FAA Responds to SAFE on “Warbird Adventures Decision.”

by David St. George (Lifetime Member) on July 8, 2021

WarplaneIncBlog2The FAA responded today to the SAFE protest regarding the new FAA policy on flight instruction. The new FAA policy regards education as “flight for compensation or hire” rather than the historic “paid to teach.” Though this case specifically involved the restriction on flight instruction in experimental, limited, and primary aircraft, it impacts the aviation educator in inumerable negative ways; liability and medical issues? The FAA has reached the conclusion that their current policy is inconsistent with the current regulations (and published FAA policy in 8900.1). They will publish this new interpretation in the Federal Register on July 12th.

“The FAA has determined that the compensation a certificated flight instructor receives for flight instruction is not compensation for piloting the aircraft but is rather compensation for the instruction. A certificated flight instructor who is acting as pilot in command or as a required flight crewmember and receiving compensation for his or her flight instruction is exercising only the privileges of a private pilot. A certificated flight instructor who is acting as pilot in command or as a required flight crewmember and receiving compensation for his or her flight instruction is not carrying passengers or property for compensation or hire, nor is he or she, for compensation or hire, acting as pilot in command of an aircraft.”

FAAseminarThe FAA met with all “the alphabets” today and the current solution in place is a quick and easy LODA (Letter of Deviation Authority) for every experimental. Since this is a big list, the FAA recommends those with the greatest need apply first to keep everyone flying and space out the demand cycle. Technically, when the policy letter above publishes on July 12th in the Federal Register flight training in experimental, limited and primary aircraft is illegal until a LODA is obtained. There will not be a zealous enforcement of this policy but it is something of which pilots should be aware.

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