Aviation Maintenance Magazine article on Light Sport Maintenance

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Aviation Maintenance Magazine article on Light Sport Maintenance

Check out my article in the July issue of Aviation Maintenance concerning Light Sport maintenance (page 38)


David Schober

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Very informative Dave...As usual !!

Can you please give specific regulatory references to support the following statements in your article:
1. “The maintenance that can be performed, and the level of certification and training of the individual performing that maintenance, is controlled by the Aircraft Manufacturer and the Operating Limitations issued with these airworthiness certificate.”

2. “Keep in mind that the aircraft manufacturer controls……and who can maintain it.”

3. The entire last paragraph.

As I understand it light sport aircraft operate under a special type certificate issued under 21.190. Part 1 also plays a big part in defining LSA where it covers Consensus Standards as LSA uses ASTM Consensus Standards.

"Consensus standard means, for the purpose of certificating light-sport aircraft, an industry-developed consensus standard that applies to aircraft design, production, and airworthiness. It includes, but is not limited to, standards for aircraft design and performance, required equipment, manufacturer quality assurance systems, production acceptance test procedures, operating instructions, maintenance and inspection procedures, identification and recording of major repairs and major alterations, and continued airworthiness. "

The ASTM Consensus Standards (Group F37) set the significance of the manufacturer’s manuals, factory required training, and the process for any alteration or repair to an S-LSA. As strange as it sounds basically a LSA is covered by ASTM and not the FAA regulations by Part1 saying the "maintenance & Inspection procedures" are set by the "industry developed consensus standard". Sorry, your A&P is of no value unless the manufacturer says it is!!! Nice!

Part 1 defines what an LSA is. Part 21.190 is a certification rule that tells the prospective applicant what they need to do to be eligible for an airworthiness certificate, (there is no type certificate for these machines). There are no maintenance requirements in either of these rules. Maintenance on Special LSA aircraft is to be performed IAW FAR part 43, period. Any exceptions to this will be found within this part [major repairs/alterations as noted in 43.1 (d)]. Persons legally allowed to perform maintenance (or supervise) are as provided in FAR part 65. Part 91 states when maintenance is to be performed (using manufacturer's maintenance and inspection procedures) 91.327.
Consensus Standards are FAA accepted standards for certification of the aircraft. Yes the maintenance and inspection procedures are required for certification, and do have to meet an identified consensus standard, but only the maintenance and inspection procedures (the how-to's). The other stuff (basically the whos, and the whens) that may be contained in them (maintenance and inspection procedures), is not regulatory. Consensus standards are only legally required when specifically incorporated by regulation.
There is nothing in the regulations that reduce the privileges given to A&P's as a result of the light sport rule. Part 65 defines A&P privileges and limitations, not consensus standards, and certainly not manufacturer's, or any other individuals.

The Operating Limitations issued as part of the Airworthiness Certificate are spelled out in Order 8130.2G. Limitation #16 "No person may operate this aircraft in the light sport category unless it is continuously maintained in compliance with 14 CFR 91.327(b).

91.327(b) No person may operate an aircraft that has a special airworthiness certificate in the light-sport category unless-
(1) The aircraft is maintained by a certificated repairman with a light-sport aircraft maintenance rating, an appropriately rated mechanic, or an appropriately rated repair station in accordance with the applicable provisions of part 43 of this chapter and maintenance and inspection procedures developed by the aircraft manufacturer or a person acceptable to the FAA;
(2) A condition inspection is performed once every 12 calendar months by a certificated repairman (light-sport aircraft) with a maintenance rating, an appropriately rated mechanic, or an appropriately rated repair station in accordance with inspection procedures developed by the aircraft manufacturer or a person acceptable to the FAA;
(3) The owner or operator complies with all applicable airworthiness directives;
(4) The owner or operator complies with each safety directive applicable to the aircraft that corrects an existing unsafe condition. In lieu of complying with a safety directive an owner or operator may-
(i) Correct the unsafe condition in a manner different from that specified in the safety directive provided the person issuing the directive concurs with the action; or
(ii) Obtain an FAA waiver from the provisions of the safety directive based on a conclusion that the safety directive was issued without adhering to the applicable consensus standard;
(5) Each alteration accomplished after the aircraft's date of manufacture meets the applicable and current consensus standard and has been authorized by either the manufacturer or a person acceptable to the FAA;
(6) Each major alteration to an aircraft product produced under a consensus standard is authorized, performed and inspected in accordance with maintenance and inspection procedures developed by the manufacturer or a person acceptable to the FAA; and
(7) The owner or operator complies with the requirements for the recording of major repairs and major alterations performed on type-certificated products in accordance with §43.9 (d) of this chapter, and with the retention requirements in §91.417.

