As we work on PlaneFinder 2.0, our one-of-a-kind method to help pilots find the best Light-Sport Aircraft — watch for it in a few more days — we have another list-in-waiting. It is our FIRM List or FI.R.M List, meaning it helps you find Flight Instruction (FI), Rental (R), or Maintenance (M).
These two — PlaneFinder 2.0 and FIRM List — complement our currently operating SLSA List as guides to help people interested in light, affordable aircraft. Even the SLSA List will go through further refinement; these steps were necessary after we moved from an old website built in the early days of the World Wide Web to a thoroughly modern website you can read on any device you have from desktop to smartphone.
Meanwhile, Rainbow Aviation has a new offering for those of you seeking a trained, qualified mechanic to help you keep your Light-Sport Aircraft in top-top flying shape.
You may already know Rainbow Aviation. Lead by Brian and Carol Carpenter, Rainbow has been in the mechanical training game since before LSA was even introduced as a regulation. They saw a coming need and got in front of the parade. More than 13 years later, they still lead in providing these needed services.
What Is a LSRM?
LSRM is shorthand for Light-Sport Repairman–Maintenance. When FAA created the LSA category in 2004, part of it addressed maintenance. Instead of burdening mechanics with the need to earn a two-year, 2400-hour A&P (Airframe and Powerplant) rating, they offered an alternative system and let private providers offer courses.
A simpler inspection rating is available by attending a 16-hour, two-day repairman course. On completion, you are called a repairman but are limited to performing an annual inspection on a Experimental Light-Sport Aircraft you own.. The maintenance rating is only available by attending a much longer 80-120 hour Repairman course. Get a deeper explanation by going to Rainbow's web page for this.
- Here's a key point: A person who has earned a Repairman–Maintenance rating can perform maintenance and inspections on any Special LSA or Experimental LSA and can charge for his or her services.
More than 5,000 students have attended Rainbow's courses from nearly every U.S. state and from more than 20 countries, Rainbow Aviation Light-Sport Maintenance training programs are internationally accepted as the leading Light-Sport aviation maintenance training programs.
"We have gathered contact information since 2005. We decided to so this early on, from the very first class we taught," said Carol Carpenter. "It has grown to be an invaluable tool." Recently, they decided to share this information. Go to this map page to see where you can find a LSRM nearest to you.
After instructing thousands of folks plus more who find out about Rainbow and ask questions, Carol said it has become impossible to answer everyone's questions and provide support.
"So we have created a network and today we have a private, exclusive, online support site for the folks who have taken our 15-day workshop," Carol added. "We answer their questions in a group format and they, in turn, support the LSA community. I refer callers to this listing when they reach out for help or services."
"When you go to the map you can select, say, just gliders, and find all the LSRM with the glider rating," explained Carol. "Currently we are surveying the group and will flag all who are offering Light-Sport maintenance services to the public."
Brian and Carol have created a valuable service by their work for more than a decade. The LSA industry is lucky to have them hard at work.