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EAA AirVenture Oshkosh RSS FeedEAA, FAA discuss LSA assessment
By David Sakrison,  EAA AirVenture Today

Photo by Brett Brock
CFI/AGI Scott Johnson demonstrates the emergency parachute deployment handle of the Flight Design LSA at EAA AirVenture 2009.

July 29, 2009 - Oshkosh, Wisconsin - EAA, FAA, and light-sport industry representatives met Monday afternoon to hear a progress report on the Light- Sport Aircraft Assessment, an ongoing effort to assess the health of the industry in the United States. The program’s focus is on identifying regulatory compliance issues in the LSA industry and recommending improvements.

There were 52 LSA manufacturing facilities in the United States at the time the assessments began. The FAA assessment team visited 30 of them, collecting data on manufacturers’ compliance with regulations and standards.

“This was not an individual manufacturer assessment program,” said Brian Cable, of FAA’s Aircraft Certification Service and assessment team leader. The results of the assessment project will be reported on a global basis, presenting an overall snapshot that identifies global trends and issues in the LSA industry. Industry visits and evaluations were completed earlier this year and the project team is currently analyzing the data and preparing its report, with a draft to be completed in two or three months, said Cable.

All of the manufacturers were very cooperative, Cable noted. Several of them used the assessment as a learning experience and to gain a better understanding of the FAA requirements and how to comply with them.

Numerous issues were identified, leading to recommendations for improvement. Those recommendations will be presented in the final assessment report.

“The issues identified here are not all on the industry side,” said FAA’s Frank Paskiewicz, manager of the production and airworthiness division. “Although the LSA industry has a lot of work to do, there are things [FAA] will need to do—such as publish new orders and advisory circulars.”

Overall, he added, “I have full confidence that this industry will be as strong and as robust as any other in a short period of time.”

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