Posted with permission from James G Stephenson, CEO of Aero Sports Connection ASC.

Exemption No. 6080

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION
WASHINGTON, DC 20591

***********************************
In the matter of the petition of
AERO SPORTS CONNECTION, INC.

for an exemption from 103.1(a)
and (e)(1) through (e)(4) of
the Federal Aviation Regulations
***********************************
Regulatory Docket No. 27953
 

GRANT OF EXEMPTION

By letter dated August 20, 1994, and supplemental information provided on March 15, 1995, Mr. Jim Stephenson, Chief Executive Officer/President, Aero Sports Connection, Inc., P.O. Box 589, Marshall, Michigan 49068-0589, petitioned on behalf of Aero Sports Connection (ASC) for an exemption from part 103 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR) to the extent necessary to allow ASC to conduct training by approved flight instructors in two-place ultralight vehicles.  An exemption from these regulations would also permit ASC to operate powered ultralight vehicles at an empty weight of not more than 496 pounds, with a vehicle tank capacity of not more than 10 gallons, with a vehicle stall speed of not more than 32 knots, and with a maximum speed of not more than 75 knots.

The petitioner requires relief from the following regulation:

Section 103.1(a) states, in pertinent part, that an ultralight vehicle is a vehicle that is used or intended to be used for manned operation in the air by a single occupant.

Section 103.1(e) states, in pertinent part, that an ultralight vehicle is a vehicle that, if powered, weighs less than 254 pounds empty weight, excluding floats and safety devices which are intended for deployment in a potentially catastrophic situation; has a fuel capacity not exceeding 5 U.S. gallons; is not capable of more than 55 knots calibrated airspeed at full power in level flight; and has a power-off stall speed which does not exceed 24 knots calibrated airspeed.

The petitioner supports his request with the following information:

The petitioner states that it has been clearly demonstrated that two-place ultralight training vehicles aid and improve safety.  Additionally, the petitioner asserts that the demand for training in two-place ultralight vehicles continues to increase in the United States, and there are far too few basic flight instructors (BFI) available to meet this demand.

The petitioner states that ASC has designed a two-place ultralight vehicle training program and requests an exemption to operate two-place ultralight vehicles for the purpose of flight instruction.  The petitioner states that its program would be compatible and consistent with the United States Ultralight Association, Inc.'s (USUA) approach to training, but would retain an "open structure" pilot registration system. The petitioner states that, because instructors operating under the proposed exemption would be acting as an extension of ASC, they would be required to be members of ASC; however, individuals receiving instruction would not be required to be affiliated with ASC or any other organization. The petitioner contends that this "open structure" system would benefit the ultralight community and allow BFIs affiliated with the USUA, EAA, and ASC to administer pilot registration.

Under its proposed program, the petitioner would offer a BFI course and an advanced flight instructor (AFI) course, and administer a two-place training exemption. The petitioner states that, in order for an individual to obtain a training exemption and qualify as a BFI under ASC's program, he/she would be required to complete basic requirements similar to those required by the USUA.

The requirements proposed by the petitioner for its instructor programs follow.

An individual enrolled in the BFI program would be required to successfully complete the following:

1. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) "Fundamentals of Instructions" test;

2. A written test designed and administered by ASC to test knowledge in areas associated with ultralight instruction;

3. A minimum of 40 hours of flight in an ultralight-type vehicle prior to beginning instructor training;

4. Fifteen hours of instruction that pertains to training in ultralight vehicles and includes flight instruction and trial conditions wherein instructional techniques and difficulties are identified and demonstrated by the applicant; and

5. A flight evaluation with an AFI.

An AFI program applicant would be required to have-

1. Signed off at least five individuals who have successfully completed the BFI program; and

2. Completed an API review and training course designed and administered by ASC.

The petitioner states that both BFIs and AFIs authorized by ASC would be required to submit biennial instruction reports that contain the results of their instruction activities.  The petitioner estimates the administrative costs for the BFI program to be $200.00 for a 2-year period and the administrative costs for the AFI program to be $400.00 for a 2-year period.

