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FAA Sport Pilot - May 6th Deadline for Comments

Additional information about the soaring nature of this rule can be found in Soaring Magazine's April issue. SSA currently has two task forces working on SSA comments, one concerning the pilot issues and one concerning the aircraft issues. Commercial operators were notified by mail of the NPRM in February. Those who have specific comments they wish to send to SSA may e-mail them to Info@SSA.org or to coordinator Jim Short at short@megsinet.net. An SSA response will be completed from inputs received by May 1.

Although the glider portions of the sport pilot regulations are quite similar to the glider regulations in Part 61, there are some differences, and SSA will be commenting on these. Some of the uses of Lightweight Sport Aircraft (LSA) are slightly different from current gliders, so these areas bear consideration, especially for aircraft designs in the future. The Sport Pilot proposals offer an opportunity for new designs of aircraft that were previously unregulated ultralight gliders to have a more confidence-building certification process. New designs will hopefully be encouraged and perhaps a new breed of lightweight sailplanes will be developed which can use micro-lift, and which will represent cost breakthroughs and homebuilding. SSA believes design standards may be published by an external organization such as ASTM, but SSA also intends that these standards be proposed by SSA based on appropriate modifications (and simplifications) to JAR-22. Pilot certification, while not much different from current licensing procedures and standards, will also be simple, and this in itself may promote greater participation in the sport of soaring.

The bottom line: This is an interesting and important rule that offers positive potential for American soaring in the future. There are other areas that may affect current operations and these will be the subject of SSA comments. Have a look and make your comments!

Posted: 4/22/2002 By: General News


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