Chapter 12. Publications, Forms, & Records

Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) Maintenance

The LSA category includes gliders, airplanes, gyroplanes, powered parachutes, weight-shift and lighterthan- air aircraft. There two general types of LSAs: Special (SLSA) and Experimental (ELSA). The SLSA are factory built and the ESLA are kit built. This new category of aircraft was added to the regulations in 2004. (Refer to 14 CFR §§21.190, 65.107, and 91.327, all dated July 27, 2004.)

Just as “industry standard" specifications have replaced many of the Military Standards to define products that are destined to be part of the Department of Defense inventory, so too have industry standards come into the FAA sights for documenting certain things. Quality is one example, where the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) has developed AS 9100 and AS 9110 as auditing standards for aerospace facilities and specifically repair stations. Likewise, ISO9001 is being adopted by the FAA as a system of measuring their performance. Therefore, it was logical that when the FAA looked to develop the standards for this newest category of aircraft, they again looked to industry, and this time it was the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). The ASTM developed a comprehensive list of consensus standards for use by manufacturers, regulators, maintenance facilities, LSA owners, and service providers. It is very unique that these standards are the first ones in over 100 years to solely address the issue of recreational aircraft use. It is also the first complete set of industry consensus standards covering the design, manufacture, and use of recreational aircraft that was developed by a nongovernment agency. The ASTM committee that developed these LSA standards did so to ensure the quality of products and services to support both the national and the international regulatory structures for LSAs. Over 20 standards have been generated, and more are being developed to cover this diversity of aircraft. This text only incorporates a review of F2483-05, Standard Practice for Maintenance and the Development of Maintenance Manuals for Light Sport Aircraft (LSA). That 6-page document is comprised of the following 12 sections:

  • Scope
  • Referenced Documents
  • Terminology
  • Significance and Use
  • Aircraft Maintenance Manual
  • Line Maintenance, Repairs and Alterations
  • Heavy Maintenance, Repairs and Alterations
  • Overhaul
  • Major Repairs and Alterations
  • Task-Specific Training
  • Safety Directives
  • Keywords

The scope of that document is basically twofold:

  • To provide guidelines for the qualification necessary to accomplish various levels of maintenance on LSA.
  • To provide the content and structure of maintenance manuals for aircraft and their components that are operated as LSAs.

Some additional definitions from section 3, Terminology, that will help to better understand the LSA concepts are:

Annual Condition Inspection is defined as a detailed inspection accomplished once a year in accordance with instructions provided in the maintenance manual supplied with the LSA. The purpose of this inspection is to look for any wear, corrosion, or damage that would cause the LSA not to be in condition for safe operation.

Heavy maintenance is any maintenance, inspection, repair, or alteration a manufacturer has designated that requires specialized training, equipment, or facilities.

Line maintenance is any repair, maintenance, scheduled checks, servicing, inspections, or alterations not considered heavy maintenance that are approved by the manufacturer and is specified in the manufacturer’s maintenance manual.

LSA repairman — inspection is a U.S. FAA-certified LSA repairman with an inspection rating per 14 CFR part 65. This person is authorized to perform the 100-hour/annual inspection of the aircraft, which he or she owns.

LSA repairman — maintenance is a U.S. FAA-certified LSA repairman with a maintenance rating per 14 CFR part 65. This person is allowed to perform the required maintenance and can also accomplish the 100-hour/annual inspection.

Major repair, alteration, or maintenance is any repair, alteration, or maintenance for which instructions to complete the task are excluded from the maintenance manual.

Minor repair, alteration, or maintenance is any repair, alteration, or maintenance for which instructions to complete the task are included in the maintenance manual.

The 100-hour inspection is the same as the annual inspection, except for the interval of time. The requirements for whether or not the 100-hour inspection is applicable are exactly the same as the criteria for the standard 100-hour/annual required of non-LSA aircraft.

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