How do you SLSA certify a brand new trike

Published by: Rizwan Bukhari on 31st May 2017 | View all blogs by Rizwan Bukhari

Hi all,


If you buy a brand new trike, then what is the procedure to SLSA certify it? One of my buddies wanted to buy a brand new Aeros 912 trike and asked me if it could be SLSA certified.

Does anyone know what is the process of certification for any foreign made brand new trikes (Aeros, AirCreation, Airborne etc) that is ordered and shipped brand new from a foreign country.







  • John Olson
    by John Olson 1 year ago
    What... does he want to sell rides???
  • Gregg Ludwig
    by Gregg Ludwig 1 year ago
    I like my Delta Jet2 SLSA from Silverlight Aviation. My trike was test flown and delivered with all the required paperwork. It was a simple process to send in the bill of sale for a registration in the name of my company.
  • Abid Farooqui
    by Abid Farooqui 1 year ago
    Riz: Aeros is from Ukraine, a non BASA (Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement) country. Aeros cannot be SLSA'ed here.
    Airborne Edge XT-912, etc. they have been SLSA'ed in the past by Airborne. Now to simply register them and call a DAR with proper function code or an ASI from a MIDO to do the airworthiness inspection can be done as long as the manufacturer has supplied proper statement of compliance and have proper decals on the machine and it has all the manuals provided. Airborne's newest trike should be considered a different and new model because its substantially different to XT912 series before but I am not sure if they have gone that way or not. They may have still kept the same model to avoid being audited for first make and model I suspect. This can create some serious headaches with FAA later so better to eat it now and do the first make and model stuff.

    If Airborne came out with a new model or a new wing they would have to start over following national policy from FAA for Special Light Sport Aircraft in order 8130-2H. It would be put under a new make and model. FAA will likely want to come and do an audit on it to make sure all the tests have been done for ASTM compliance and most importantly all the engineering drawings, engineering change control. continued operational safety and QA and production system standards have been complied with and all the manuals meet the required minimum specs. This is not something your friend wants to handle in a 100 years unless he wants to become a manufacturer of trikes. The trike manufacturer would have to handle all this and if they do not have an engineering or regulatory background, they'd have to use consultants for doing at least part of this job or getting guidance on doing it. Once FAA audit happens and they go away, they still retain the right to come and check any time they would like. Maintaining and keeping up with the above standards and requirements is also no joke and dare I say, I doubt any manufacturer of trikes keeps this spotless. I could fail each and everyone of them easily with multiple findings if I went in to audit their systems. That's just a reality and it is to be expected. In future third party audits would be required of all LSA manufacturers and the idea is that the auditors will find the findings and get manufacturers to fill the holes each year and keep up and not slack off.
    No child's play here. On a lawsuit the first thing a good aviation lawyer would ask for would be all the compliance documents for the machine. I don't think we have quite seriously gone there yet with any trike manufacturer in the US yet and that's mighty lucky but luck eventually will run out. The closest we came was a P&M trike double fatality in which I was hired as an expert witness on some subject matter which was a mix of regulation and engineering. I was prepared but before I was called the parties dropped the lawsuit and it did not go to trial. P&M was well prepared however. Others may not be that well prepared. The lawsuit was bogus and machine had no fault in it. It was a pilot error thing.

    But if your friend wants to be in this business. I would be glad to point him in the right direction. Order 8130.2H is here
  • Abid Farooqui
    by Abid Farooqui 1 year ago
    So tell your friend that unless he wants to get into all of the stuff above his choices right now in the US are existing SLSA models from
    Air Creation USA
    Evolution Trikes
    SilverLight Aviation

    I think there is one more new one but that's about it.
  • Rizwan Bukhari
    by Rizwan Bukhari 1 year ago
    Thanks so much Abid and Gregg. Abid, you mentioned that Aeros is a non BASA (Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement). Can Aeros be "Experimental" Certified. Or is that NOT a possibility either. My buddy Tom (my first instructor) wants a 912 trike at the best price. Seems like he found some deal for a brand new in crate Aeros two seat 912 trike. Ready for shipping from Ukraine. But he is concerned about getting the trike certified either ELSA or SLSA (now we know SLSA is NOT an option). How about ELSA? Is it possible with Aeros trike? Any help will be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you so much.


