With 191 Mermaid orders on the books, Sport Aircraft Works (SAW) is understandably anxious to start deliveries. The trouble is — or the advantage is, if you’re a willing buyer — that Mermaid is an amphibian. That means it has gear that moves, or…”repositions.” The repositionable gear dilemma remains unresolved, despite the petition for exemption by Czech Aircraft Works. So for now, says SAW’s Danny Defelici, “We’ll be placarding the Mermaid against moving the gear in flight.” He added that at the recent Sebring Expo, several top FAA officials looked for a reason that Mermaid could not be SLSA certified. “They found nothing to prevent it, so we went ahead and obtained our certificate,” Danny explained. Mermaid is #28 to win SLSA credentials. While the agency figures out its response, an exemption process could allow all floatplane or amphib producers to go forward with deliveries in time for the summer season.
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