EAA: 3600-Pound LSA Just A Starting Point (Corrected)

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The FAA’s just-revealed report that it would consider raising the light sport aircraft limit from 1320 pounds to 3600 pounds is just a proposed talking point and any rule is at least a year and a half away, according to EAA. And no, the 3600-pound figure isn’t a typo nor confusion over kilogram conversion, as some have speculated.

In this exclusive AVweb podcast, Sean Elliott, EAA’s VP for advocacy and safety, says the 3600-pound number is real enough, but it’s just one idea placed before the FAA as part of a broader program called Modernization of Special Airworthiness Certificates or MOSAIC. That project, which encompasses a broad range of potential changes in the experimental, light sport, certified and UAS segments, has been underway for about two years. Elliott says it’s unlikely to yield any specific Notices of Proposed Rule Making until at least 2020, if not beyond. EAA said on Wednesday that chairman Jack Pelton erred over the weekend when he said the NPRM would appear in January when in fact the rulemaking process will start then. 

“What comes out as far as weight is yet to be seen. There’s a lot of work yet to be done to get to that final point. But essentially, it’s a good news story. The FAA and the industry together are achieving meaningful change,” Elliott said.

News stories over the weekend ignited hopeful speculation, but also confusion as amateur regulatory sleuths tried to imagine how a 3600-pound airplane could be limited to two seats. But Elliott says proposed changes won’t necessarily keep the light sport aircraft rule just as it is now.

“It’s going to be reasonable. I think you’ll certainly see an increase in the number of seats, although we don’t know that for sure. What’s comes out of the other end of the rulemaking process will certainly give us those indications,” Elliott said. Raising the seat count, the speed and removing other limitations would pave the way for grandfathering legacy aircraft and that’s definitely on the table, Elliott said.

The underlying thinking is that the industry has convinced the FAA that risk ought to be seen as a continuum, with for-hire and scheduled airlines at one end and personal flying in light aircraft at the other, with regulatory and certification limitations adjusted accordingly. “It’s what makes sense for these kinds of aircraft,” Elliott said. “What the final number or a final set of performance values or metrics, remains to be seen.”

Serving the training market is a major animator for both the FAA and the GA industry. “A big part of this for EAA is to help find pathways forward for new aircraft that can fill those voids in the Mom and Pop flight training organizations. Right now, you see most of these organizations operating 40- and 50-year-old-airframes. And it shows. For the unwashed citizen who shows up at a flight school excited about getting involved with aviation, for some, it’s a very quick turnoff,” Elliott said.

Less expensive ASTM consensus approval standards in lieu of Part 23 certification might stimulate new entries. But will legacy manufacturers go along? The test of that has been EAA’s STC program to push non-TSO’d avionics into certified aircraft. “Initially, there was a fair amount of negativity about it, about how this was going to be damaging and they put all their energy in their own products. And that very quickly morphed into the manufacturers saying, ‘We can do this too,’” Elliott said.  

Comments (22)

Im my opinion, this is a step in the right direction but for me, and many like me, its too little to late. As a 1,500 hour GA pilot that flew to hundreds of airports throughout the west and southwest, I got out a couple years ago. The cost too maintain a 40+ year old plane and the lack of decently priced certified upgrade options, coupled with poor local FBO service caused my demise in this hobby that I loved. I have seen many airports close throughout the southwest with no replacements. See abandoned little known airports. I have seen the remaining small airports, become large and loosing there GA friendly attitude. My local FBO would not allow me to wash my airplane!

At this point I do not believe the FAA or the US government supports GA. In my opinion, they are slowing killing off GA, Keeping it alive just enough to train ATP.

Just the opinion of a former aircraft owner.

Posted by: Ovide Morin | October 9, 2018 9:18 PM    Report this comment

I found your canary in the coal mine reality aviation story very disheartening to read, Ovide. I'm seeing this exact scenario occurring at an alarming and now increasing rate within my own aviation circles, as well. The pilot population isn't declining precipitously because everything is warm and fuzzy in GA. You're right and you aren't alone.

