Proposed Air Show Regs Worry EAA...

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Performances Limited To Single Direction?

Proposed revisions to air show regulations could not only make the shows a lot less interesting, they could make the photos in magazines and newspapers a lot more pedestrian. EAA has responded to FAA Draft Order 8700.1, Chapter 49, with a shopping list of requests to eliminate rule changes that don't seem to help achieve the stated goal of improving safety. "For example, a proposed rule mandates that flight directions during air shows 'shall be in one direction only,'" an EAA news release quotes the revisions as stating. EAA spokesman Earl Lawrence says the rules could take substantial sizzle out of air show routines, especially warbird flybys. "What might seem to be minor changes could have substantial negative operational and financial implications on air show operations without a corresponding increase in safety," he said. Another rule would require credentialed photographers to shoot from behind the fence, just like the paying customers, which Lawrence says fixes a non-existent problem. Lawrence said allowing the shooters better access in a controlled fashion has never resulted in an injury or fatality at EAA AirVenture. Another rule would require air show organizers to apply for a TFR if any non-military skydivers are performing, which Lawrence says is unnecessary since EAA's show takes place in waivered airspace. "There is no additional safety to requiring the establishment of a TFR," Lawrence said. EAA agrees with some of the new rules, including those requiring joint FAA/air boss safety briefings that address "proven safety issues."