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EAA AirVenture Oshkosh RSS FeedA win for warbirds
By David Sakrison, EAA AirVenture Today

August 2, 2009 - Oshkosh, Wisconsin  - Earlier this week, leaders from EAA Warbirds of America and other warbird groups met with officials from several FAA branches to help shape the regulations that govern warbird operations. EAA Warbirds Executive Director Bill Fischer said discussions here between the FAA and the warbird community covered a number of issues. Two of the most notable were a review of operating limitations for experimental/exhibition category aircraft (which includes many warbirds) and the creation of a standardized schedule and specifications for aircraft inspection programs for some warbird types.

Groups within the warbirds community are collaborating with the FAA to rewrite the operating limits on warbirds. Fischer said the group’s goal is to make the limits less restrictive without compromising flight safety. They want limitations to be based on known concerns or deficiencies in the warbird industry or in specific aircraft, not on speculative “what-ifs.” The warbird community also aims to make the regulations clearer and more concise.

The inspection program, said Fischer, needs to be standardized and clarified, so owners, mechanics, and inspectors know consistently what is required and to comply.

EAA Warbirds of America, the Classic Jet Aircraft Association, the Commemorative Air Force, and other members of the warbird community have worked closely with FAA’s Aircraft Certification, Flight Standards, and Aircraft Maintenance Branches and Small Airplane Directorate. It’s been a slow process, said Fischer, but a productive one. The FAA is expected to issue the new operating limitations and inspection standards for public comment sometime this fall.

At the close of the congressional forum on Saturday noon, Congressman Tom Petri, (R-WI), made a comment worth thinking about. Petri is the ranking member of the House of Representatives Aviation Subcommittee and a long-time strong supporter of general aviation (GA). He praised EAA AirVenture Oshkosh as “a jewel of the United States.” And then he said, “It is a celebration of aviation. It is a celebration of freedom. And it is a celebration of responsibility.”

Responsibility. . . A pilot-in-command assumes responsibility for the safety of his or her aircraft, passengers, and all other aspects of the flight—to maintain situational awareness and to respond quickly and appropriately to any problem or emergency.

GA is under threat as never before. It is an economic threat. It is a regulatory threat. It is the threat of an aging pilot population outnumbering pilot starts.

We must stand together. And each and every one of us must Stand Up for GA.

Everyone can do something. Fly a Young Eagle. Support an EAA or chapter event. Write to your senator, congressman, or newspaper editor, take a politician or local official for an airplane ride. Visit the EAA Welcome Center at Air- Venture or go to www.EAA.org to learn more ways that you can get involved. As Congressman Sam Graves said on Saturday, “All GA has to stick together, or we’re going to lose.”

If you care about general aviation, you have a responsibility to Stand Up for GA.

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