Beyond the irritants you stated for yourself, the aging of the pilot population is THE most serious issue driving folks away from GA anymore. Many of the very people who are already "here, " can most likely finally afford the price of entry or sustain their activity within GA are now getting too old to justify the expense and endure what I call the BS factors. Let's get real here, folks. A Young Eagle ain't gonna go out and buy a 3600 pound conforming 'light sport' airplane any time in this decade or next because MOSAIC dropped the price by half They're having a problem justifying just the cost and hassle of acceding to pilot status.

So what was the point of making this titillating announcement? Delayed gratification is nothing more than a rebranded carrot on a stick trick, ya know. If past performance is any indicator, by the time something tangible comes to pass, many of us in GA will be in our rocking chairs at the old folks home or -- worse -- pushing up grass. THAT is the reality here. The collective "we" don't have years to wait while a hoard of senior bureaucrats give rousing speeches acknowledging the problem, some FAA worker bees runs multiple risk analysis over this latest scheme and a bevy of legislators put their individual imprints upon it because the FAA was too paralyzed to act on its own.

WE have a VERY serious problem in aviation. It's time to fix it ... not talk about it in future terms!

I give EAA great credit for what they do but Sean Elliott's comment that, "...it's unlikely to yield any specific Notices of Proposed Rule Making until at least 2020, if not beyond" is telling. I ask again, what is the point of announcing this idea SO very far in advance of any concrete action which likely won't even resemble this early idea? I have some nefarious suspicious.

Maybe -- just maybe -- what's really going on here is the rearranging of the deck chairs on the Titanic, aka GA? Maybe, MOSAIC is nothing more than the name of the tune the courageous band is playing while the airplanes go down to make them feel better? Like Ovide, I dearly love the freedom and exhilaration of personal flight. It is MY raison d'etra. Nothing I have ever done in life gives me more gratification than being able to fly and fix my own GA airplane. Before I go, you'll find multiple claw marks on the ramp in front of my hangar. That said, I can see the light at the end of my taxiway coming into focus now. I can't change it. I just hope a few nice things happen before I start flying my autonomous rocking chair. I don't hold out much hope. I wish I could be more positive but ... I'm a realist.

Posted by: Larry Stencel | October 10, 2018 8:06 AM    Report this comment

EAA President Jack Pelton said at the Carbondale AOPA Fly-in that the there is a NPRM scheduled to come out for public comment on January 19th, 2019. That indicates to me more than just the weight has been finalized. For a NPRM to be issued means more than just a public discussion over vague terms.

MOSIAC is one thing. A NPRM is entirely another. I find it hard to understand such a strong, clear statement made by the EAA President followed by this waffling, press-speak explanation of what Jack meant by the VP for Advocacy and Safety. You would think they work for the same organization. Now I wonder.

Posted by: Jim Holdeman | October 10, 2018 8:40 AM    Report this comment

It's kind of ironic that the FAA would only just now consider unwinding some of the hidebound regulation that has stifled GA for 50+ years or more. By the time they get this worked out there probably won't be much left to regulate. Not that some measure of basic regulation isn't needed, but for gosh sakes they sure could have been more adaptable to the industry along the way.

From the dawn of time until 1926 there was no regulation. Yes, the early days were fraught with danger, but we were just figuring out how to fly, let alone build the very machines that enabled flight. If Wilbur and Orville had only known that the paperwork burden would eventually exceed the centuries-old physics problems they may have just gone fishing instead.

Posted by: A Richie | October 10, 2018 8:59 AM    Report this comment

I read your previous comment, Jim, and I tended to want to be believe it and be positive since I wasn't in IL but ... now it seems as if the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing ?? Who the heck is running this show anyways? Maybe it works like the FAA? Or, was Jack trying to outdo Mark?

AFTER I wrote the above, I listened to Paul's podcast interview with Sean Elliott. "Ex parte rulemaking!" ... slowly I turned ... step-by-step ... inch-by-inch ... headed to Independence Ave.

Give me a break! We just gave you billions and a five year contract and you give us 'ex parte rulemaking' and a multi-year performance schedule with UAS taking precedence! We fought World War II and developed the bomb and the B-29 and trained 200,000 pilots in not much more time.

