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No LODA ! (Letter of Deviation Authority)

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#1 Posted: 2/4/2010 23:44:32

 According to a recent announcement by the EAA, “the FAA has failed to develop guidance for the issuance of letters of deviation authority (LODAs) under §91.319(h).”

That means that I can not continue to train in my E-LSA, after January 31.

Well, today February 4, 2010, I got this bad news, but worse, I almost saw a new guy at the airport kill himself!

This guy purchased a used Phantom Ultralight and had been working on it, fixing a few things.  He had told me that he had “some” Cessna 150 training about one and a half years ago.  Of course I explained the differences between a Cessna 150 and the Phantom Ultralight and suggested that he does not attempt to fly it until he receives some dual time in a “low-mass / high drag” airplane like my QuickSilver Sport 2S.  I also told him that it had to be before January 31!!!  I never saw him again until today when he took off with a decent cross wind.  On the second landing attempt, after bouncing many times and drifting down wind, he decided to go around doing a 180 about 10 feet from the ground and heading directly for a row of airplanes parked on the ramp.  I don’t know how he missed them.  On the third landing attempt, after multiple bounces, he finally brought the Phantom down to the amazement of the few onlookers.

So now that we can not use our fat ultralights (E-LSA) for training, how does someone like him get training in something that somewhat reflects the kind of ultralight he has?

 

Carlos Duenas

Sport Pilot (Only) - CFI

 



Larry Cazier
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#2 Posted: 2/5/2010 17:39:21

Hey Carlos....It's me Larry.......your classmate from the J.Kelly school of "only sport pilot CFIs". It sounds like we have experienced alot of the same issues since we got our instructor ratings. My plane is a E-LSA and I had to of course surrender the airworthiness cert. which allowed "for hire" and now have the regular experimental airworthiness certificate. I'm curious to see what action if any the FAA takes to heal the weak spot in ultralite training created by the expiration of the exemption we enjoyed previouly. The DPE I have used for the past 3 yrs. told me that nothing prevents me from training in my plane ...I just can't charge for the use of it but the fee for my time can be whatever the market will bear. Of course trying to get insurance is simply cost prohibitive and I'm sure you'd not find any company willing to insure your E-LSA for training.

Dont give up on the training.....we're filling a niche and in the process keeping our skills sharp and souls happy!

Larry Cazier CFI-SP #3193532



Larry Cazier
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#3 Posted: 2/5/2010 19:24:51

Hi Larry!

Good to hear from you!  I totally agree with you.  Not being able to train in the existing fleet of E-LSA or get insurance is certainly a huge setback!  Not that we were doing this for the money!  I am concern that the only way that the FAA will react to this is for the accident rate for single place aircraft and Ultralights to increase and for a few people to get killed. I hope not…

I wonder what the accident rate for E-LSA was that they pulled the plug and did not issue the LODA.  Do you know?

Carlos Duenas

Sport Pilot (only) CFI

 



Larry Cazier
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#4 Posted: 2/6/2010 10:58:26

Carlos

I thought about applying for a LODA and did some research as to what it would entail. The paper work is very involved and I had no template to guide me. When I googled LODA one of the sites was a request by the gyro plane folks and it was quite impressive. I don't know if that application was successful or if anyone has successfully applied for a LODA on their E-LSA. I have ordered a S-LSA Rans Coyote II and have sold my E-LSA to a former student.My E-LSA had a Vh in excess of 87 knots so I wasn't hopeful that the FAA would consider it a good candidate for a LODA.  It would be interesting to contact the Light Sport branch of the FAA (AFS 610) and ask if there is some movement toward making the LODA process more user friendly.

Also it's been my experience that the sport pilot students are ready for the PTS  with 25-30 hrs.What I've struggled with is finding a DPE who has an interest in conducting sport pilot  practical tests.The examiner I've used for the past 3+ years lives out of state and is not always available.The in-state examiners show no interest and most will not return calls or emails.I'm considering applying for DPE-SP myself.

Larry Cazier



Larry Cazier
Larry Cazier
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#5 Posted: 2/6/2010 11:22:58

Carlos here's the link to the Popular Rotorcraft Assoc. They have detailed instructions on how to prepare and submit a LODA.http://www.pra.org  and they have a search engine to find the LODA items.



Larry Cazier
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#6 Posted: 2/6/2010 11:43:24

Thanks for the link!  Since our Las Vegas Sport Pilot DPE moved and our regular DPE in St. George does not do sport pilots, tail wheel or experimental aircraft, students have had to travel hundreds of miles to Phoenix, Az or California to have a check ride.  Because of this issue and now not being able to use my plane, I have pretty much stopped training unless the student has an S-LSA and is willing to travel for his/her checkride.

If I can vote on this, I will vote for you to become a DPE!

Carlos

 



Shannon Coleman
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#7 Posted: 2/7/2010 11:42:06

There's not a lot of SP DPEs out there yet.  From what I understand, DPEs have to get qualified to do SP exams and there just isn't that many out there yet.  I know of one here in NC and hear there is another and that is it for the state.