An FAA and Federal Court Interpretation of the FARs Threatens Flight Instruction

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TFF

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Infinite CYA so they can keep their pensions. They don’t have money for inspectors to be in the field. Shut down the field. Then desks are safe.
 

Hot Wings

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Seems to me this boils down to semantics?

A person being 'carried' has no direct participation in the flight any more than property. They are both just cargo. A flight student is there to participate.

A person giving lessons is being paid for the lessons, not the operation of the aircraft. While the instructor is in fact operating the aircraft it is an incidental operation and seperate from the one for which they are being paid or compensated. If they charged a higher rate for dual than for ground instruction then their may be a valid argument that they are being paid for 'operating the aircraft'.

The local flight school charges the same rate for both ground and flight instruction........both too high IMHO.

I suspect this will all get worked out pretty close to normal, after enough lawyers get their various club memberships paid for the year.
 

Dana

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I think this is much ado about nothing. They were selling rides in experimental or restricted category warbirds, and calling it "instruction" to get around the prohibition on carrying paying passengers. I'm sure the FAA doesn't want to eliminate legitimate transition training and sport pilot instruction just because of a poorly worded legal opinion, so no doubt they'll work it out.
 

TFF

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It is about selling rides disguised as training. Make it Part 135 and no one will get to fly again. My FSDO put our 135 cert out of business because there was no helicopter pilot in the office who could administer the once a year check ride to the owner. They sent in a hit team. They also found a mistake that they made annually for 7 years and needed out of that embarrassment. Lots of students built up time with us with $100 two hour helicopter flights to build time and not have to pay $500 an hour straight. Yes they had to go our way and yes it was just time not a lesson, but it takes the bite off of total cost. Insurance required double of the minimum time for a commercial license to be insured for work. 300 hours at $500 instead of what was about 80-90 hours at straight $500 and the rest at $100. A huge savings. Not all will be able to be working CFIs. There will be a pilot shortage. Airplane values will go up because you will have to build time in your own plane. 1200 hr minimum airline job at the bottom and now you can’t piggy back any of that time. Better get your licenses now, because you won’t be able to in the future.
 

N804RV

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I think its crazy that anyone would confuse a flight school with a "common carrier". That being said, what is this "exemption under 91.315." mentioned in the article? Who has one? Does this mean that operators like Stallion 51 are out of business? If so, I guess my dream of flying a P-51 is pretty much done for. :-(
 

tspear

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From what I have read in other forums, that group never applied for an exception. The FAA apparently has granted many of them, but include specific strings about maintenance of the fleet and check rides for the instructors. Note: this is all hearsay.

Tim
 

Hot Wings

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It is about selling rides disguised as training. Make it Part 135 and no one will get to fly again. << >>
Better get your licenses now, because you won’t be able to in the future.
If it all shakes out as the article outlined it will make getting lessons much more difficult.
But there are probably workarounds similar to the way glider clubs manage to use Experimental gliders for instruction now.

I think rational thought will eventually prevail. It's just to bad we have a few people that try to game the system and get the rules messed up for the rest of us.
 

ToddK

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My understanding is that that they were essentially selling rides in serious vintage warbirds under the guise of training. If the FAA wants to put an end to that, all they have to do is amend the FAR to require that discovery/intro flights be conducted in an airplane the student is qualified to start training in.
This kind of forked tongue lawyer-speak twisting of the law is reprehensible, and should have never happened.
 

964SS

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Wow. Too bad. Glad I had a chance to fly American Dream before this BS.
The FAA, and government in general, are a bunch of tools. They have never been much welcomed at my hangar no matter how cordial they are.
 
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Riggerrob

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Sad,
But this ruling is potentially devastating to the warbird community.
In the UK, several overhaul shops are converting Hurricanes, Messerschmitts, Spitfires, etc. to two-seaters so that they can sell "historical experience/adventure/introductory/instructional flights in rare warbirds.
Without this revenue, few commercial operations can afford to keep their rae airplanes airwothy ... considering that they cost upwards of $2,000 per hour to maintain.