This reminds me of an adage given to me by a very wise old man in my youth:
"Anticipation is SO much greater than realization."
Ain't that the truth here ...

I usually judge the interest in the subject matter here by the number of retorts. Judging by the general silence, it looks like I ain't the only one disappointed over this issue and the hyped up front reporting of same. The connotation of Jack Pelton descending from a cloud with a USB stick (filled with 'ex parte rulemaking') was a bit overstated (sic). I guess we're all just SO ready for ... something?

I think it's time for me to get to crackin' on my new aviation app which will greatly reduce the cost of flying while we await "the word" or our individual ends. Using VR glasses with the app, I envision pilots being able to go back to their early glory years and refly their most notable flights by the tap of an app button. And ... when the time comes ... to fly a wonderful flight in a P-51 amongst the clouds. Then ... it's off to the soylent green factory. Soylent green is ... pilots! (google it). Saaay ... maybe that's an idea for the VIP kiosk on the flightline at Airventure. They could call it a seven day veggie burger and sell it for $8 to the unsuspecting masses. Recycling at its best.

If you think THAT idea is crazy ... so is a 3600 pound light sport something rule and an NPRM in 2019. The ARC / P-NC thing makes me livid enough ... and now THIS!

Posted by: Larry Stencel | October 10, 2018 9:11 AM    Report this comment

After being out almost 20 years it looks like I could regain my medical and get back to flying. My professional flying career is gone for good but boy would it be nice to get back in the air. Then I started pricing stuff...

Holy cow. I've done okay in life and even retired early but my own feels more than a bit out of reach. Pricing kit airplanes finds the cost of them has multiplied much faster than inflation. There's some really nice stuff out there now like the RV-10 and the tablet navigation era is perfect for a guy like me who likes his tech and is used to operating it.

But acquiring the aircraft seems only half the expense. Perhaps I'll just buy that nice motorhome and restore some old trucks. I could put as much money into those hobbies upfront and then play with them for the cost of gas and insurance, both of which are far less than that for airplanes. Aviation has plenty of fees beyond those and the privatization pushers would like to add more.

I never thought I'd see the day where we could make flying in the USA as expensive as in Europe but I believe we've succeeded.

Posted by: Jay Edmiston | October 10, 2018 11:07 AM    Report this comment

Well Paul, put the champaign back in the 'fridge. I just hope that by the time we actually see anything of substance come out of all this Washington two-step that the bubbly has not gone flat!

Posted by: John McNamee | October 10, 2018 12:10 PM    Report this comment

Just a thought, but why not require the FAA bureaucrats to have an active pilots license, operate and maintain their individual or group owned aircraft?

I bet we'd see a bit quicker movement on a lot few regulations.

Posted by: Donald Romani | October 10, 2018 12:24 PM    Report this comment

Jay, I wouldn't be so discouraged. Find a partner or two and owning an airplane is an affordable enterprise for many of us. If you want sole ownership, it's just going to cost more. New airplanes, at least certified ones, are for the wealthy. Sorry it has come to that, but that's the reality.

In my aviation journalism career, I have attempted to educate readers on why things cost what they do. I have walked many factory floors, talked to people who design and build airplanes and the people who make avionics and engines and all the other stuff that goes into aircraft.

I know it is fashionable to rail at the government and the FAA for being responsible for this. It's also somewhat ignorant of the larger forces that make things cost what they do. What were seeing here--and have been seeing--is a bona fide effort to reduce the cost of flying against difficult regulatory and economic terms. Even as cynical as I am, I find the negativity in some of these comments dispiriting. At best.

Posted by: Paul Bertorelli | October 10, 2018 12:30 PM    Report this comment

Like Richie's comment in the "Pop the Champagne Cork" blog, MY first reaction to this idea was also that it was an early April Fool's Day piece. (I had totally forgotten about that great PB ADS-B spoof six months ago). When it became obvious that it wasn't, I remembered and went back to find this years ADS-B April Fool's Day spoof. I reminded myself that Paul had to write a recant on April 3 and the FAA went so far as to make a Youtube video saying it was a joke. Looks like there's a bit of recanting or back peddling going on here, too.

