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FAA ASTM standards audits for the SLSA MFG's

Roger Lee

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Hi All,


Just an FYI. This is actually good for the safety of the industry and pilots. I don't see FD having any issues as they have been very proactive to keep on top of such things.




This was sent out in July 2010 by Lama- check out attached link Dear LSA Industry Professional: Please take this message very seriously!



LAMA and LAMA Europe have some announcements of special interest to all 72 current producers of Special Light-Sport Aircraft and to any producer intending to certify a new Light-Sport Aircraft. FAA has communicated plans to change how SLSA are approved, and those plans represent a major change.


Directly from FAA, "We are considering the following: All LSA manufacturers, regardless of where they are located, will have to pass a compliance to consensus standards audit and a first production aircraft inspection for every LSA model they produce. Both the audit and inspection will be conducted by a specially trained cadre of FAA inspectors, not designees. Airworthiness certificates will not be issued until after both the audit and inspection are successfully completed." Note the word "considering." This is not yet actual policy, but it states clearly how the agency is thinking about their responsibilities.


In the past, a manufacturer reviewed the ASTM standards. If all requirements were met, the producer declared their aircraft complied to all applicable ASTM standards. You manufactured your aircraft and sent it to your dealer or importer who then contacted a local Designated Airworthiness Representative (DAR). After the FAA-trained DAR examined the aircraft, an airworthiness certificate was issued and you could sell the aircraft to a customer. The paragraph above suggests this will be changing.




The FAA assessment report is complete and has been distributed. This follows FAA's visit to 30 companies involved with the sale of SLSA into the United States. Following those visits, FAA studied the results and have now published their "Light-Sport Aircraft Manufacturers Assessment (LSAMA)." For those receiving this by email, we attach a PDF file containing the entire report.


We urge you to read this report. (It is available only in English language.)


FAA PLANNED CHANGES (Additional Detail)


After FAA is ready with their revised plan, the agency proposes: For any new SLSA, FAA will first request a full set of ASTM compliance documents which the agency will review. Following a successful review, presuming your documents precisely meet ASTM standards, FAA will plan an on-site visit to review your Quality Assurance program and will examine your process control among other things. FAA suggests that only after a successful review will the new SLSA be permitted for sale in the USA.




As FAA reports in the "LSAMA," FAA believes many companies are not in full compliance. Therefore, it is your best interest to review your compliance with ASTM standards. While FAA's initial plan appears to be a review of any new SLSA, it is possible FAA will also review existing SLSA.


You must realize that any aircraft or company not found in 100% compliance will run some risk of having FAA stop deliveries of aircraft until full compliance is verified. If safety-of-flight is questioned, FAA could ground your current aircraft until remedies are found.


If you are 100% certain your LSA meet every ASTM requirement, then you have nothing to fear. However, if you declared compliance because you satisfy another certification standard or if you are aware that you do not 100% meet ASTM standards, you may have a major problem that could seriously affect your business.




LAMA encourages all producers or importers to prepare for FAA review and LAMA is able to help with the checklist series or with a full audit.



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