Key Issues; Key People
EAA/FAA Summit tackles GA’s big topics
HIGH-RANKING FAA OFFICIALS visited Oshkosh in February for the
EAA/FAA 2011 Recreational Aviation Summit, an annual meeting
to address issues of importance for GA pilots and aircraft owners.
Leading this year’s FAA delegation were John Allen, director of
FAA Flight Standards Service; Dorenda Baker, director of Aircraft
Certification; and Tony Fazio, director of Accident Investigation
and Prevention. The General Aviation and Commercial Division,
Small Airplane Directorate, GA Maintenance Branch, Regulatory
Support Division, and Airworthiness Certification Branch were
Discussions focused on the following issues:
Among FAA’s top priorities is a desire to improve the amateur-built aircraft accident rate. EAA has committed to step up its safety
activities and is already re-energizing the highly successful Flight
Advisor and Technical Counselor programs targeting known causal
factors leading to accidents. EAA is a member of the FAA’s General
Aviation Joint Steering Committee working to ensure that nonregulatory safety interventions are well-targeted and data-driven.
New FAA policies governing warbird operations impose operational
and airworthiness burdens on this community. EAA Warbirds of
America and a consortium of warbird organizations have been
working with the FAA to identify and mitigate the impact of these
Doug Macnair (far right) speaks during the EAA/FAA Winter Recreational Summit as Paul
Poberezny, John Allen, Rod Hightower, Dorenda Baker, and Sean Elliott listen.
new requirements. FAA is exploring how to potentially delay the
April 16 implementation while dialogue continues.
EAA continues to remedy issues with the sport pilot and light-sport
aircraft rules as they are identified, such as the crediting of dual
instruction from a sport pilot instructor toward higher certificates
and ratings. The FAA also is examining LSA manufacturers closely
for compliance and identifying where certification and quality
standards need enhancing.
HOMEBUILDING: GROWTH AND CHALLENGES
EAA RECENTLY ISSUED its annual report to homebuilders covering
the current status of the community, its growth, and, most
The amateur-built fleet has shown the most consistent growth
of any aircraft category in the United States over the past 20 years,
The hours flown by
amateur-built aircraft increased from 482,000 per year in 1995 to
983,000 in 2010, representing an increase of 104 percent. In that
same period, the number of fatal accidents rose 5 percent, from
64 to 67.
The use of EAA’s technical counselors, the standardization of
aircraft kits, and builder experience have greatly increased the
quality of the aircraft; however, the majority of accidents remain
pilot-related. Builders must keep their flying skills proficient during
the building phase, understand that each homebuilt model has
unique flying characteristics, and seek transition training before
beginning a flight-test program.
The AOPA Air Safety Institute (ASI) also released its annual
Nall Report covering accident trends and factors. In the section
on amateur-built aircraft the report stated that “experimental
LSAs accounted for almost 15 percent of all time flown by
amateur-built aircraft.” EAA strongly encouraged the ASI not to
include the accidents and hours flown by E-LSA in the amateur-built fleet because it does not accurately reflect homebuilt
aircraft totals. We continue to with work with AOPA, the FAA,
and the General Aviation Joint Steering Committee to come to a
common understanding regarding how to account for amateur-built safety data.