News and discussion on new FAA regulations.

Why the Dynon EFIS D-10A STC is a Big Deal

You may have missed it, but Dynon, the EAA, and the FAA made a major announcement at Sun n Fun this announcement that has the potential to make life significantly better for GA pilots everywhere:

Cobalt in Detail - David Loury the Patient Dreamer

I recently wrote an article about the announcement of the Cobalt Co50 Valkyrie. It's a gorgeous airplane that promises to top the piston single market with a speed of 260 knots...and it seemed to appear out of nowhere as a working prototype.

Why the SkiGull is Important

Legendary aircraft designer Burt Rutan retired from his company, Scaled Composites. What did he decide to do next? Design and build another airplane of course!

Military IPs: Renew Your CFI by Mail!

A few years ago, the FAA updated 14 CFR 61.73 allowing military Instructor Pilots to get or renew a CFI ticket by taking a single written exam and presenting the results along with proof of a military IP rating. (In the USAF the supporting document is a Form 8.) This is a great deal for military IPs and was really long overdue.

Aviation Wins Again in Santa Monica

The city of Santa Monica, CA, has spent the past few years trying to enact a ban of large (Class C and D) aircraft at the Santa Monica airport (KSMO.) In 2009 the FAA rejected the city's ban and enacted a restraining order that allowed those jets to continue to use the airport. The city tried to appeal the FAA's actions, but their appeal was recently rejected by the US District Court of Appeals for Washington DC.

Make no mistake: this is a win for aviation and a caution to cities that choose to allow development in areas that should be reserved as safety zones around airports.

Flies & Honey: Kestrel's Presence Helping Maine to See the Light on Use Tax

Over three years ago, I wrote about Maine's outrageous Use Tax. The levy up to a 5% tax on any airplane owner whose aircraft spends more than 20 days in the state and hasn't already paid that much tax elsewhere.

The unfair and overbearing tax is a huge deterrent to both business and tourism. Thankfully though, it looks like Maine may be starting to see the light.

Quality or Quantity? 1500 Hours Now Minimum for ATP

The debate of total time versus training is probably as old as aviation itself. In fact, sailors were probably debating this issue centuries before the Wright Brothers ever got anywhere Kill Devil Hill. Would you rather fly on an airliner piloted by two people who have at least 1500 hours of total flight time or by people trained to operate that specific aircraft in all the normal, adverse and emergency situations it might encounter...even if one of them had fewer than 1500 hours? Is that 1500 hour mark magical? In emergency conditions, is a pilot with 1500 hours guaranteed to save your life when a pilot with only 750 might not? Not in the case of Colgan Airlines Flight 3407. The FO was the low-time crew member with over 2200 hours and they still crashed.

However, ever since that accident some people have been clamoring for higher minimum times for all airline pilots. The bill that made it through congress (HR 5900) set that requirement as a 1500 hour ATP rating for all airline pilots, no matter what seat they're in. Though Some Celebrate this the families of those who died on Flight 3407 celebrate this, I worry that the unintended side-effects of this legislation will cause some serious problems for aviation in America. I don't think I'm alone either.

The FCC, Your ELT and More Money

As reported by AvWeb, the FCC made an almost completely surprise move by announcing recently a new rule that prohibits "certification, manufacture, importation, sale, or continued use of 121.5 MHz ELTs." Yes, that's right. Within 60 days of this rule getting approved you could be required to spend about $1000 for a new 406 MHz ELT and even more to have it installed.

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