Training requirements to work on LSA

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n14ky
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Training requirements to work on LSA

I've had several discussions over the years since the LSA rules came out and never got a good answer. A couple years ago I sent a request for a legal interpretation, and finally got a reply the other day. Typical of the FAA, I don't believe they made a proper interpretation on this.

Here is a link to it

http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/agc/pol_adjudic...(2015)%20legal%20interpretation.pdf

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whitefaced
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David,
Can you elaborate on your basis for the disagreement. The opinion seems pretty solid to me.

Doug Hereford

whitefaced
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The one disagreement I have with the chief counsel opinion is in the third paragraph where they seem to state that the initial certification is the only time training is required for a repairman. 14 CFR part 65.107 (c)(3) requires additional acceptable training for the repairman before performing a major repair.
The popular opinion in the Light Sport world is that a "major repair" is anything not contained in the MFG's maintenance procedures manual. I disagree. The definition of a major repair is the same as always, 14 CFR part 1.

Doug hereford

I read the FAA reply and agree with what the FAA stated the manufacture cannot require mechanics to take their training. This has been the rule since the FAR’s replaced the CAR’s back in the late 50’s. I was on the ground floor with the FAA when the LSA rule was published and performed original certifications of several SLSA and LSA including issuing Repairman Certificates to those that met the certification rule in part 65.107. FAA Order 8130.2 and FAR/CFR 65.107 covers this so what part of the rule or order is there an issue, sorry but I don’t see an issue myself. If you would elabrate maybe I am just missing something.

n14ky
n14ky's picture

Doug, you hit the nail on the head. Under 65.85 & 87, we can approve "aircraft" for return to service following maintenance or inspection provided we meet the requirements of .81 & .83. 65.107 is only applicable to an LSA repairman. Since the LSA stands for Light Sport AIRCRAFT, it is an aircraft and under 65.81, 83, 85, & 87 there should be no further requirement.

On to the Major Repair issue, the applicable regulation here is 91.327(b)(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.

This gives the applicable provisions of Part 43 AND instructions developed by the manufacturer. To me, that says I need to comply with both simultaneously. In essence, the more restrictive of the two, which leaves you with only being able to perform those functions identified in the manufacturers instructions. Any other items are not authorized. The logic here is that the manufacturers instructions are geared to those actions that someone with the minimum training in 65.107 could perform. I don't think I'd want a LSA repairman doing sheet metal or composite repairs without additional training. There are outs for this. On several occasions while I was running a repair station, I would contact the manufacturer of an LSA and request a letter allowing repairs in accordance with AC43.13-1 for a 1 time repair. Once you have letter in hand, you can then do the work. The other less desirable option is to surrender the Special LSA certificate and apply for an Experimental Light Sport and do what you want.

whitefaced
whitefaced's picture

David,
I'm not sure I follow your point. Even though one must adhere to the most restrictive rule, I see nothing that gives the MFG authority to require "training".

It is true that portions of part 43 give maintenance providers options that the relevant operating rule (91.327) does not allow for. That's is why 91.327 (b)(1) refers to the "applicable provisions" of part 43.

As far as whether a repairman is qualified to perform certain repairs or not, the rules already address this completely. To legally approve for return to service after performing, the repairman must have the procedure and required tooling, prior successful completion of the work, and in the case of a "major repair" they would have to receive additional FAA acceptable training. This training requirement, is straight out 65.107 however, and not a MFG mandate. Once a repairman satisfies these requirements, they can rivet, or weld, or lay up composites if they choose to.

I have seen on numerous occasions where individuals try to interpret the required maintenance and inspection procedures of SLSA to mean that every single word in the manual is regulatory. This is simply not the case. The actual "procedures" are required. All the other stuff (training requirement, minimum certification levels, etc.......) is not.

To say it another way, SLSA manufacturers must tell us HOW to perform maintenance on their machines. They have no authority to dictate WHO is allowed to perform that maintenance. I would also say that with the exception of a Safety Directive, SLSA MFGs are not authorized to say WHEN maintenance is to be performed either.

