be permitted to maintain and inspect special light-sport aircraft other than their own. To perform a major repair, the repairman would need to complete additional training acceptable to the FAA appropriate to the repair being performed. Applicants for this repairman certificate would need to be at least 18 years of age, able to read, write, and speak the English language, be a citizen of the United States, and demonstrate the skills necessary to determine whether a light-sport aircraft is in a condition for safe operation. As with other aircraft types, special light-sport aircraft could also be maintained by appropriately rated mechanics (A&Ps) and repair stations.

Inspection—Experimental Light-Sport Aircraft*

It is for this aircraft category that FAA is establishing the second new repairman certificate—repairman certificate (light-sport aircraft) with an inspection rating. This repairman certificate would allow the owner of an experimental light-sport aircraft to perform a condition inspection on his or her own aircraft consistent with the manufacturer’s instructions for continued airworthiness. This privilege could not be extended to aircraft not owned and operated by the holder of the repairman certificate. An applicant for a repairman certificate (light-sport aircraft) with an inspection rating would be required to complete a 16-hour training course acceptable to the FAA on the inspection requirements of the particular make and model intended to be inspected. As with the repairman with maintenance rating, applicants would need to be at least 18 years of age, able to read, write and speak the English language, and be a citizen of the United States. Appropriately rated mechanics (A&Ps) and repair stations are also authorized to perform condition inspections on experimental light-sport aircraft.

Inspection—Special Light-Sport Aircraft

Because the legal definition of “maintenance” includes inspection, the holder of a repairman (light-sport aircraft) with a maintenance rating would be allowed to perform required condition inspections on an aircraft certificated in the special light-sport category. These inspections could be accomplished by such certificated repairmen on both their own aircraft and on special light-sport aircraft owned and operated by others. The scope, detail, and limitations of the condition inspections would be outlined in the manufacturer’s instructions for continued airworthiness. Naturally, appropriately rated mechanics (A&Ps) and repair stations could also perform condition inspections.

*Recall that builders of this category of aircraft will not be required to build 51-percent of the aircraft. In fact, they may only have to complete 5 or 10 percent of the aircraft. Consequently, their knowledge about their aircraft’s construction is not as detailed as someone who has built more than half of the aircraft. Consequently, FAA believes that some level of familiarization with the aircraft’s construction is required in order for the builder/inspector to insure the aircraft is airworthy. FAA suggests that a 16-hour course would provide the required level of knowledge.

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