Maintenance and inspections for Light Sport Aircraft (LSA)

FAA regulations for the maintenance and inspection of Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) are specific about the frequency of inspections and who may perform their maintenance.

Conventional, standard category LSA, such as a Piper J-3 Cub, are maintained the same way as their standard category brothers, such as a Cessna 172. There is no change to the way they have been maintained before the LSA category came along: they receive inspections annually, plus once more for every 100 hours of service if they are used for training or for-hire. The personnel allowed to perform maintenance and inspections are FAA certificated Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) mechanics or an FAA-certified repair station.

For Special LSAs (S-LSA), like the Gobosh 800XP and Flight Design CTLS, inspection frequency is determined the same way as conventional standard category aircraft. The personnel allowed to perform inspections and maintenance are A&P mechanics, FAA-certified repair station, plus persons who hold the new LSA repairmen certificate with a maintenance rating. You become an LSA repairman with a maintenance rating when you successfully complete a 120-hour FAA-approved course.

Maintenance, repairs and alterations can be performed by A&P mechanics, an FAA-certified repair station and LSA repairmen with a maintenance rating. For some maintenance items specified by the manufacturer in the manual, the mechanic must receive training from the S-LSA’s manufacturer. Check the Aircraft Maintenance Manual for information on what the manufacturer specifies.

For experimental LSA, inspections can be done annually by FAA repairmen and A&P’s with inspection authorization, or by the owner — as long as they have passed a 16-hour course making them a LSA repairman with an inspection rating. Experimental aircraft can include Special LSA bolt-together kits, S-LSA that have been converted to Experimental LSA, and any ultralight trainer transitioned to an E-LSA. Anyone is allowed to perform maintenance, repair and alterationson an experimental aircraft.

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