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FAA Issues Changes To Light-Sport Aircraft Rule

Allows Retractable Gear On Amphibs, Lighter-Than-Air LSA

It's official: pilots of amphibious light-sport aircraft may now legally reposition the landing gear on their aircraft while inflight. Last week, the FAA issued an amendment to its original 2004 "Certification of Aircraft and Airmen for the Operation of Light-Sport Aircraft" ruling, which also creates guidelines for lighter-than-air light sport aircraft.

As ANN reported, the FAA issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on April 19, and invited comments on the changes. The agency notes it received two comments -- and neither was within the proposed law's scope.

"One commenter suggested the regulation be amended to restrict the use of LSA to only unpopulated areas," the FAA states. "This rulemaking is limited to the definition of LSA and changing the areas where LSA may operate is clearly beyond the scope of the Direct Final Rule. The other commenter fully supports the revised definition and recommended consideration of design changes to facilitate egress from LSA should they crash and submerge inverted.

"The FAA has determined that this comment has merit; however, it is also beyond the scope of this rulemaking," said the agency.

The new ruling is effective June 4, 2007.

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