E-LSA FLIGHT TRAINING
The long-awaited guidance for E-LSA flight training was released
by the FAA late last year, but it failed to allow primary training
in low-mass/high-drag E-LSA or gyroplanes. To grow these
segments of aviation, an adequate training fleet is essential. That
fleet has yet to materialize in the special light-sport aircraft market,
necessitating that previously exempted E-LSA for flight training be
allowed to continue.
EAA requested a briefing on the FAA’s vision for NextGen as it
relates to and impacts GA. EAA is concerned about potential
significant mandatory equipment costs and whether such
equipment would result in improved airspace access, information
services in the cockpit, or safety over that provided by today’s
SAFETY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (SMS)
SMS is a systemic approach to safety being implemented for air
carriers, airports, and manufacturers. While the agency is currently
focused on these larger organizations, EAA is concerned with the
FAA’s vision for SMS as it applies to GA. The FAA has no near-term
plans to implement SMS for small GA businesses, but it would like
GA to adopt some of the concepts in the future. EAA is submitting
comments to the air carrier SMS notice of proposed rulemaking
because it contains requirements that could form the framework for
a future GA SMS program.
TRANSITION TO AN UNLEADED AVIATION FUEL
With the FAA’s formation of the Unleaded Avgas Transition
Aviation Rulemaking Committee to advise the agency on moving
toward an unleaded piston aviation fuel specification, the agency
has demonstrated a higher level of commitment to the unleaded
fuels issue. EAA urged the FAA to ensure the continued regulatory
availability of 100LL avgas until a suitable and safe alternative is
developed and approved for the existing GA fleet of piston aircraft.
AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES AND EXPERIMENTAL AIRCRAFT
For decades it has been understood that airworthiness directives
(ADs) do not apply to experimental amateur-built aircraft or to type-certificated products, such as engines and propellers, installed on
them. Despite this, some legal interpretations in recent years have
claimed otherwise. EAA seeks clarification that ADs do not apply to
experimental aircraft, while acknowledging that owners are required
to address any known unsafe condition identified by an AD.
The FAA received more than 900 comments expressing concern
about proposed changes to the A&P-IA renewal policy. The FAA
reaffirmed it did not intend to change how A&P mechanics with
inspection authorization renew their privileges, add new burdens, or
put people out of business. Nor was the traditional view of “actively
engaged” intended to be altered; rather, this change was an attempt to
clarify the requirements. The FAA recognizes and supports the need
for part-time A&P-IA mechanics and the unique expertise they bring
to aviation safety.
TEAMWORK: A BENEFIT FOR BOTH EAA AND FAA
By Sean Elliott, EAA Vice President, Government and Industry Regulatory Affairs
OUR AVIATION FREEDOMS are truly privileges.
Simply look at the state of other countries’
civil aviation systems, and you realize how
favorable our aviation environment is in the
United States. It is a future we all must be
vigilant in tending.
One of EAA’s jobs is to continuously
preserve our privileges, seeking new
opportunities for participation while
embracing and promoting improvements
that enhance safety. Nobody wants friends
or colleagues to be harmed, and every
serious accident moves us closer to onerous
new regulations and a shaken public
perception of recreational aviation as a safe
and legitimate pursuit. Staking out and
protecting our turf, while helping to shape
safety improvements, is certainly in the best
interest of all.
Earlier this year, EAA attended the first
meeting of this new GA-JSC where this
strategy was outlined. After participating
in the discussions, I am excited about the
new approach. EAA, along with a number of
other aviation associations, is on board and
ready to work as a team with the agency.
We all want to ensure and improve safety
without creating new barriers and burdens.