Yes. This is the operational rule that tells the pilot what mx he must have done in order to maintain aircraft certification and stay legal when operating. It specifies that the aircraft be maintained IAW part 43 and maintenance and inspection procedures developed by the manufacturer or someone acceptable to the FAA. These are the how-to's of maintenance. Part 43 sends us to part 65 for the "who-can-do" requirements. The manufacturer can specifiy what ever they want to in there manuals, but if these requirements are not tied to a regulation, these requirements are not law.
I popular point of discussion is the Rotax factory training requirement. This is a Rotax requirement only, and not law. If an A&P (or just P) meets the conditions spelled out in part 65 (prior successful completion of work, tooling, mx tech data, and an understanding of that data) he/she can work on Rotax engines in this country (and approve for return to service).
This training requirement is stated in the Rotax manuals. It is not a maintenance procedure. It is not an accepted method, technique, or practice as is required to be used in performing maintenance (FAR 43.13).
I suspect that there have been a number of mechanics spend a great deal of money for this training, thinking that it causes them to meet the requirement for successful prior completion of work on Rotax engines. It most likely did not. If you read part 65.81, it goes on to say, that if one has not completed the work prior, he may show his ability to do so under the supervision of an appropriately rated person. The research that I have done on the Rotax factory training doesn't show any of the instructors as powerplant rated mechanics/repairmen (they may now be). In other words, they are not qualified to supervise someone to meet the requirements of FAR 65.81
So a lot of money has been spent, the student still doesn't (or may not) meet the requirements of FAR 65.81, and the training was not required by law anyway.
I got a little of topic, but to re-state, manufacture maintenance requirements are not legally enforceable unless tied directly to a regulation.

For "Special Light Sport", they aren't tied to a regulatory certification basis, rather an ASTM concensus standard. Only the actions within the manufactureres maintenance instructions are permitted, and only by those specified in those instructions. Any work by somone other than specified in the manufacturers instructions is contrary to the operating limitations and renders the aircraft UNAIRWORTHY. The important part of 91.327(b) is the "and" between the Part 43 of this chapter AND maintenance and inspection procedures developed by the manufacturer . . . This statement combined with operating limitation 16 is what limits who can return to service a Special Light Sport. I suppose you could say you can work on the aircraft, but you can't return it to service since it no longer meets the requirements of it's airworthiness certificate.

Consensus Standards as they pertain to SLSA are the FAA accepted certification basis for the aircraft design, and the design of the required maintenance and inspection procedures. There is simply no regulatory authority given to them with regard to who can perform maintenance, or when it is required to be performed. The FAA cannot delegate this function.
Maintenance and inspection procedures (again, the "how to's" of maintenance) are the parts of the maintenance manual that must be followed by law (part 91.327 and operating limitations ). Any other requirements that the manufacturer chooses to put into their manuals, are just that, manufacturer requirements, and are not regulatory.
These are not my rules. Anything that I state in these responses can be tied directly back to specific rules in 14 CFR. As I said eariler, ASTM are not law unless incorporated by direct and unambiguous regualtory reference. The two specific places where this happens are part 21.190 and part 1. Neither of these parts impose any requirements on or diminish privileges of otherwise legally qualified maintenance personnel.

