Offering Owners Of Old Airplanes A Choice

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In their proposal for a new vintage category, EAA and the VAA said that such aircraft would not be limited in size or complexity; Part 43 airworthiness regulations would still apply; the installation of parts and items that are not PMA- or TSO-compliant would be allowed; and aircraft in the new category would lose any privileges to carry persons or property for hire. The owner would have the option to transfer to the new category or not. No specific age limits were proposed. Lawrence said that many fundamental safety issues associated with aging -- such as fatigue and corrosion -- can be found in aircraft of just about age, depending on how the aircraft is used and maintained, so aging is not just a matter of calendar years, but a combination of factors.

Earlier this month, more than 1,300 people met in Atlanta to address issues of aging aircraft in the commercial and defense fleet, at the 9th Joint FAA/DoD/NASA Conference on Aging Aircraft. The conference provided opportunities for networking about common problems and a showcase for vendors with new technology designed to alleviate those problems.