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Tech Counselor/Flight Advisor Program Spotlight
By Tracy Buttles, EAA 839196, Safety Programs Coordinator
March 2016 - Since our organization’s founding in 1953, EAA has been leading the homebuilt movement. A key part of this leadership is making sure that the aircraft our members construct are built and flown safely. The FAA looks to EAA as a partner to help lower the accident rate for homebuilt (experimental amateur-built) aircraft. A good track record of safe operations has allowed EAA to protect our freedom to build and fly homebuilt aircraft.
The two programs that help ensure that our members build and fly safely are EAA’s Technical Counselor and Flight Advisor programs. Both are volunteer programs working to improve safety— both in the building process and in the flight-testing period.
The goal of EAA’s Technical Counselor program is to help members present a “zero-defect” aircraft at final inspection by the FAA. It’s aimed at providing experienced builders to help you make the right choices during construction. Tech counselors volunteer to visit members’ projects and inspect the aircraft, sharing knowledge and expertise to ensure that the construction is safe and airworthy. There are more than 1,000 volunteer technical counselors available to our membership.
The Flight Advisors program is designed to increase safety by developing a corps of volunteers who have demonstrated expertise in specific areas of flying and making these advisors available to EAA members who are preparing to fly a newly completed homebuilt. Flight advisors help pilots understand their aircraft, evaluate the pilot’s skill level, and help develop a test-flight plan to ensure that the flight testing is conducted safely. There are more than 500 flight advisors available to our membership.
Both of these EAA volunteer programs are helping ensure our members are building and flying quality experimental aircraft.