Also, to clairify; The manufacturer can legally require additional maintenance and inspection procedures as they see necessary, for major alterations to the aircraft, and any alterations must meet the applicable consensus standard. However, an A&P is allowed by law to perform and approve for return to service after a major alteration (or major repair) on products not under FAA approval as long as he uses the instructions from the manufacturer or person acceptable to the FAA. The specific regulations that allow this are FAR 65.85, and 65.87.

At this point we'll just have to agree to disagree.

David Schober

I hear what you are saying and this was my understanding of the regulations for years. But I attend a lot of IA renewal seminars for ATP which includes sitting through the other presentations including some on LSA presented by the FAA, I have heard the FAA say many times that LSA maintenance is different than we are use to. Their operational permission and airworthiness is controlled by the manufacturer and ASTM and everything must be done according to the Conformance Standard. If any work is done outside the Conformance Standard even if it meets part 43 the aircraft is not airworthy. So the FARs may not require compliance according to the manufacturers instructions but the conformance standard does. Meeting FAR requirements is not sufficient to maintain airworthiness and it is this extra layer of requirements that set up controls you will not find in the FARs. This is why the manufacturer can set requirements more restrictive than the FARs.

The FAA is not immune to being wrong. As it pertains to SLSA mx, they have been very wrong. I have taken this issue (most specifically the Rotax training issue) from the local level (KC FSDO) to AFS 300 in Washington. I will be more than happy to provide names of the FAA AFS-300 personel, and the chief counsel's office. I also have a contact in AFS-600 in OK City.
This issue for me has spanned about two years since I first started (reluctantly) providing mx for a customer that uses a SLSA machine for flight instruction.
An article similar to the one at the top of this discussion was written, my customer read it, and started asking questions of me. Initially I disregarded it as merely mis-information. Wanting to cover my liability, I called my local FSDO and spoke to one of my ASI's there who initally had the same reaction as me. I contacted the author of the article who responded very similarly to n14ky with references to ASTM. At some point she referred an individual in the FAA ok city to me. He called and we spoke several times with his position being the same as n14ky and the article author's. Someone other than myself contacted washington, who then contacted my FSDO and advised them to tell me that I did need to have Rotax training to legally work on the engine because it was in their mm. My customer's plane was grounded and had to be ferried to another location for inspection by a Rotax trained mechanic. All the while the FAA became silent on the issue, only saying that it was a violation of FAR 43.13 for me to be working on the aircraft (engine) without meeting the Rotax requirement.
At my request and reluctantly, my customer submitted a formal complaint on me (IAW FAR 13) to Washington echoing this alleged violation of FAR 43.13. After about six months of waiting. I finally talked with Washinton AFS-300 and chief counsel personnel who admitted that there was no violation. They called my FSDO and forwarded this info. to them and I and other appropriately people have again been providing mx on this aircraft since. My customer lost money, my company lost money, and other operator's in the KC area lost money. The FAA appologized for the "mis-information". They did not provide an address for any of us to send them an invioce though.
In my opinion SLSA has some big problems. This issue should not have been one of them. I will also admit to not knowing everything there is to know about SLSA MX. As a business owner though, I have a responsibility to my customer. If someone wants to spend my money, or my customer's money they are going to have to show me with specific regulatory reference (not FAA hearsay) why it is necessary.

Since I am the author of the article above, and likewise have been in contact with FAA on this subject, would you mind sharing any documents you have relating to this, or the FAA contacts you spoke with. Please forward them to me at [email protected]. I would like to set this to bed, and any info you can provide that is contrary to what I wrote would be greatly appreciated.

David Schober

Doug, this is very interesting news. I was surprised when I started hearing about the manufacturers taking complete control of approving maintenance practices but heard it from many good sources so I stopped asking questions.
Sounds like I need to start asking again. Thanks for the update on your experiences with this.