Doug Hereford

n14ky
n14ky's picture

Doug,
I think we are in total agreement with regard to training and certification. An A&P or an LSA Repairman (based on their limitations) can perform maintenance and inspections.

Part 65 provides the training and recent experience requirements. Subpart D is applicable to Mechanics, and Subpart E is applicable to Repairmen. That was my problem with the FAA letter, they were trying to apply portions of Subpart E to mechanics.

The discussion on repairs is independent of the training. As I stated the "AND" in 91.327(b)(1) is what I believe limits the maintenance activities to only those in the manufacturers instructions (or Part 43 whichever is more restrictive). Logic says with an "AND" statement, to get a true, both parts of the "AND statement have to render a true. So if you don't have something from the manufacturer that says, for example, you can do a sheet metal repair, you can't do it even though as a mechanic working on any other aircraft you could do it all day long. Again, it is the WHAT can be done, not the training required to do it.

David

whitefaced
whitefaced's picture

In my experience, there hasn't been much argument that maintenance on SLSA must be done IAW MFG procedures. No doubt, if an SLSA MFG is silent on HOW to perform a certain maintenance task regardless of major/minor, then the owner is stuck.

There has been extensive discussion on MFG required training however. That is what I thought your letter was concerned with.

Guess I have missed your point.

Doug Hereford

n14ky
n14ky's picture

Sorry for the confusion, the original letter actually concerned the validity of the airworthiness certificate if the training the manufacturer stated was required wasn't accomplished.

My original point in the request was that under Part 65, a mechanic could do the work, but based on the Operating Limitations associated with the airworthiness certificate, the limitation that states no person may operate the LSA unless it is continuously maintained in compliance with 91.327(b) it would appear that not having the training identified in the mfgr manual may render the airworthiness certificate invalid.

Typical FAA lawyers, they gave a convoluted answer that made it sound like even an A&P had to take the SLSA repairman course to perform any maintenance.

whitefaced
whitefaced's picture

Yea,
I don't see anything in 91.327(b) that even remotely implies a MFG training requirement for anyone.
It would appear that the chief counsel agreed.

Doug Hereford

whitefaced
whitefaced's picture

David,
I am curious as to whether your request for opinion was born out of discussions related to an article you authored several years ago in one of the trade magazines?
As I recall, the article seemed to assert manufacturer authority with regard to WHO could perform maintenance on SLSA. As I read it, there seemed to be several questionable statements to that effect. I have read numerous publications on the subject, that make similar claims which I personally find to be incorrect.
The irritating part is that for those of us who make our living in this business, confronting these issues can be a challenge.
Customers routinely believe anything that they read in a magazine whether actually factual or not.

Doug Hereford

n14ky
n14ky's picture

Doug,
The request was partly from my article, but more from discussions with owners and mechanics. Also in part to cover myself as I do a fair amount of maintenance on LSA aircraft and as a DAR issue certificates to these aircraft.

I know what the rules say, and I know what the Operating Limitations say, and I see a conflict. I just wanted to eliminate that conflict.

