Public Benefit Flying Groups, NTSB Meet At Oshkosh

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On Tuesday morning, about 20 representatives of various public benefit flying groups met with representatives of the NTSB at EAA AirVenture to talk about how they plan to address the concerns expressed by the safety board in a letter issued last month. Rol Murrow, chairman of the Air Care Alliance, told AVweb the meeting was productive, and the NTSB was responsive to the group's suggestions. "They are not recommending new regulations," Murrow said. "They believe the solution lies in working with the groups." Murrow said three main areas were addressed at the meeting, and response from NTSB representative Timothy Burtch was positive.

One of the NTSB's concerns, Murrow said, is that there should be a way to ensure that pilots who volunteer to fly for charitable flights are qualified to do so. The consensus from the meeting is that a self-certification checklist will be proposed to address that concern, Murrow said. The second issue is that patients who are traveling should be properly informed of the nature of the flight, and understand that it is not a commercial operation. Murrow said some groups already have documentation and briefing packets they use to ensure that information gets to the passengers, and those models can be developed and expanded. The third issue was pilot training, to ensure that pilots understand the nature of the flights and the pressures to complete them and help them to make good launch decisions. The ACA is working with AOPA's Air Safety Foundation to create an online course for volunteer pilots that will address the NTSB's concerns. The ACA will respond formally to the NTSB's recommendation letter by Sept. 7, Murrow said.