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All About LSA Repairman Ratings: FAQ’s

 

In 2004, the FAA published regulations and guidelines creating the Light Sport Repairman Certification. The first teaching organization to develop the courseware and hands-on workshops to support this Repairman Certification was Rainbow Aviation Services.

We just completed our 5th full year of operation. During that time we have worked closely with the FAA and aviation manufacturers to insure our methods and outcomes are measurable and highly relevant to this growing segment of the aviation industry.

Due to our students’ success in the classroom and in the field, our programs have generated a great deal of positive buzz! We receive many inquiries each week, either through our Web site, phone or e-mail address, asking about Light Sport Repairman “basics.” Even people who know about the Light Sport Repairman Certification in one context, such as privileges and limitations, are curious and even surprised to learn about our other services. For example, the option to host a 2 day course in your hometown, the variety of lodging options for the three week course, or our ride sharing program. The majority of queries concern the hows and whys of the 120 hour Light Sport Repairman Maintenance (LSRM) certification (the 3 week course).

That’s why we’ve put together the following list of questions and answers, starting off with a brief summary of the LSA Repairman rating, the privileges, prerequisites, and then highlighting the major components of how we approach organizing the 3 week course.

What is the Light Sport Repairman Rating?

The FAA has instituted a new repairman certificate called “Repairman – Light-Sport aircraft.” There are two ratings for this certificate, titled Inspection and Maintenance.

Inspection Rating (LSRI)

This rating allows you to conduct the annual condition inspection on an Experimental Light Sport Aircraft (E-LSA) you own. It requires the successful completion of an FAA accepted, 16-hour course on the inspection of your particular class of E-LSA. Rainbow Aviation offers this 2 day course throughout the United States. For a current schedule visit our website at www.rainbowaviation.com. Or email us to have your name added to our contact list.

Maintenance Rating (LSRM)

This rating allows you to perform maintenance and the annual condition inspection on Special Light Sport Aircraft (S-LSA) and Experimental Light Sport Aircraft (E-LSA) for compensation or hire. It requires the completion of a course on the maintenance requirements of various light-sport aircraft. The class is 120 hours and is taught in a 3 week period.

The maintenance rating allows you to commercially maintain, repair, and perform the annual condition inspection on all S-LSAs and condition inspections on E-LSAs in that class. This is similar to the privileges of an A&P IA, but for light-sport.

Carol and Brian Carpenter, owners of Rainbow Aviation have been teaching both the inspection and maintenance courses since the light sport rule was established.

What opportunities are available for LSRM mechanics?

There are many opportunities for LSRM mechanics.

Examples include:

1. Working with other manufacturers of Special Light Sport Aircraft.

2. Setting up a business and working under your own supervision.

3. Working as an aircraft mechanic in an existing maintenance shop.

4. Setting up a mobile business out of your truck or your aircraft.

5. Adding an A & P certification after working in the field for 30 months.

6. Partnering with a manufacturer and offering aircraft sales as a component of your business.

7. Become a certified engine mechanic allowing you to perform heavy maintenance and complete engine rebuilds and  overhauls.

8. Repairman skills allow you to better understand your own aircraft. Knowledge translates to safety.

How much are LSRMs paid for their work?

As a general rule, LSRMs charge the same as an A & P in their area. Most charge between $55.00 and $95.00 an hour depending on overhead expenses and location.

How can I earn my A & P after becoming an LSRM?

Many LSRMs have earned their A & P by working in field performing maintenance and inspection on Light Sport Aircraft under FAR 65.77 which allows for 30 months of practical experience working in the field as an aircraft mechanic. You do not need another mechanic to supervise you- you will work under your own supervision. After you have completed the required 30 months, an FAA inspector will evaluate your records and endorse FAA Form 8610-2 allowing you to take the A & P tests. If you are a homebuilder or have worked as an aviation technician, the time you spent on your projects or work may also count toward the 30 months of practical experience.

Who attends the LSRM course?

Rainbow Aviation Services serves a full range of participants from all over the United States and the World, with the youngest participant to attend at 18, the oldest participant at 84 years old, and eighty-eight percent of all participants are over 50 years old. Some are CFIs, A & Ps, LSA manufacturers, and / or owners of Special Light Sport Aircraft; others are those interested in hanging a shingle and starting an aviation maintenance business. It is common for attendees to be considering a career change and have interest in offering services to the LSA community after retiring from their first career. In fact, many physicians and lawyers have graduated from the program. Some come to learn together – we have had spouses, brothers, fathers and sons and business partners attend.

Attendees from 45 of the 50 states and several participants from other countries including Malaysia, Australia, England, North Africa, and China are among our successful graduates. Each course is limited to 16 participants. Rainbow Aviation has three instructors.

What qualifications are needed to take the course?

• To earn this certifi cate, you must:

• Be at least 18 years old.

• Speak, read, and understand English.

• Complete the amount of training appropriate for the rating.

• Be a U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident.

Where is the LSRM course taught?

Rainbow Aviation Services offers the LSRM course in Corning, CA three times a year and then in Oshkosh, WI at the EAA Headquarters each September.  The special arrangements we are able to offer at these locations, for lodging and ride share, compensate for the expense of an airline ticket to either location. Our focus is on quality and the facilities we have been offered in other states would compromise quality.

When are the courses held?

We hold courses in February, May and October in Corning, CA and in Oshkosh, WI in September.

Are your training programs recognized by the FAA?

Yes. All of our Training Programs meet the FAA rules and regulations. Each course has an FAA issued

course number. Our administrator is the FAA Light Sport Branch 610 in Oklahoma City, OK.

Is it possible to talk with a former and current student?

Yes. Call for contact information.

Are loans and grants available?

We do not offer grants or loans. However, we have worked with scholarship and grant programs, such as Able Flight and Michigan Works. We are willing to assist you in completing any applications for a particular financial aid program you are interested in pursuing.

What accommodations are available?

Corning, CA:

• Free camping spaces are available on the airport grounds for motorhomes, trailers and tents on the airport grounds. (optional: $5.00 a day electric hookup fee)

• Rental motorhome and trailers are available from $100.00 a week

• Rooms for rent are offered for $200.00 a week in our EAA members’ homes.

• Additionally, local hotel rates begin at $32.00 a night with special rates offered from the Holiday Inn, Days Inn, and Best Western offering hotel rooms for $49.00 a night.

Oshkosh, WI

• Free parking for motorhomes and trailers- (optional: $5.00 a day electrical hookup fee)

• EAA Binder House is available for $5.00 per night.

• The Staff Lodge is available for $32.00 per single $38.00 for two.

• Special rates for nearby hotels starting at $36.99

When does enrollment begin?

Registration is accepted on a first come basis for one of the 16 seats available in each class. Most classes are full three to four months before the course start date. We do have an email contact list for all classes and you can request to be placed on the contact list for updates on enrollment and courtesy notifications for a class you are interested in. Email info@rainbowaviaiton.com to be placed on our email contact list.

Once I complete the LSRM training program, how long before I would be able to perform maintenance on an S-LSA?

It depends on the individual and how soon one makes an appointment with a Flight Standards District Office (FSDO). You must complete the FAA application for your repairman certification and present the course completion certificate to your FAA inspector. Many of our attendees make this appointment the day after the course is completed. You will leave the FSDO office with your LSRM certification and may begin perform maintenance and inspections immediately.

Where can I get more information on the LSRM course?

For more information on the LSRM course visit our web site at www.rainbowaviation.com or call Rainbow Aviation Services at 530-824-0644.

March 2011 Light Aviation Edition

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