Hello LAMA Members, present and past, and LSA Professionals:
ABOUT THIS NEWSLETTER
LAMA is introducing a new communications plan!
On a periodic basis, we will be sending an eNewsletter to all current LAMA members (thanks for your loyal support!), all previous LAMA members, and a wide group of LSA and light kit aircraft professionals.
In some of our eNewsletters, LAMA plans to survey certain questions.
TOPICS IN THIS NEWSLETTER
- Survey on ASTM Actions … four questions only … on an eSurvey website
- Advocacy Update … our action list for investigation
- Housekeeping … unsubscribing, adding another company, topics suggestions, websites
SURVEY ON ASTM QUESTIONS
We seek feedback from the LSA and light kit professional community so that we can accurately represent the industry.
In the survey with this first newsletter, we ask only four simple yes-or-no questions so it should take less than 60 seconds.
We hope you enjoy our efforts at communication and we hope you will participate when we survey you. That way we will know what you think so we can respond appropriately to FAA, NTSB, ASTM, insurance companies, membership organizations, and others that can be very important to your business.
Those government agencies, businesses, and member organizations come to LAMA to ask what the industry thinks. We are willing to be the messenger but need to know your thoughts.
Also, we encourage all light aircraft companies — LSA, kit, or ultralight — to receive this newsletter, so if one of your friends in the business is not receiving these just send us their name and email and we’ll add them to the list (contact info at the end). We never, ever sell mailing lists to anyone, by the way.
If you don’t care to read the following, please, at least … go take the survey:
Survey Questions Background
ASTM’s F37 committee is the group that has created and maintains the Light-Sport Aircraft standards that FAA uses to approve aircraft. F37 has responded to a FAA request.
After FAA audited companies, the agency claimed many (half of the 10 companies audited in a one-year period) were not fully prepared. They feel these companies need more training.
As aircraft producers should know, when you finish your airplane development, you review the standards, assure your airplane complies, and complete FAA’s form 8130-15 (the “dash-15”). This is your declaration that your LSA meets all relevant ASTM standards. Completing the form is much like entering into a contract and FAA requires the person signing the dash-15 to know what is required to completely and faithfully make such a declaration. FAA maintains that too many companies have this form signed by someone with less than full knowledge.
FAA has made it very clear that they prefer ASTM should offer and enforce the taking of a training class so all dash-15 signers know what they are declaring and do so accurately.
Some in the LSA professional community have told us this is unnecessary, that for example, they know the standards well and do not need training.
Others have said FAA can establish regulation if they wish to make such a class mandatory but requiring ASTM to do this is asking the F37 group to do FAA’s job for them.
The class that someone in your company may have to take could cost $1,000 plus travel expenses. That person may have to renew every two, three, or four years by retaking the class. If FAA’s insistence is followed, the class will become mandatory if you wish to sell a Special LSA.
LAMA wishes to propose to F37 committee members attending the Aero Friedrichshafen ASTM meetings that we disagree with F37 establishing a mandatory class.
LAMA fully supports the dash-15 signer knowing all they should know, however, LAMA believes that person should be allowed to take the test without first having to attend the class. This allows personal or in-company training to assure the signer is fully informed.
If the proposed company dash-15 signer cannot pass the test, LAMA agrees that the that person must then take the class or elect someone else to take the test. However, if they can pass the test, no class would be required.
Note: We will not do this as LAMA unless you agree … so please, take the survey:
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Here are the four (and only four) questions we want you to answer:
Regarding a Mandatory Training Class …
- Do you believe mandatory ASTM F37 standards training classes (to assure fully understanding LSA standards) are valuable and essential to a well-functioning LSA market and the standards that support them?
- Do you believe ASTM F37 standards training classes are only necessary for those whose knowledge is incomplete and that those who know the standards well should be allowed to immediately take a test of their knowledge?
Regarding Regular Changes to ASTM Standards …
- Do you believe the ASTM F37 committee standards are very good as they are but need regular updating to make them the best they can be, so as to fully address the requirements of FAA, EASA, and other national CAAs?
- Do you believe ASTM’s F37 committee continues to make too many changes to the standards, that is, do the regularly improved standards make your business more difficult to operate and make it harder to demonstrate your aircraft fully comply?
As an organization representing producer companies and sellers LAMA has partnered with USUA (U.S. Ultralight Association) as a membership organization. The two organizations serve the light end of aviation exclusively, and that’s important.
Aviation enjoys some other fine organizations, such as EAA, AOPA, and others. We often interact with them and they have been gracious to help LAMA and USUA when we’ve asked for their help. We expect to continue close association with these organizations.
However, good as they are, those organizations are focused on their membership … as they should be. This means they cannot 100% focus on your needs, as we can. Each LAMA and USUA have no other duties except to represent and promote light aviation, both makers and users.
To that end, we held two conferences in 2014, one at Sun ‘n Fun and another at AirVenture. In these two sessions we listened to many players, inside our industry and outside, including several representatives from FAA.
In these two sessions, we grappled with a lengthy list of 26 areas where it would be useful if FAA handled matters differently than they do today.
However, that is way too many items to present to FAA, we were repeatedly told. So we boiled this list down to the absolute essentials while trying to address different areas and different interests.
Our Final List
- “Aerial Work” — This European term means using SLSA for compensated operations such as law enforcement, pipeline examination, agriculture, and similar missions. We plan to investigate possibilities for rule change (required to permit such use). The sales potential for our industry could be enormous and the pilot opportunities (likely for Commercial-rated pilots) might be large.
- Electric Propulsion — Nearly everyone is excited about the possibilities of electric aircraft and the lightest end of aviation is the most likely to see early success and practicality. What we plan to investigate is an exemption to allow industry to move to a higher level of learning about electric propulsion in the hands of users.
- Gyroplane SLSA — FAA originally meant for fully-manufactured gyroplanes to be part of the LSA mix. Indeed, outside the USA, gyroplanes are the biggest buyers of the Rotax 912 engine series. Others have worked on this and now we plan to investigate how SLSA gyros might move forward.
- LODA Simplification — Letters of Deviation Authority allow owners of certain aircraft to use them for compensated flight training, however, the process is cumbersome. We will investigate a simplification to help more new pilots take to the air and become potential customers. This helps USUA instructors and airplane makers alike.
LAMA and USUA hope you will continue to support these worthy advocacy goals by staying or becoming a member.
Without LAMA and USUA, the industry and its pilots have no voice.
Please … renew or join today! Thanks to current members for your loyal support.
Regarding this newsletter and our contact with you —
If you wish to be unsubscribed (you must tell us which email address should be dropped; if you do not reference the email address we used for this mailing we will not be able to remove you) …
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LAMA Membership: http://www.lama.bz/membership-form
(left to right) President and Chairman Dan Johnson • Phil Lockwood • Phil Solomon
• Christian Mundigler • Gretchen Jahn • Jan Fridrich (LAMA Europe)
— not pictured: Tom Peghiny or Roy Beisswenger —