It is interesting. In my opinion, the regulations are pretty clear, and the FAA has a longstanding position on the issue of manufacturer's or other's ability to make law.
I have a theory that when the light sport rule came about back in 2004, the was a large influx of persons from the experimental world, and maybe from other aviations systems, into what I would call mainstream aviation in this country. Although SLSA are not certified (Type Certificated) they act like regular aircraft. They require certificated individuals to maintain them, and are subject to the requirements of part 43.
This influx of folks may not have had a prior need to consider much about the regulations as they pertain to aircraft mx.
Then throw in the accepted ASTM, and all the talk of a new market in aircraft mx. People were lead to believe that they would be able to carve out a new niche for themselves in SLSA mx. By giving ASTM (and subsequently) the manufacturers more authority then the rules actually do, it is possible to introduce new perceived requirements, and qualifications that limit who can work on and approve for return to service, these machines. ASTM also have a more EASA or TC type feel to them possibly due to the fact that some of the more popular SLSA aircraft/engines come from areas under these aviation authorities.
This whole thing is very bad, and not just for SLSA. In my opinion, we have a very good (not perfect) system in this country. We are not, and I hope never will be EASA, or TC. Those folks who truely want SLSA to succeed and thrive should not want this kind of system either. The SLSA market is already too expensive as it is. Adding a bunch of new convoluted rules and requirements (perceived or actual) will only drive costs higher and kill this market. Of course it is all done under the guise of safety.
We have to remember that SLSA was supposed to be a less expensive and less complicated aircraft to engage people who could otherwise not afford to be in aviation. If these aricraft are so complex (they are not) that we have to have special training, and certifications to maintain them, then they are flying in the face of the SLSA mission.
As I said before SLSA in my opinion has some real problems. This issue of perceived manufacturer authority through ASTM and certification rule should not have been one of them.
I would love to talk with people in the SLSA world about some issues I have related to SLSA mx.

As a former FAA guy who has been around the block a couple of times on the LSA issue. CRF 43.1 and 43.13 are maintenance rules that play directly into this debate. First, if the Light Sport Aircraft is and E-LSA (experimental) the part 43 rules are not applicable. However if the aircraft in question is a Special S-LSA then part 43 does apply. Having said that 43.13 says you have to follow the manufacture maintenance manual. The maintenance manual will spell out your limitation such as being trained on a Rotex engine if your are not then you can NOT work on one if it is installed in the S-LSA.

LSA aircraft are covered by limitations that are part of the Special Airwortiness certificate, all LSA aircraft have them. All S-LSA aircraft have to meet the origial certification requirements unless a change is authorized by the manufacture in writing. There is no debate on this, part 21, 65, 43, and 91 were all revised because of the LSA requirements and as certificated mechanic we are required to keep up with the regulations and changes. I would highly recommed all mechanics to go look up the new rules about LSA in these sections and read them. There is no sense in being a test case for the sake of disagreeing.

Just one man's opinion.

FAR 43.13 does NOT say that you have to follow the maintenance manual. What is says is that when performing maintenance one must use accepted methods, techniques, and practices from the manufacturer's maintenance manual, ICA, or other source (paraphrasing). FAR 43.13 does not give regulatory authority to the manufacturer's maintenance manual from cover-to cover, only the accepted methods techniques and practices relevant to the maintenance being performed.
Accepted methods techniques and practices are the how-to's of performing maintenance, not the whens, or the who-can-do's.
I WAS a test case for this issue, and not for the sake of disagreeing. As I posted previously, I have personally taken this issue all the way to Washington, and was eventually told that I was correct (by FAA chief counsel). They (Washington AFS-300) were supposedly going to create some sort of notice on this issue. This was last fall.
As I posted previously, I would be glad to forward contact info for the FAA persons involved. Depending on which office you were in, you may know some of them personaly.