David

Carol Carpenter (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

Issues: Major repairs vs Task Specific Training
Bob has asked for me to comment on this thread an I am happy to do so. Most of the following is simply reiterating what the thread has already covered:
Regarding SLSA Major Repairs and Alterations: §65.107 (repairmen) and §65.85, §65.87 (addressing A&Ps) provide language that excludes our privileges as A&Ps and Repairmen in regard to “major repairs” on SLSA unless the work was performed in accordance with instructions developed by the manufacturer. – When performing major repairs on an type certificated aircraft, we obtain a 337, for light sport, the best way to satisfy the requirements set out in 65.85, 65.87 and 65.107 (for repairmen) regarding major repairs is to request an LOA (Letter of Authorization) from the manufacturer, unless the instructions for the task are in the maintenance manual or other supported material provided by the manufacturer. Of course you must also meet the performance rules set out by 43.13.
Doug is correct in saying that nothing that gives the MFG authority to require "training". Since many Mechanics and Repairman may need specialized training some manufacturers do provide “Task Specific” training. This training is one way to obtain the required experience. For example, we requested a Letter of Authorization to perform a major repair on a special light sport aircraft which require composite experience. The manufacturer replied that we need to have had this training, or experience with composite repairs, or, they mentioned, they could provide this training. Since we already had they experience and training we needed – we were given the instructions to complete the repair without taking the optional workshop.
The important point to remember is that Special Light Sport Aircraft are not experimental. And there are many A&Ps who treat them as such. Part 43 does apply to Special Light Sport.
I have included applicable regulations below:
§43.13 Performance rules (general).
(a) Each person performing maintenance, alteration, or preventive maintenance on an aircraft, engine, propeller, or appliance shall use the methods, techniques, and practices prescribed in the current manufacturer's maintenance manual or Instructions for Continued Airworthiness prepared by its manufacturer, or other methods, techniques, and practices acceptable to the Administrator, except as noted in §43.16. He shall use the tools, equipment, and test apparatus necessary to assure completion of the work in accordance with accepted industry practices. If special equipment or test apparatus is recommended by the manufacturer involved, he must use that equipment or apparatus or its equivalent acceptable to the Administrator.
(b) Each person maintaining or altering, or performing preventive maintenance, shall do that work in such a manner and use materials of such a quality, that the condition of the aircraft, airframe, aircraft engine, propeller, or appliance worked on will be at least equal to its original or properly altered condition (with regard to aerodynamic function, structural strength, resistance to vibration and deterioration, and other qualities affecting airworthiness).

65.107 (c) The holder of a repairman certificate (light-sport aircraft) with a maintenance rating may—
(1) Approve and return to service an aircraft that has been issued a special airworthiness certificate in the light-sport category under §21.190 of this chapter, or any part thereof, after performing or inspecting maintenance (to include the annual condition inspection and the 100-hour inspection required by §91.327 of this chapter), preventive maintenance, or an alteration (excluding a major repair or a major alteration on a product produced under an FAA approval);
(2) Perform the annual condition inspection on a light-sport aircraft that has been issued an experimental certificate for operating a light-sport aircraft under §21.191(i) of this chapter; and
(3) Only perform maintenance, preventive maintenance, and an alteration on a light-sport aircraft that is in the same class of light-sport aircraft for which the holder has completed the training specified in paragraph (a)(3)(ii) of this section. Before performing a major repair, the holder must complete additional training acceptable to the FAA and appropriate to the repair performed.
(d) The holder of a repairman certificate (light-sport aircraft) with a maintenance rating may not approve for return to service any aircraft or part thereof unless that person has previously performed the work concerned satisfactorily. If that person has not previously performed that work, the person may show the ability to do the work by performing it to the satisfaction of the FAA, or by performing it under the direct supervision of a certificated and appropriately rated mechanic, or a certificated repairman, who has had previous experience in the specific operation concerned. The repairman may not exercise the privileges of the certificate unless the repairman understands the current instructions of the manufacturer and the maintenance manuals for the specific operation concerned.

