...Piles Of Paper, Little Safety Improvement...

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Lawrence said, "They're going to get stacks and stacks of paper that they're not going to have time to go through, anyway." For the average pilot, the only impact will come if they offer their services and airplane for a charity fundraiser. The rule boosts the required experience from 200 to 500 hours; Lawrence said he can't figure out why. He said it could be argued that a 200-hour new pilot, with recent training and experience, is safer than an older pilot who flies sporadically but has amassed the time over decades. "There doesn't seem to be any justification for [the minimum hours increase]," he said, but fatal accidents from 1983 to 2000 peaked for student and private pilots with 50 to 350 hours, according to the research of Gold Seal Instructor, author, teacher, and pilot Dr. Paul A. Craig in his book, The Killing Zone. That aside, EAA is also looking into how the rules might affect its own Ford Trimotor and B-17 flight operations at AirVenture. EAA regularly offers heritage aircraft rides at its Oshkosh headquarters and, during AirVenture, sells seats for short hops. There is also a private helicopter ride business operating throughout the fly-in. Lawrence said the B-17 already operates on a series of exemptions because it doesn't fit the normal civilian requirements but the Trimotor, especially, raises issues. Under the proposed rule, operations that are intended principally to demonstrate the aircraft are exempt. Only flights with the main purpose of providing an air tour are covered. But Lawrence said arguments could be made either way for the Trimotor operations at AirVenture and it comes down to the FAA administrator deciding which is which, instead of the requirements being clearly delineated in the regulations. "It's a definition that's not a definition," he said.