FAA Issues LODA to WPPA Affiliate

Stephen Brandon, CFI (right) congratulating one of his students who just passed Sport Pilot Practical Test with SPE Doug Maas

It appears our Tracy, California CFI affiliate, Stephen Brandon has pulled off what many have said is impossible.  That is issuance of a letter of deviaion authority that essentially allows Steve to use his pre-existing ELSA powered parachute for training, despite the January 2010 deadline that requires all dual training to be in a Special Light Sport certified aircraft.  Here are comments from Steve.

Hello Doug,


It’s a great day today because today I am the first in the nation to receive a LODA for my powered parachute. I have trusted my FSDO to help me out in obtaining this goal. With the approval of Washington and the signature of the Oakland manager I have accomplished the unaccomplishable. Do all the right things, have all the right ducks in a row, and it can be had. Bottom line is as of 10/28/2010 I can train in my experimental PPC with the approval of an FAA LODA.

Stephen Brandon SP CFI PPCL

I can’t give you a summary of what went on but I can tell you the events that I’ve gone through.

 I started in November of 2009 by sending in the EAA LODA kit that they had out on the web before the FAA closed that down. I submitted it to my FSDO, and as I told you in the past, that was sent down to LAX and then to Washington. That came to nothing. At least I was never notified of anything.

Next was after January 31, 2010, I and Denny Pollard (AWP for Oakland) put out another feeler to Oklahoma and Washington asking of the status of the promised LODA for excepting ELSA with a LODA to be used for training. Denny at some of his meetings, one being at Oklahoma, kept bringing up this issue. You know, the greasy wheel gets….. Anyway nothing. But through this whole process I have had great support from my local FSDO. Denny Pollard has been very instrumental in his support of our Powered Parachute community. With out his help and determination to help me achieve this goal of obtaining my LODA………well I couldn’t have done it alone. I also must thank Eric H. Lenz,WP, Manager of the Oakland FSDO office for backing Denny Pollard by putting his signature on the forms necessary to make this Part 91 operations documents legal and in accordance to the FAA rulings.

 My suggestions at this point to anyone is for their FSDO to make contact with Denny Pollard at the Oakland branch and ask him to help them go through the process. We have all read about the restrictions and the reasons why a LODA can or cannot be issued. Maybe not everyone will qualify for what ever reason. I have. I assure you that it was not just because of the determination in how we pursued this issue but more importantly how the ducks fell in a row and that after they were all laid out I qualified. Each of us has a different story and I feel that will be the bottom line on the issuance of a LODA to any individual. 

Has it been a pain in the butt? You bet, but I feel that anything worth while obtaining does require a little hard work and perseverance. It’s great after it’s all done.

I’m done and I hope the best to the next reciever of their LODA.

Stephen Brandon SP CFI PPCL