Experimental (ELSA / E-AB) No Longer Allowed for Flight Training??

Homebuilt Aircraft & Kit Plane Forum

Help Support Homebuilt Aircraft & Kit Plane Forum:

Wanttaja

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2013
Messages
1,808
Location
Seattle, WA
Corner condition #348:

What happens if you have a CFI administer a BFR to a pilot flying a single-seat homebuilt airplane, using a handheld radio? The CFI isn't even IN the airplane, what difference does its certification category make?

Asking for a friend. :)

Ron Wanttaja
 

youngwerth

Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2021
Messages
5
I got my LODA, took 1 week. And the FAA guy confirmed only one LODA is needed (plane owner or the CFI).

Al.
 

BBerson

Light Plane Philosopher
HBA Supporter
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
15,239
Location
Port Townsend WA
Approval without any inspection is usually called pencil whipping or rubber stamping.
The FAA (and EAA) is fully compensated. Business as usual.
 
Last edited:

rv7charlie

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2014
Messages
1,891
Location
Pocahontas MS
That's great if you have your own completed plane to train in, but that's rare for those getting primary training. I want my certificate before my plane is finished, which appears to be the case for most builders that aren't already pilots. I can't easily get all my training in a plane similar to mine at a flight school because the closest one is a few hours away, but I want the option to get at least some of the training in it. I'd like to do my own first flight, but there's no way I'm going to do that without a very good familiarity with flying that aircraft. The sky may not have fallen for those in similar circumstances to mine, but the ceiling has definitely lowered dramatically, and there's indications there may be storms in there.
Honestly, nothing has changed for you, given the conditions you describe. The only training ever allowed in a non-owner-flown exp was transition training. No tailwheel endorsements, complex, high performance, etc etc. If you own the exp & have a LODA, or if you own the exp and the instructor has a LODA, you can get training. I haven't seen it spelled out anywhere, but it logically follows that if a friend *loans* you an exp and either he or the instructor has a LODA, you're good to go. But getting paid for the use of an exp for anything except transition training has never been allowed.

Doing a 1st flight of an exp with the ink barely dry on one's private license is a whole 'nuther matter....
 

rv7charlie

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2014
Messages
1,891
Location
Pocahontas MS
Our friendly aviator group has an E-AB SeaRey owned by one individual who is also a CFI. We all want to be able to fly this SeaRey and have no other similar aircraft available. The nearest similar aircraft to us in Guam is a 14 hour flight to California and a $1,500 air ticket.

Federal Register -- https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2021-07-12/pdf/2021-14765.pdf -- "The FAA generally limits LODAs to training that can only be accomplished in aircraft with experimental certificates and directs its inspectors that, with a few exceptions, LODAs should not be issued to permit flight training in experimental aircraft leading toward the issuance of a pilot certificate, rating, or operating privilege."

TWO QUESTIONS:

-1- If this CFI obtains a LODA for his E-AB SeaRey, then is training for a tailwheel endorsement or amphibious operation of this boat hull type not allowed?

-2- Besides transition training which does not apply here as no one else has this type of aircraft - given the above - THEN what other training would a LODA permit?
Key points, it seems to me, would be that there are no other amphib a/c available, and no other tailwheel a/c available, within 'reasonable' distances. The final key point would be whether the managing FSDO is willing to see and recognize the conflict between the general rule and training/safety needs. The FAA has much greater latitude in how its own rules are applied than most of us realize (ask those who fly in Alaska, for instance).

In more general terms, I suspect that the FAA got blindsided just like the rest of us by the recent court ruling. Once that court made its radically overstepped ruling, it became 'law', and the FAA had no choice but to comply with the court's *entire* ruling; not just with the much more restricted ruling they were seeking. What were they to do; publicly say that the court's ruling was not lawful?

To the FAA's credit, they've moved *very* quickly to come up with a workaround to restore normalcy to as many of us as possible, as quickly as possible. It's going to take a court appeal by someone or some group, or congressional legislation, to provide a permanent fix.
 

