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

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Dana

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I don’t get it. If it’s an issue of flight instruction vs paid passenger, the flight I did with the organization was definitely instruction. There was a pre-flight briefing, I taxied, took off, did all the maneuvers, and landed the P-40 with him talking me through it. He even demonstrated a few things then had me perform. Post flight briefing and logbook entry. Very professional.
Hell, I was even going to return for more training to take check ride until this reared up. FAA is a joke
YOU may have had a legitimate instructional flight, but the issue is that many of their flights were more of a thrill ride for a non pilot passenger rather than anything that could reasonably called "instruction".
 

bmcj

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The problem now is that some FAA high-up wrote a letter to EAA, AOPA, etc. and basically says "All instruction is carriage for hire, this is going to affect primary and experimental categories too,
To take this in another direction…
Maybe this is phase one of eliminating the pilot population to make way for automated flight?
 

speedracer

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About 30 years ago I read about a guy who built a Long EZ with the idea of getting his pilot license in it. He installed dual controls including back seat rudder/brake pedals. He found an instructor who was willing to do "something a little different." Everything went smoothly until the check ride when the examiner asked him to demonstrate a stall which he did, at least a canard aircraft stall. Since the main wing doesn't stall, the examiner made him rent a 150 to do that. He did and got his license.
 

Rick Gamble

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I obtained my SP cert in '17 and the way I had to go was to find a flight school with factory built LSA. I found two schools in middle TN. I trained at both. My primary training was in the LSA Cessna Skycatcher C162, and my secondary training was in the SLSA Zenith 601. The DPE was more difficult to find, as there are only a handful in the country that seem willing to fly LSA. I was fortunate my DPE was at my homefield and I managed to shoehorn him in the aircraft. It wasn't pretty getting settled in but he must have liked flying the C162 as he took the controls on our journey back to show me a couple maneuvers he liked to practice... I passed the 1st time and maybe some of it was him not wanting to have to get in and out of the airplane as he had a bum knee, seriously he was great and I had a good windy day to help.
 

ssorell

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I don’t get it. If it’s an issue of flight instruction vs paid passenger, the flight I did with the organization was definitely instruction. There was a pre-flight briefing, I taxied, took off, did all the maneuvers, and landed the P-40 with him talking me through it. He even demonstrated a few things then had me perform. Post flight briefing and logbook entry. Very professional.
Hell, I was even going to return for more training to take check ride until this reared up. FAA is a joke
Yes! This! I was always skeptical of the FAA's approach to this. To me, if it wasn't over the Grand Canyon, or some other sight-seeing destination, then it was definitely about the aircraft in particular, and that is flight training! I suppose if someone in the FAA always dreamt of having someone ferry them around the traffic pattern in a vintage aircraft, then, to him, it would seem like little more than a joy ride. Not certain how he figures, from a human senses perspective, it would be that different from flying in any non-vintage aircraft with similar performance, but this whole thing is me trying to find a rationale for the FAA's decision anyway.

The FAA may not differentiate between a tricycle Warrior and a tricycle 172, but the insurance company does.
 
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ssorell

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To take this in another direction…
Maybe this is phase one of eliminating the pilot population to make way for automated flight?
That was certainly how the math seemed to work out to me.
 

BBerson

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Where in the constitution is it written the government must ban thrill rides and allow only instruction?
This is absurd and results in the nonsense we see now.
Glider centers and parachute centers have been giving thrill rides for decades.
How else can a business (entire industry) operate when 95% of the revenue is from rides and 5% from instruction.
People take a few rides and only a very, very, very few take instruction to continue the sport.
There is no light sport instruction industry because rides are not allowed. Simple as that.
 

Topaz

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Where in the constitution is it written the government must ban thrill rides and allow only instruction?
This is absurd and results in the nonsense we see now.
Glider centers and parachute centers have been giving thrill rides for decades.
How else can a business (entire industry) operate when 95% of the revenue is from rides and 5% from instruction.
People take a few rides and only a very, very, very few take instruction to continue the sport.
There is no light sport instruction industry because rides are not allowed. Simple as that.
Two things - First, even the glider clubs were selling those "thrill" rides as a "temporary membership" and each membership comes with a free "orientation flight." They were/are playing games with the rules even then, and knew it.

