September 4, 2012
By Alton K. Marsh
Dan Johnson, president of the Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association (LAMA), says the FAA will begin three-day field audits of light sport aircraft (LSA) manufacturers starting in March 2013. The plan was briefed to the LSA industry during EAA AirVenture 2012.
The audits will eventually include all manufacturers foreign and domestic, but not distributors in the United States. The emphasis will be on those manufacturers introducing new models. The goal is to have two teams, and to perform a total of two audits per month. Introducing a new model could trigger an onsite inspection by the FAA.
The FAA asked manufacturers to begin discussions and updates as soon as a new model is planned, so that an audit can be scheduled. LAMA has long urged voluntary self-audits, and hopes manufacturers will voluntarily report those to the FAA. That does not preclude an FAA audit.
Manufacturers will not be able to deliver a new model until an onsite audit is complete.
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton Marsh has been a pilot since 1970 and has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates, aerobatic training, and a commercial seaplane certificate.
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