Ignore The Hype Elsewhere -- You Read It HERE FIRST....
The FAA today issued
new requirements for light-sport aircraft, pilots and
Light-sport aircraft are small, simple, low-performance,
low-energy aircraft limited to:
- 1,320 lb.(600 kg), (1,430 lb. seaplanes) maximum takeoff
- 1 or 2 occupants
- single engine (non-turbine)
- maximum stall speed (without lift enhancing devices) of 45
- maximum airspeed in level flight of 120 knots
- fixed landing gear
- fixed pitch propeller.
According to the rule, "light-sport aircraft" are: airplanes,
gliders, gyroplanes, balloons, airships, weight-shift-control, and
powered parachutes. Helicopters and powered lifts are excluded
because of complexity. Weight-shift-control aircraft and powered
parachutes are also defined in the rule.
The FAA has created two new aircraft airworthiness certificates
- Special Light-Sport
Aircraft. A new special airworthiness certificate for a light-sport
category aircraft that is "ready to fly" when the manufacturer
determines the aircraft meets a consensus standard developed
jointly with FAA and industry (gyroplane category is
- Aircraft holding this airworthiness certificate may be used for
personal use and for compensation while conducting flight training,
rental (similar to primary category), or towing (of light-sport
gliders or unpowered ultralights).
Experimental Light-Sport Aircraft. Aircraft holding this
certificate may be used only for personal use. There are three ways
to earn this new certificate:
- existing ultralight-like aircraft that do not meet the
requirements for ultralight vehicles
- aircraft assembled from eligible kits that meet a consensus
- aircraft previously issued a special, light-sport category
Certain type-certificated aircraft that meet the above criteria
may also be operated with a light-sport pilot certificate.
An ultralight is a vehicle that is manned by one occupant for
recreation or sport purposes. It does not have a U.S. or foreign
airworthiness certificate. If unpowered, it weighs less than 155
lbs. If powered, it weighs less than 254 lbs. empty, has a fuel
capacity not exceeding five U.S. gallons, is incapable of more than
55 knots airspeed in level flight, and has a power-off stall speed
which does not exceed 24 knots.
There are maintenance
and inspection requirements for light-sport aircraft certificated
as an experimental light-sport aircraft or special light-sport
aircraft. There are also new pilot training and certification
- a sport pilot certificate,
- a sport pilot rating at the flight instructor certificate
- two category ratings - weight-shift-control and powered
parachute, both with land and sea class ratings at the private
pilot certificate level, and
- a repairman certificate - light-sport aircraft with an
inspection or maintenance rating.
FAA certificated pilots and flight instructors exercising sport
pilot privileges must hold a valid U.S. driver's license or FAA
The rule will cost approximately $158.4 million (discounted)
over nearly 10 years. Industry costs will be roughly $144.5 million
(discounted), of which $98.9 million (discounted) represents
out-of-pocket expenses. Government costs are approximately $13.9
million (discounted). The estimated potential benefits range from
$57.7 million to $220.3 million (discounted).