Rhino

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 8, 2004
Messages
1,475
Location
KTHA
...But getting paid for the use of an exp for anything except transition training has never been allowed...
There's a flight school a few hours from me that's been offering training in two experimentals for years, one is a Zenith CH 750, which is what I'm building. Not sure what they're doing now since all this came out. That's where I had planned on getting the bulk of my training.

In more general terms, I suspect that the FAA got blindsided just like the rest of us by the recent court ruling. Once that court made its radically overstepped ruling, it became 'law', and the FAA had no choice but to comply with the court's *entire* ruling; not just with the much more restricted ruling they were seeking...
Not really. If you read the ruling you'll see the judge specifically said he agreed with the FAA argument that training constituted compensation, so this was the FAA's idea, not his. He also specifically limited his decision to limited category aircraft. It was the FAA who decided to expand that definition to other categories.
 

rv7charlie

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2014
Messages
1,891
Location
Pocahontas MS
Go and ask them if they have an exemption. If you're in TN (plenty of planes available), it's unlikely they would be able to get one for actual flight training. Odds are they're either doing only transition training, or they were just ignoring the law. Unless, of course, they're legal LSA aircraft, like factory built RV12s; those are *not* experimental.

It defies logic that the FAA flipped their decades-long position that the instructor isn't being 'compensated for carrying persons or cargo for hire', got the court ruling, and then immediately began issuing LODAs to every experimental owner and every CFI that asked for them, and also crippled long-standing rules for obtaining training in Limited/etc a/c that are outside the legal definition of experimental.
 

skydawg

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2016
Messages
89
Location
Denver, Colorado
it seems FAA wants to consider everything as compensation, even building time performing instruction as value. EXP is growing 2-3 times that as certified, and this is just another blow to GA fired by FAA. This new policy is based on the warbird limited category issue and blanketed to all EXP, directly contradicting current policy. FAA long standing and current written policy clearing states flight training is allowed in EXP aircraft as long as there’s no compensation for the aircraft; FAR part 1 defines flight training as any type of training in flight, without mention/limit of transition or towards a certificate; and states examiners dont have to fly in EXP aircraft, so logic states check rides for a certificate or rating is allowedi. And exp..

im teaching my kid to fly in an EXP C172, I don’t need or log the hours and obviously not paying aircraft rental, other than cost of ownership. Since FAA went so far as stating the war bird instructor was compensated by the good faith of the aircraft club, I’m wondering if FAA would try to state that I am being compensated by saving the cost of a CFI or renting a standard category aircraft? Or I am being compensated by receiving appreciation of my daughter? this is a slippery slope. I was a designee, from my experience most of the upper FAA would like to see GA go away. targeting the fastest growing GA segment behind business/Corp segment which has a lot of $ and influence behind it, the EXP LODA is just another example to this end.

This policy not only contradicts long standing policy, but was made without any input from EAA, AOPA or public comment, and based on the war birds written court opinion, which is not normal. Again, the FAA can’t violate based on breaking a policy, and unless they rewrite all current contradicting policies, it seems it would be a tough case for them to win against a CFI giving training in an EXP. I hope EAA and AOPA keep up the heat. It seems the LODAs don’t prohibit any specific type of training, so primary isn’t specifically prohibited per FAA definition. Be sure to join EAA and AOPA.
 

