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EAA, VAA Join Small Airplane Certification Process Review Team

February 6, 2008 — Representatives from EAA and the Vintage Aircraft Association (VAA) were in Kansas City, Missouri, this week participating in the first meeting of the FAA's Small Airplane Certification Process Review Team. John Hopkins, manager of aircraft maintenance for EAA, along with H.G. Frautschy, executive director of the VAA, attended along with other industry and FAA representatives.

The team's objective is to assess the adequacy of the various airworthiness processes currently in place throughout the airplane's service life, and, if appropriate, look for ways to improve those processes. The review team is a separate but complimentary effort to the Safer Skies safety initiative formed in the late 1990s and early 2000s. FAA credits Safer Skies with helping start the current downward trend in the number of small airplane accidents in the U.S.

Team members will work to identify: the major airworthiness processes, procedures, and policies applied throughout the entire small airplane lifecycle; major "myths" between the different areas of certification, maintenance, and operations; and relevant general aviation safety/accident studies to determine if any additional studies need to be done. When all the information is compiled, the group will analyze and issue its report.

"EAA and VAA are pleased to have been invited to participate in the process review of Part 23 aircraft certification requirements," Frautschy said. "We look forward to working with the FAA and other industry representatives as we compile recommendations for FAA senior management."

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