Thu, Aug 23, 2012
Now Has 'Sufficient Evidence' That The Plant Is Where They Say It Is
It was just about 48 hours ago that ANN broke this story -- based on the email Pipistrel USA Master Distributor Michael Coates sent to ANN chronicling his efforts to convince the agency that its Taurus 503 LSA airplanes (among others) bound for the US market were being manufactured in Italy, and that as such they could be certificated to be sold and operated in the United States. As you'll probably recall, the FAA said it was unable to locate the manufacturing facilities claimed by Pipistrel using Google Earth, and cited that as one reason that it would not authorize the import of the motorgliders into the U.S.
Well, late Wednesday afternoon, the agency relented. The FAA issued a brief statement that will allow Pipistrel to get back in business in the good ol' USA.
"Earlier this year, Pipestrel's (Pipistrel, Ed.) Italian-based light-sport aircraft subsidiary submitted an application to the FAA for special LSA airworthiness certification on a Taurus 503 motor glider. The FAA wanted to ensure that the application included sufficient proof the aircraft were built in Italy. We now believe we have sufficient evidence that the aircraft are manufactured at the Italian facility. We will contact Mr. Coates of Pipistrel to resolve the remaining issues.
"In describing the various aspects of our inquiry, staff anecdotally indicated that the Pipistrel LSA SRL facility was not visible on Google Earth, but that was not an official factor in considering the application."
(The image of a cat on linoleum comes to mind, Ed. Taurus 503 image provided by Pipistrel.)
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