Light-Sport Category Aircraft
Light-sport-aircraft are eligible for a special airworthiness certificate in the LSA category when the aircraft has not been previously issued a standard, primary, restricted, limited, or provisional airworthiness certificate (or an equivalent airworthiness certificate issued by a civil aviation authority outside the United States) and the applicant provides a copy of the aircraft manufacturer’s —
- Written operating instructions in the English language.
- Written maintenance and inspection procedures for the entire aircraft in the English language.
- Flight training supplement in the English language.
- Statement of compliance as described in FAR 21.190(c). A blank copy of Form 8130-15 (Statement of Compliance) can be downloaded from our forms section of this website.
The statement of compliance (Form 8130-15) must contain the following information:
- The identity of the aircraft by make and model, serial number, class, date of manufacture, and consensus standard used;
- A statement that the aircraft meets the provisions of the identified consensus standard;
- A statement that the aircraft conforms to the manufacturer’s design data, using the manufacturer’s quality assurance system that meets the identified consensus standard;
- A statement that the manufacturer will make available to any interested person the aircraft’s operating instructions, the aircraft’s maintenance and inspection procedures for the entire aircraft, and the aircraft’s flight training supplement;
- A statement that the manufacturer will monitor and correct safety-of-flight issues through the issuance of safety directives and a continued airworthiness system that meets the identified consensus standard;
- A statement that at the request of the FAA, the manufacturer will provide unrestricted access to its facilities; and
- A statement that the manufacturer has ground and flight tested the aircraft, found the aircraft performance acceptable, and determined the aircraft is in a condition for safe operation.
Note: When an aircraft meets the definition of light-sport aircraft in accordance with FAR 1.1, and is not eligible per FAR 21.190(c), the aircraft may be eligible for an experimental LSA certificate in accordance with FAR 21.191(i).
Eligible Light-Sport Aircraft Manufactured Outside the United States.
For an aircraft that has been manufactured outside the United States to be eligible for a special airworthiness certificate in the light-sport category, an applicant must provide evidence to the FAA that the aircraft meets the definition of light-sport aircraft according to FAR 1.1 and the requirements of FAR 21.190(b).
In addition, an applicant must provide proof of the following:
- The aircraft was manufactured in a country with which the United States has a Bilateral Aviation Agreement (BAA) concerning airplanes or Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement (BASA) with associated Implementation Procedures for Airworthiness (IPA) concerning airplanes, or an equivalent airworthiness agreement. To verify bilateral agreements, see the AIR-40 listing of current bilateral agreements located on the FAA Web site. (http://www.faa.gov/aircraft/air_cert/international/bilateral_agreements/baa_basa_listing/)
- The aircraft manufactured outside the United States is eligible for an airworthiness certificate, flight authorization, or other similar certification in its country of manufacture. Verification of this eligibility is through a statement from the manufacturer in the aircraft documentation that had the aircraft remained in the country of export, the aircraft would have been eligible for an airworthiness certificate, flight authorization, or other similar certification.
- When an aircraft manufactured outside the United States meets the definition of LSA in accordance with FAR 1.1 and is not eligible per FAR 21.190(b), the aircraft may be eligible for an experimental LSA certificate in accordance with FAR 21.191(i).
Light-Sport Aircraft Construction.
The manufacturer of an aircraft for airworthiness certification in the light-sport category must manufacture the aircraft to the design requirements and quality system of the applicable consensus standard that has been accepted by the FAA and published through a notice of availability in the Federal Register.
To meet the intent of FAR 21.190 and to be eligible for an airworthiness certificate for LSA category, the applicant must present satisfactory evidence that the aircraft was manufactured and found acceptable to the provisions of the applicable consensus standards. Evidence of acceptability is provided by the light-sport aircraft manufacturer’s statement of compliance, Form 8130-15, attesting to compliance with the requirements of FAR 21.190. The following are clarifications of consensus standards and requirements for construction of LSA as it relates to certification in this category:
- The manufacturer of LSA must use those components and equipment that are in accordance with the applicable consensus standard design requirements. The use of used, overhauled, or reconditioned components and assemblies will be provided for in the LSA manufacturer’s maintenance and inspection procedures in accordance with the consensus standards.
- The manufacturer is not required to be a production approval holder for LSA, and LSA do not receive a type certificate. For an aircraft to be eligible within the light-sport category, the aircraft manufactured cannot be a type-certificated aircraft. Light-sport category aircraft are constructed only to the applicable consensus standards.
- In accordance with FAR 21.190(b) and (c), the manufacturer must provide the aircraft’s maintenance and inspection procedures.
- In accordance with FAR 21.190(c), the manufacturer must perform an acceptance test of the aircraft with the requirements necessary to prove the aircraft’s reliability and functionality. The manufacturer verifies the aircraft’s proper function on the ground and in flight according to the applicable consensus standard. The manufacturer must document the acceptance test results and determine whether the aircraft is in a condition for safe operation. All production aircraft must obtain a special flight permit in accordance with FAR 21.197 to accomplish flight test requirements.
- A manufacturer that issues the statement of compliance is responsible for the quality of the LSA end product. The manufacturer’s quality assurance responsibility includes material supplied and assembly work performed by other persons, including dealers, and distributors acting as an extension of the manufacturer.
- An LSA that has not been completed during the manufacturing process and for which the manufacturer does not maintain oversight of assembly as addressed (if any) in the consensus standard cannot be eligible for special airworthiness certification in the light-sport category. However, the aircraft may be eligible for an experimental light-sport certificate in accordance with FAR 21.191(i) and 21.193(e).
- Before production flight testing in the United States, the aircraft must be registered in accordance with FAR 47 and be issued an appropriate flight permit.
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