S-LSA Hits 100
New Amateur-Built Policy Set for Release
EARL LAWRENCE, EAA 265455
EAA Vice President of Government and Industry Affairs
The sport pilot/light-sport aircraft (SP/LSA) move- ment hit another milestone recently with the certi- fication of the 100th model of an S-LSA. The success
of the LSA movement shows that the spirit of aviation
continues to thrive within the hearts and minds of many.
The large number of new aircraft is evidence that when
a properly structured regulatory environment is created,
dreams do turn into reality.
The focus of your advocacy team is not only to protect
the privileges we have, but also to reduce regulatory barriers
to participation. Witnessing the certification of a hundred
new aircraft models in less than five years is a tremendous
accomplishment. All EAA members should be proud of the
role we played in creating an environment for fulfillment of
hundreds of dreams. Considering the worldwide economic
crisis, this innovation and creativity is even more impressive. It inspires us all, pilots and enthusiasts alike, to ensure
the future of aviation is as bright as possible.
Release of New Amateur-Built Policy
As this issue goes to print, the FAA is preparing to publish a
final set of policies, procedures, and advisory materials for
the certification of amateur-built aircraft. Weeks ago Dick
VanGrunsven and I, as co-chairs of the Amateur-built Aircraft
Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC), signed off on the
report that will be part of the FAA release.
As I share highlights of the final ARC report, bear in mind
that this report is not the final word, but it does reflect the
thoughts of the committee members; that is, both the FAA
and industry. In short the report states:
• The privilege to build any kind of flying machine regardless of size, complexity, materials, or power remains as long
as the majority portion of the aircraft is built solely for one’s
education and recreation.
• Previously FAA evaluated and accepted kits will not be
• The proposed 20/20/11 formula was withdrawn. This
formula would have required builders to document that
they performed 20 percent fabrication, 20 percent assembly, and another 11 percent either fabrication or assembly
on their aircraft.
This effort has been one of the most challenging I have
been involved with since joining EAA’s staff in 1994. I say
this not because of the challenge of working with government agencies, but rather because of the challenge of representing EAA members on an issue that has such diverse
opinions. I believe the new FAA policies will strike an
acceptable balance for most in the homebuilt community. I
assure members that EAA staff will continue to advocate for
ways to lower the barriers to participation in homebuilding
All EAA members should be proud
of the role we played in creating an
environment for fulfillment of hundreds
and aviation. Just because this effort is complete, our work
has not ended. We will continue to seek avenues that foster
innovation and turn aviation dreams into realities. I thank
members for your interest and participation in the long process and encourage you all to study the new policies.
This month’s Technical Counselor column (page 98) provides more details on this new policy, including a link to a
web page where more specific questions will be answered.
I’m sure there will be a lively debate amongst members on
this issue in the Oshkosh365 forum, too, and I encourage
you to review those comments. Please look to future issues
of EAA Sport Aviation and additions to
www.EAA.org for an
in-depth review of the final policy.
To learn more about EAA’s advocacy efforts,