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While on the subject of engines, one engine manufacturer specifically limits who can maintain and inspect their engines when installed in an SLSA. Their maintenance manuals state that only individuals that have completed their formal training programs can perform tasks identified in the manual. §65.87 (b) allows a mechanic with a power plant rating to work on LSA engines, but only in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Since the manual specifically calls out the training requirement, that limits your ability to maintain and inspect the engine unless you meet the training requirement. This leaves us with another regulatory twist. If the same engine is installed in a Type Certified aircraft, it can be maintained by a person with an A&P that meets the experience requirement of §65.81 (a) and the type specific training identified in the maintenance manual can be ignored since it is not an airworthiness limitation.

Please note that within the light sport rules,

repair stations desiring to work on these aircraft, their op specs would have to reflect authorization to perform maintenance on the aircraft involved. Once we’ve determined we are authorized to maintain an SLSA, let’s look at the parts supply chain. Since we have Item 6 of the operating limitations, if the manufacturer has a parts catalog or parts list and doesn’t specify alternate vendors, guess what? You’re limited to parts obtained from the manufacturer or their approved supply source. If you use someone else’s parts, you’ve rendered the airworthiness certificate invalid. If a manufacturer goes out of business, or no longer supports the aircraft model and parts aren’t available, the SLSA certificate will have to be surrendered, and an ELSA certificate issued, with appropriate limitations, for the aircraft to operate.

In summary, the FAA gave industry what they were asking for with light sport aircraft, but there are some pretty tight strings attached. As a mechanic, you need to be aware that working on these light sport aircraft is different than working on TC’d aircraft. There are restrictions that you may not be used to. If one pulls up to your shop, the first thing you need to do is review the maintenance publications to verify what maintenance is authorized, and work only within that scope.


Maintaining light sport aircraft is different than maintaining TC’d aircraft. Proceed with caution if one pulls up to your hangar.

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