News You Can Use
Sport Pilot NPRM Published by Federal Register;
Online Comment Forms at Sport Pilot Website
As it announced last week, the Federal Register published the sport pilot/light sport aircraft notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on February 5. EAA’s initial reaction to the document, titled Certification of Aircraft and Airmen for the Operation of Light-Sport
Aircraft, is very positive: In our opinion it’s one of the best-written and most comprehensive regulatory proposals published by the FAA in memory and can be viewed in its entirely on EAA’s sport pilot website,
Now it’s your turn to chime in: The general public has until May 6, 2002, to register official comments on the NPRM, and EAA has simplified the commenting process. Online forms are located on the sport pilot website. Simply click on the "How to Comment" button in the upper left-hand corner of the page for complete directions.
Remember you have until May 6 to register your input. EAA recommends that those who plan to submit comments read our
Summary, which highlights the hows and whys of the rule. Take the time to become more familiar with the rule and its impact prior to commenting. EAA has also prepared a comprehensive analyses of the rule’s impact broken down by categories:
Student and Pilot
Maintenance; and Other Changes to Part
61. Keep tabs on the sport pilot website for the latest, most comprehensive information.
EAA Sends Open Letter to the
Aviation Maintenance Community
In response to a news release from
the Professional Aviation Maintenance Association (PAMA) that claims
aviation safety will be compromised by the Sport Pilot/Light Sport
Aircraft proposal, EAA has sent an open letter to the aviation maintenance
community to set the record straight. In fact, EAA writes,
sport pilot brings higher levels of safety to aircraft maintenance. “This
multi-faceted proposal brings a higher standard of maintenance and safety
to these aircraft,” said Bob Warner, EAA Executive Vice President. “Those
who uncategorically state that maintenance levels will be harmed by the
enactment of NPRM have responded emotionally and have failed to understand
the facts in the entire proposal.”
Wisconsin Senator to Help Break GA
EAA officials today (Feb. 8) spent a significant amount of time with staff representatives of U.S. Senator Herb Kohl
(D-Wis.), following the Senator’s statement on Thursday that general aviation was a “ticking time bomb” because
of a perceived lack of security. Sen. Kohl made the comment to John Magaw, Undersecretary for the Transportation Security Administration, during an appropriations hearing for the U.S. Department of Transportation.
“Senator Kohl’s statement was disturbing as it displayed a lack of understanding regarding the minimal threat that general aviation poses to U.S. security, as well as a lack of knowledge to what the general aviation community has been doing to enhance security,” said Bob Warner, EAA Executive Vice President. “Two months ago, EAA and other aviation organizations developed common-sense security recommendations that would balance enhanced security with the ability of general aviation to continue its important role in the national transportation system. Thus far, the federal government has shown no response to those recommendations.”
to Follow Grandfather’s Epic Flightpath
Erik Lindbergh, grandson of Charles Lindbergh, will recreate his grandfather’s epic 1927 solo flight across the Atlantic this spring to commemorate its 75th anniversary.
The flight, to be done in a Lancair Columbia 300, is being coordinated by the X-Prize Foundation, a St. Louis organization whose aim is to stimulate creation of launch vehicles that will carry passengers into space.
“I am making these flights for three reasons,” said Lindbergh, EAA# 672161: “To promote the X PRIZE competition and the future of space travel; to support the development and access to new treatments for rheumatoid arthritis; and to honor the legacy of innovation made famous by my grandfather.” Accordingly, the New Spirit of St. Louis flights will benefit the X PRIZE Foundation, the Arthritis Foundation, and the Lindbergh Foundation.
To Speak to Federal Aerospace Commission
Eclipse Aviation Corporation President and CEO Vern Raburn will be in Washington next week, February 12 to speak to the Commission on the Future of the United States Aerospace Industry on. at the U.S. Department of Commerce in Washington D.C. He will discuss point-to-point air travel as being made possible by the Eclipse 500 jet and the creation of an air traffic infrastructure capable of meeting the nation's ever-increasing demand for air travel and the economic benefits of providing an air travel alternative to the hub-and-spoke system.
"The Commission has the imperative mission of ensuring the health of our national aerospace industry today and into the future," said Raburn. "I am happy to take part in this important cause and am honored to have been given the opportunity to speak as a representative of the future of commercial aviation." Raburn,
who is a member of the EAA Board of Directors, is scheduled to speak at 10:30 a.m. EST.
Flight Sims at AirVenture Museum This Weekend
a reminder that this weekend is Flight Simulator Weekend at EAA AirVenture
Museum in Oshkosh. Enter the world of “virtual flight”
with computers located throughout the museum, loaded with such simulation
software as Microsoft Flight Simulator 2002, Bob Hoover’s Air Racing, Combat Flight Simulator and
others. Computer networks will also be established
to allow for real-time group simulator activities.
On The Flight Line ---
Meigs Field Agreement Before U.S. Congress
In December, when the announcement was made that Chicago and the state of Illinois had agreed on a regional airport plan that includes keeping Meigs Field open through
January 1, 2026, Friends of Meigs Field (FOM) were very optimistic about the future prospects of the “Coolest Little Airport on the Planet.”
Now the Meigs issue is in the hands of the federal government. Meigs is included in the National Air Capacity Enhancement Act (S 1786/HR 3479), which each contain provision that would keep Meigs open through January 2026.
However, the language in the bill allows the City of Chicago to close Meigs Field if the Illinois State Legislature enacts a law requiring it to close, and Meigs opponents have vowed to attempt such legislation in the future. So they’re not completely out of the soup yet.