I spoke with Edsal Ford out at AFS-600 the other day. Here si my take right now. First, the manufacturere can require training, they just can't specify their training as that would be a violation of the Administrative Procedures Act. Supposedly Caleb Glick has a letter from Chief Counsel to that effect. I have a call into him, but haven't heard back. Second, as A&Ps we can do anything within the limits of our certificates and we are OK. The problem arrises from the fact that if we do something outside the manufacteres manuall, we render the airworthiness certificate invalid, and the aircraft can no longer be operated legally. Sounds dumb, but that's the read I got from Edsal.


EDSEL is wrong.
As I have said over and over. The ENTIRE manufacturer's manual is NOT regulatory whether SLSA or standard airworthiness. This is a ridiculous notion. If the entire manual were regulatory, the manufacturer could simply add anything they saw fit to increase profit (ie. must purchase all parts from us, must go to our training, must use certain brand of tool).
Of course they (manufacturer's) are well within their rights to put requirements in their manuals as they see fit, but that does not make ithese requirements LAW. (SLSA mfgs. can and must issue safety directives that ARE regulatory, but that is a completely different discussion).
When it comes to SLSA, they (AIRCRAFT manufacturer) must provide MAINTENANCE and INSPECTION PROCEDURES ref. part 21.190. Tell us HOW to maintain the machine.
The operator must see to it that maintenance on their machine is performed IAW these MAINTENANCE and INSPECTION PROCEDURES (or procedures develpoed by a person acceptable to the FAA) ref. part 91.327 and Airworthiness Certificate limitation. This is the WHO and the WHEN.
Maintenance on these machines must be performed IAW FAR part 43, ref. FAR 43.1. A&P mechanics are allowed to perform this maintenance after meeting conditions and limitations as per FAR part 65. Ref. part 43.3 and 43.7.
As long as properly rated mechanics meet the prerequisites of part 65, and perform maintenance IAW part 43 using MAINTENANCE and INSPECTION PROCEDURES developed by the manufacturer or person acceptable to the FAA, and the maintenance is performed when required by FAR part 91 and limitation, the aircraft can legally be approved for return to service, and legally operated by qualified personnel.

The point was raised: How can the owner comply with AD's against products installed on SLSA aircraft since the requirements of the AD are likely not a part of the MAINTENANCE and INSPECTION PROCEDURES developed by the manufacturer?
In my opinion, the answer is found in these words contained in part 91.327(b)(1): "OR PERSON ACCEPTABLE TO THE FAA". An AD contains (among other things) maintenance and inspection procedures, and was argueably developed by a person acceptable to the FAA (it was developed BY the FAA as allowed/required by "we the people").
I know this all may seem like "word-smithing". It is NOT. I happen to believe that while not perfect (SLSA definately not) the rules do a pretty good job of ensuring safety without being too restrictive on a free market.
Once again, if Edsel Ford's opinion is as stated by n14ky in the previous reply, then based on current FAR's, he (EDSEL) is simply incorrect.

Doug, we are back to the argument about "maintenance" and "operations". As I stated, Edsal told me that for (paraphrase)"maintenance we can do anything within the limits of our certificates under Parts 65 and 43. The problem with "Special Light Sport" aircraft is that the operating limitations associated with the airworthiness certificate issued under 21.190 state that "No person may operate this aircraft in the light-sport category, unless it is continuously maintained in compliance with 14 CFR 91.327." 91.327 states in part "The aircraft is maintianed . . . in accordance with the applicable provisions of part 43 of this chapter AND (my emphisis)maintenance and inspections procedures developed by the aircraft manufacturer or a person acceptable to the FAA."

The AND in the above paragraph is what limit the maintenance to only those items specified by the manufacturer. Any maintenance has to rise to the level of Part 43 and the manufacturers manual or instructions. You as a mechanic or repair station can request from the manufacturer permission to to additional tasks if they aren't already in the manual or instructions, and if they say OK, you are good to go. You just need something from the manufacturer saying it's OK. An owner can choose to have maintenance performed outside the limits of the manual or instructions, but that would render his airworthiness certificate invalid, and he would have to apply for an "Experimental, Light Sport" certificate. There he is free to have any maintenance that he wants performed, and it doesn't even have to comply with Part 43. For "Experimental Light Sport, all he needs is a condition inspection every 12 months.

