ADVOCACY ISSUES ON OUR RADAR
THE RELEASE OF LETTERS OF DEVIATION AUTHORITY (LODA) guidance for
experimental aircraft has taken longer than anticipated. EAA recently
learned that the guidance will not be out for yet another month. The lack of
this guidance results in no experimental aircraft transition training, primary
gyroplane training, and/or low-mass/high-drag experimental light-sport
CANADIAN OWNERS AND PILOTS ASSOCIATION (COPA) President Kevin Psutka
reports that Canada’s transport minister reversed a decision and will
require all aircraft operating in Canada to be equipped with an emergency
locator transmitter (ELT) that broadcasts on both 406 MHz and 121. 5 MHz
frequencies. COPA had won an agreement with the minister allowing private
aircraft to not comply with the 406 requirement. However, the rule had not
Psutka suggests that Canadian defense officials lobbied Canada’s
Treasury Board, which is one of the final steps for a Canadian law, to
implement the requirement. The transport minister has indicated he will
not fight the ruling. The ruling includes all aircraft operating in Canada
including foreign-registered aircraft. COPA did win a few concessions
including a transition period of two years for aircraft operated commercially
and three years for privately owned aircraft.
STANDARDS FOR ELECTRIC PROPULSION units
continue to be developed. Industry, through an
ASTM International committee, has been hard
at work developing the standard, which is a key
milestone in the development of electrically
powered aircraft. The committee hopes to
present the final approved standard to the FAA
administrator at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh
2010. Electric aircraft will allow more pilots to
enjoy the freedom of flight at a reduced cost
and no longer be dependent on avgas.
EAA IN ACTION
IN CONTINUING EFFORTS TO IMPROVE safety, EAA again
hosted accident investigators from several government
agencies for a three-day course on experimental,
light-sport aircraft, and warbird aircraft. The course
is designed to help accident investigators thoroughly
understand the complexities and nuances associated
with the aircraft EAA members operate.
EFFORTS TO REDUCE THE NUMBER OF fatal accidents
continue. The Amateur-Built Flight Standardization
Board (ABFSB), co-chaired by EAA, met at EAA
headquarters in June to draft two advisory circulars
(ACs) on the operation of amateur-built aircraft
and loss of control. The ABFSB will make formal
recommendations to the FAA regarding the establishment
of specific pilot training requirements for aircraft with
flight characteristics that pose a “moderate” or “high”
risk of fatality.
THROUGH THE FENCE (TTF) discussions are ongoing. EAA
met with FAA Airports Division in Washington, D.C., to
discuss TTF operations. The initial version of FAA Order
5190.6B attempted to prohibit residential through-the-fence operations and apply a national one-size-fits-all
policy. EAA and its members voiced opposition to such
a policy and offered to craft a more workable solution.
The FAA agreed that the policy needed to be tailored
to specific site requirements and subsequently visited
several airports throughout the country.
FUELS FOR THE FUTURE
By Tom Poberezny, EAA President and Chairman
AN IMPORTANT ISSUE FOR ALL of us who fly is the transition to an
unleaded aviation fuel in the not-so-distant future. Eventually,
100LL fuel will cease to exist. Obviously, this change will affect
the piston-engine aircraft community. EAA, our fellow aviation
organizations, and the industry are already working diligently on
managing the transition process.
Along with these collaborative discussions, there is already
more than 20 years of research in unleaded aviation fuels. EAA,
Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), General Aviation
Manufacturers Association (GAMA), and National Business
Aviation Association (NBAA) are leading this effort as a unified
coalition because it’s important to all of us. It is also important that
each of you have accurate information as to the issues, potential
solutions, and the timetable for this transition.
Although there is no one “silver bullet” answer, I want to
stress that solutions do exist. It will be a series of solutions
integrated into a plan that will ultimately keep us flying! Consistent
communications with you that present clear, accurate, and concise
information, along with all the options, will help you understand
and support the ultimate decisions on this matter.
This is a long process. Nothing will happen in the immediate
future, but time will go by very quickly. Therefore, we want you
to be aware of this issue now. We will also share the work of the
technical group, which is highly qualified to study, evaluate, and
develop alternative solutions.
EAA and our fellow aviation organizations have one goal—to
ensure the best result for everyone who flies or dreams of flying
in the future.