Aero-News has learned Czech Aircraft Works is seeking an
exemption from the FAA allowing it to receive a special
airworthiness certificate in the light-sport category for its
Czech Aircraft says the Mermaid needs the exemption because it
is an amphibian equipped with landing gear that can be retracted
and extended while in flight.
Normally, that's a light-sport no-no -- as
current standards allow retractable gear only when the gear
can only be extended or retracted while the aircraft is on the
ground. In other words, if you're flying an LSA under
sport-pilot regs... you land in the same configuration you took off
The FAA, in turn, is seeking public comments on Mermaid
operations. The agency wants to know whether the Czech plane and
others like it can withstand improper use of the landing gear, such
as landing on water with the gear inadvertantly extended.