News and discussion on new FAA regulations.

New Bill May Give Use Tax Relief in FL!

Until recently, I had been very disappointed by Florida's policy on taxing aviation. Florida's tax books have a law that charges a 6% tax on any aircraft that enters the state within 6 months of being purchased - no matter where the aircraft was purchased or how long it was in the state. Thankfully, as mentioned in the video above, the AOPA and the Florida Aviation Trades Association (FATA) have worked enough with the state legislature that an important modification to this law made it through the house a couple days ago.

Austin Crash Ruled Not Domestic Terrorism

I wrote recently about the tragic attack on an IRS building by an unstable man flying an airplane. At the time I was concerned that the possibility of labeling it as terrorism could lead to inappropriately stringent rules for general aviation.

Austin Crash Tragic, but also a Danger to GA

A tragic event occurred on Thursday. Disgruntled with the IRS and others, a man named Joseph Stack crashed his Piper Dakota into an IRS building in Austin, Texas. Sadly, one person in addition to Stack was killed in the event.

Your Chance to Input on Airline Pilot Qualifications/Safety!

I recently wrote about Colgan Air Flight 3407's tragic accident. Although Colgan themselves seem to think they're fine and it's good enough to blame their pilots, the FAA has thankfully taken a better approach. As mentioned by the AOPA, the FAA has issued "an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM)" about airline pilot qualifications. As I see it, the document is basically saying, "We know something is wrong and we want to fix it, but we're not 100% sure how to start. Here are some ideas, please let us know what you think."

What an opportunity for us! Whether you hope to fly for a living under the policies that will come out of this, or you just want to make sure you are safe as an airline passenger, this is the best chance you'll ever get to put in your two cents on how airline pilot qualifications should work.

Good Changes to Sport Pilot Rule

The FAA officially released the final revisions to the Sport Pilot rules this Monday. Overall, they seem to have been greeted warmly by the AOPA and the EAA, though there are a few lingering points of dissent. Overall, it seems to me that the rules generally make the Sport Pilot rating easier to obtain and administrate and give Sport Pilots more opportunities in their operations.

Graduate-Level Preflight Planning

Landing a pair of Aeronca Champs on a frozen lake and going to lunch sounds like a pretty great idea to me. As little fuel as those planes burn, it probably was only a $50 hamburger. Unfortunately, a pair of Minnesota pilots made the news by doing so a couple days ago. Minneapolis' has an article and a video of their newscast about the event in their "crime" section. What the pilots didn't know was that it's illegal to land an airplane where they did.

The State of the Regionals...

We were all troubled this February when Flight 3407, run by Colgan Air, crashed killing all on board. As near as we can tell it happened due to tail plane icing...a less-familiar problem that requires counter-intuitive recovery procedures. An important result of the accident investigation is national focus on life for regional airline pilots. People are starting to look at the training, schedules and procedures used by the regionals. We stand to learn a lot from these investigations and lawmakers are brewing some legislation to apply these lessons. Unfortunately though, Colgan Air seems to be ignoring safety issues and blaming the pilots they failed to take care of.

Rough Week for the FAA

Everyone has bad weeks from time to time. Apparently it even happens to government agencies. This week, it's the FAA's turn to be on their heels.

Among other things, the FAA was ranked #214 out of 216 best federal agencies to work at. It keeps going from there...

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