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E-LSA Flight Training Aircraft Face Airworthiness Deadline


October 22, 2009 — Owner and operators of Experimental Light-Sport Aircraft (E-LSA) that use their aircraft for primary training under FAR 91.319(e)(2), have until January 31, 2010, to amend their aircraft’s airworthiness certificate or it will expire and cannot be re-issued. The amended certificate will allow the aircraft to be flown after the deadline, but not for flight training that is for “compensation or hire.” The FAA is planning to offer a way for operators to continue to offer flight instruction through a Letter of Deviation Authority (LODA), but that has not been officially announced.

The amendment process is not a guarantee that an aircraft will be able to operate as previously certificated. The operator must apply for an amended airworthiness certificate and it must be issued before the deadline. The process will remove any allowances for flight instruction or restrictions on maintenance required for flight training operations on the airworthiness certificate.

Currently, the rules do not allow flight-training eligible E-LSA to amend their airworthiness certificates and continue to be used for compensated flight training. The FAA has assured EAA that the LODA guidance is being completed and will be sent out to local FSDOs soon. Whether or not an operator plans to use their aircraft for hire, the amended airworthiness certificate must be re-issued before January 31, 2010. Those who plan provide flight instruction services after the deadline must apply for a LODA before flight instruction can resume. A LODA is not required if the operator plans to use the aircraft for personal use.

When the LODA guidance is issued, EAA recommends you contact your local FSDO and make an appointment with both the operations and certification branches the same day. You can locate your local FSDO by calling EAA at 888-322-4636, extension 4821, 920-426-4821, or by using the FAA FSDO locator website.

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