AOPA slams FAA flight training directive
The letter followed a phone call between Baker and Dickson on July 11 and said: “We urge the FAA to withdraw or invoke an immediate suspension of the recent ‘policy notice’ for flight training on experimental grade aircraft. , primary and limited. This directive is simply unacceptable to the general aviation community and together we will pursue all available options to bring the much needed clarity and common sense to this issue. “
The FAA notice allowed no public comment, a process required by the Administrative Procedure Act, Baker noted. He also reminded the agency that it had issued numerous legal interpretations on paid flight training and paid aircraft operation, which the FAA chose to ignore.
“The stated mission of the FAA is to ‘provide the safest and most efficient aviation system in the world’,” said Baker. “With this advice, the FAA appears to have made a 180 degree turn on this position and placed a bureaucratic hurdle in front of the need for security.”
Baker made it clear that the GA community is united and that he has spoken to the leaders of the Experimental Aircraft Association, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association and other GA groups, and that many aviation organizations should come together. oppose this opinion and these efforts. to correct it.
The directive was also untimely, put in place just two weeks before EAA AirVenture, the world’s largest general aviation flight. Many owners and pilots of the more than 39,000 registered experimental, limited and primary airplanes attend this air show and would be negatively affected by this bureaucratic exercise which does nothing to improve safety.
Baker explained that the rule will place nightmarish administrative demands on thousands of aircraft owners, pilots and flight instructors, and will simply overwhelm the FAA and create even more confusion.
The requirement to complete “a new administrative process invoked by the FAA just to get” approval “to do what pilots have been doing safely for years is simply mind-boggling,” Baker added in the letter.
This general guideline, which now affects thousands of aircraft owners, instructors and pilots, grew out of a narrowly defined case involving Florida-based Warbird Adventures and a handful of other very specific cases involving limited category airplanes, a category that includes around 400 warbirds.
Despite the caution of AOPA and others, the United States District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on April 2 granted an emergency cease and desist order from the FAA against Warbird Adventures, a company that provided flight instruction in a limited category warbird. without exemption.
Following this decision and a request from the agency for clarification regarding its position on flight training for compensation, the FAA provided a letter on June 4 that a flight instructor receiving a Compensation of a student for providing instruction in an aircraft acts contrary to federal regulations, even if such compensation is not for transportation or transportation, without exemption. Additionally, the FAA letter stated that similar prohibitions may extend to an instructor providing flight training on an experimental or primary category aircraft. The general aviation community, including AOPA, reacted negatively to the new characterization of paid flight training and barriers to accessing training, and noted the potential impact on tens of thousands of pilots.
The FAA attempted to clarify its position on July 8 with an eight-page “policy” that, among other things, requires owners of experimental aircraft and flight instructors providing flight training on such aircraft to electronically request a Deviation Clearance Letter (LODA) “which will allow flight training for compensation in an experimental aircraft when no compensation is provided for the use of the aircraft”. Such a rule would set up new barriers for owners seeking training on their own aircraft and would discourage qualified flight instructors on various experimental aircraft from providing training, which would endanger safety.
The FAA directive also places additional burdens on owners of limited and main category aircraft, despite previous FAA regulatory statements such as “it is appropriate to use main category aircraft” for flight instruction. . Ultimately, the rule means that as of July 12, anyone paying for flight instruction in their Experimental, Limited, or Primary category aircraft must have completed the LODA process. While the new “policy” does not affect flight training on standard category aircraft, the change for other categories is seen as a slippery slope that could result in more changes for those flying typical certified aircraft.
FAA officials have touted their electronic application process as a simple solution to the problem, but, as Baker pointed out in his conversations with Dickson, it is a solution to a problem the FAA has unnecessarily created. – and which does nothing to advance the mutual. goals of improving safety and reducing barriers to resources that increase pilot proficiency.