As of the date this article was written, the FAA has not formally accepted a completed industry consensus standard, so no light-sport "Special" aircraft has been built. However, since we have approximately 14,000 fat ultra-light aircraft out there waiting to be certificated, we have plenty of work staring us in the face.
The qualifications for a DAR are found in FAA Order 8130.33 Designated Airworthiness Representative: Amateur-Built and Light-Sport Aircraft Certification Functions. Here is the web site address: http://www.airweb.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/ rgOrders.nsf/Mainframe?OpenFrameSet. This is the Order that sets the guidelines and requirements for a light-sport and/or amateur-built DAR. I would recommend applying for both the amateur-built and light-sport DAR authorization. If you qualify for both, it doubles your chances to make a buck.
To qualify as an amateur-built DAR (function code 46) you would have to hold: A current A&P certificate and performed a minimum of three condition inspections on amateur-built aircraft of the same class and complexity as those for which the authorization is sought. The individual must have also built and received certification on at least one amateur-built aircraft and that aircraft must have operated for a minimum of 100 hours.
To qualify as an experimental DAR for light sport (function code 47) you would have to hold: A current A&P certificate and built and received a certification of an amateur-built aircraft and that aircraft must have operated for a minimum of 100 hours. As an A&P the individual must have performed a minimum of three condition inspections on amateur-built aircraft, light-sport aircraft, or two-place ultralight training vehicle of the same class and complexity for which authorization is being sought.
To qualify as an DAR to issue special airworthiness certificates in light sport category (function code 48), one must be familiar with the fabrication, assembly, and operating characteristics of light-sport category aircraft and hold a current A&P and have a minimum of five years experience maintaining the same class and complexity of the aircraft for the DAR being sought.
- Read, write, and speak the English language.
- Three verifiable character references that substantiate the applicant has integrity and sound judgment.
- Possess integrity, sound judgment, cooperative attitude, sufficient knowledge in technical and administrative functions associated with the appointment and must satisfactorily demonstrate this to the FAA prior to appointment.
- Have the ability to maintain the highest degree of objectivity while performing authorized function on behalf of the FAA.
The package: Because you will be acting on behalf of the FAA you will have to fill out some forms. Note: all of these forms listed below are in the appendix of FAA Order 8130.33.
- FAA Form 8110-14 Statement of Qualifications (appendix 1, figure 1)
- Amateur-Built and Light-Sport Qualification Supplement (appendix 1, figure 2)
- Recommending organization letter (appendix 1, figure 2)
- Three verifiable character references (appendix 1, figure 2)
- Three verifiable technical references (appendix 1, figure 2)
Another note: In lieu of a letter from a recommending organization such as the Aero Sport Connection, Soaring Society of America, United States Ultra Light Associations, EAA, Light Sport Aircraft Manufacturers and North American Powered Parachute Federation or in the case of another organization not identified in the Order, the FAA can make a determination that the individual's qualifications meet the minimum requirements and it is in the best interest of the FAA to make the appointment. The letter of recommendation from an industry organization, while helpful, does not automatically guarantee an applicant that he or she will be appointed as a DAR.
On July 16, 2004, FAA Administrator Marion C. Blakey signed the long-awaited light-sport aircraft rule.
It was just after lunch, on a hot July day when I found my heavy eyelids slowing closing. I was faintly aware that my forehead began its slow motion plunge towards my computer keyboard.
There are two very important pieces of paper that are issued by the United States Government that, once issued, are usually forgotten by the aviation community.