Could your LSA aircraft caddy soon be toting heavier planes? As the industry approaches its 15th birthday, the Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association (LAMA) and its partner the U.S. Ultralight Association (USUA) have been pushing to improve opportunities for the Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) manufacturing industry and individuals who own and operate light sport aircraft. What’s on the agenda?
Four Core Goals
After 4-years of effort, LAMA narrowed down its long list of industry suggestions to four goals in efforts to advance the industry. These were presented to high-level Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) executives, and ALL will be included in the FAA’s upcoming regulation plans:
1. Allowing special Light-Sport Aircraft to perform aerial work in addition to towing and flight instruction.
2. Introducing the safety and performance benefits provided by single-lever adjustable propellers.
3. Permitting electric propulsion and instruction in aircraft designed for such motors.
4. Solving issues surrounding modern gyroplanes, in that they may only be built as kits, making commercial training impossible.
In addition, the FAA also agreed to look into increasing the gross weight of LSA.
Changes on the Horizon
Though LAMA is hopeful, it’s important to emphasize each of these items is on the FAA’s list for eventual rule making. Eventual being the operative word. Rulemaking could take 3-years and the time it takes for them to go into effect could be far longer, assuming no changes of course.
In the meantime, LAMA has proposed a plan to get the FAA the data they need to speed the process. This will also provide opportunities under controlled circumstances for pilots to gain more rapid access to these new opportunities.
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