Participants in the first sport pilot examiner initial course now have something to fly. The FAA's Light Sport Aviation Branch certified five aircraft as Experimental Light Sport Aircraft (ELSA) so that the pilots would be able to complete training. This came just in time for the course, January 17 through 22, in Sebring, Florida.
The FAA certified a MaxAir Drifter ultralight, two Air Creation weight-shift control, and two Powrachute Pegasus aircraft for the course. The agency needed to certify the specific aircraft it planned to use in the course as ELSA in order to satisfy regulations.
As the FAA completes the final stages of making sport pilot fully functional, it also is moving forward with another, less known, pilot certification category that it created during the sport pilot initiative.
The Sport Pilot and Light Sport Aircraft rule created two new aircraft categories for the private pilot certificate: weight-shift control and powered parachute. Last week, the FAA released the practical test standards (PTS) for each. Download the PTS on AOPA Online.
January 18, 2005