Posted by: Larry Stencel | October 10, 2018 12:31 PM    Report this comment

As the article mentions this LSA expansion will greatly benefit flight schools, which will benefit some of us old guys wanting to learn to fly. But the biggest beneficiaries of increased/more affordable flight training are the airlines, who are now dying for young pilots. You don't think the airlines have provided the primary emphasis for this change rather that GA/EAA/AOPA do you?

Posted by: RICK HOLLAND | October 10, 2018 1:13 PM    Report this comment

Much like Jim and Larry, I am a bit puzzled by the apparent contradiction in messaging from Jack Pelton and Sean Elliott. I don't really know Sean, but I have always considered Jack to be a rather level-headed, carefully-spoken guy, both during his current term as EAA CEO, as well as during my time as an engineering peasant under (WAY bottom-of-the-pyramid UNDER)Jack's leadership at Brand-C in Wichita several years ago. So I can't help but wonder if Jack is setting the proverbial anchor (reference point) to start the real negotiations with the FAA.

Those of us who have dealt with the FAA in our careers know that what one or more of the agency's representatives will agree to verbally will often differ greatly when it comes to putting that agreement in writing (human nature, I suppose). I do wonder (and this is PURE speculation mind you)if there was a verbal agreement in principal with the FAA for an NPRM in early 2019 to propose a new 3600 lb. weight limit. So then Jack decided to make that verbal agreement the negotiating anchor (reference) point for the commencement of open (public) discussions with the Feds. And by making his announcement over the weekend, Jack has made sure that everyone knows where that anchor point is planted.

A hard ball tactic, I suppose, and the FAA might even utter, "dirty pool." However, with hardball, the FAA might eventually say something like, "Jack, we can't give you 6 Seats and 3600 pounds - it wouldn't be prudent. But we can give you, say.... 4 Seats and....what's MTOW for a C172P - 2400 lb?.... and 2300 lb (just to be annoying)." Without hardball the new limits might end up being 2 Seats and....what's MTOW for a C150A - 1500 lb?......1450 lb (just to be annoying).

Like I said, PURE SPECULATION.

Posted by: John Nevils | October 10, 2018 1:42 PM    Report this comment

I resemble your "dispiriting" comment, Paul.

So -- what -- are we all supposed to be happy about what's happening to GA and the few positive or well intentioned attempts at fixing things which never seem to work as advertised or on a schedule which resembles the life cycle of a human?

And, "...difficult regulatory and economic terms." Who does the regulatory part ... last I looked it was the FAA / DOT? It sure as heck isn't the collective 'us' on the user side. If they know there's a problem, if they have the power to make change, if they know there's a serious pilot and mechanic shortage and they're being paid handsomely to manage ... why in heaven's name aren't they doing so? Why do they always hide behind 'requirements' or this ex parte stuff? I know FAA types who are quitting or retiring because THEY can't take it any longer. Why do we -- or the EAA, et al, always having to challenge THEM to do their job? Regulatory change doesn't start in my hangar ... it starts in D.C. Geez.

As for economic terms, the cost of airplanes has gone up by orders of magnitude while the general CPI has not. Who's fault is that? I can buy many things today in actual or absolute dollars cheaper than I ever could. Companies find ways to cut costs while Government entities have no such incentive. My C172 cost ~$20K new and is now 20 times as expensive. The Cadillac bought in the same 1975 time doesn't cost 20 times more. I know that economies of scale aren't at work as much now but -- again -- who's fault is that? Not ours. If airplanes were selling like hot cakes, all those people who look skyward at Airventure might consider buying one ... but not at $400K.

The mythical "they" are at fault here ... and they have a name and a face and I'm going to call them out or "rail" against them until they fix it or I leave. IF, in the process, I "dispirit" you ... sorry. You are the facilitator of the discussion, that's all. In industry, if you don't produce you are asked to leave, or worse. In Government, you provide proof positive that the Peter Principal is alive and well and get promoted. ME ... I refuse to roll over.

