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Lawrence Reports on Latest ASTM LSA Meeting

October 9, 2008 — One way EAA is helping on the affordable flying front is through its involvement in ASTM International, the organization that facilitated creation of the consensus standards for light-sport aircraft manufacturers that were pivotal to the LSA movement. EAA’s Earl Lawrence, vice president of industry and regulatory affairs, attended last week’s ASTM meeting of the F-37 committee for LSA in Miami, Florida. As chairman of that committee, Lawrence notes that as the industry matures, the committee’s makeup is also evolving.

“A lot more established companies and component manufacturers are participating,” he said. “They’re paying very close attention to what the committee is doing because they want to ensure that they’re developing quality, safe products to the marketplace.”

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) was also represented, which Lawrence saw as significant. “The NTSB is following the LSA movement very closely to make sure this new segment of aviation, and the process of creating consensus standards does not cause a reduction in safety,” he said.

Some of the items debated at the recent committee meeting included what the pilot operating handbook (POH) should contain; what information a manufacturer should be required to pass on to an aircraft’s first owner; and a proposal to create minimum standards for an instrument flight rules (IFR)-compliant S-LSA.

Meeting attendees also heard a briefing from ASTM legal counsel, and then participated in a panel discussion about compliance and what manufacturers can do to ensure conformity with the applicable ASTM International standards.

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