Hawker never built any two-seater Hurricanes. Only the USSR converted a handful of Lend-Lease Hurricanes.
Supermarine only built a handful of two-seater Spitfire trainers after WW2.
Messerschmitt only built a handful of two-seater Me.109 trainers during WW2.
Only a (single) handful of NAA P-51 Mustangs were field converted to two-seaters during WW2 and the USAF only bought a handful of two-seater TP-51s immediately post-war.
You can count on one hand the number of Lockheed P-38s, Curtiss P-40s and Republic P-47s that were retrofitted with rear seats during WW2.
 

TFF

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A lot of the warbird is about rich people trying to get others to pay for their hobby that they can pay for themselves. It use to be a suck-it-up if you wanted to fly a P-51, but creative minds look for loopholes and loopholes turn into tears. I’m not against the planes being worth a million or more, but the value is driven up with ride alongs. Convert a plane and make money when you sell out. Good investment. The planes would not be worth as much as the pool is smaller. Use to be you sweated it out and learned how to fly it. A friend on his first T-6; asked the seller if he was going to check him out, he said I will sign the logbook if you come back. Yes I love it when a combat veteran gets one last ride. Yes I love warbirds. I’m just tired of the goal is to make money on any angle with no real love except their ego. Human nature, people can ruin anything.
 

BJC

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A lot of the warbird is about rich people trying to get others to pay for their hobby that they can pay for themselves.
Does AirVenture still pay for the fuel for warbirds that fly in the show?


BJC
 

12notes

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The article and it's conclusions are not supported, in any way, by the facts here.

By "unpublished", this means that this isn't appearing in the Federal Register, not that it isn't published anywhere.

First thing you should always do is read the actual court document, attached below, not the"article", which appears to be a fear mongering press release from the losing side.

The reason this isn't setting a precedent is because this is just the denial of a motion to remove the FAA's cease and desist order, not even close to the actual case being decided.

This case is extremely narrow in scope. It involves exactly one of Warbirds Adventures' aircraft and it's particular certification, not flight instruction in general.

The FAA warned the operator that one particular plane in its fleet, the P40N, a limited category aircraft, was not legal to be used for compensation. There is an exemption they could have applied for, which Warbird Adventures decided not to apply for. The FAA issued a cease and desist order for just this one plane, as it was not certified for that use. The company decided to fight the FAA on this rule, and, for bizarre reasons, kept running flights despite the cease and desist.

Here's the relevant quote:
"Warbird also argues that there is not substantial evidence to support the emergency order, which depends on a determination by the FAA that “an emergency exists related to safety in air
commerce and requires immediate action.” 49 U.S.C. § 46105(c). For three reasons, considered together, we disagree. First, after FAA inspectors advised Warbird that § 91.315 prohibits paid flight instruction in the P-40N, Warbird continued to use the P-40N for paid instruction. Second,
after the FAA memorialized its notice to Warbird in a letter from the FAA Office of Chief Counsel, and after the FAA initiated an administrative action against Warbird, Warbird continued to
advertise paid flight instruction in the P-40N. And third, Warbird refused to disavow future use of the P-40N for paid flight instruction, even after repeated communications from the FAA."

None of this is unreasonable. But the court went further to explain that their ruling is very narrowly limited to this case:

"Perhaps no one of those reasons alone would be enough, but together they amount to substantial evidence supporting the FAA’s emergency order"

So the real conclusion here is that ignoring FAA cease and desist orders on a limited category aircraft for which you did not get a waiver isn't legal. That's all. There's no penalty or final ruling here, and it is very clear that this case is about one specific aircraft and not limited category aircraft in general. They did not ground all of Warbird Adventures limited category aircraft, just this one. To extrapolate this out to flight instruction in general is just ridiculous.
 

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