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Thread: Updates to FAA Aircraft Certification, Including EAB and Light Sport

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    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Updates to FAA Aircraft Certification, Including EAB and Light Sport

    At AirVenture this year, the outgoing FAA Administrator gave some hints as to what direction the FAA's changes to aircraft certification might be going. Here's EAA's Press Release:

    https://eaa.org/eaa/news-and-publica...-Administrator

    Excerpts from the press release:

    Addressing light-sport aircraft, Elwell announced that LSA will have an increased weight and up to four seats so that, as he put it, "Instructors can now have some margin when flying with guys like me who like our bratwurst." He also added that electric powerplants will be permissible, which has long been a goal for EAA, along with providing for other emerging technologies.

    For amateur-built aircraft, Elwell hinted at reforms that may alter the requirements for how well-proven kit planes can be constructed and flown, perhaps even without the "experimental" moniker. EAA has been clear that traditional amateur building privileges must always be held sacrosanct amid any reforms, and any new alternatives would be optional for those who wish to pursue them.

    Finally, Elwell announced a very exciting prospect for the legacy fleet. For older aircraft not being used for commercial purposes, owners will be able to exchange the standard airworthiness certificate for a special airworthiness certificate similar to certificates held by experimental aircraft. "That means the owner will be able to install lower-cost, safety-enhancing equipment the kind that is widely available for the experimental market without an STC or 337." Such a change would also have the potential to expand the ability to substitute for parts that are no longer available, and perhaps even the ability for owners to perform additional maintenance on their aircraft.


    Sounding pretty good. However, the outgoing Administrator did not provide an anticipated implementation date. I'm suspecting this is still several years out.

    Ron Wanttaja

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    This is some good news indeed.

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    This sounds a bit like our Owner Maintenance category. The govt washes its hands of us "older out of production" aircraft.
    The owner does the sign off as it would be difficult to find an engineer to sign it off when who knows what has been done to it. My experience engineers have no problem working on these as no signature is asked.
    The only stipulation is you can't violate the original type certificate ,,,,, unless it is signed off by the minister, or his designate. So yes I can put a PT6 in my Grumman, it just needs to be engineered

    Will open up a whole new world for private aircraft.

    The only thing holding people off in Canada is the perception it will decrease the value. Not proving to be the case.

  4. #4
    dclaxon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rwanttaja View Post
    At AirVenture this year, the outgoing FAA Administrator gave some hints as to what direction the FAA's changes to aircraft certification might be going.
    Yes, but that was from the OUTGOING Administrator. I will feel a lot better when I hear it from the INCOMING Administrator. Especially since Dickson had already been confirmed when Elwell made that announcement, so he pretty well knew he could say just about anything he wanted.
    But I don't really think that is what's going on here, we have been hearing about movement in those directions for some time now, it is just moving slowly. Would you really expect changes to the LSA rules to move any faster than the LSA rule itself did? It remains to be seen if the movement keeps going under the new Administrator, but we can always hope.

    Dave

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