65.81, which sets forth the general privileges and limitations applicable to holders of a mechanic certificate, states that:
(a) A certificated mechanic may perform or supervise the maintenance, preventive maintenance or alteration of an aircraft or appliance, or a part thereof, for which he is rated (but excluding major repairs to, and alterations of, propellers, and any repair to, or alteration of, instruments) and may perform additional duties in accordance with §§ 65.85, 65.87, and 65.95.2 However, he may not supervise the maintenance, preventive maintenance, or alteration of, or approve and return to service, any aircraft or appliance, or part thereof, for which he is rated unless he has satisfactorily performed the work concerned at an earlier date. If he has not so performed that work at an earlier date, he may show his ability to do it by performing it to the satisfaction of the Administrator or under the direct supervision of a certificated and appropriately rated mechanic, or a certificated repairman, who has had previous experience in the specific operation concerned. (b) A certificated mechanic may not exercise the privileges of his certificate and rating unless he understands the current instructions of the manufacturer, and the maintenance manuals for the specific operation concerned. Neither that regulation nor any other regulation within part 65 mandates the completion of any initial or recurrent training in order for a certificated mechanic to perform work on an aircraft, airframe, aircraft engine, propeller, appliance, or component part.
Similar provisions for persons holding a repairmen certificate (light-sport aircraft) with a maintenance rating are contained in § 65.107(d). The only training required to be completed by these certificate holders in order to perform maintenance, preventive maintenance, or an alteration to a light-sport aircraft consists of that training required to be completed for the initial issuance of the certificate specified in paragraph (a)(3)(ii) of § 65.107.
§65.85 Airframe rating; additional privileges.
(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, a certificated mechanic with an airframe rating may approve and return to service an airframe, or any related part or appliance, after he has performed, supervised, or inspected its maintenance or alteration (excluding major repairs and major alterations). In addition, he may perform the 100-hour inspection required by part 91 of this chapter on an airframe, or any related part or appliance, and approve and return it to service.
(b) A certificated mechanic with an airframe rating can approve and return to service an airframe, or any related part or appliance, of an aircraft with a special airworthiness certificate in the light-sport category after performing and inspecting a major repair or major alteration for products that are not produced under an FAA approval provided the work was performed in accordance with instructions developed by the manufacturer or a person acceptable to the FAA.
§65.87 Powerplant rating; additional privileges.
(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, a certificated mechanic with a powerplant rating may approve and return to service a powerplant or propeller or any related part or appliance, after he has performed, supervised, or inspected its maintenance or alteration (excluding major repairs and major alterations). In addition, he may perform the 100-hour inspection required by part 91 of this chapter on a powerplant or propeller, or any part thereof, and approve and return it to service.
(b) A certificated mechanic with a powerplant rating can approve and return to service a powerplant or propeller, or any related part or appliance, of an aircraft with a special airworthiness certificate in the light-sport category after performing and inspecting a major repair or major alteration for products that are not produced under an FAA approval, provided the work was performed in accordance with instructions developed by the manufacturer or a person acceptable to the FAA.

AskBob
AskBob's picture

Thank you Carol. For those that dont know Carol and Brian they have been involved with LSA for over 10 years and they were approved along with the EAA as the first two FAA approved Repairman course schools.

whitefaced
whitefaced's picture

Carol,
I would add a point to your example of the composite repair scenario: If I understood you correctly, the manufacturer stated to you that additional training would be required of you to perform this repair.

This is not the MFG's call. Simply put, if it is determined that a repair is required, the first thing to consider is whether the repair is major or minor. This is 100% the responsibility of the person performing the repair (not the manufacturer). Once the determination has been made, if the repair is major, then the repairman must receive additional training relevant to that repair per 14 CFR part 65.107 (c)(3). This training does not have to come from the MFG however.
Also, the determination (Major vs Minor) should, in most cases be able to be determined without the specific repair procedure in hand (ref. 14 CFR part 1 definition of "Major Repair"). Obviously, the required additional training could not be completed though until a repair scheme has been provided by the MFG.

To say it another way: The SLSA MFGs are not the training police for us , the regulations are. Again, the chief counsel seemed to agree.

The LOA label is in my opinion confusing at best. Manufacturer's don't authorize a specific person to perform a particular repair. They merely control and provide the "procedure" that must be used.

Also Bob, repairman training courses are not "approved", they are "accepted". For anyone who has never been through an FAA approval process, the differences are quite great.

