|Posted by EAA 1221 Webmaster on March 8, 2017 at 3:50 PM|
By now, all of you interested in aviation have heard about the 3rd class medical. In Jaunary 2017 there was an Advisory Circular published by the FAA titled Alternative Pilot Physical Examination and Education Requirements.changing some of those rquirements. Click on the title to read that document. Over the years there has been alot of discussion regarding what the pilots want vs the complex rules of the FAA.
Following is a letter Cloquet EAA member Rich Schimenek stating his opinion regarding those changes. He has sent his letter to EAA Sport Aviation Magazine Editor.
March 7, 2017
Like many EAA members I have been reading all the EAA articles and following the information on the new medical reform bill, however, I do not believe this will do much to keep older pilots flying and encourage new and younger pilots to start. If this attempt was to “drain the medical swamp” we failed by adding about 200 more pages of regulations and requiring an FAA physical prior to a private physician physical with a doctor who may feel the malpractice liability pressure of allowing their patient to fly. It is difficult to understand why we spent so much time and political capital when both EAA and FAA statistics show no major issues with Sport Pilots using a driver’s license to continue to fly and fly safely.
The objective should have been to strengthen the Sport Pilot license by making every effort to include all two and four seat single engine certified aircraft under the rule. Let’s face it, Sport Pilots for years now have been safely flying many two seat taildraggers that may require more finesse and experience to fly than the certified two and four seat single engine aircraft!
So in addition to the above, I propose the following ideas to spur new sport aviation starts and keep the current pilots flying.
1. The EAA should immediately start work on allowing all single engine aircraft older than circa1970 to be maintained by their owner. The aircraft maintenance should be performed similar to the home built owner/builder approach. Those owners that prefer to have an A&P perform the maintenance can continue accordingly.
2. The EAA should consider the economics of reimbursing the cost of ground school for any EAA member who is legitimately starting to fly. We should also consider reimbursing the cost of the instructor for maybe six hours or up to the first solo. List the names of the students and their instructors in the EAA magazines and follow their flying activity for encouragement.
3. Include more articles in Sport Aviation on economics related to flying and owning an older aircraft by comparing it, for example, to the purchase of a boat or motorcycle. We need to inform the “wanna be pilots” what is available to them and how it can be afforded, rather than dwell on pilots who can afford to purchase expensive newer kit and certified aircraft. Recognize that the concerns and issues between these pilots are different.
4. Reinforce the homebuilder and Sport Pilot activities during Airventure and in our Sport Aviation magazine through more press and continuing to improve the areas for our activity and gathering. EAA is pushing the commercialization of Airventure and now drones, but sometimes seems to forget the true builders and aviators that made the EAA and who still are the backbone for future pilots within the EAA.
We know that the “baby boomers” are moving on in life and as they fade from flying there will be many affordable older and well maintained fun flying aircraft available on the market. We must take it upon ourselves as EAA members to make sure these older aircraft do not fall on the scrap heap of aviation due to over burdening regulations, lack of pilots, and the loss of any airspace to drones. These aircraft deserve to be passed on to new and younger pilots knowing they can afford to own and fly them.