Registering Light Sport Aircraft
Julie A. Stanford
Reprinted with permission from
FAA Aviation News
much anticipation of Aircraft and Airmen for the Operation of
Light-Sport Aircraft. While this rulemaking affects the certification
and operation of light-sport aircraft and certification of pilots,
flight instructors, and repairmen, it must be stressed that aircraft
that fit into this 'new' category must first be issued a U.S.
registration certificate before they are eligible to obtain an
It's believed there are 14,000 or more
of these 'new' category aircraft that have not been registered and are
operating as ultra lights. These 'fat' ultra light vehicles don't meet
the regulatory definition of Part 103 because they are larger,
heavier, and faster than specified in that rule. The light sport
rulemaking, when effective, will provide a 24-month window in which to
register these existing aircraft, as well as a 36-month window
(inclusive of the 24-month window for registration) to obtain
airworthiness certification. If these existing 'fat' ultra light
vehicles are not registered within the allowed 24 months, their
opportunity to register will vanish.
The Civil Aviation Registry's Aircraft
Registration Branch (Registry) will begin accepting Aircraft
Registration Applications, AC Forms 8050-1, for light-sport aircraft
on the effective date of the final rule. Applications received prior
to that date will be returned. Owners of current 'fat' ultra light
vehicles will be required to submit an Affidavit of Ownership for
Light-Sport Aircraft, AC Form 8050-88A, along with their application.
This new form will be available prior to the effective date of the
rule through the Registry office and on the Registry's website
http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/avs/offices/afs/afs700/. Owners of newly manufactured light-sport
aircraft will be required to submit evidence of ownership, such as an
ink-signed bill of sale from the aircraft manufacturer.
Applications for registration of
light-sport aircraft will be processed by the Registry in the normal
course of business, in order of the date of receipt. It is anticipated
that the addition of 28,000+ documents (a bill of sale or affidavit of
ownership, plus an application for registration for each of the
14,000+ aircraft) will increase the Registry's processing time. The
amount of increase in processing time will be determined by the manner
in which applications are received. Applicants should be aware that
waiting to near the end of the 24-month period to submit their
documents could result in greater delays.
The purchaser of an aircraft that has
been previously registered in the United States can operate for up to
90 days on the 'pink' copy of the aircraft registration application
form, pending issuance of the new Certificate of Aircraft
Registration. The 'pink' copy acts as temporary authority to operate
the aircraft without registration. There are, however, no provisions
for existing aircraft in this new light-sport category to operate on
the 'pink' copy because they have not been previously registered.
Regulations require that once a U.S. aircraft is registered, it must
have a valid airworthiness certificate before it may be legally
operated. Airworthiness cannot be issued prior to initial
An owner of an aircraft that has not
previously been registered in the United States must obtain an
identification number (N-number). If the applicant does not request a
specific identification number, the Registry will assign the next
available number at no charge. An applicant may, however, request that
any unassigned United States identification number be assigned. A
request for a special number, accompanied by a $10 fee, should be
submitted with the applicant's registration documents. A search for
available identification numbers may be made on the Registry's web
site. The web site is updated each business day.
Please watch the Registry's web site
for future information regarding light-sport aircraft. As more
information becomes available, updates will be provided.
Julie Stanford is the Assistant
Manager of the Civil Aviation Registry, AFS-700, in Oklahoma City, OK.