Light-Sport Category Aircraft
The FAA airworthiness certification process consists of a review of the documentation supplied with the aircraft, verifying it agrees with the identification, description and applicable regulations, and a general airworthiness inspection to determine the aircraft is in a condition for safe operation.
Record Inspection and Document Review.
You must submit to the FAA -
- A Form 8130-6 and any other documents requested by the FAA after review.
- A Form 8130-15, light-sport aircraft manufacturer's statement of compliance.
- The aircraft’s operating instructions, maintenance instructions, and flight training supplement
The FAA/DAR will -
- Review the documentation provided and determine that the registration requirements of FAR 47 have been met, and ensure the aircraft is marked in accordance with FAR 45.
- Review the aircraft records to determine whether the required production flight test and inspections have been accomplished, as appropriate.
- Review the applicant’s weight and balance or weight and loading data for accuracy for the aircraft submitted.
You must make the arrange for and make the aircraft available for the FAA's inspection.
The FAA/DAR will inspect the aircraft to ensure that -
- The ID plate meets the requirements of FAR 45.11, as applicable.
- The information on the ID plate is correct, matches the information on the Form 8130-6, and is in accordance with FAR 45.13, as applicable.
- The aircraft nationality and registration marks are in accordance with FAR 45
- The flight control systems and associated instruments operate properly
- The instruments are appropriately marked and needed placards are installed with placement for easy reference.
- System controls are appropriately placed, clearly marked, provide easy access and operation, and function in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications and applicable consensus standard.
- An ELT is installed, when required by FAR 91.207.
- Airframe emergency parachutes are properly marked and identified
Upon satisfactory completion of the records inspection, document review, and aircraft inspection, the FAA/DAR will issue the special airworthiness certificate and the operating limitations for that aircraft. The operating limitations will be attached to Form 8130-7. The FAA/DAR will review the operating limitations with the you to ensure a clear understanding of the limitations.
The manufacturer of the LSA is required to certify within the statement of compliance that the aircraft was ground and flight tested successfully, and is in condition for safe operation. The manufacturer must endorse the aircraft logbook with a statement certifying the applicable flight testing has been completed, therefore, the FAA/DAR will not issue operating limitations to further demonstrate flight testing, but may prescribe any additional limitations deemed necessary in the interest of safety.
If the aircraft meets the requirements for the requested certification, the FAA/DAR will:
- Make an aircraft logbook entry.
- Issue Form 8130-7, with appropriate operating limitations.
- Complete sections V and VIII of Form 8130-6, and
- Examine, review, and route the certification file to the aircraft records branch in Oklahoma City, OK.
If the aircraft does not meet the requirements for the certification requested and the airworthiness certificate is denied, the FAA/DAR will:
- Write a letter to the you stating the reason(s) for denying the airworthiness certificate.
- Attach a copy of the denial letter to Form 8130-6 and forward it to AFS-750 to be made part of the aircraft record.
Change of Airworthiness Certification from Experimental Light-Sport Aircraft Purpose to Light-Sport Aircraft Category Airworthiness Certificates.
An LSA that has been previously issued an experimental airworthiness certificate may be eligible for certification in the light-sport category under the following conditions:
- A light-sport prototype aircraft has been flown by the manufacturer under an experimental R&D certificate to ensure there are no adverse flight characteristics, and the manufacturer provides the necessary documentation with the appropriate FAA forms and applications. There has been an FAA aircraft inspection performed and new operating limitations issued for the aircraft.
If the LSA was converted from a light-sport category airworthiness certificate to an experimental LSA certificate, you must provide the following:
- All original documentation required by FAR 21.190.
- A current manufacturer’s statement of compliance.
- Proof of compliance with applicable safety directives, repairs, and safety modifications published by the manufacturer and documented in the aircraft’s records.
- A finding and statement that the aircraft was not altered and/or modified without manufacturer approval.
- Evidence that the required maintenance was accomplished and documented in the aircraft’s records in accordance with part 43, and, if not accomplished and documented, then an evaluation of its effect on flight safety was performed.
- Proof the aircraft was inspected and is in a condition for safe operation.
LSA with Retroactive Statement of Compliance.
For an aircraft meeting all the requirements for LSA under FAR 21.190, but built before the acceptance of the consensus standard and that has not received an airworthiness certificate, the applicant must provide the following:
- A retroactive manufacturer’s statement of compliance assigned by serial number to the specific aircraft provided by the manufacturer. To receive a retroactive manufacturer’s statement of compliance, you must ask the manufacturer to determine if the aircraft is eligible for a statement of compliance and, if the aircraft (by serial number) complied with the applicable consensus standard at the time of manufacture. The manufacturer then will present all items needed for original issuance of a light-sport category airworthiness certificate per FAR 21.190, including a retroactive statement of compliance by serial number. If the manufacturer refuses to present a retroactive statement of compliance, then the aircraft is not eligible for certification in this category.
- All documentation required for issuance of a light-sport category airworthiness certificate according to FAR 21.190, except using the retroactive statement of compliance as the statement of compliance.
- The aircraft’s records and logbooks must show compliance to FAR 91.319(b) and that the flight testing was completed using the applicable consensus standard and the manufacturer’s production flight test acceptance criteria. All maintenance of and alterations to the aircraft must be documented in accordance with FAR 43. Any changes to the aircraft must include the necessary approval from the manufacturer, and the incorporation of all applicable manufacturer’s corrections of safety-of-flight issues must be documented in the aircraft records.
Transfer of Light-Sport Category Airworthiness Certificates.
An airworthiness certificate is transferred with the aircraft (§ 21.179); for example, if there is a change of ownership or transfer of registration. There is no FAA inspection required after transfer of an aircraft with its airworthiness certificate unless it is determined that revised operating limitations are necessary. In this case, a new Form 8130-7 must be issued to reflect the new date of the revised operating limitations. Therefore, the applicant must submit Form 8130-6. Aircraft records also must be transferred with change of ownership
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