EAA’s Flight Advisor program is one of the most important sport aviation safety programs ever instituted by any organization. It is designed to increase safety by developing a corps of volunteers who have demonstrated expertise in specific areas of flying and making them available to EAA members who are preparing to fly an unfamiliar aircraft.
What does the flight advisor do?
A flight advisor helps the pilot conduct a self evaluation, as well, as evaluate the flying characteristics of the aircraft. The pilot then uses that evaluation to decide whether he or she is capable of flying that airplane. If not capable, the flight advisor explains where and how he or she can get the proper instruction, or alternatively find someone to make the initial flights. A flight advisor also suggests best practices to follow when flight testing a homebuilt aircraft (e.g. runway selection, weather minimums, etc.)
Can the flight advisor do the flight testing for me?
No, the flight advisor does no flying. The advisor does not fly nor does he actually decide whether or not the pilot is capable of flying the airplane in question. Using his own expertise in the area, the advisor provides the pilot with the pros and cons as they relate to this specific combination of pilot and airplane. The pilot himself makes the final decision on how to proceed with the flight testing program. If a flight advisor flight tests the aircraft, either for free or for a fee, they are acting on their own behalf, and not in their capacity as an EAA flight advisor.
What are the qualifications of a flight advisor?
The primary qualifications to be a flight advisor are experience and the willingness to pass that experience along. It is not mandatory that an advisor be current as a pilot.
To be a flight advisor, he/she must apply and conform to any one of the following experience measures:
Minimum 500 hours (Ultralight pilots minimum 300 hours) combined with flight testing (“phase 1”) experience; or
Minimum 1,000 hours PIC time and significant experience in sport aviation aircraft (i.e., homebuilts, vintage, warbird, ultralight, etc.)
Is the EAA Flight Advisors program only for homebuilts?
No, however homebuilt aircraft represent the largest demand for a flight advisor’s services. The program is aimed at all sport aviation aircraft including, homebuilts, restorations, ultralights, warbirds and rotorcraft.
Do flight advisors specialize in an aircraft type (e.g. ultralights or rotorcraft)?
The flight advisor can specialize in a given area. Flight advisors are expected to specialize in those areas with which they are most familiar.
How much time is involved?
The flight advisor’s workload will be dependent on the amount of sport aviation activity in the area, as well as, his or her desire to be involved. The paperwork is limited to filling out a simple form at the end of each flight advisory session.
Does a flight advisor charge for their services?
No. There shall be no fees charged for an EAA Flight Advisor’s educational help. Any reimbursement for travel is between the builder and the flight advisor.
Can a flight advisor combine their volunteer work as a flight advisor and their work for pay as a CFI?
No. The flight advisor is a non-paid volunteer, as described above.
Are there any benefits to being an EAA flight advisor?
The main benefit is derived from the passing on of knowledge and safety practices so that others can safely test fly their aircraft.
Is the EAA flight advisor protected by insurance?
Yes. The EAA flight advisor is insured for any legal liability presented against them while operating only within the policies of EAA and its efforts to ensure safety in aviation.