The petitioner states that if this exemption is granted, vehicles operating under the exemption would be registered under an industry program of vehicle registration and display the following placard: "To be used for instructional purposes only."  The petitioner adds that the placard would have letters at least 1/2 inch in height.  The petitioner states that the requirements for an exempt vehicle would be the same as those currently allowed under the USUA's programs and are as follows:

1. The vehicle empty weight would not exceed 496 pounds .

2. The vehicle tank capacity would not exceed 10 gallons.

3. The vehicle stall speed would not exceed 32 knots.

4. The vehicle maximum speed would not exceed 75 knots.

The petitioner states that an equivalent level of safety will be maintained because ASC’s BFI course, AFI course, and requested two-place exemption parallel items approved for use by the USUA. The petitioner also asserts that increased training is in the public interest and that having additional instructors in the ultralight community will improve safety.

A summary of the petition was published in the Federal Register on February 16, 1995 (60 FR 9423).  A total of 39 comments were received.

The FAA received 34 comments in support of the petition. Thirty of the commenters in favor of the petition contended that approval of the petition would enhance safety in the ultralight community.  Twenty-nine commenters in support of the petition suggested that approval of the petition would improve training access to individuals interested in operating ultralights for sport or recreational purposes.  Many of the commenters in favor of the petition gave specific examples to illustrate the current lack of available quality instruction and stated a need for additional instructors, especially in certain areas of the country.
 

The FAA received two comments that opposed the petition. One commenter that opposed the petition stated that current programs administered by the EAA and USUA are successful and provide sufficient instructors.  This commenter stated that there are already individuals seeking an exemption to operate a two-place ultralight for personal use rather than for instructional use, and suggested that making the exemption easier to obtain and/or less expensive will lead to abuse of the exemption.  The second commenter opposed to the petition stated that all ultralight pilots should have a license and obtain training from a certified flight instructor.

Three comments received by the FAA neither supported nor opposed the petition.  Two of the commenters stated that ultralight pilots did not need the USUA or ASC to control ultralight operations.  One of these commenters contended that current rules are sufficient, and ultralights should continue to be classified as recreational vehicles and not controlled by the FAA.

The third commenter that neither supported nor opposed the petition was the USUA.  The USUA stated that it operates an ultralight vehicle, student, pilot, instructor, and examiner safety program and has served more than 35,000 people who have individually volunteered to participate in this program.  The USUA stated that it believes that all general groupings of ultralights should undertake similar efforts on a national basis.

Because the USUA did not have a copy of the actual petition, it stated that it could not comment on each item requested by ASC, but instead provided general comments and Suggested guidelines for evaluating requests for exemption to part 103 of the FAR.  The USUA suggested that the FAA insist on complete training programs and only approve those programs administered by an organization fully committed to the operation of training programs that include levels for students, pilots, instructors, and examiners.  The USUA also proposed that the FAA evaluate the stability of petitioning organizations to ensure that the petitioner is reliable and maintains records of participants on a national basis.

Finally, the USUA suggested that the FAA either look favorably on petitions which meet the criteria presented in its comment, or act rapidly on the Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC) part 103 working group suggestion to provide a regulatory method that accomplishes the same end without use of the exemption process.  The USUA stated that it anticipates there will be many aerial devices invented in the near future and suspects that all of them will require specific operation knowledge and airspace awareness for safe operation.  The USUA stated that it was hopeful that the FAA would encourage this new trend toward sport flying and become  more able to establish training programs to protect the public interest and provide reasonable avenues of education for those American citizens who elect to participate.
 

The FAA's analysis/summary is as follows:

In order to fulfill its responsibilities under the Federal Aviation Act of 1958, as amended, the FAA must adopt appropriate rules and regulations of general applicability to all persons operating aircraft.