Doug Hereford

whitefaced
whitefaced's picture

On the broader prospective, it should be noted that there is a difference between required training, and required prior successful completion of work.
While it is true that any manufacturer could potentially provide acceptable 'training' as required in 65.107(c)(3) for a major repair scenario. That same SLSA manufacturer is likely NOT qualified to supervise a repairman or a mechanic as may be required to meet the relevant 65.107(d) or 65.81(a) requirements. The reason for this is because that manufacturer (or its representative person) is likely not certificated and appropriately rated as these relevant rules require.
The same goes for other training as may be offered or (manufacturer required). In the case of Rotax, they were insistent that their engine training was required. One of the rules that they loved to cite was 65.81 (they seemed to single out mechanics I thought). What they were missing was the fact that in many cases, their training was being provided (probably still is) by non-certificated individuals within the Rotax organization or others. Because of this fact, even if the instructor supervised students successfully performing maintenance tasks during training, that supervision did not meet the part 65.81(a) or 65.107(d) requirements because the instructors were not themselves mechanics or repairman.

Carol, Please do not take my "accepted" vs "approved" statement above to imply any short comings with your training program. That was definitely not my intention. Hope all is well for you guys!

Doug Hereford

AskBob
AskBob's picture

You are correct Doug. Their course was accepted. Just a miss-statement on a quick mobile post.

Bob Jones

n14ky
n14ky's picture

Carol, thanks for jumping into the discussion. Much like you I was involved in light sport from the beginning, I was in the original ARAC committee on Light Sport.

I would like to point out one thing in your post that while not directly associated with this thread, needs clarification. You stated "The important point to remember is that Special Light Sport Aircraft are not experimental. And there are many A&Ps who treat them as such. Part 43 does apply to Special Light Sport." In fact a large number of Experimental aircraft are required to comply with Part 43. Experimental Amateur Built are not required to comply with 43, but if you read 43.1, you will see that any aircraft that previously had a different type airworthiness certificate is still required to comply with 43.

David

n14ky
n14ky's picture

Carol and Doug, Thanks to both of you for a challenging discussion. It always seems in this industry there are few that want to dig deep into the regulations to get to the root our responsibilities as mechanics and repairmen.
'
I actually need to apologize since my thread title really isn't accurate. Looking back at my original letter I realize that the question posed to the Chief Counsel was not about training required to perform maintenance, but the apparent difference between in standards to perform the work, and the Operating Limitations imposed on the airworthiness certificate.

The ability to legally do the work was never in question. It was established years ago that the FAA can not impose any training requirements unless the provisions of the Administrative procedures Act are complied with (Title 5 USC).

The issue is the Operating Limitation calling out the requirement of maintenance per 91.327(b), and the issue of the training requirement that some manufacturers were trying to impose via their maintenance instructions.

Again, the ability to perform the maintenance was never in question, the validity of the airworthiness certificate following that maintenance was the question.

As I stated in a previous post, the Chief Counsel addressed that, but then muddied the water by trying to say the training required for a Repairman specified in 65.107 also applied to a Mechanic working on a SLSA. We all know that that requirement does not exist.

David

whitefaced
whitefaced's picture

David,
I am still confused as to your point. I also don't yet understand what your issue is with the Chief Counsel opinion. I see nothing in it that tries to tie the repaiman training requirement to mechanics.

Doug Hereford

As we all know LSA was placed in an operation rule part 91 section 91.327 and this section contains some maintenance requirements. When this rule was released for comments many years ago I raised the flag putting maintenance in an operations rule under part 91. The FAA agreed with me, but because of pressure from the aviation community, they wanted it out and agreed to revise it latter. As I understand, section 91.327 is under review and will be changed to remove maintenance and move it to part 43 where it belongs with some changes to be seen.

I think it is important to all understand some of the requirements about LSA as they are different than type certificated (T/C) aircraft.

A special airworthiness certificate in the light-sport category is issued to an aircraft that meets the definition of light-sport aircraft (LSA), is manufactured to the applicable consensus standards, and is one of the following five classes of the LSA category: airplanes, gliders, powered parachutes, weight-shift-control aircraft (commonly called trikes), and lighter-than-air aircraft (balloons and airships). When the aircraft meets all the eligibility requirements of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) §§ 1.1 and 21.190, it may be issued an airworthiness certificate in the LSA category. NOTE: this is NOT a Standard Airworthiness certificate and comes with a set of limitations how to maintain the aircraft.

