Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) Parts

by Jon
(Orlando, FL USA)

Jon wrote:

I am researching information on necessary equipment/certification of aircraft. I understand that a Type Certificate Data Sheet (TCDS) is not needed for light sport aircraft. However, as an instructor I am most aware of teaching and fostering a very safety conscious environment in my training.

One item that has come up is: if a part such as a spinner were damaged and removed by a qualified A&P, I would normally refer to the TCDS. Because Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) conform to the new consensus standard it becomes very difficult to ascertain what the aircraft was certified with. (The spinner being only one example)

My fear is that teaching an airman to just call the manufacture and hearing "yeah it's fine" could be both unsafe and outside of my comfort zone at my level of understanding of regulations.

On a C-182, I would simply refer to it's certification data no problem, but am I to have something in writing from an LSA manufacturer to distinguish that removal of an item does not violate any standards or performance issues? I am just trying to do the right thing and any information will help this growing community I am sure.

ANSWER: The intent of a consensus standard is the same as that of a type certificate data sheet.

Consensus Standards include standards for aircraft design and performance, required equipment, operating instructions, and procedures (or reference to other documents) that outline continued airworthiness items like maintenance, replacement parts and inspections. It should also include procedures for the identification and recording of major repairs and major alterations.

The aircraft owner should have a copy of this consensus standard, or at least the continuing airworhiness documents referenced in the consensus standard. Using these documents, you should be able to determine the correct parts to install on the aircraft.

Return to Aircraft Certification Questions.

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