On October 4, 1982, part 103 of the FAR became effective to govern the operations of ultralight vehicles in the United States.  The FAA has detained that rules governing ultralight vehicles are needed to achieve an acceptable level of safety within certain airspace and to protect persons and property on the ground.  The intent was to provide safety with a minimum amount of regulation.  Accordingly, ultralight vehicles are exempt from certification and registration requirements, and pilots of ultralight vehicles are not required to have an FAA pilot or medical certificate.

The basic purpose of part 103 is to allow single-occupant vehicles to operate for sport or recreational purposes without being subject to the same regulatory requirements imposed on certificated aircraft operations.  The purpose of exemptions from 103.1(a) and (e)(l) through (e)(4) is to provide a means for single-place ultralight pilot training.

There is currently an Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC) working group, comprised of industry representatives, that is reviewing part 103 of the FAR to determine whether new or revised standards are appropriate.  In February 1995, this group presented a concept briefing to the ARAC, and the ARAC approved further working group activity.  While this review is still in progress and is subject to change, a brief outline of the concept proposal is as follows:

1. No changes shall be made to present part 103 of the FAR;

2. All single-place ultralight vehicles not meeting the present definition of part 103 of the FAR must be certificated, registered, and operated by certificated airmen;

3. All two-place ultralight vehicles presently operated under exemptions must be certificated, registered, and operated by certificated airmen;

4. Operations for two-place ultralight vehicles under present exemptions shall be permitted to continue during an interim period to allow a phasing in of the certified aircraft and airmen, and then rescinded by the FAA; and

5. The ARAC, in partnership with the FAA, will develop a process of pilot certification similar to that of the primary category for aircraft certification programs to match the aircraft certification categories and classes.

The FAA does not believe it is in the public's interest to further expand two-place ultralight training activity during a period of regulatory amendment; however, comments submitted to the docket indicate that there may be limited access to ultralight training.  Because the FAA recognizes that safety has been enhanced in the powered ultralight industry through programs developed and administered by aviation safety organizations, and because instructors are  needed to provide training during the interim period prior to rulemaking completion, the FAA has determined that it is in the public interest to grant an exemption to permit ASC to provide training for single-place ultralight pilots in two-place ultralight vehicles.

The FAA recognizes the value of the services rendered by ASC and other aviation safety organizations to the ultralight community and considers it to be in the public interest to promote the programs of these organizations whenever possible. ASC's request for an exemption is for instructional purposes only, and ASC does not seek to expand the privileges of other ultralight exemptions.  In addition, training provided by ASC is to be conducted in accordance with a proven approach to ultralight instruction.

In consideration of the foregoing, I find that a grant of exemption is in the public interest.  Therefore, pursuant to the authority contained in Sections 313(a) and 601(C) of the Federal Aviation Act of 1958, as amended, delegated to me by the Administrator (14 CFR 11.53), Aero Sports Connection, Inc., is granted an exemption from 103.1(a) and (e)(1) through (e)(4) of the Federal Aviation Regulations to the extent necessary to permit individuals authorized by Aero Sports Connection, Inc., to give instruction in powered ultralights that have a maximum empty weight of not more than 496 pounds, have a maximum fuel capacity of not more than 10 U.S. gallons, are not capable of more than 75 knots calibrated airspeed at full power in level flight, and have a power-off stall speed which does not exceed 32 knots calibrated airspeed. The exemption is subject to the following conditions and limitations:

1. Each operation must comply with all sections of part 103 of the FAR except 103.1(a) and (e)(l) through (e)(4).

2. Each ultralight operated under this exemption shall permanently display the following placard:  "To be used for instruction only."  This placard must have letters at least 1/2 inch in height and be displayed in a location easily visible and legible to all persons entering the ultralight vehicle.

3. All flights carrying two occupants shall be used for instruction only, and one occupant must be either an FAA certificated flight instructor or a person recognized by Aero Sports Connection, Inc., as qualified to give instruction in an ultralight vehicle.

