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Flight Design issued "Permit to Fly"

On 17 February 2009, the German Federal Office of Civil Aviation, the LBA or Luftfahrt-Bundesamt, issued a "Permit to Fly" (PTF) to a Flight Design CTLS identified as D-EPTF. When added to a similar permit gained from CAA in England recently, a significant movement in European regulations becomes visible. This accomplishment by Flight Design takes a major step toward Light-Sport Aircraft in the European Union.

"Following the registration by CAA in UK, this is the second aircraft flying in an EASA country with this kind of registration," said Flight Design CEO, Matthias Betsch. "We are very happy to have this possibility as a first direct step towards the upcoming new ELA rules by EASA." The premise behind the PTF is the fact that CTLS meets ASTM F37 standards for Light-Sport Aircraft. The company has also successfully completed the LAMA Audit, and been approved under ISO 9001 by TÜV.

The PTF certifies an aircraft is capable of safe flight in all Member states and in non-Member states when separate approval is granted by a relevant authority. It permits non-commercial flight in individual non-complex aircraft or types for which the Agency agrees a conventional certificate of airworthiness is not appropriate.

Limitations are that a PTF aircraft with radio or navigation equipment must have a radio station certificate and proof of third party liability insurance is required. "With this permit to fly one can operate the CTLS with 600KG MTOW (as opposed to 472.5 kg under so called 'Ultralight' classification)," explained Christoph Bellmer of Flight Design. "A Permit to Fly can be seen as a forerunner of the new European Light Aircraft Class. Any CTLS operated under PTF can be converted to ELA once these regulations are launched. This conversion possibility makes the purchase of a European-based CTLS a 'safe' investment for the customer and allows him to fly the 600 kg MTOW class today."

Bellmer added that Flight Design will continue to request PTFs in all other relevant European countries. He believes such EASA planes may launch the ELA class in 2010. "Final details are still under discussion but 600 kg for aircraft meeting ASTM F37 standards are set in addition to some other factors," stated Bellmer.

Flight Design is a 23-year-old air sport products producer based in Germany. Over 1,300 of its aircraft are flying in 25 countries. One of the first aircraft certified under the American ASTM standards, in 2005, the CT ("composite technology") remains the best-selling LSA in America through four consecutive years. CT in several models has been popular in Germany and Europe for more than thirteen years.

Press release issued by Flight Design GmbH on March 2, 2009


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