Alan_VA

Active Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2011
Messages
42
Location
Bristow, VA
it seems FAA wants to consider everything as compensation, even building time performing instruction as value. EXP is growing 2-3 times that as certified, and this is just another blow to GA fired by FAA. This new policy is based on the warbird limited category issue and blanketed to all EXP, directly contradicting current policy. FAA long standing and current written policy clearing states flight training is allowed in EXP aircraft as long as there’s no compensation for the aircraft; FAR part 1 defines flight training as any type of training in flight, without mention/limit of transition or towards a certificate; and states examiners dont have to fly in EXP aircraft, so logic states check rides for a certificate or rating is allowedi. And exp..

im teaching my kid to fly in an EXP C172, I don’t need or log the hours and obviously not paying aircraft rental, other than cost of ownership. Since FAA went so far as stating the war bird instructor was compensated by the good faith of the aircraft club, I’m wondering if FAA would try to state that I am being compensated by saving the cost of a CFI or renting a standard category aircraft? Or I am being compensated by receiving appreciation of my daughter? this is a slippery slope. I was a designee, from my experience most of the upper FAA would like to see GA go away. targeting the fastest growing GA segment behind business/Corp segment which has a lot of $ and influence behind it, the EXP LODA is just another example to this end.

This policy not only contradicts long standing policy, but was made without any input from EAA, AOPA or public comment, and based on the war birds written court opinion, which is not normal. Again, the FAA can’t violate based on breaking a policy, and unless they rewrite all current contradicting policies, it seems it would be a tough case for them to win against a CFI giving training in an EXP. I hope EAA and AOPA keep up the heat. It seems the LODAs don’t prohibit any specific type of training, so primary isn’t specifically prohibited per FAA definition. Be sure to join EAA and AOPA.
My understanding of the FAA position is that "compensation" does not need to be in monetary terms - it can include good will. In other words, if your daughter says "Thanks, Dad" at the end of the lesson, you have been compensated. If she responds by smiling, you have been compensated. Yes, this is absolutely contrary to the FAA's stated goal of increased safety thru adequate training. But then, setting up Catch-22 situations and then blaming others is the DC way.
 

rv7charlie

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2014
Messages
1,891
Location
Pocahontas MS
Please; a little perspective. For decades, the FAA had policy in black&white, stating that instruction in experimentals was legal and that the instructor wasn't being paid to actually fly the plane. Only after the court went far beyond what the FAA was asking in that case did they issue the statement that all their old black&white policy was 'in error'. Then they immediately started issuing LODAs to everyone who asked, to give us a workaround for the deep doodoo the court created. They've also stated that the current LODAs are only intended to be a stopgap until they can get rulemaking or laws that give us a permanent remedy. Remember, the ruling actually torpedo'd instruction in an entire class of aircraft that the FAA created with the stated intent of allowing instruction.

The issue of 'compensation' has always been there; ex: things like ferrying (certified) aircraft. Private pilots have been burned in the past, because they logged time providing that service to an owner, in order to build time toward more ratings.

edit: meant to add: As evidence this was unintended consequence, consider that the court ruling could just as easily be applied to instruction in *any* airplane, requiring that every training a/c become part 135-certified. Surely no one believes the FAA wants that.
 
Last edited:

Vigilant1

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 24, 2011
Messages
6,796
Location
US
Only after the court went far beyond what the FAA was asking in that case did they issue the statement that all their old black&white policy was 'in error'.
I guess we should all be thankful that a random judge didn't decide the FAA should be in charge of foreign policy or national defense, because then we'd all have to just accept it.(?)
This is just one example of the bad things that happen when things that ought to be governed by laws are instead governed by regulations.
 

rv7charlie

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2014
Messages
1,891
Location
Pocahontas MS
Legit criticism; OTOH, FAA was well on the way toward a driver's license medical when the politicians stepped in and we got Basic Med law. Better than 3rd class, but barely enough to measure.
 

BJC

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
Oct 7, 2013
Messages
13,596
Location
97FL, Florida, USA
This is just one example of the bad things that happen when things that ought to be governed by laws are instead governed by regulations.
Excellent point. Been there, dealt with the issues wrt power generation regulations promulgated by DOE, EPA, FERC, Army CoE, NRC, and about 15 others.

But then again, I have no confidence in either the USA Congress or any state’s legislature to write a succinct law.