4. All single-occupant flights are restricted to those associated with instruction, such as ferrying the vehicles between locations where instruction will be conducted, and must be operated by a person authorized in Condition No. 3 of this exemption to give flight instruction.
 

5. Prior to all two-occupant flights, the instructor must inform the student that the flight is conducted under an exemption granted by the FAA and that the FAA does not establish certification standards for powered ultralight vehicles, pilots, or instructors.

6. For identification purposes, Aero Sports Connection, Inc., shall issue an individual authorization to each person allowed to conduct operations under this exemption.  Each authorization shall include an identification number and a copy of this exemption. Aero Sports Connection, Inc., shall also have a procedure to rescind this authority when needed.

7. Each individual authorized to operate under this exemption shall provide Aero Sports Connection, Inc., with a list (including the manufacturer, model, type specifications, and registration/identification number, if any) of the ultralight(s) he or she owns and expects to use for instruction under this exemption.  The individual shall update this list every 6 months.  An individual authorized to operate under this exemption may operate an ultralight vehicle covered by this exemption that is owned by another entity, provided that the ultralight vehicle displays the placard required by Condition No. 2 of this exemption.

8. Each individual who operates an ultralight under the authority of this exemption must be familiar with its provisions and must have in his or her personal possession, for each operation, a copy of the authorization issued by Aero Sports Connection, Inc., and a copy of this exemption.  These documents shall be presented for inspection upon request by the FAA.

9. Each individual who operates an ultralight under this exemption and is involved in any incident, accident, or mechanical malfunction as defined in Condition No. 10(b) of this exemption shall promptly provide to Aero Sports Connection, Inc. the information identified in Condition No. l0(b) of this exemption.

10. Six months from the date of this exemption, and every 6 months thereafter, Aero Sports Connection, Inc., will provide the Director of Flight Standards Service, AFS-1, with:

a. The name, address, telephone number, qualifications, and flight experience of each flight instructor who is currently authorized to conduct training under this exemption.

b.  A listing of any incident, accident, or mechanical malfunction of the airframe, drive train, or engine involving training under the terms and conditions of this exemption. That listing will include:

(i)  the ultralight vehicle's manufacturer, model, type, specifications and registration/identification number, if any;
(ii)  ultralight owner, address, and phone number;
(iii)  date of the incident/accident/malfunction;
(iv)  number and description of injuries, if any;
(v)  number of fatalities, if any; and
(vi)  any information on the possible cause factors.

Unless sooner superseded or rescinded, this exemption terminates on May 31 1997.

(signed)
William J White
Acting Director, Flight Standards Service

Issued in Washington, DC on May 9, 1995 



 

US Department
of Transportation

Federal Aviation
Administration

Exemption No. 6080A
Regualtory Docket No. 27953

Oct 24 1995

Mr  Jim Stephenson
President/Chief Executive Officer
Aero Sports Connection, Inc.
P.O. Box 589
Marshall, MI 49068-0589

Dear Mr. Stephensons

ln response to your September 5, 1995, 1etter petitioning on behalf of Aero Sports Connection, Inc (ASC), for an amendment to Exemptlon No. 6080   That exemption from S 103 l(a) and {e)(1) through (e)(4) of Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) permits individuals authorlsed by ASC to give instruction in powered ultralights that have a maximum empty weight of not more than 496 pounds, have a maximum fuel capacity of not more than 10 U S  gallons, are not capable of 75 knota calibrated airspeed at full power ln level fllght, and have a power-off stall speed which doss not excecd 32 knots calibrated airspeed. The amendment to the exemption would correct @ typographical error and permit individuals authorized by ASC to give instruction in powered ultrallghts that have a  power-off stall speed which does not exceed 35 knots calibrated airspeed.

