The FAA is now taking comments prior to developing rules that would regulate your ability to fly in (or to fly) certain historic aircraft as a paying passenger, and the deadline to submit comments is nearing. Since the mid-1990s, the FAA has used its Living History Flight Experience (LHFE) policy to address the issue. That policy provides a channel for owner/operators of historic aircraft to conduct certain passenger flights for compensation. But the FAA says some proposed business models, like hands-on simulated aerial combat flights in vintage jet aircraft, fall outside the original scope and intent of LHFE policy. It is now evaluating its policy regarding those and other operations and is seeking public input.
Under LHFE, operators can apply for exemption from regulations that would otherwise prohibit certain passenger flights on certain vintage aircraft. But LHFE exemptions are limited by parameters that include the age, type and origin of the vintage aircraft and the type of operations to be conducted. The FAA would need to make regulatory changes to expand the range of operations allowed. That expansion could address whether non-flight-crew paying passengers will be permitted on the pilot station during flight operations of these historic aircraft. It could also address whether aerobatic operations should be allowed, and with what altitude and weather limitations. Equipment requirements, pilot qualifications, maintenance and other factors are also potential areas where changes may be applied. Comments will be accepted before June 18. Click here for details.