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MOSAIC Takes Significant Step Forward


The FAA, in mid-July, publicly released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for the long-awaited MOSAIC package of aircraft certification. MOSAIC, or Modernization of Special Airworthiness Certificates, would expand the utility of light sport aircraft and opportunities for sport pilots. Comments on the NPRM will be open for 90 days after the official date of publication in the Federal Register, which is expected later this week or early next.

In brief, the proposed rule would increase most current regulatory parameters on Light-Sport Aircraft (LSA). This includes the replacement of today’s arbitrary weight limit with a flexible approach that primarily utilizes stall speed, with the FAA’s stated goal to allow for larger, easy to fly aircraft of up to approximately 3000 pounds.

For fixed-wing airplanes, the new definition specifies a “clean” stall speed (VS1) of 54 knots calibrated airspeed, a maximum level flight speed (VH) of 250 knots, and a maximum seating capacity of four occupants – all of which are increases over the current rule – are the only regulatory definitions given for LSA. All else will be governed by industry consensus standards, as is the case today.

Sport pilots will be able to fly any aircraft meeting the preceding definition, and may continue to carry one person other than the pilot regardless of seating capacity. New in this NPRM, sport pilots may fly aircraft with retractable landing gear, constant-speed propellers, and/or complex aircraft with appropriate endorsements. They may also fly at night, however they will need either a current medical certificate or BasicMed certificate to do so. EAA intends to examine this medical requirement for night flying and propose an alternative in our comments.

There is much more to digest in the NPRM, and the EAA Advocacy Team will be hard at work using the unique opportunity of AirVenture to continue the dialog about this proposal, and gain further understanding of its implications to the general aviation community. On the surface, MOSAIC promises to be every bit the game changer we had hoped it could be.

“MOSAIC had its genesis with a conversation between EAA and FAA officials nearly a decade ago, as we focused on safely creating more aviation opportunities for those who wanted to participate,” said Jack J. Pelton, EAA CEO and Chairman of the Board. “Now that the NPRM has been released, we are seeing the results of the hard work and effort that EAA and FAA have put into this game-changing rule. We will continue to study it closely and supply focused comments to the FAA.”

EAA continues to evaluate the proposal, and in doing so, would like to hear your thoughts. To do so, we have established and encourage you to send us your comments and suggestions on the proposed rule. Important to remember, comments and suggestions supported by well-thought-out safety justifications have the most impact and best chance of influencing changes to proposed rules. Well before the January 22, 2024, closing of the NPRM comment period, EAA will provide further in-depth analysis along with suggested guidance on key themes to help members draft comments in response to the NPRM.

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