PRA is asking all manufactures for their help in certifing their gyroplanes as SLSA with the FAA.

Also needed is anyone who knows the ASTM standards.

PRA is appointing a very knoweldge person as our new PRA FAA Representiviate who is already working with the FAA to assist in making it happen. We hope he will accept.

What does the FAA want from us:

  1. The aircraft must be manufactured in accordance with an industry consensus ASTM standards that define the criteria that a factory-built light-sport aircraft must meet.
  2. To ensure conformance with an industry consensus standard, a manufacturer of SLSA must meet the requirements of three essential elements of that standard:
    1. design and performance,
      1. To meet the standard for design and performance, a manufacturer must first develop a prototype aircraft, and through flight testing and other verifications, ensure that the prototype conforms to the consensus standard for that category/class of aircraft, including the aircraft’s flight characteristics and stability.

    2. production, and on-going support,
      1. Once a prototype’s design and performance is confirmed to be compliant with the standard for its category/class of aircraft and the aircraft moves to production, the manufacturer must attest that each of the aircraft that comes off the assembly line is a precise replicate of that prototype. Once built, these manufactured replicates must be ground and flight tested to confirm that their performance is consistent with the consensus standard and that they’re safe for operation.
      2. Furthermore, the manufacturer must ensure its production of these aircraft is compliant with an industry consensus standard for manufacturing, including quality standards for materials, fabrication, and assembly.
      3. After the aircraft are built and placed in operation, the manufacturer must adhere to an industry consensus standard for monitoring safety-of-flight issues, including making provision for any such issues that arise and providing a way of alerting owners of those issues.

    3. including safety-of-flight issues.

  3. As with other light-sport aircraft, before there can be factory-built SLSA gyroplanes in the US, there must be an industry consensus standard for them. That standard for gyroplanes exists. It was developed shortly after the LSA/SP regulations were implemented and the FAA has accepted it. Yet, the disparity in FAR 21.190(a) still exists and the FAA still prevents pilots from flying factory-built, SLSA gyroplanes

Note:
It’s ironic that when the LSA/SP regulations were implemented, the FAA blocked factory-built SLSA gyroplanes due to its concern that there were too many accidents involving gyroplanes, virtually all of which were amateur-built, yet by blocking factory-built SLSA gyroplanes, the result is that today virtually the only gyroplanes being flown are still amateur-built.

In 2012, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released findings from a study entitled “The Safety of Experimental Amateur-Built Aircraft”. In summary, the study found that Experimental Amateur-Built (EAB) aircraft represented nearly 10 percent of the general aviation fleet, yet accounted for approximately 15 percent of the accidents. Further, the study found that EAB aircraft accounted for 21 percent of the fatal accidents during the year 2011. The NTSB report included this observation