AndrewS, the founder of Hopscotch Air who flies an LSA (the Sportcruiser), has just written an interesting post on the Let’s Go Flying blog about the recent audit report from the FAA on the LSA manufacturing industry which is setting off alarm bells to the point where even Dan Johnson, the chairman of the Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association, said it was “tough love.” However, Andrew further added that he thinks the report is a bit more ominous than that.
Apparently, the FAA audited 30 LSA facilities to determine if they are complying with ASTM standards (the ASTM is an independent group that various industries use to set standards for their products) as under current rules, if an LSA meets these standards, it can then be sold to the American public – without government certifications. However, the FAA determined that most of the thirty facilities audited could not establish that their aircraft met the standards and that they have failed to implement basic internal controls and don’t full understand FAA regulations. The report concluded that the FAA needs to increase its oversight of the LSA industry.
Andrew then pointed out that the FAA and the NTSB do not have any issues (so far) with the safety record of LSAs but then again, there aren’t many flying right now. However, all it will take is one or two serious accidents that would then lead to a significant government crackdown and new regulations. Hence, Andrew concluded that the LSA industry must immediately answer all of the FAA’s concerns that if the LSA industry “cannot instill it’s own adult supervision, we all know the government will do it for it.”
Hence, we want to know what you our readers think of the LSA industry. Does the LSA industry really need to clean up its act and if so, can it do it on its own? Or does it just need more “adult supervision”?