Sometimes referred to as the ‘permit renewal’, this is one of the main activities each year in the life of an LAA aircraft. Traditionally, this was the time to do the annual maintenance check and fly it to a schedule to check handling and performance. With the development of more sophisticated aircraft, where more frequent maintenance is required, the annual permit revalidation is an opportunity for an LAA inspector to check with the owner that the agreed maintenance regime is being followed.
An aircraft’s Permit to Fly is validated by a Certificate of Validity (CoV) that is issued by the LAA annually on satisfactory completion of an inspection and check flight. Much like a car MOT, it’s possible to go through the process up to a month before the expiry of its current CoV, with the new CoV expiring a year after the old one. Your first port of call will be your local inspector (find an inspector), who will be able to advise you on the full process and provide the necessary forms. Note that not all inspectors can inspect all types of aircraft, but they will be able to advise you of the types they're able to look after.
Once the inspection phase is complete, the aircraft needs a check flight to assess whether any flight characteristics have deteriorated or changed over the year, indicating potential developing issues.
After the check flight, the paperwork is submitted to the LAA office for checking. Assuming all is well, the new CoV is returned to the applicant, often by return of post (although this can be a little longer in the spring and summer months, depending on workload).
With some more complex types, supplemental FWR forms have been issued to accompany the main form (see link at top of page).
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