“We are nevertheless tremendously thankful for all of the strong aid and assistance from every quarter during this difficult struggle, and also for the many, many kind words of congratulations and encouragement,” said Steve Whitney, President of FOM. “Together we may have farther to go, but we never would have gotten this far without you.”
Arkansas Warns Against Using A-B-C
Extinguishers For Aircraft fires
The Arkansas Department of Aeronautics reports it is seeing a disturbing increase in the number of Class A-B-C fire extinguishers on airport ramps and airport service vehicles, including fuel trucks. This type of extinguisher poses a severe aircraft damage problem because monammonium phosphate is highly corrosive to aluminum.
If used on an airplane, the chemical flows into structural cracks and crevices and can’t be washed out as can the dry chemical agents found in B-C type
extinguishers. The aircraft must be disassembled to manually clean the surfaces right down to the rivets. Failure to do so will result in corrosive destruction of the airplane.
ADA feels this is a serious education problem that can be solved once communicated properly. Contractors and airport fire departments should only use B-C type extinguishers when dealing with fire around an airplane or the damage caused by corrosion my exceed that caused by the fire.
Cassutt Club On The Web
The National Cassutt Club, formed several years ago thanks in part to a story on these very pages, reports that it has a new web site located at
www.cassuttclub.com. The site is dedicated to the single place, full cantilever, high-performance aircraft from the National Aeronautics Company and the people who build and fly them.
Type club president Tony Wright Jr. says the new site features include fly-in news, including a way to keep track of Cassutt owners/members planning to attend them; pictures of club member's Cassutts and others here and abroad. Plans are also in the works to create a message board for future builders and those attempting to finish projects.
Be A Pilot Reports Successful Year
A record 1,710 flight schools generated a total of 32,368 pilot prospects in 2001, second best ever for the Be A Pilot program. This was achieved despite September 11, which briefly cut consumer inquiries by 70 percent. Demand for the $49 introductory flying lesson certificate increased 10 percent throughout most of the year.
A national education campaign that garnered print, TV and web exposure to 70 million consumers is credited with the programs success. A survey of pilot prospects confirms that about 6,000 new pilots got their start
because of the program in 2001.
EAA is a bronze-level contributing sponsor of Be A Pilot, whose website is located at
28th Annual GA Maintenance Seminar March 22-23
Advanced training, more than 40 exhibits, and demonstrations on the latest maintenance practices are featured at the 28th annual General Aviation Maintenance Seminar, to be held at the Holiday Inn in Collinsville, Illinois, March 22-23.
The seminar’s training classes meet FAA annual inspection authorization renewal requirements. There is no registration fee, but IAs who intend to renew will be charges a $20 fee. to offset expenses. Sponsors include the Greater St. Louis Maintenance Counselors, Illinois DOT Division of Aeronautics, Professional Aviation Maintenance Association (PAMA), and the Greater St. Louis Helicopter Association.
Q & A:
Question of the Week
Question For EAA Aviation
Information Services - I found a 1967 Citabria that needs to be completely rebuilt. Is
it possible to rebuild the airplane and fit within the experimental category to avoid the costs of owning a certified airplane and also to be able to do the maintenance work myself?
If I tear it completely down and rebuilt it with modifications, could I sneak into the experimental category?
Answer: Since the aircraft you refer to was factory- built and originally certificated in Standard Category, it would not be eligible for experimental/amateur-built status - amateur-built aircraft cannot have been previously certificated in another category. The aircraft would have to be certificated for one of the other experimental purposes. The LEAST restrictive of the available purposes would be exhibition, but this purpose still places significant restrictions on the use of the aircraft.
There is a common misconception in the aviation community about how the experimental categories work. In truth, there is no benefit to changing the certification category of an aircraft once it's been certified in Standard Category. Here's why....
The FAA issues special airworthiness certificates in the experimental category for many purposes. One of those purposes is for operating an amateur-built aircraft. This is the certificate under which homebuilt aircraft are operated. There are several other purposes for which an experimental airworthiness certificate is
issued, including research and development, crew training, exhibition, air racing, market survey, and others.
FAA Order 8130.2D outlines the procedures for certificating aircraft and related products, and contains the definition and limitations of various certification categories. Section 8 covers operation of aircraft under the experimental purpose of exhibition and air racing. The operating limitations of experimental/exhibition aircraft, group IV (which is the group the aircraft you're referring to would fall into) include the following parameters:
"The proficiency area is limited to non-stop flight that begins and ends at the airport where the aircraft is based, with sufficient fuel reserve to meet the applicable operating rules of Part 91. An alternate airport selection is not available for aircraft in this group."
- This means that you can only operate from/to your home field, and cannot fly the aircraft to any other airports.
"This aircraft is to be operated under Visual Flight Rules (VFR), day only."
"No person shall be carried in this aircraft during flight unless that person is essential to the purpose of the flight."
- This means no passengers - only required crew.
"Only FAA-certificated mechanics with appropriate ratings as authorized by FAR 43.3 may perform inspections required by these operating limitations."
- This means that, while you may be allowed to do maintenance on the aircraft, you will not be authorized to do condition inspections as required by the operating limitations. You'd still need to find a licensed mechanic to do the inspections.
These restrictions severely limit the utility of the aircraft, which in turn greatly reduces the value of the aircraft should you ever want to sell it. For these reasons, we don't recommend that you change the certification category of a standard category aircraft.
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