In the military, you learn to earn respect ... not command it. I will change my tactic and give respect when they earn it not because they command it. Right now, there's a big problem and THEY aren't doing their job. Period. That's why Congress has to order them to do their job with Bills that kill whole forests ... like HR 302.

Now you've got me riled up ...

Posted by: Larry Stencel | October 10, 2018 2:28 PM    Report this comment

"As for economic terms, the cost of airplanes has gone up by orders of magnitude while the general CPI has not. Who's fault is that? I can buy many things today in actual or absolute dollars cheaper than I ever could."

The problem, Larry, is that you default to blaming the government without any broader knowledge of the macro economics, the demographics and all the other factors that go into why airplanes cost what they do. It's the "lather" effect.

Posted by: Paul Bertorelli | October 10, 2018 3:07 PM    Report this comment

"Proposed Rule Making until at least 2020, if not beyond. EAA said on Wednesday that chairman Jack Pelton erred over the weekend when he said the NPRM would appear in January when in fact the rulemaking process will start then."

I will be curious to see what Jack says about his supposed "gaffe". So far, Sean Elliot and the EAA is doing all the talking for Jack.

950,000 people bought Ford trucks last year at an average price of $45K. Ford has been averaging 700,000 Ford trucks per year for the last 20 years. i would bet that if 700,000 Cessna "Anythings" were sold in any year, the cost of avionics, engines, and air frames industry wide would be no more than the average car or truck..

Airplanes cannot, in any way be compared to any other transportation or recreational vehicle. The current aviation malaise is driven by capitalism where the demand and supply combined with available credit determines volume, which determines price.

Aviation is still the least understood mode of transportation by anyone other than a pilot who took the time and money to get involved. Pilot population has been, and always will be a very small, minuscule part of the population. And even some of us pilots and anyone manufacturing anything regarding airplanes do not understand the full picture of what it takes to try to make a profit in aviation. Very few people or companies got rich manufacturing, supporting, or selling airplanes.

The best modern year was 1978 retailing about 18,000 airplanes total. if 18,000 vehicles was all an entire industry sold in any other transportation, recreational vehicle, or construction venue, they would cease production all together.

One can still fly airplanes for no more than the cost of a used car. It can be done and they don't have to be eyesores. I have owned three airplanes and have never spent more than $14k for any one of them. My first was a homebuilt, second a 172, and now my current airplane a Bonanza. I put 100+ hours on the homebuilt, 400 hours on the 172, and now a couple of hundred hours on the Bo. Not one was or is a hanger queen. There are ways to fly a safe airplane, that is not an eyesore, and can be accomplished by a working man...even a senior one like me.

The glass can be half full or half empty. It's still the same volume. I choose half full. Hmmm...my airplane has a gross weight of 2725lbs...just maybe, someday, it will fall under Light Sport. I'll enjoy it now and be even more happy with it if it falls under Light Sport in the future.

Posted by: Jim Holdeman | October 10, 2018 4:32 PM    Report this comment

So the Government has no culpability in this problem ... is that what you're trying to tell me / us ??

If that is so, why are so many efforts by various organizations going on trying to find ways around over-zealous regulation which drives airplane and parts costs up? Why did the ASTM movement have to come into play to get around regulatory burdens by instituting the LSA regs in 2004? Why is the EAA now trying to up those spec's to include more airplanes with this latest idea. Why did FAR 62 have to come into being last year? Why does the non-TSO PMA / STC process have to be invoked to allow installation of COTS items that work perfectly well in an E-AB but don't have a TSO? If regulations aren't complicating things and making them more expensive, why doesn't Cessna just build a 172 at lower cost? Why is Europe now leading the way in Regulatory reform? And so on.

I already said that I understand that the economies of scale drive costs up. And I get the differences in the "generations" and their attendant interests. But at Airventure, looking at the civilians, all you see is interest that isn't being tapped. All you see is people looking at airplanes or at the sky and wishing they could do it, too. Don't try to tell me generational demographics are at fault. In the right situation at the right cost, they'll do it.

