Wanted: LSA pilots for FAA survey

The Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association is asking all pilots of Light-Sport Aircraft (LSA) to participate in the 34th annual General Aviation (GA) and Part 135 Activity Survey, which is used to assess aviation safety. Because of the newness of LSA, it is essential to improve the statistics, LAMA officials said, noting more participation will “reinforce the acceptable safety record of the sector.”

“As the LAMA representative to the General Aviation Joint Steering Committee for Aviation Safety, I have come to appreciate the importance of participation in the FAA GA Survey,” said LAMA director Tom Peghiny. “The data from the GA survey is used by the FAA, NTSB, and even Congress in their oversight of recreational aviation. It is crucial that owners in our segment (SLSA, ELSA and Experimental Amateur-Built light aircraft) make the effort to respond. Only by having accurate operational statistics, can we know how our safety record compares to other parts of general aviation.”

LAMA officials noted they believe that LSA conduct more operations — defined as a takeoff or landing — per hour flown than, for example, business jets, which are flown for most hours at high altitudes. Therefore, comparing LSA and business jet safety based solely on hours flown is an unequal comparison. More data from the LSA user community could correct the statistics.

Participating pilots should look for a survey card sent to them by the FAA, or simply go the website and enter their information. FAA officials advise, “Use the aircraft N-number as your password. If you cannot complete the survey on the Internet you will automatically be sent a paper survey in the mail. It may be helpful to have your flight log book handy to answer the questions.” The FAA promises not to use the individual’s information in any way except in this survey.

“LAMA has taken several actions to improve the breed of Light-Sport Aircraft,” stated LAMA President Dan Johnson. “We advise the LSA business community about steps to demonstrate compliance with ASTM standards and how to meet FAA regulations. Yet it is also important to help show that LSA are indeed achieving an ‘acceptable’ safety record (to reference the term FAA often uses for the LSA sector). Therefore, we wish to encourage individual pilots to help in the survey effort.”

LAMA, the Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association, is the light aviation industry’s trade association. Founded in 1984, LAMA represents approximately 100 members of the Light-Sport Aircraft business community including airframe manufacturers; producers of engines, avionics, and components; suppliers, distributors; flight schools; and other aviation businesses. LAMA operates LAMAsafety.org to disseminate safety advisory information for the industry and LAMA is preparing the LAMA/Embry Riddle Compliance Audit to producers wishing to demonstrate third party oversight.

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