We can fix it, and as long as we are doing the work within Parts 43 and 65 we aren't in violation. However if the maintenance performed is outside what is authorized in the maintenance manual or instructions provided by the manufacturer, the owner may not be able to operate it without being in violation of 21.190 (his airworthiness certificate and operating limitations)

One final note, in 91.327 the "person acceptable to the FAA" was envisioned as some person or group that would assume responsibility for the design of a Light Sport if the manufacturer goes out of business. There is language in the preamble that supports this.


To me this entire issue IS an operational one. Nobody wants to perform maintenance LEGALLY, but subsequently set up a situation where the operator actually breaks a rule specifically because of the legally performed maintenance.
I agree with your last reply, that because of the language in part 91.327 vs part 43, it IS possible for us as maintenance providers to perform maintenance within the requirements of all of our applicable rules, and set-up just such a situation for the pilot.
Where I still DISAGREE with you, Mr. Ford, and probably many others, is that the above senario can relate to WHO is allowed to perform the required maintenance for the owner/operator, or WHEN it is to be performed.
If this were a standard airworthiness aircraft, we would not be having this discussion because the applicable part 91 maintenance regs. send the pilot to part 43 only. As you pointed out, with SLSA the applicable reg. 91.327 sends the pilot to Manufactuer's maintenance and inspection procedures AND (giving same emphasis) part 43. So when it comes to the performance of maintenance on SLSA (the HOW-TO's) the operator is no longer allowed to have maintenance personnel use data from the three possible HOW-TO sources contained in part 43.13(a).
Your original article stated that with SLSA, manufacturer's control WHO can work on their products. I think what you meant to say (based on my interpretation of your subsequent replys) is that the SLSA operating limitations, and FAR 91.327 allow the aircraft manufacturer the legal authority to control WHO can work on their product, by specifing that their maintenance and inspection procedures are used. As I said above, I still DISAGREE with this statement.
Since MAINTENANCE and INSPECTION PROCEDURES are the HOW-TO's of performing maintenance on SLSA (just as accepted methods techniques, and practices are the HOW-TO's for standard airworthiness), that is where their authority, and subsequently the manufacturer's authority ends.
An example of what I mean is: XYZ SLSA maintenance manual states that an inspection be performed every 50 hrs. on the landing gear. It says that the inspection must be done by a certain agency 123. While these are most definately manufacturer requirements, and likely good ideas, if the pilot over-flys this inspection, or chooses not to use 123 agency to perform the inspection, as long as the inspection is performed IAW XYZ manufacturer's inspection procedures (and applicable part 43 requirements) WHENEVER it is done, the pilot (and mechanic are ok).
On the other side of the example: If the pilot over-flys a required Condition Inspection (annual or 100 hr. as applicable) or has this inspection performed IAW let's say, part 43 app. D, instead of XYZ manufacturer's inspection procedures (checklist). He would then be in violation of part 91.327 and operating limitation for the over-flight of the required inspection, and for not having the mechanic perform the inspection IAW XYZ manufacturer's inspection procedures (assuming he flew the aircraft after the improper app. D inspection).
As for the whole "person acceptable to the FAA" statement. I'm somewhat familar with the preamble's stated intent. In my opinion though, the rule says what it says. If an AD exists against a product installed on my customer's SLSA, I'm going to compy with it (with owner's approval of course), and my arguement to the judge would center around the, person acceptable statement. Obviously we all know that this AD senario exists on a large number of SLSA aircraft. I think there is much more risk for the operator from non-compliance with AD's, then from compliance using the path I have given. I will admit that it does seem to be weak language though.


