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Two-Step Process Now Available for E-LSA Trainers

November 5, 2009 — There’s good news for experimental light-sport aircraft (E-LSA) owners and operators who use their aircraft for primary training. The FAA has provided a method to Flight Standards District Offices (FSDO) that will allow them to issue a Letter of Deviation Authority (LODA) for E-LSA that have already had their airworthiness certificates amended. This two-step process provides a way for E-LSA to continue flying and for some operators to continue offering flight training if desired.

The first step requires E-LSA operators, regardless if they are engaging in training operations or not, to amend their aircraft’s airworthiness certificate by January 31, 2010, or it will expire and cannot be re-issued. The amendment process is not a guarantee that an aircraft will be able to operate as previously certificated. The process will remove any allowances for flight instruction or restrictions on maintenance required for flight training operations on the airworthiness certificate.

The current rules do not allow flight training-eligible E-LSA to have their airworthiness certificates amended for continued use for compensated flight training without completing the second step, which is to apply for a LODA. Operators can apply at their nearest FSDO. Those who plan to 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.

EAA recommends you contact your local FSDO and make an appointment with both the operations and certification branches the same day. Use EAA’s E-LSA Air Cert Amendment/LODA Guide to help you through the process. At the FSDO, an applicant should direct the inspector to the FAA’s General Aviation and Commercial Division, AFS-800 if there are any questions regarding the process for issuing an LODA. 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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