  • Gregg Ludwig
    by Gregg Ludwig 1 year ago
    Short answer- No.

    ELSA- "Previously unregistered "ultralight-like" vehicle that meets LSA specifications. These aircraft were required to be registered before January 31, 2008. However, as that deadline approached, the FAA issued exemptions which allowed the certification deadline to be extended to January 31, 2010 for any ELSA that was registered before January 31, 2008. The January 31, 2010 deadline is now past, so no other ELSAs will be certificated under this provision.

    A kit version of an S-LSA. Note that the January 31, 2008 deadline does not apply here.

    An S-LSA the owner elects to convert to E-LSA so he/she can make modifications & perform maintenance. Note that the January 31, 2008 deadline does not apply here."
  • Chuck Tabbert
    by Chuck Tabbert 1 year ago
    Would one way be to have manufacturer identify the differences between the ELSA and the SLSA, have the manufacturer make the modifications and then certify the plane as SLSA? Sounds like a lot of work even if it is possible.
  • Rizwan Bukhari
    by Rizwan Bukhari 1 year ago
    Thanks Gregg,

    My question was regarding purchasing a brand new Trike from the foreign manufacturers. Not an existing trike. Is there no way to get them even "experimental" registered? I am guessing the answer is a no. Aeros was just an example. Thanks for your help.
  • Abid Farooqui
    by Abid Farooqui 1 year ago
    Experimental has many sub-categories. You cannot buy a pre-built trike and make it Experimental Amateur Built. So that's out. Next is Experimental Exhibition. You can certainly do that but its has a lot of restrictions and requires a program letter to be sent to your FSDO every year telling them which places do you plan to go beyond your area to "exhibit" your trike that year. Worst is that Exhibition category for a normal aircraft (unlike aerobatic and military aircraft) would de-value the aircraft probably at least by 25%. It probably won't qualify for Experimental R&D. So the last one left is E-LSA.

    E-LSA itself has 3 sub-categories as explained by Gregg Ludwig above. The first one is out because we are way past 2008 deadline. The third one of course is an existing S-LSA being taken down by the owner to ELSA for easier maintenance and modifications if the owner is not using it for training for hire or rental. So that one is out in your case as well.
    The one you want is the second one. Counterpart of an existing S-LSA that can be 99% finished from the factory and the customer finishes the last 1%, registers it, applies for airworthiness, does the test flight period (5 to 15 hours) and then flies it. It has to be an exact copy of an existing SLSA counterpart at the time airworthiness cert is issued. E-LSA cannot be used for training or rental. Only the owner himself can get training from a CFI in his own ELSA aircraft.

    Now the problem. You don't and cannot have Aeros trike as an existing SLSA in the US. So you are screwed there as well.
    You can have an ELSA of any existing SLSA if the manufacturer offers a kit version.
  • Frank Dempsey
    by Frank Dempsey 1 year ago
    It's nice to have a manufacturer to work with you as it's possible in certain cases to upgrade from an ELSA to an SLSA. I did with the help of the manufacturer, Mr. Abid Farooqui of Silverlight Aviation on my 2009 Apollo Delta Jet 912S. Right now, my buddy Damien Beresford is going through this process with an AirBorne XT with less that 1 hour of airtime on it. The owner bought it from the manufacturer in Australia brand new. That was a studip idea as the trike doesn't even have an N Number. Damien will work with Edsel Ford (FAA) and AirBorne Australia to get it to SLSA status. It's a hassle but it can be done. Few manufacturer's will help you. I was lucky to have Abid.
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