United Aviation “Alphabets” Push Back on New FAA Restrictions

by David St. George (Lifetime Member) on June 9, 2021

AviationOrganizationsAligned2 In a June 4th letter from the FAA, a new policy was announced by the FAA aligning the recent Warbird Adventures decision with 91.319 and defining flight instruction as “carrying persons or property for compensation or hire.” This reverses historic FAA guidance and also 8900.1 which defines flight instruction as “educational.”

This new policy would also prevent flight instruction in *all* experimental aircraft without a Letter of Deviation Authority (LODA). The additional downstream legal consequences of this FAA policy reversal are also frightening in terms of medical requirements and liability for CFIs. This new FAA policy is based on the Gregory Morris Legal Interpretation from 2014 and is opposed by a consortium of professional aviation groups (including SAFE).

According to AOPA, there are 27,040 amateur-built aircraft 39,321 experimental manned aircraft currently in the registry, with numbers growing by nearly 1,000 aircraft annually. The pilots of these planes would be without instruction without LODAs (which are difficult to arrange) and this impacts both initial training and safety for certificated pilots. The aligned aviation groups sent a strongly-worded objection opposing this FAA policy reversal.

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