Doug, I think we are getting closer to the true intent of the SLSA maintenance requirements. I sat through many meetings with the alphabet groups (I worked for one of them back then)and FAA leading up to the original regulation changes. The maintenance limitations were specifically written the way they were due to the EAA insisting on the Light Sport Repairmen. FAA knew that someone with a 120 hour course in repairing an LSA doesn't have the skills that an A&P that goes through 1900 hours of training. As such, they intentionally limited the repairs allowed by the operating limitations to only those listed in the maintenance manual or other manufacturers instructions. I used to run a shop where 90% of our work was insurance repairs. For us to do structural repairs on LSA aircraft, and still have the owner comply with their operating limitations, I had to get letters from the manufacturers stating that we were approved to do repairs per AC43.13 or whatever reference they wanted us to use.

In you reference above concerning inspection XYZ and agency 123, I belive the Admisistrative Procedures Act would prohibit the manufacturer specifying only a specific agency for an inspection or repair. They could specify minimum performance standards, equipment, or other criteria, but not a specific person or agency. I think that falls on the letter that Caleb has from Chief Council concerning training. As far as the inspection, the manufacturer can specify any inspection at any interval and if an owner wants to maintain the SLSA, he needs to comply. Keep in mind that the intent is not to issue ADs on SLSA aircraft (unless a TCd engine or prop is installed) and let the manufacturers control the safety issues.
See 91.327(b)(4). If he wants to deviate from a safety directive from the manufacturer he needs to get a letter from the manufacturer concuring with his proposed action, or a waiver from FAA.


Once again. I agree completely that if it is not in the manufacturer's MAINTENANCE AND INSPECTION PROCEDURES, then the owner must ensure that the maintenance provider get (or the owner gets)approval from the aircraft manufacturer before doing the work. Ref. your example on structural repairs. I also agree that AD's are not issued against SLSA. As you said though if the SLSA has TC'd parts on it, (and I will add, any other parts manufactured under FAA approval, transponders, ignition switch, seat belts etc......)then AD's DO apply, and will continue to apply to the aircraft, as long as the subject parts are installed. If the ADs have recurring action, it also applies as stated in the AD.

As far as the consideration for repairmen. The regulations are clear. Whether you are an A&P, or SLSA repairmen. You cannot approve for return to service after work performed unless you have satisfactorily performed the relevent work at an eariler date, or shown your ability to do so under the supervision of a certificated and appropriately rated person who has knowlege of the concerned work. In other words, it doesn't matter if you are a repairmen or an A&P, you have to know what you are doing.

I don't know all that there is to know about the Administrative Procedure's Act, but at least part of what it does, is establish procedures for creating laws. Manufacturer's can't create laws, any more than you or I can. I'm sure you have read numerous NPRM's. They are required by the administrative procedures act to see to it that "We The People" are aware of, and can comment on proposed rules before they become rules. Yes the Rotax training requirement would violate the Administrative Procedures Act, but so would saying the 50 Hr. inspection (in my previous example) is required by law. The manufacturer does not have the legal authority to say this. The FAA does, and the FAA cannot delegate this function. The inspections that have to be performed on SLSA are specifically defined in the rule that was created through the Administrative Procedures Act. That rule happens to be 14 CFR part 91.327, and it does not contain a 50 hr. landing gear inspection. It contains condition inspections; Annual condition inspection for everybody. 100 hr. condition inspection for flight instruction for hire provided by instructor. Pilot overflys either one of these, he/she is breaking the law every time they fly. Overfly the hypothetical manufacturer's required 50hr. inspection, pilot has broken no rules.
Condition inspections: required by "We the People" in the form of law.
Hypothetical 50hr. Inspection: required by manufacturer (not part of maintenance and inspection PROCEDURES).

As for the Safety Directive System: It is terrible. We could have (and should have) and entire other discussion about this one.

The operator is obviously legally required to comply with applicable safety directives as also required by FAR 91.327.

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