Coronavirus or not, departures from the Golden State of California continue unabated. Before this novel virus “plague” brought isolation around the world, one of our top Light-Sport Aircraft service companies picked up sticks and moved more than halfway across this big country to Kingsville, Missouri (about one hour southeast of Kansas City).
Years ago at the very beginning of Light-Sport Aircraft and Sport Pilot, Rainbow Aviation entrepreneurs Brian and Carol Carpenter started what would become the nation’s largest and most productive repairman training courseware provider.
I recall this husband and wife team coming to EAA headquarters in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. At the time I was consulting to the organization as they prepared for the arrival of the new regulation. Brian and Carol showed up at EAA to brief them on their plans. That was 16 years ago and today Rainbow is the leading supplier of repairman classes.
As the new rule was announced back in 2004, one aspect was the Light Sport Repairmen section, including LSR-Inspection and LSR-Maintenance privileges. The former, covered in a two-day weekend class, helps an owner perform an annual condition inspection on an LSA they own. To perform more involved work or to work on other people’s LSA for hire, a more intensive class was needed.
Centrally-Based Rainbow Aviation
After training more than 5,000 students from nearly every U.S. state and from more than 20 different countries, Rainbow Aviation’s Light Sport Maintenance training programs have become internationally known as the premier light sport aviation maintenance training programs.
Their two principal offerings include the two-day Light Sport Repairman Inspection (LSR-I) course and the Light Sport Repairman Maintenance Certificate (LSR-M) course. If you aren’t sure which is right for you, read Carol Carpenter’s explanation.
The LSR-I classes are taught across the entire country as well as internationally and allow students to obtain an FAA-approved Light Sport Repairman Certificate to complete an annual condition inspection on a Experimental Light-Sport Aircraft that they own. Once you have this certificate, it does not need to be renewed. The typically weekend class provides a lot of great information to an aircraft owner. Learn what this short course involves (scroll down slightly).
Rainbow’s 15-day Light Sport Repairman Maintenance Courses are taught in their new home facility in Kingsville, Missouri. These courses allow the students to obtain an FAA Light Sport Repairman Certificate with a Maintenance Rating (LSR-M), giving them the equivalent privileges of a Airplane and Powerplant (A&P) with an Inspection Authorization (IA), but limited to light sport aircraft.
Unlike the simpler, shorter LSR-I course, a person completing the longer, more involved LSR-M course may perform maintenance and inspections on anyone’s Special LSA or Experimental LSA and may charge for their services.
No prerequisites are needed for the LSR-M course. A Repairman with a Maintenance rating does not need to be a pilot and the Repairman may also keep a portfolio of his work and apply for authorization to take the A&P written and practical exams for general aviation after working in the field for 30+ months under his or her own supervision. That represents a significant privilege and opportunity for LSR-M certificate holders.
In addition, the LSR-M certificate may also serve as a stepping-stone to the DAR (Designated Airworthiness Representative). This FAA designation covers those who go inspect new SLSA to provide them the certificate every Special LSA needs before it enters the aircraft fleet. Therefore, demand is good and this can provide earnings for the certificate holder while serving the consumer by making this essential service easier to obtain.
What can you do if you take the 120-hour (15-day) LSRM Maintenance Program?
- Operate commercially, earn money for providing maintenance and repair services.
- Work on Special Light-Sport Aircraft
- Work on Experimental Light-Sport Aircraft
- Perform annual inspections
- Perform 100-hour inspections
- Perform routine maintenance on SLSA and ELSA
- Perform major repairs on SLSA and ELSA
- Do avionics installations
- Gain a pathway to an FAA-issued A&P Certificate
Where are the Rainbow mechanics located? Rainbow graduates are all over the USA. See the nearby map.
Rainbow’s LSR-M class is an FAA approved workshop and an FAA certificate will be issued after successful completion. You do not have to own an aircraft. You do not need to be a pilot. You may charge for your services. The fee for the LSRM course: $4,195 or $3,995 (if paying in cash), which considering you can earn money afterward, represents a good bargain.
Classes before June this year are full, so the next opportunities are June 15 to June 30, 2020 and August 31 to September 15, 2020
What can you gain from the 16-hour (2-day) LSR-I Inspection Course intended for LSA owners?
- Work on Experimental Light-Sport Aircraft
- Annual your own aircraft
- Improve your safety
- Reduce your maintenance problems
- Gain a greater awareness of your aircraft
Classes for the LSR-I course are offered across the country featuring top-notch instructors. Contact Rainbow Aviation for more details or to sign up for classes,
John Horn says
Carol and Brian are good people. And very talented. Took their 120 hour course in May 2008 so I could do maintenance and inspections on my S-LSA. The investment has paid back several times over.
I’m sorry to see them move half way across the country but that’s me being selfish. I wish them luck, happiness, and success in their new location.
Stephen Morse says
I was in the May 2007 LSR-M class in Corning, CA and I can attest to the quality of this instruction. It’s great to learn that Rainbow Aviation is now much closer to where I live here in the Midwest. Welcome, Brian and Carol!
William Snodgrass says
Thanks Dan for the article (I was actually in this class!). I can unequivocally say that this has been one of the best courses I have taken! Carol and Brian work very hard to deliver a top notch course that is both interesting, challenging and rewarding. They both know their stuff and have years of varied experiences which they will share with their students. It is always a pleasure working with them and I wish them continued success.
william rich says
Having graduated from the Rainbow LSR-I Inspection Course, I can say without hesitation that Brian and Carol are doing an outstanding job of equipping us to maintain and operate our aircraft.
Harold Wickham says
I would like to inquire about your August course…. I have always wanted to take the course. I did take the 16 hour course; but just haven’t been able to take 15 days off work (I work public safety, so I’m still at work during COVID-19).
Is there any hangar space there? I would be flying a 2016 BRM Areo Bristell with Rotax 912 ULS and could I sleep in a hangar or camp? That way I wouldn’t have to rent a car and commute to a hotel.
Any help you can provide would be appreciated.
Dan Johnson says
Hi Harold: Please contact Rainbow Aviation Services directly. Links are provided in the article. I’m sure they’d be glad to answer your questions and enroll you when it works for you.
Carol Carpenter says
We do offer the 15-day class straight through with just one day off mid way, to get folks in and out quickly. But we have also offer the class in a split format: 8 days on with the last 7 days a few month later. I have an email contact list for this option.
Folks do camp on field, in RVs or tents. We have two full baths with showers. And a neighbor with 8 queen size beds he has offered for a donation (a non-profit VA-focused outfit).
All attendees do get connected and it is common for folks to form rental car groups based on where they are staying.
There is an RV rental business a few miles away and they set up campers for the attendees who are flying in commercially. And, of course, AirBnB options and local hotels.
We had to tie down the SeaRey that flew in for the last class — since there isn’t any hangar space yet. There are hangars at Skyhaven, (the nearest public airport, 15 miles or so). And pilots do not have any trouble arranging a ride with another attendee.
We are building a large hangar very soon! You can always give us a call for additional details on lodging and aircraft options.
Bruce Bolla says
As California continues to lead the country I am glad that some of our good fortune can be transplanted to the middle west. They can sure use the help. Looks like a great program!