Second, this isn't the FAA's doing, at least not the majority of it. The judge in the case of the warbird "flight instruction" dodge wrote a ruling that was over-broad because he doesn't know diddly about aviation. But judges get to do that, and we all live with the consequences. The FAA is doing their best to interpret the ruling they were handed, until such time as new regs can work through the drafting, NPRM, and all the rest of the phases necessary to pass a new or heavily modified rule. And drafting this one is going to be a doosie.

This whole morass of "carried for compensation or hire" has been long, long overdue for the FAA to clarify. We've all been skirting around it with various dodges for decades, either the glider clubs with their "temporary membership" or the "flight instruction" dodge for the warbirds. The fact remains that there are marginal "quasi-commercial" operations like this that need to happen but that aren't addressed by the FAA rulebook. The FAA has avoided diving into this regulatory mess for a long, long, time, and a judge has finally forced their hand. The flight schools aren't just going to lay down and die over this. They're going to be calling their congresscritters and complaining LOUDLY, and eventually pressure will come down on the FAA to do something to clean up this mess. It will take some time and there's even odds we won't like the result any better than the "old way," but the "old way" is dead now because someone pushed the dodge a little too far. Same as happened with "fat" and two-seat ultralights. Same as happened with "builder assistance centers" for homebuilts. People just can't seem to resist pushing the rules to the limits, and then bad stuff happens when the bureaucracy is finally forced into motion.

I have pretty high hopes that genuine flight instruction, at least, will get back into some semblance of the "old way," but heaven only knows how the "thrill ride" aspect is going to turn out. It could get a new rule (like LSA was for fat ultralights), or it could get locked down tight, like builder "assistance" centers. We'll just have to wait and see.
 

jedi

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When I finish my airplane, as a current CFI and owner of the aircraft, could I legally train my daughter in it to earn her PPL? I'm not getting any compensation for it, in fact it would cost me money.
Discuss this with the FSDO that writes the operating limitations. They can omit the paragraph that requires the category and class rating.
 
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Vigilant1

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Fundamentally, what is the all this about? It seems the FAA is trying to preserve the distinction between certified aircraft (to be seen as safer and having baseline government requirements for their design and maintenance) and other aircraft. Certified aircraft are, in general, to be treated as appropriate and legal for commercial activities, other aircraft (with narrow exceptions) are not.
This "certified’ distinction is, I suppose, intended to protect the public. I'd say that if all participants are aware that they are taking flight in a non-certified aircraft (and exactly what that means), they should be free to do that, and should be free to pay/be paid for services. If the FAA deems it safe for those warbirds to be flying above the citizenry in other cases, it doesn't become more hazardous because someone is taking a thrill ride vs receiving instruction.
 

jedi

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i am having a very hard time finding any CFI willing to use my aircraft to finish my training. i found one that may be willing however, he wants to see that i have insurance on the aircraft before committing, and then its a maybe as he has never flown a 2 seat pusher design like my Quad City Challenger 2 long wing before.

Then i have to find a DPE willing to do my checkride in my aircraft, its seems that an aircraft that has been around about 30 years is still unknown in the training and examining circles.

Robert


PM me and I will assist with your training.
 

Topaz

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Fundamentally, what is the all this about? It seems the FAA is trying to preserve the distinction between certified aircraft (to be seen as safer and having baseline government requirements for their design and maintenance) and other aircraft. Certified aircraft are, in general, to be treated as appropriate and legal for commercial activities, other aircraft (with narrow exceptions) are not.
This "certified’ distinction is, I suppose, intended to protect the public. I'd say that if all participants are aware that they are taking flight in a non-certified aircraft (and exactly what that means), they should be free to do that, and should be free to pay/be paid for services. If the FAA deems it safe for those warbirds to be flying above the citizenry in other cases, it doesn't become more hazardous because someone is taking a thrill ride vs receiving instruction.
This has always come down to flying "for compensation or hire." The people paying for flights are presumed to be non-flying public who know nothing about aviation, and therefore need additional "protection."