BJC
 

Rhino

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 8, 2004
Messages
1,475
Location
KTHA
Excellent point. Been there, dealt with the issues wrt power generation regulations promulgated by DOE, EPA, FERC, Army CoE, NRC, and about 15 others.
LOL! Military career. I wished it was only 15 others! Regulations were their life.

But then again, I have no confidence in either the USA Congress or any state’s legislature to write a succinct law.
I used to work with a lobbying agency and sometimes submitted legislative proposals, to include the actual legislative language for the statutes. Those people in legislative bodies, for the most part, don't have a clue how to write a statute, or even how to interpret one. So they get lawyers to do it, and the lawyers make it much worse. Half the legislation we helped write was to correct the screwups they'd made to the statutes due to crappy legislation they'd written before.
 

rv7charlie

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2014
Messages
1,891
Location
Pocahontas MS
lobbying agency and sometimes submitted legislative proposals, to include the actual legislative language for the statutes
And there's one of the 'gihugic' problems with our system as it currently exists. 'Contribute' enough, and you get to write the legislation. Example: The infamous state immigration laws of Arizona & many other states, handed to the legislatures by a private prisons lobbying organization (along with hefty checks, of course).
 

undean

Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
18
Black's Law Dictionary, 10th ed.

Compensate, Verb
1. To Pay
2. To make an amendatory payment to; to recompense.

I cannot help but wonder if this was written with such a large and glaring hole in the hopes that someone would sue and they would immediately have to back down. Either that or it never passed legal review or there was some new case law which invalidates the legal definition of "compensate" and broadens it excessively.

I'm not a lawyer but might be in the market for $10,000 bag of peanuts to go with my free and in no way enjoyable or helpful flight training.
 

Rhino

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 8, 2004
Messages
1,475
Location
KTHA
And there's one of the 'gihugic' problems with our system as it currently exists. 'Contribute' enough, and you get to write the legislation. Example: The infamous state immigration laws of Arizona & many other states, handed to the legislatures by a private prisons lobbying organization (along with hefty checks, of course).
I agree with the principle you cite, but we restricted our activity to strictly issues we directly dealt with as an organization. We didn't color outside the lines. We weren't anything like prisons writing immigration laws. We were sometimes asked for input on related (usually) legislation, but we never provided actual legislative text in those instances, nor did we want to. We were just as aware of the dangers as you are. Much of what we had to fix was the result of practices just like what you've outlined, people writing legislation for areas outside their expertise, and we had no desire to become that same problem. I'd tell you exactly what we did, but I fear we're already risking an admonishment from the admins for getting political and drifting off topic.
 

PagoBay

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2013
Messages
325
Location
US Territory of Guam
edit: meant to add: As evidence this was unintended consequence, consider that the court ruling could just as easily be applied to instruction in *any* airplane, requiring that every training a/c become part 135-certified. Surely no one believes the FAA wants that.
Please see:
That's not really true. If you read the ruling, the judge did not make an overly broad decision that's negatively impacting sport pilot training. He did in fact limit his decision to the circumstances in that particular case, using warbirds in the limited category. He even noted that the FAA made exceptions for other categories, but not specifically for limited category aircraft like the particular warbird involved in this case. It was the FAA in their letter that extended that to include aircraft in other categories, including LSA, and that's the pickle we find ourselves in here.
This requires almost no digging at all, I posted the judge's ruling as an attachment in a previous thread. It's 2 pages long and easily readable. The judge specifically quoted limited category aircraft regulations and specifically categorized the ruling as specific to the combination of circumstances in 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."
Seriously, everyone needs to read this decision before commenting, it's shorter than any of the articles I've seen written about it.
The FAA letter was way, way out of line with the judges ruling. In my opinion, the EAA and AOPA were stupid to ask about it, there's nothing in the ruling which required any of this. This is a case of "ask a stupid question, get a dumber answer with bad consequences."
 
Top