Top Letters And Comments, April 3, 2020


FAA Stops Medical Enforcement Until June 30

This FAA enforcement policy for expired medical certificates (the non-enforcement policy between March 31, 2020 and June 30, 2020) leaves a big open question about pilot insurance policies. The FAA did not extend the effective date of medical certificates expiring during this time period, the FAA just said it won’t bring enforcement actions.

The typical aviation insurance policy contains a requirement that the PIC “must have a current and proper medical certificate”. Since the FAA did not extend the effective date of a medical certificate expiring between March 31, 2020 and June 30, 2020, a pilot flying during that period with a medical that expires during that period will not have a “current and proper” medical certificate, and therefore will not have insurance coverage in effect.

The aviation insurance companies need to come forward and state that a pilot who qualifies for enforcement relief under the FAA temporary policy will also be treated as having a “current and proper” medical certificate for purposes of the insurance policies.

Harry F.

Flight Instruction: Just Say No

Agree 100%.

But, after the economy has finished cratering, airlines limp back into some form of normalcy, the pilot shortage we thought would be on the horizon will have evaporated with the contraction of the number of seats in the air at any one time, and we have to take the next few years to beat down the unemployment stats…does anyone really think that there will be extra funds at hand in most people’s checking accounts for something as secondary to maintaining real life as flight instruction?

9/11 (I was instructing part time back then.) had a close to a year effect on the numbers of hours I flew and stranded a whole bunch of youngling captain wannabes in the CFI time building (or scraping) conundrum. I’m pretty sure, while 2001 was only 4 or 5 days until there was (limited) resumption of activity, keeping everyone and most businesses locked up for 6-8 weeks will have a more dramatic effect. Not trying to sow fear and angst…just trying to take a clear view of reality.

Stay home, certainly. Stay healthy, certainly. Don’t be stupid and lick subway grab handles and cough on veggies at the supermarket. We are all in this together, but the other side is going to be a lot different than it was on January 1 of this year.

Bryan B.

The fragility of GA is something this measure (shutting down flight instruction) ignores. GA has been teetering on collapse even before this. FBOs struggle and routinely fail or change hands. Municipalities struggle to fund community airports. Flight schools fail frequently. Major aviation manufacturers and parts suppliers fail or merge (Mooney, Mattituck, etc.). The pilot population has collapsed in the last 30 years. If flight schools fail, that will be a bigger problem. The municipal funding for airports will be under severe pressure after this, because of huge tax shortfalls during this massive economy shutdown. What I am saying is that there may be no GA to return to, if we insist on shutting down the last little thing.

John D.

SubSonex Project: First Flights and More

Good article. It does a good job of reminding us that building a plane is a whole lot more than just assembling the parts. Flight testing, if done properly, requires patience, adherence to the plan, and being ready when, not if, things don’t go as expected. You need to bring your A game for every test flight. Even well-known kits with many flying examples still have the potential to surprise you.

John M.

Poll: At This Point, Are You Planning to Attend AirVenture?

  • For me, with a possibly compromised immune system and being 74, it depends on if there is an immunization for it or if I have recovered from a bout of COVID-19. – William L.
  • There’s nothing more I would love to do for my 7th year of volunteering. However, given conditions across the world, I think that this year’s event should be cancelled.
  • Planning on it. For the 31st year, I’ve put together a bus trip to AirVenture. I’m very hopeful that this will pass and the trip will be a go. Waiting to hear what they decided.
  • Absolutely not this year…come on man!
  • It is irresponsible for EAA not to have already canceled it. There is no chance it can be held safely this year.
  • Yes, if the virus is controlled.
  • Still a ways off, planet should be open by then…I’ll know in May when EAA makes its decision.
  • I was definitely planning on going, but now I need to see how the virus plays out.
  • Much like the attack on 911, America will come though this fundamentally changed. I won’t rule out OSH, but it doesn’t look good right now.
  • Yes, provided I can travel internationally.
  • Considering it, but not now.
  • Planning, yes. Expecting, no.
  • Yes, if social distancing mandates are over.
  • I will go if it goes on. Hopefully it will be able to but not if it endangers the safety of the volunteers and attendees.
  • Never going again.
  • Still hopeful but it is looking more doubtful by the day.
  • I am planning on going for the week, but waiting to see what EAA does and if businesses are open to eat, and what health recommendations are.
  • Absolutely planning to go but the virus is a factor.
  • Yes, unless the situation makes it unsafe.
  • Planning? Yes. But it depends of what virus is doing then.
  • If they hold it, I will try to be there, Lord willing.
  • Pilots flying in from all regions of the US and Canada not practicing social distance and then returning to their home regions. No. I will not be attending. What is so important that this cannot be cancelled?
  • You’re dang right I’m going.
  • No way, not this year.
  • It will be cancelled.
  • Yes, if it’s safe to attend.
  • Of course I plan on going. Unless they cancel it.
  • I still plan to attend, but I keep evaluating the situation.
  • No, our company has pulled out.
  • Have tickets; unsure.
  • Yes, if the virus is in remission.
  • I’m going, with hotel reservations set. But, if COVID-19 is still an issue, then possibly not.
  • Let’s get real. It is not happening this year.
  • Yes, if it is moved to the end of July.
  • I would like to see Oshkosh moved back to 1st week of August.
  • The last Saturday conflicts with another event. I have to decide which one to attend. I’m leaning toward the EAA. I went last year and really enjoyed it especially the challenge of photographing fast flying aircraft.
  • If I can get there.
  • Not one but THREE jet fighter demo teams. No place for an old homebuilder.
  • As long as it is not cancelled.
  • Yes, if EAA is hosting, I’m going.
  • I doubt that it’s open.
  • Dependent on what the rest of the Nation is doing.
  • Short of a miracle cure, I don’t believe I will be there.
  • Yes, I’m planning on it, if it happens and is permitted to happen.
  • Absolutely, all reservations are made and half are prepaid.
  • We will see…
  • I hope it’s safe to do so.
  • Not sure…probably not going.
  • Planning on going the entire week, but it’s too early yet and will depend heavily on government guidelines and recommendations.
  • If it’s held, I’ll be there.
  • Why ask? It’s CANCELLED!
  • Going assuming they make a sensible decision on the virus.
  • I go if my company goes.
  • Quit going a few years ago. Can’t afford to fly anymore, only the well-heeled can afford. Why torture myself?
  • Please move Oshkosh back to the last of July/Aug.
  • Was thinking about it but not now.
  • I’ll go if the show goes on.
  • Still hoping.

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  1. No way. Remarkable how many (at least on this forum) are willing to ignore basic aviation concepts such as Risk Management in their decision to attend OSH this year. How could we go from lock-down to crowds of 100,000 in the time remaining before departure? There is no way that EAA could make a decision in the face of COVID before July at the earliest with any semblance of confidence of crowd safety. At that point the logistics for exhibitors would be insurmountable. I would expect that the level of attendance would be too small to justify the show in any case.