The 1994 GARA was supposed to limit liability and revitalize aviation and caused the manufacturers t go back into business after a decade hiatus but ... a lot of good that did. Probably the only place I could agree that non-Governmental influence has had a negative economic impact on aviation is the lack of tort reform. But that's only one part of your so called economic impact.

Why was the SARA of 2013 necessary? Why did (then) Rep. Mike Pompeo say, "The existing outdated certification process needlessly increases the cost of safety and technology upgrades by up to 10 times. With this bill, we can ensure that the general aviation industry has what it needs to thrive" in support of its passage? Why didn't the FAR 23 update requirement result in P-NC?

All we get is Bills and more Bills and talk and not enough meaningful relief!

I know someone who is delivering brand new Cessna piston singles internationally ... as often as he wants to. The world is starting to pass us by because of our regulatory intransigence.

I see it as the quintessential question of which came first ... the chicken or the egg? Which came first, building more airplane at lower cost or fewer airplanes at higher cost because of over regulation and lack of other meaningful reforms? If you are correct ... EAA, et al, is wasting their time (and ours); we're doomed but just don't know it. I don't buy into that notion but maybe my Titanic story IS the way it is? If so, play MOSAIC for me one more time, band members.

Macro economics ... doesn't that start with a lot of micro economics all rolled together?

Posted by: Larry Stencel | October 10, 2018 5:52 PM    Report this comment

It seems that the lack of enthusiasm for this announcement is because we have all seen this movie before - several times. The trailer announces big changes coming soon!! Then the movie arrives only to disappoint the audience again. The early LSA concept got everyone excited, but the final result was less than inspiring. Part 23 rewrite took years, and ended with a chorus of "that's it?" Larry Stencil has several other examples, but you get the idea. Going from an NPRM in January 2019 to something "might" come out after 2020, just sings the same chorus. Don't get me wrong, I applaud what EAA has done for us recently. I can now finally affort to get a new autopilot for my plane without taking out a second mortgage. And, I'm hopeful that this latest foray produces some meaningful results. I'm just a little jaded and not expecting much. Like Larry, I'm running out of time....

Posted by: John McNamee | October 11, 2018 2:33 AM    Report this comment

I agree with Larry, John, and most of the folks responding to these series of press releases. I also agree with Paul's observations. All are right. All have expressed valid points.

Aviation, especially General Aviation, has never had a history of speedy change. GA is arguably one of the strangest combination of people and machines to regulate because anything flying, regardless if it was designed and built in the 30's or left the factory yesterday, is using all the same airspace today.

My 65 year old airplane looks as modern as one produced yesterday. A 40 year old King Air 200 looks exactly like a 2018 model. 30-50 year old homebuilts are not uncommon.

So, the 30 year old Long EZ is flying in the same airspace as a Staggerwing and King Air. And no two airplanes are alike avionics wise. I don't think the folks who built the 1941 Waco UPF-7 hopping rides at AOPA fly-in Carbondale ever dreamed that airplane would be flying, let alone equipped with a panel better than a ten year old Airbus in 2018. And that airplane was flown from Athens, GA to Carbondale in the same airspace as the new PC-12, Embraer 145, Cirrus Vision jet, Aerostar 702P, the 218mph Quikie, and the remaining airplanes of the 179 that attended.

As a result, lobbying efforts center around a very narrow segment of GA based on one's particular preference of participation. And the most squeaky wheel gets the grease.

EAA's primary interest is Experimental, Warbirds, and Vintage airplanes. AOPA primary interests are GA involving the support of manufactured airplanes. Aircraft owners rally around the organizations who support this highly segmented population called GA based on personal preferences. And from simple numerical totals of airplanes, pilots, and present manufacturers, from a regulatory sense, we are insignificant.

Like many responding to Paul's article, time is not on my side. All I can do is fly and participate within GA today with cards that have been dealt me. So, I am glad that there are the Larry's, John's, Paul's , myself included, and most other GA participants, largely gray hairs, who are still are willing to fight for common-sense change.