This aircraft design has not been issued a type certificate (TC) by the FAA.
• The FAA does not review, test or approve this design.
• The FAA does not provide continued operational safety oversight of this design.
• The design holder is responsible for the review, testing and approval of the design under industry consensus standards.
• The design holder is responsible for the continued operational safety oversight of this design under industry consensus standards.

The FAA issues a special airworthiness certificate in the light-sport category after the aircraft has been inspected and found to be in a condition for safe operation and the aircraft meets the eligibility requirements in 14 CFR § 21.190(b). NOTE: Safe operation is not the same as being airworthy different standard when meeting a type design.

There are operating limitations issued to this LSA aircraft that you must be aware of and comply with. (Ref. 14 CFR § 91.327)
• Operating limitations issued as part of the special airworthiness certificate. (maintainers must read the limitations and understand them)
• Placards and markings.
• Pilot’s Operating Handbook (POH) or Aircraft Operating Instructions (AOI).
• Maintenance and inspection procedures.
• Flight training supplement.

What is the duration of the airworthiness certificate for an SLSA? As stated in 14 CFR § 21.181(a)(3): A special airworthiness certificate in the light-sport category is effective as long as-
• The aircraft meets the definition of a light-sport aircraft;
• The aircraft conforms to its original configuration, except for those alterations performed in accordance with an applicable consensus standard and authorized by the aircraft's manufacturer or a person acceptable to the FAA;
• The aircraft has no unsafe condition and is not likely to develop an unsafe condition; and
• The aircraft is registered in the United States.

NOTE: The owner and operator of an SLSA with a Sport Pilot or higher certificate can do simple “preventive maintenance” as specified by the manufacturer. (Ref. 14 CFR § 43.3(g))

Who can perform maintenance and inspections on ELSA?
(Ref. AC 65-32; 14 CFR §§ 65.85, 65.87, 65.107, 91.319, and Part 145)
Servicing (see NOTE), repair and alterations may be performed by “Anybody”.

NOTE: “Maintenance” is a common term but it is not used here because FAA uses the word maintenance to refer to a specific and higher level of service required by properly trained mechanics. This is not to say that Repairmen that take the repairman training course are not properly trained, but the requirement for an Airframe and Powerplant mechanic is minimum 1900-hours and required testing. Just a different standard.

n14ky
n14ky's picture

"The only training a certificate holder must complete in order to perform maintenance, preventive maintenance, or an alteration on a
light-sport aircraft is that training required by paragraph (a)(3)(ii) of§ 65.107 for the initial issuance of the certificate.That regulation specifies that to be eligible for a LSA repairman certificate with a maintenance rating, the mechanic or repairman must "[ c ]omplete a training course acceptable to the FAA on maintaining the patiicular class of light-sport aircraft for which you intend to exercise the privileges of this rating. "

They are, in effect, stating that all certificate holders (both mechanics and repairmen) need to complete this training.

n14ky
n14ky's picture

Ok, let me try and explain another way.

As a mechanic or repairman, if we violate a regulation, FAA can take certificate action against us, or levy a civil penalty. We could also be subject to litigation.

The owner or operator of an aircraft has to operate that aircraft in accordance with the limitations placed on the Airworthiness Certificate. If that certificate is invalid, operation of the aircraft could subject the pilot to certificate action, civil penalty, and in the event of an accident litigation and the possibility of denial of insurance coverage.

The first instance deals with what the mechanic must do, and that was settled long ago. The second deals with the pilot and aircraft owner, and was settled with the letter provided.

My question to the chief counsel was concerning the validity of the airworthiness certificate given the limitation associated with that certificate.

Does that clear up what my question to the chief council was?

David

David, I will try and clear up your question about airworthiness certificates. In accordance with part 21 there are two kinds of airworthiness certificates Standard and Special. Under each category there are many classes and SLSA and LSA fall under the Special airworthiness certificate.