The fundamental problem is that, like so many of the FAA's rules, they don't address the edge cases. Paying for a ticket to be flown from City A to City B? Clear-cut. Paying for instruction? Not quite so clear. Paying for instruction in a non-certified airplane built by Joe Blow in his garage? Clear as mud.

There has to be some way to introduce paying people to aviation with a "thrill ride," but that use-case is far less taxing and "hazardous" than a commercial operation doing scheduled flights cross-country in all weather. Both are "for compensation or hire," but to equate one with the other is absurd, and the regs are blind to the distinction. We run into the same issues with LSA and homebuilts, because they both carry the "no compensation or hire" blanket stricture, even though both are perfectly safe and suited to limited paid-for activities. They're not suited to regular commercial operations, but again, the regs don't make that distinction.

The FAA has avoided this morass for decades, and the judge in the warbird case finally forced their hand. We're all about to see whether the FAA is going to kick the can farther down the road and slap a "BandAid" on this clarifying the existing rule for regular flight instruction, or if they're about to really deal with the "compensation or hire" mess once and for all.
 

Rhino

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Second, this isn't the FAA's doing, at least not the majority of it. The judge in the case of the warbird "flight instruction" dodge wrote a ruling that was over-broad because he doesn't know diddly about aviation. But judges get to do that, and we all live with the consequences. The FAA is doing their best to interpret the ruling they were handed, until such time as new regs can work through the drafting, NPRM, and all the rest of the phases necessary to pass a new or heavily modified rule. And drafting this one is going to be a doosie....
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.
 
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Topaz

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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 dircumstances 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.
I'll accept your interpretation on that since I haven't dug into every detail. But the fundamental problem is the same, regardless of the trigger: The "compensation or hire" regs are not addressing even all the likely use-cases where someone is compensated for flying their airplane, let alone all the various kinds of airplanes themselves. An introductory "ride" is not the same as a commercial airline, but the rules don't really make that distinction at the light-GA level. The blanket stricture on LSA and E-AB is absurd in today's market, where these types of aircraft are no longer "edge cases" in light general aviation and the ASTM certification procedure is blurring the line between "certified" and "non-certified" aircraft. The advent of quick-build kits of higher-performance airplanes and SLSA just made things muddier, and the FAA has done nothing to address the growing gap between modern reality and the existing regs.
 

Rhino

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Agreed. Hopefully the push from EAA, AOPA and others will get us exactly that.
 

Dana

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Discuss this with the FSDO that writes the operating limitations. They can omit the paragraph that requires the category and class rating.
My operating limitations say, "The pilot in command must hold Airplane category and Single Engine land class certificate or privilege." (italics mine). A student pilot endorsed for solo doesn't have an ASEL rating, but does have ASEL privileges.
 

TFF

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That pilot limitation is in the operating specs because in the FARs, they allow any category private to pilot an experimental. Operating instructions are fixes for loopholes not covered in the FARs.
 

TJTX

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My operating limitations say, "The pilot in command must hold Airplane category and Single Engine land class certificate or privilege." (italics mine). A student pilot endorsed for solo doesn't have an ASEL rating, but does have ASEL privileges.
So, in this context she would be ok to solo and do everything in our aircraft. If not, could I give and log instruction in ours, and then do some quick transition work for her to solo and take a checkride in something else? That's obviously not the best solution, but I'd hate to waste good instruction time and not have it count for her flight time.
 

12notes

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I'll accept your interpretation on that since I haven't dug into every detail.
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."
 

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Hot Wings

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But the fundamental problem is the same, regardless of the trigger:
The problem may be the same but in this case it appears the trigger pull was the FAA's in house lawyers expanding the judges interpretation to cover previously accepted activities.
Just another notch in my avatar's label.
 
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