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Dan Johnson's
Light-Sport Aircraft

SLSA Gyroplanes: A Disparity

Second, SLSA aircraft are allowed by regulation to be rented for training. It wouldnít be necessary for an instructor to seek an exception to the regulations to be allowed to charge for the use of his gyroplane for training, one of the impediments thatís a cause for the current dearth of gyroplane instructors.

A third way that SLSA gyroplanes would improve training is closely related to the second. Because SLSA aircraft are allowed to be rented for flight training, neither an instructor nor a student would have to own a gyroplane for training.

Currently, in order for an instructor to charge a student for the Experimental aircraft the instructor provides for training, the instructor must get an exception to the regulations from the FAA, usually in the form of a Letter of Deviation Authority (LODA). Although a LODA permits an instructor to charge for the use of his gyroplane when providing dual flight instruction, a LODA doesnít allow renting that aircraft to the student for solo flights. Some instructors do allow a student of their own to fly solo in the instructorís gyroplane, but many donít. Itís an expense for which the instructor canít legally be compensated, plus itís a liability risk for the instructor. Itís often difficult for an instructor to find insurance for instructing in an Experimental aircraft, let alone affordable insurance; consequently, not all instructors have insurance and must bear the cost of any mishap entirely on their own.

Conceptually, a student could buy a two-place gyroplane and arrange for an instructor to provide dual flight training in the studentís gyroplane, and when approved by the instructor, the student could fly solo in the aircraft he owns. Since that situation doesnít involve the instructor being compensated for the use of an aircraft, but only for his instructional service, thatís within the regulations. In reality, though, there are few instructors who are willing to instruct in a studentís gyroplane, one with which theyíre less familiar than their own and less sure of its maintenance.

With current regulations in the US, for a Student Pilot to complete flight training in a gyroplane, the instructor, the student, or both must own a gyroplane. In most cases, to complete gyroplane training leading to an initial pilot license, both the instructor and the student must own a gyroplane: the instructor to conduct dual flight training and the student for solo flight training.

With SLSA gyroplanes, neither an instructor nor a student pilot would have to own a gyroplane for training. With SLSA gyroplanes, flight schools could provide those gyroplanes, as is the case typical with training in other kinds of aircraft. With SLSA gyroplanes and flight schools that own them, instructors could be hired to offer flight training in those gyroplanes and students could rent them for solo training.

With SLSA gyroplanes, which can be rented for flight training, the result would be a greater number of gyroplane flight instructors and more accessible training for persons wanting to learn to fly gyroplanes.

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Light-Sport Gyroplanes:
An introductory guide

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