On a Standard Airworthiness Certificate in block 5 AUTHORITY AND BASIS FOR ISSUE and it states;
“This airworthiness certificate is issued pursuant to the Federal Aviation Act of 1958 and certifies that as of the date of issuance, the aircraft to which issued has been inspected and found to conform to the type certificate, therefor, to be in condition for safe operation, and has been shown to meet the requirements of the applicable comprehensiveand detailed airworthiness code as provided by Annex 8 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, except as noted herein:”

Airworthy means an aircraft meets its type design and is in a condition for safe operation so there are two conditions a Standard Certificate must meet to be considered airworthy. Type design and safe condition for flight (within wear limits).

Block 6 TERMS AND CONDITIONS
Unless sooner surrendered, suspended, revoked, or a termination date is otherwise established by the Administrator, this airworthiness certificate is effective as long as the maintenance, preventive maintenance, and alterations are performed in accordance with Parts 21, 43, and 91 of the Federal Aviation Regulations, as appropriate, and the aircraft is registered in the United States.

What this is saying is the aircraft is not maintained properly the Airworthiness Certificate is invalid making the aircraft unairworthy in accordance with part 91 section 91.7 an operational rule.

As a maintainer, we are required during Annual and 100-hour inspection to insure the aircraft 1) meets it type design or properly altered condition in accordance with the type certificate (T/C) this is a part 43.13 and 43.15 rule. 2) insure the aircraft in within wear limits (safe condition for flight).

For Special Airworthiness Certificates FAA Form 8130-7 it is very different. All Special airworthiness certificates will come with limitations either on the back of the certificate or attached. With home built certificates there will be a phase 1 (flight testing) and phase 2 limitation after flight tests are completed. With LSA aircraft the flight test was accomplished by the manufactory under production flight testing per part 21.190. Under Block E, will be the limitations that will have the maintenance requirements on them and these are required to be followed. The limitations will always have the following:
• They nearly always require compliance with FAR part 91.
• The Op Lims will tell you what type of inspection is required.
• Additionally, Part 91 requires other types of operational inspections.
• On small aircraft, typical operation limits require yearly condition inspection of the aircraft to “Appendix D” of part 43. (like an Annual inspection). NOTE this is a CONDITION INSPECTION ONLY.

Who Can Do Maintenance? ANYONE! No A&P certificate is required. The only requirement for maintenance is that it be recorded in the aircraft records.

Caution: The yearly CONDITION INSPECTION is different. Only an A & P, Repairman, or Repair Station with the proper limitations MAY perform the yearly condition inspection! See the Operation Limitations for details!

WARNING! AUTHORITY TO DO WORK OR TO DO INSPECTIONS DOES NOT INCLUDE MAKING MAJOR CHANGES OR ALTERATIONS!

There is no mention on the Special Airworthiness like a Standard Certificate in Block 6 that would make the certificate invalid. This is where the limitations come in there may or may not be paragraph that covers the validity of the airworthiness certificate given the limitation associated with that Special Certificate. You can review Special Airworthiness limitation for different type so aircraft in FAA Order 8130-2 latest revision.

I hope this helps clear some of the issue up.

whitefaced
whitefaced's picture

David,
I now understand what you are saying. While I don't read their response that way, I guess I see you point about the way it was phrased. To interpret it exactly as worded, one could think the chief counsel to mean all certificate holders of all types (pilot, air agency, parachute rigger, etc......). Obviously we all know that 65.107 does not apply to mechanics. The Chief counsel could have worded it a little better.

I made a similar point above where they state that repairman initial certification training (third paragraph of the letter) is the only required training for them. This is in my opinion more incorrect because it ignores/omits the additional 65.107(c)(3) required training requirement before performance of major repairs.

In general, I believe that their response leaned toward repairmen (which is understandable to me) because technically, certificated mechanics have no "training" requirements at all under part 65.

