In the second week in May 2014, CASA visited the premises of Australian LightWing, represented by Mick Poole and Klaus Schwerdtfeger, the purpose being to assess our LSA manufacturing procedures and documentation.
There are five LSA manufactures in Australia. Namely, Australian LightWing, Jabiru, Brumby Aircraft, Airborne Edge and the Moyes factory in Sydney.
The audit procedure began some time ago, when the FAA decided to carry out a similar exercise looking at American LSA manufactures, of which there are approximately seventy to the best of my knowledge. The FAA found that the US manufactures had many areas of non-compliance. In Australia, the manufacturers have come from manufacturing under CAO 101.55 or similar so the Australian level of compliance, as far as I’m aware, was a little better than the FAA found in America.
Mick and Klaus spent three days looking at our flight, service, Quality assurance and procedure manuals, and also manufacturing documentation including jigs, tooling etc. They are patient men and I believe they didn’t nod off once though we noticed they consumed quite a lot of coffee!
The audit in general went well, a few details were found and these will be attended to resulting in an overall enhancement of our level of compliance, which is of course an excellent thing.
Could we say that we are now an approved LSA manufacturer? Well I don’t think this was the point of the exercise, as approved manufacturers are not really a part of the LSA regulatory process. An example of a non-compliance came from the latest standard (the ASTM standards) on instrument marking where, if the airspeed limitations (red line for VNE etc.) are located on the outside of the clear cover then both the cover or glass and the instrument bezel must be indexed in case the glass rotates. Well it’s possible.