Rossy Takes the FAA to School
I have this recurring fantasy that I’d like to work for the FAA for a couple of days just to give someone a break. If I could pick the days, it would have been the ones where the FAA was reviewing Yves Rossy’s plans to fly a routine in the airshow at AirVenture this week.
The rumor had been circulating—and it appears to be true, more or less confirmed by Rossy himself—that whatever inspector was assigned to the delicate task of protecting the show-going public apparently deemed Rossy to be a four-engine turbojet meat missile. He was actually told he’s really a jet aircraft and would require the appropriate ratings and waivers to appear in the skies over AirVenture. In an ultimate abandonment of common sense, Rossy was evidently advised he would need a 30-minute fuel reserve, despite having only a 10-minute endurance to begin with, and that he was enjoined from carrying passengers or discharging skydivers. Seriously? Could any bona fide representative of the federal government actually be that dense? (This is a rhetorical question to which the answer is intuitively obvious.)
Rossy was actually rather gracious about the experience. In today’s video about his AirVenture flights, there’s a diplomatic outtake I wasn’t able to fit into the piece.
“Innovation, by definition…you have to break the rules. If you stay within the rules, you will never innovate because in the rules, you are doing something existing,” Rossy told our Glenn Pew during an interview.
“So that’s a message I give to the FAA. Try to be innovative also in the legal aspect. This legal aspect should prepare for the possibility of innovation. It should be a boost, not a brake.”
Couldn’t have said it better myself.