Doug Hereford

n14ky
n14ky's picture

Doug,
Kind of like my other letter on data plates where the chief council redefined aluminum as being fireproof. I guess that's what you get with a bunch of lawyers.

David

n14ky
n14ky's picture

Denny, thanks for the comments. I have to disagree with you on this. For any aircraft where 43. applies, the provisions of 43.3 also apply. 43.1(b) [(b) This part does not apply to--
(1) Any aircraft for which the FAA has issued an experimental certificate, unless the FAA has previously issued a different kind of airworthiness certificate for that aircraft; or
(2) Any aircraft for which the FAA has issued an experimental certificate under the provisions of Sec. 21.191 (i)(3) of this chapter, and the aircraft was previously issued a special airworthiness certificate in the light-sport category under the provisions of Sec. 21.190 of this chapter.]

As you can see, any aircraft has an Experimental certificate, that previously had a different certificate (except E-LSA) is still required to be comply with 43 - who can do the work, how to do the work, and how to document the work. Way to many people fall into the trap of "Oh it's an Experimental, we don't have to worry about Part 43" I'm currently dealing with a DC-10, a Sabreliner, and a G-1 that operate under an Experimental certificate, but there are decades of alterations with no documentation. This is a very costly error on the part of these operators.

Cedarglen (not verified)
Anonymous's picture

I read the response. I am not qualified to evaluate the accuracy or correctness of FAA's response, but apparently neither are they. Twenty-five months to produce THAT? It works out so something like six weeks per sentence. Am I missing something here?
--Always do your very best and consult with others when appropriate.
-CG

What I think is we all saying about the same thing, what is confusing is when the FAA states an aircraft has to be maintained to part 43 in a blanket statement for aircraft with Special Airworthiness certificates. The blanket statement certainly does not fit all the limitations that experimental or special airworthiness limitation have been issued. As a FAA inspector, we spent a lot of time in the FAA office discussing limitations and part 43 blanket statements when LSA first came out. Often we would contact the regional legal office to provide opinions and often enough they could not explain what some of the new rules really met and directed up back to the FAA working group that wrote the FAA order guidance. The FAA guidance material in orders and FAR/CFRs have a lot to be desired at times and in the LSA world this is a big issue and has always been.

What I can say is if you are going to work on any LSA aircraft I would certainly highly recommend the person to obtain some type of formal training. To hold a LSA repairman certificate this is required, but as an A&P it is also required under part 65 by the ratings the mechanic holds.

As of now the FAA has not enforced the training issue, but I am sure when there is an accident and people get injured or die the FAA will take up the stick and go after training. For A&Ps working on LSA aircraft I would recommend obtain training certificates to show compliance to CYA since LSA are NOT Type Certificated (TC’d).

This has been an interesting and thought provoking discussion on LSA.

whitefaced
whitefaced's picture

I guess I just do not see the conflict. 91.327 clearly limits the part 43 requirements to "applicable provisions" in the case of 91.327(b), and approval for return to service requirements in the case of 91.327 (c)(1).
I disagree that "training" is required for A&P's ratings. I see nothing in part 65 that states otherwise. (Not to say that training is bad, or even unnecessary).

Doug Hereford

n14ky
n14ky's picture

I'm with Doug on no training requirement for A&Ps. The training requirement for LSA Repairmen is in a different subpart of 14 CFR 43 and does not apply to an A&P. An S-LSA is an "Aircraft", and under Subpart D 65.81 allows an A&P mechanic to perform maintenance and inspections on "Aircraft". So long as you meet the experience (65.81) and recent experience (65.83) requirements of Subpart D, no further training is required to work on an S-LSA.

That is easy to meet for a conventional airplane fabricated from conventional materials. A weight shift control, powered parachute, or some other unconventional design may have maintenance requirements that are beyond what the typical A&P has experience with a-la 65.81. If that is the case, he may need to seek out additional training and supervision, but as been pointed out before, the manufacturer may not even be able to provide that supervision unless the person supervising is an A&P, or repairmen.

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