I still get that same thrill at 66 of the wonderment of flight every time I lift off. I am sure everyone else does also. So, I urge all of us to stay focused, united, vocal yet respectful, and keep this eclectic group of airplanes and aviators together providing meaningful pressure to the EAA and the AOPA for regulatory relief and common sense improvement. Slow movement is better than no movement. Hopefully, we all will be able to see some fruit of our collective labor before going west.

Posted by: Jim Holdeman | October 11, 2018 9:34 AM    Report this comment

Up front, let me apologize ta' all ya'll (that's plural) for hogging the blog space but ... I'm HOT over this issue and the way it is being reported ad nauseam by the aviation proletariat as a done deal. It hasn't even started other than it's a gleam in a few people's eyes. Already, it's driving the cost of used 172's up. Only the rich can afford -- or justify -- new ones and now used ones may become out of reach?

It gives me a warm fuzzy that others see through this latest "trailer" from EAA. I have the highest respect for that organization but -- once in a while -- they take a couple of bad bounces when trying to land. THIS issue would be one of 'em ... Jack better take command of this faux pas right away.

I personally addressed him at the members meeting at both Airventure 2015 and 2016 over this issue and P-NC. I see the EAA winter 'summit' as likely the only place where reasonable FAA types (NOT the Administrator or his staff) will come, listen and go away both reenergized and possibly proactive. On the LSA MGTOW problem, I asked for his support to raise it to a meaningful number ... I suggested 2,000 with higher being better. I can only hope that I was but one cog in the gear that moved the idea forward. It's another reason why I spend time here ... I can only hope that reasonable FAA types read the 'pleas' contained herein and maybe act. As I said in another blog, I took another issue that impacts all of us to heart, went rabid on my Senator and got him to drop something I prefer not to talk about. Proactivity starts with being vocal ... SO ... I am.

In my waning years of being an active aviator, I'm trying to help the avocation that I love SO much in any and every way I can. As Jim opines, the feeling of a superb short flight "around the block" in a rural environment with my buddies probably adds years to my life? SO ... as a fellow aviator, I applaud each and every one of you here for your inputs, ideas and actions. Keep the pressure up. The debilitating impact of voodoo macroeconomics on aviation aside (zing), there's no replacement for being vocal and proactive. It's the only tool we have.

Just today, I'm reading that the aviation sector has a ~$25B impact on SC. That's a big number! You'd think that hearing these types of numbers and knowing that there's a desperate pilot and mechanic shortage with worse looming, that the mythical 'they' would be on it. But ... if they are ... I don't see it. That is perhaps my major heartburn with them. Instead, all we get is hot air; likely a contributor to "global warming?"

If the FAA would only cut Class I airplanes loose and let US handle it ... everything would be hunky dunky, I'd predict.

Posted by: Larry Stencel | October 11, 2018 12:46 PM    Report this comment

A 2019 date for an NPRM is meaningless. While the federal rulemaking process has statutory provisions for comment periods and responses and all, the FAA is adept at workarounds. Look at the NPRM for Part 139 Airport SMS. It's been floating around in various iterations for a decade. Every time an end appears in sight they simply implement some kind of extension. I would expect nothing else in this case.

The bureaucrat's motto is to make it appear you are being responsive while taking no action that could conceivably result in jeopardizing your retirement.

Posted by: Ken Ibold | October 12, 2018 7:36 AM    Report this comment

I am not sure why this is even a topic worth commenting on. Call planes that weight

Posted by: PETER WISSINGER | October 12, 2018 7:42 AM    Report this comment

Why doesn't AOPA engaged Congress on a legislative strategy like they did for medical reform? Contact "Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma. Inhofe was interested in pushing a follow-up to his earlier and successful Pilot's Bill of Rights, and the medical certificate language was the perfect complement to his new legislative effort. It was called the Pilot's Bill of Rights 2. Working with Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Reps. Sam Graves, Todd Rokita, and others in the House of Representatives, the legislation was introduced in both houses of Congress on February 25, 2015." same as they did for this LSA change.

Posted by: Brad Isham | October 31, 2018 9:54 AM    Report this comment

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