Light-Sport Category Aircraft
Production Flight Testing
Flight Testing Purpose and Coordination.
The manufacturer must ground and flight test the LSA for the purpose of finding the performance acceptable and determining that each aircraft is in a condition for safe operation.
The manufacturer must notify the closest geographic FAA Manufacturing Inspection District Office (MIDO) of the intent to perform production flight testing on the LSA to the applicable consensus standard, and submit the proposed geographic flight testing locations to the same FAA MIDO a minimum of 30 days in advance of the initial proposed flight testing operations. The production flight test plan must be in accordance with the applicable consensus standard.
The FAA/DAR will coordinate the production flight testing activities with the responsible geographic or assigned FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO).
A special flight permit may be issued for production flight testing to allow a manufacturer to meet the requirements of FAR 91.203 when operating new production aircraft for the purpose of flight testing, as provided for in FAR 21.197. This permit must be used in conjunction with a valid Aircraft Certificate of Registration.
The special flight permit is valid only for the purpose of production flight testing. The applicable operating limitations are printed in block B on the reverse side of Form 8130-7.
Eligibility for Production Flight Testing.
A manufacturer producing a LSA is eligible to obtain special flight permits for production flight testing provided the following conditions are met:
- A prototype aircraft of that LSA model and configuration has been flown by the manufacturer under an experimental R&D certificate to ensure there are no adverse flight characteristics and that production test pilots are fully familiar with the aircraft.
- In conjunction with the applicable consensus standard, a production flight test procedure and checklist for the aircraft involved is used to ensure all requirements for production flight tests are fulfilled and entered into the aircraft’s logbook.
- The aircraft is not flown by the manufacturer for purposes other than production flight tests.
- Limitations have been established to define the production flight test duration and area.
Application and Issue of Special Flight Permits for Production Flight Testing.
A manufacturer producing a LSA is eligible to obtain special flight permits for production flight testing provided that:
- The LSA manufacturer or its agent (that is, dealer, distributor) that has been included in and is operating under the oversight of the manufacturer’s quality assurance plan must be the registered owner of each aircraft to be issued a special flight permit for production flight testing.
- Before issuing a special flight permit for production flight testing, each aircraft must be registered with a permanent registration number assigned. Evidence of aircraft registration may be shown by Form 8050-3, Certificate of Aircraft Registration; or Form 8050-6, Dealer’s Aircraft Registration Certificate; or other confirmation from AFS-750, which may be electronic. When the manufacturer/applicant for initial registration does not have a dealer’s registration, the temporary pink copy of the Form 8050-1, Aircraft Registration Application, may not be used for operation of the aircraft.
- An LSA manufacturer or its authorized agent must apply for a special flight permit for production flight testing using Form 8130-6, Application for U.S. Airworthiness Certificate, for each aircraft needing a production flight test. Special flight permits are not transferable from one aircraft to another.
- When the applicant for a special flight permit is found in compliance with all requirements, the FAA/DAR will issue the Form 8130-7 with appropriate operating limitations. The FAA may impose any additional limitations deemed necessary for safe operation. The operating limitations will be enumerated on a separate sheet, identified by the aircraft registration and serial numbers, dated, and signed. The Form 8130-7 must be displayed in the aircraft in accordance with FAR 91.203(b).
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