EAA IN ACTION
THROUGH THE FENCE SOLUTIONS SOUGHT
As a result of the EAA/FAA Winter
Aviation Summit, EAA and key industry
leaders are developing an appendix to the
FAA Airport Compliance Manual, Order
5190.6B, that would highlight a process
for the FAA to continue allowing adjacent
airport residential through-the-fence
(TTF) agreements at the nation’s public-use airports. The appendix would be a
checklist to help airport managers and
property owners write new or renewal
EAA submitted a total of 45 pages of
comments to Order 5190.6B, focusing
on ensuring fuel availability on airports,
preserving aircraft owner’s ability to
perform self-maintenance, reducing
fair-market value rent for nonprofit EAA
chapters, allowing aeronautical activities
in airport hangars, and guaranteeing access
to airports by recreational aviation pilots,
enthusiasts, and trailerable aircraft.
IT’S NOW MORE AFFORDABLE AND LESS
cumbersome for light-sport aircraft (LSA)
from the United States to be flown into
Canada. Transport Canada (TC) revised its
Standardized Validation form, the equivalent
to operating limitations for experimental
aircraft in the United States, putting LSA on
equal footing with U.S. amateur-built aircraft
flying into Canada.
Before this revision, pilots were required
to call TC and receive authorization
to operate an LSA in Canada, obtain a
validation form to keep in the aircraft, and
pay a $100 fee.
TC still requires pilots to have a private
pilot certificate with a valid medical,
meaning that sport pilots flying with a
driver’s license medical are not allowed to fly
LSA into Canada.
The revision demonstrates the continuing
member value of U.S. and international
relationships developed through the
International Federal Partnership.
ON OUR RADAR
THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
(EPA) is considering regulations to reduce
lead emissions from general aviation
aircraft and implement a transition process.
An advance notice of proposed rulemaking
(ANPRM) drafted by the EPA is currently
under review. The ANPRM is intended to
provide background information for the
drafting of the regulation. EAA and others
have been engaged in this issue for several
decades and continue to work with the
EPA to ensure that all technical, safety,
and economic considerations specific to
the highly specialized general aviation
community are taken into consideration.
FAA CHOOSES COMMERCIAL CONCERNS OVER SAFETY
By Roy Beisswenger
MOST PILOTS UNDERSTAND THE NEED for rules
and structure in aviation to maintain a level
of safety. The transition from exemption-driven ultralight training programs to
the sport pilot program was supposed to
improve safety for those wanting to fly light-sport aircraft as well as those choosing to
learn to fly ultralights. The premise was that
with higher standards for instructors and
aircraft, safety would improve.
However, safety is not improving for the
community of pilots flying aircraft with maximum speeds less than 87
knots. The problem stems from the loss of flight instructors who have
abandoned flight instruction because of the increase in bureaucracy
and the fact that the reward of flight instruction—monetary and
intrinsic—has not kept pace with the increased burdens.
The interest in learning to fly is still there. In fact that interest,
combined with a significant lack of instructors for gyroplanes,
powered parachutes, weight-shift control trikes, and low-speed/
high-drag airplanes, is what is creating the unsafe situation. What is
the FAA doing? Its answer seems to be a doubling down on failure by
driving more instructors out of business.
The FAA is doing that by requiring that certificated flight
instructors purchase new special LSA (S-LSA) instead of allowing
them to continue safely training with their experimental LSA
(E-LSA). While that is an unfunded mandate that most instructors
would like to comply with, it piles a financial burden on part-time instructors who can’t possibly recoup their investment in
a reasonable amount of time. Given hard choices to be made by
everyone this current economy, large numbers of instructors are
choosing to cease instructing.
The FAA is aware of the problem, and it is also aware of a viable
solution already in the regulations. That solution is to allow an
instructor to provide instruction for hire by letting that instructor’s
flight standards district office (FSDO) write a letter of deviation
authority (LODA). However, the FAA has been dragging its feet on
providing the needed guidance to the FSDOs on how to write the
LODAs. This lack of guidance has hamstrung most of the flight-training community in the sub- 87 knot categories.
Why is the FAA sacrificing safety by not acting responsibly?
E-LSA have already proven to be capable aircraft, and the instructors
have proven themselves to be capable under FAA standards. It seems
that the only ones to benefit from forcing instructors to purchase
new aircraft are the producers of the S-LSA. I greatly support
manufacturers, and I’m glad that the FAA does, too. I just wish that
the FAA support wasn’t at the expense of aviation safety.
Guest columnist Roy Beisswenger, EAA 537298, is the host of The Powered Sport
Flying radio show and technical editor of Powered Sport Flying magazine.