Th- Federa1 Aviation Adminintration (FAA) bas determined that good cause
exists for not publisbing a summory of the petition in the Federal Regester because the requested amendment of the exemptlon would not set a precident and any de1ay in acting on this petition would be detrimental to ASC.

The FAA has determined that the justificatlon for the issuance of Exemption No. 6080 remains valid with respect to this exemption.

In consideration of the foregolng, 1 find that a grant of exemption is in the public lnterest. Therefore, pursuant to the authority contained in 49 U. S. C.  SS 40113 and 44701, formerly SS 313(a) and 601(c) of tho Federal Aviation Act of 1958, as amended, delegated to me by tbe Administrator {14 CFR S 11.53), exemption No. 6080 is hereby amended to permit individuals authorized by ASC to give instruction in powered ultralights that have a maximum empty weight of not more than 496 pounds, have a maxlmum fue1 capacity of not more than 10 US  gallons, are not capable of 75 knots calibrated airspeed at full power in level flight, and have a power-off stall speed which does not exceed 35 knots calibrated airspeed.

All other conditions and limitations of Exemption No. 6080 remain the same. The May 31, 1997, expiration date remains valid, unless sooner superseeded or rescinded. This letter shall be attached to, and is part of, Exemption No. 6080.

Sincerely,

Signed

Thomas C. Accardi
Director, Flight Standards Service 



 
 

US Department
of Transportation

Federal Aviation
Administration

Oct 13, 1995

Mr. James G. Stephenson
CEO, Aero Sport Connection
PO Box 589
Marshall, MI  49068-0589

Dear Mr. Stephenson:

On September 2, 1982, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) promulgated Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR) Part 103, Ultralight Vehicle, Operating Requirements. An integral part of the regulatory philosophy embodied in that regulation was the expectation that operating standards and safety programs would be developed by the ultralight community to foster safety in the atmosphere of self-regulation.

The FAA has reviewed the standards, procedures, and documents contained in the Aero Sport Connection's (ASC) ultralight safety programs, and acknowledges that they are consistent with the original intent of Part 103 of the FAR.

The FAA recognizes ASC's ultralight vehicle competency program as the kind of national, community-developed program envisioned at the issuance of Part 103 of the FAR.

We commend the ASC for its role in coordinating the efforts of responsible ultralight community members in the design and execution of these programs.

Sincerely,

Signed

Thomas C. Accardi
Director, Flight Standards
service 



 

US Department
of Transportation

Federal Aviation
Administration

May 20, 1997

Mr. Jim Stephenson
Chief Executive Officer
Aero Sports Connection
P.O. Box 589
Marshall, MI  49068-0589

Dear Mr. Stephenson:

This is in response to your February 19, 1997, letter petitioning the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on behalf of Aero Sports Connection (ASC) for an extension of and amendment to Exemption No. 6080.  That exemption from 103.1(a) and (e)(1) through (e)(4} of Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) permits individuals authorized by ASC to give instruction in powered ultralights that have a maximum empty weight of not more than 496 pounds, have a maximum fuel capacity of not more than 10 U.S. gallons, are not capable of more than 75 knots calibrated airspeed at full power in level flight, and have a power-off stall speed that does not exceed 35 knots calibrated airspeed.  You also request that Condition No. 4 be revised to clarify that the single-occupant flights associated with instruction specifically include "competency maintenance, currency maintenance, maintenance checkouts, and new vehicle checkout/verification." Additionally, you request revision to clarify that solo flights by students may be permitted in a two-place powered ultralight vehicle provided that all such flights are for instructional purposes only and under the close supervision of an instructor authorized to give instruction under Exemption No. 6080, as amended.

In your petition, you indicate that the conditions and reasons regarding public interest and safety, presented in the original petition upon which the exemption was granted, remain unchanged.

The FAA has determined that good cause exists for not publishing a summary of the petition in the Federal Register because the requested extension of the exemption would not set a precedent, and any delay in acting on this petition would be detrimental to ASC.

