News and discussion on new FAA regulations.

Sport Pilot Rule Updates

The FAA got aviators excited when it announced a list of 22 changes to the Sport Pilot rule this week. Though the document is a little tough to read, it's worth looking though. As far as I can tell so far, the changes are all positive and will make the Sport Pilot rating even more viable than it already is.

Some of the improvements include:

Where Do We Go From Here?

CNN Money, Fox News and the rest of America are buzzing over thousands of airline flights canceled over the last few days. Although some mention that high oil prices share part of the blame, the real reason the airlines aren't flying is that they are completing inspections that should have been done before this week.

Florida Starting to Get the Message About Unfair Use Tax

AOPA reported recently that the Governor of Florida,Charlie Crist, answered a letter from AOPA President Phil Boyer about the unreasonable imposition of use tax. Although it's heartening to see that Florida is listening, Crist's response shows that Florida still has a long way to go.

FAA Isn't Getting Off Easy This Time

A month ago, we mentioned that there is a fight going on between Southwest Airlines, the FAA and Congressman James Oberstar. At the time, it looked as though the hype might have been short-term; however, a CNN article yesterday effectively said that the fight is still on.

New Aircraft Owner Warning: Stay Out of Florida!

I thought that Maine was the only state in the Union with lawmakers ridiculous enough to charge taxes on aircraft that visit their state. I was wrong; Florida is even worse! In Maine, if an aircraft has been owned for less than one year and spends more than 20 days in the state, Maine sends the owner a bill for 5% of the aircraft's value. If you think that's bad, Florida will send you a bill for 6% 'use tax' if the aircraft is in the state for just one night.

If you bought your aircraft in the last six months, don't fly it to Florida (or Maine)!

Locking Your Plane May Become the Law in PA

We've mentioned before that it's probably a good idea to lock your airplane, especially in light of the current scrutiny that GA is coming under right now. We think it's best to provide the smallest target possible, meaning that if we take care of the little things it will be harder to find fault in what we're doing. Unfortunately for us, this fight is coming to a head in Pennsylvania. Lawmakers there are trying to make it a criminal offense to not lock your plane. They're not just talking about one lock either, they want to require two locks on every aircraft.

Southwest vs. FAA vs. Oberstar

Late last week, the FAA slapped Southwest Airlines with a Letter of Penalty and a $10.2 Million fine for allegedly violating an airworthiness directive. The FAA says that Southwest flew 46 aircraft on 1,451 flights before accomplishing a mandatory inspection.

Why 51% Should Matter to You

Scott Spangler over at JetWhine has got a great article out today covering some of the ins and outs of the 51% rule. For those who aren't familiar with it, the rule governs just how much of an experimental aircraft must be built by the owner, in order to qualify as homebuilt by the FAA. So, why should you care right?

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