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Well-Known Member
Apr 28, 2010
Memphis, TN
We are a democracy and I believe in that. BUT do you want to put it up for a vote? Pilots all inclusive we are only .000667% strong against the rest of the population. I would say that 50% of airline pilots would love to get rid of GA. Especially the big money making ones. I have heard them threaten towers to go around because of me transitioning airspace who was miles away. They were threatening to cover company policy to keep from getting fired from making $400k a year. I know these pilots socially. Because GA is not cool anymore, we need to stand our ground for sure, but until it is cool, an invisibility shield does way better when most of the population doesn’t want to know or are jealous you got something they don’t. We use to get enough phone calls of complaints flying legal altitudes, when in the helicopter business, asking if we were allowed.

There have been some updates but if you read the FARs and compare them to CAR, they are almost word for word copies. They are not bad regulations. What has changed is the mindset that we really want 737Max, if we can get away with it. Money for nothing. What fueled GA was legacy of WW2 money. The factories were there, workforce was there, the pilots were there, the economy was there, the cool factor was there. They lived off of that event through the 70s and reality set in. Lycoming is in the same square footage as during WW2, 90% is empty. Kids of WW2 kept it going, who do you think we’re buying Cessnas in the 70s? Their dads were buying Bonanzas because of WW2.

Now we are paying for everything up front in a diminishing market, and that hurts. Add to it the ones who try and take these things we need and want WW2 cheese giveaway money for them or they won’t play. You know the market is small when China doesn’t make a Harbor Freight clone of a Continental C90. If it got through two iterations, it would probably be pretty decent. China owns Continental, first thing they usually do is dupe stuff they own.

I want it to be like when the local airshow was like going to Oshkosh, like everyone else, but they aren’t.


Well-Known Member
Dec 13, 2012
Savannah, Georgia
ngines like the DeltaHawk are not held back from regulation. They have run the engines and have test results to submit.
Everyone seems to think that you simply walk up to the FAA one day with a package of drawings and test reports and they chew over it for a while before issuing a type certificate. It doesn't work like that. You need to be working the FAA long before you ever cut the first part.

The takeaway from that is don’t spend the certification submission money without an order.
That's just simple business sense. Don't spend money making a product without a good idea of your potential market.

It happed to model airplane engines Cox and K&B.
I think the glow engines for model airplanes fell out of favor because electric became viable, not out of any evil motive. Electric is quieter, more reliable, and cleaner (no oil to wipe down at the end of the day). I have a soft spot for those little two-cycle engines but they were messy and noisy and required fiddling every time you ran them.

Faa allowed GA to stay in the dark ages because of the obstacles it set up that allow only the wealthy to make real change, not the little guy.
"Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by ignorance, stupidity, or incompetence." -some smart fellow

I've found the FAA to be incredibly naive when it peoples' reactions to a given regulation. Take the Light Sport rule. From the FAA's own mouth (as stated in the commentary to the Sport Pilot rule in the Federal Register) they truly expected that the majority of future LSAs would be continuations of the existing "fat ultralights"--open-frame, open-cockpit, rag-and-tube designs with minimal electronics and instrumentation and speeds under 90kt or so, and intended primarily to train people to fly Part 103 ultralights. Aircraft with additional equipment and/or near the high ends of the performance/weight limits were expected to be rare.
What just about everybody actually did--and what anyone who knows pilots and people in general would expect--is that everyone built out right to the high end of those limits, and Light Sport became a way for people to fly "real-ish" airplanes without a medical certificate. There was no point in building anything less, since most of the design, certification, and production costs are relatively fixed for this category of aircraft, and the material/labor costs are only a small portion of the whole.

Similarly, the "changed product rule"--which basically says that major changes to a certified design need to meet the latest regulations, but the unchanged parts don't need to be "upgraded"--was intended to encourage continual safety improvements. The FAA thought that by only requiring new stuff to meet the latest regs (as opposed to having to recertify the whole aircraft), it would lower the cost of introducing safety improvements and therefore manufacturers would introduce them more often.

What really happened was that they created a perverse incentive--the older a design got, and the tougher/more strict a regulation (and/or its interpretation/application) became, the greater the cost to update it to newer standards, and the business case for "upgrade" vs "keep making the same thing" tilted ever more heavily to the latter. One introduces significant NRE; the other means simply carrying on as you are.

Adding to it is that Part 23 and Part 33 became ever more optimized for the "top end" of aircraft in that category--commuters and light business aircraft in the case of Part 23, and FADEC-equipped turbine aircraft in the case of Part 33--with more (and more stringent) requirements. But because the FAA seems stuck to its "an airplane is an airplane is an airplane" philosophy and its reluctance to change the way it does things, it insisted on applying those "big airplane" rules to little airplanes.

In short, much of the FAA (and NASA and others) don't really have us (personally-owned piston singles) in mind when crafting regulations or policy. I've seen this in many places, from NASA studies where a "small general aviation aircraft" is exemplified by a King Air, to FAA regulators on the ASTM committee for new Part 23 means of compliance not understanding that his turbocharged pressurized Baron isn't typical of most personally-owned light airplanes.

when most of the population doesn’t want to know or are jealous you got something they don’t
"Most of the population" is terribly ignorant about everything outside their day-to-day experience. To them, "The Economy" is almost entirely encapsulated by consumer goods purchased from Walmart or Amazon. Most of them probably don't consciously know it, but they likely believe any activity beyond the bounds of what they consider "normal"--i.e. that which they, their friends/family/neighbors, and "regular people" do--requires some kind of special approval from somebody (typically, government). How many times have you heard the phrase "how is that legal?" when referring to something perfectly ordinary and uneventful to those who do it? Most would be utterly floored if they knew that you can fly a little airplane without being constantly commanded around by ATC--let alone a little airplane you built and maintain yourself!

There have been some updates but if you read the FARs and compare them to CAR, they are almost word for word copies. They are not bad regulations. What has changed is the mindset that we really want 737Max, if we can get away with it. Money for nothing.
What changed is that the FAA seems to think it can achieve perfect safety through ever-tighter regulation and ever-more-conservative interpretation of the regulations. I'm only slightly exaggerating when I say that I shortly expect the FAA to require analysis of, and mitigation for, multiple radioactive meteorite strikes, because theoretically it might possibly happen someday. It goes right up there with box-shaped 2000°F flames around engines.

The MAX is just the ultimate end result of the perverse incentives mentioned earlier.