The FAA has determined that the justification for the issuance of Exemption No. 6080 remains valid with respect to this exemption.  The FAA also has determined that proficiency and competency checks, maintenance test flights, and new vehicle checkouts are currently permitted in accordance with this exemption.  Therefore, the FAA finds that the amendment requested by ASC would not adversely affect safety.  The FAA has revised Condition No. 4 of this exemption for clarification purposes only.

In Consideration of the foregoing, I find that a grant of exemption is in the public interest.  Therefore, pursuant to the authority contained in 49 U.S.C. 40113 and 44701 delegated to me by the Administrator (14 CFR 11.53), Exemption No. 6080 is hereby amended by revising Condition No. 4 and extending its May 31, 1997, termination date to May 31, 1999, unless sooner superseded or rescinded.

All other conditions and limitations of Exemption No. 6080 remain the same and are restated below.

This exemption is subject to the following conditions and limitations:
 

  1. Each operation must comply with all sections of part 103.1 (a) and (e) (1) through (e) (4).
  2. Each ultralight operated under this exemption must permanently display the following placard: "To be used for instruction only."  This placard must have letters at least one-half inch in height and be displayed in a location easily visible and legible to all persons entering the ultralight vehicle.
  3. All flights carrying two occupants must be used for instruction only, and one occupant must be an FAA-certificated flight instructor or a person recognized by ASC as qualified to give instruction in an ultralight vehicle.
  4. All single-occupant flights are restricted to those associated with instruction.  Such flights include, but are not limited to, the following:  ferrying the vehicles between locations where instruction will be conducted, proficiency and competency checks, maintenance test flights, and new vehicle checkouts, provided those flights are operated by a person authorized by Condition No. 3 of this exemption to give flight instruction. Solo flights by students may be permitted in a two-place powered ultralight vehicle provided that those flights are for instructional purposes only and are conducted under the close supervision of an instructor authorized to give instruction under Exemption No. 6080, as amended.
  5. Before all two-occupant flights, the instructor must inform the student that the flight is conducted under an exemption granted by the FAA and that the FAA does not establish certification standards for powered ultralight vehicles, pilots, or instructors.
  6. For identification purposes, ASC must issue an individual authorization to each person allowed to conduct operations under this exemption.  Each authorization shall include an identification number and a copy of this exemption.  ASC must have a procedure to rescind this authority when needed.
  7. Each individual authorized to operate under this exemption shall provide ASC with a list (including the manufacturer, model, type specifications, and registration/identification number, if any) of the ultralightts) he or she owns and expects to use for instruction under this exemption.  The individual must update this list every 6 months.  An individual authorized to operate under this exemption may operate an ultralight vehicle owned by another entity and covered by this exemption, provided that the ultralight vehicle displays the placard required by Condition No. 2 of this exemption.
  8. Each individual who operates an ultralight under the authority of this exemption must be familiar with its provisions and must have in his or her possession, for each operation, a  copy of the authorization issued by ASC and a copy of this exemption. These documents shall be presented for inspection upon request by the FAA.
  9. Each individual who operates an ultralight under this exemption and is involved in any incident, accident, or mechanical malfunction as defined in Condition No. l0 (b) of this exemption must promptly provide to ASC the information identified in Condition No. l0 (b) of this exemption.
  10. Six months from the date of this exemption and every 6 months thereafter, ASC will provide the Director of Flight Standards Service, AFS-1, with:
      a.   The name, address, telephone number, qualifications, and flight experience of each flight instructor who is currently authorized to conduct training under this exemption.

      b. A listing of any incident, accident, or mechanical malfunction of the airframe, drivetrain, or engine involving training under the terms and conditions of this exemption.  That listing will include:

        (i)     The ultralight vehicle's manufacturer, model, type, Specifications and registration/identification number, if any;
This letter shall be attached to, and is a part of, Exemption No. 6080.

Sincerely,

Signed

Thomas E. Stuckey
Acting Director, Flight Standards Service