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Re: Is It Time Aviation Goes The Next Step?

Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:51 pm

Yes, the 'Sport Pilot' will just be a name change to "Single-Passenger". The only change I would request to the FAA is drop the "Gross Weight" restriction. I can see absolutely nothing safe about shaving structural integrity just because we say so. The wheels are already in motion to make the current Sport Pilot medical a BasicMed. Don't believe the FAA when they say it's not, I've been to two seminars where the topic came up. As a trade I would say drop the gross weight rule for the BasicMed rule. Everything else stay the same.

So this is what many in the industry I think, don't understand. "Quality instead of Quantity". We have tried every which way to Sunday to make it easier and easier to become and be a 'Private Pilot'. Look at the results. You can find the results in the headlines and on the NTSB reports.

When a pilot with a Single-Passenger license has an accident and it hits the headlines it will have a lesser affect on the public. Just like the local media reporting of fatal car crashes, it will light up the news for a couple days and go away. When pilot kills more then two people it becomes a big deal and the FAA is confronted. The families of these fatalities want answers. If you and I die in an aircraft accident the news article will talk about how we "loved" to fly and wouldn't have it any other way.

"Liability".... it's the reason for high insurance, ridiculous requirements to approve an aircraft or part. We have let the word "Liability" take over aviation industry. "Liability" is how we end every whining session complaining about cost and regulations. "Liability" must be confronted.

Pilots who want to fly non-aviation people around have to become better pilots 'Period'. We know that flying is safer then the statistics show but, I can't make flying safer by wishing it to be. We have to train and continue to train and continue to educate. Just because you flew for an hour or two with an examiner doesn't mean the learning is over. Yet, I have flown with countless number of pilots that have very little to no stall practice since initial private pilot training or a bi-annual. One pilot even told me that he won't ride with an instructor that has him do a stall. He said the regulations require that he recognizes a stall not do it. He wasn't the only one either.

Flying passengers is a great responsibility and we have to accept the lower completion rate of "Multi-Passenger License" holders. Both the Aircraft and the Pilot need to be a higher standard. So yes, I propose that the Private Pilot License be totally eliminated. To fly VFR with two or more passengers you and your aircraft need to be IFR current.

I know how radical this proposal must sound to the status quo but, It's a trade off for cheaper aircraft operation cost. Trade annual training and higher performance standards for lower accident rate statistics. It's all a trade off, maybe we'll have less pilots flying at this higher standard but the ones that are will be more qualified.

Re: Is It Time Aviation Goes The Next Step?

Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:43 pm

I totally agree that the Light Sport Aircraft category should not have been limied to 600 Kilos (1,320 pounds) like the Europeans. I have had pilots with a 1,000 or more hours in a C-172 transition to a slab wing LSA 70 year old Champ or Cub, go through a stall series and use "Coordinated Aileron and Rudder to level and low wing and go right into the spin entry. A lot easier to ground loop a tail dragger too. With the thousands of C-150s and Cherokee `140s, it would have been better to up the MGW from the git go.

The applicant can ask to do what ever they want to review in a flight review (officially no longer called a Biennial Flight Review, though still required every 24 months or les) and you as an instructor can agree or not agree. Since there is no pass / fail you either sign them off or don't.

I have seen plenty of press on accidents involving only two people in an airplane, in many cases a student and an instructor rather than a pilot and a passenger, so I am not sure I buy that a plane with 4 people in that crashes is so much more newsworthy than one that crashes with only the pilot or a pilot and a passenger. I have seen law suits against surviving pilots and instructors for aircraft accidents.

I give you a lot of credit Klaus for putting the time and effort into making positive changes. It will be interesting to see what the outcome is. The simple course allowing one to do their own annuals on a Light Sport Aircraft with only 16 hours of instruction, I thought was also a little too to easy.


Re: Is It Time Aviation Goes The Next Step?

Fri Jan 12, 2018 11:26 pm

Every single fatality is bad for aviation but, all the non-aviation passengers are blindly trusting us not to kill them. If I tell a passenger that I'm only licensed to carry one passenger they may change their mind and not go or understand that I meet a lower standard. The word will be out in the public what Single-Passenger means just like the "experimental" sticker on the side of a homebuilt.

I know you, I and the next pilot are totally affected by the loss of a pilot. None of my family are pilots. Family dinners will bring up the latest accident and the pilot, usually a friend of mine, is not given much sympathy by the folks around the dinner table. My family would instead talk about how they know someone who knows someone that knew the passenger and how sad they feel for the family. Often I'll be sitting in a bar over hearing people talking about the latest accident on the TV. Often the people will blame the pilot for messing up and killing the passengers.

The only answer I have is to stop the aviation deaths especially the non-aviation public.

After 50 plus years, what do you think will stop accidents? The airlines have shown us that it is a worthy goal. The airlines may have the biggest accident ever tomorrow but until they do.... General Aviation should do something.

Re: Is It Time Aviation Goes The Next Step?

Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:49 am

Want to stop aircraft accidents - Ground everyone and put them on trains and increase the train fatalities. I understand there is no easy fix. I am all for better trained pilots. Always thought that although 40 hours (35 under Part 141) as a minimum was too low, even to be a License to Learn, but just added time is not always the best learning experience, hence the issue with the 1,500 hours requirements for FOs. Of course increase the number of hours, lessons and up goes the upfront expense and down goes the pilot starts.

So how about one Pilots License - Super Duper Airperson Deluxe - You are a student from Student Class I through Student Class XX and then become SDAD Pilot after 10,000 hours of accident free time.

But seriously, maybe something like that following and expanding what we have:

Student Pilot then Endorsements to cover
Solo Pilot
Unrestricted Solo Pilot over Un Populated Areas
Unrestricted Solo Pilot
VFR Pilot Plus one Passenger
VFR Multi Passenger Pilot
Instrument Solo Pilot
Instrument Plus One Passenger Pilot
Instrument Plus Multi Passenger Pilot
On at infinitum until Multi Engine, Seaplane, For Hire, For Hire Part 135, For Hire Part 121 .............. Hence my Student I through XX

Well, I think we are all in agreement that we want better and safer pilots, but if there are not more pilots then we will again see the discontinuation of new light aircraft construction with no one buying or renting them and again an ever aging aircraft fleet.

Ops, forgot Hi Performance, Complex, Tailwheel, High Altitude, Pressurized , Center Line Thrust, .......


Re: Is It Time Aviation Goes The Next Step?

Sat Jan 13, 2018 2:49 pm

On a return to seriousness, why not take baby steps to improve things.

Example, The Flight Review, once called the Biennial Flight Review, is not Pass / Fail and although there has been changes to it over the years, the only real change has been that it now must be 1 hours of ground and 1 hours of flight minimum. The issue becomes, there are not set requirements other than that. I do not even have to be in the aircraft and have done them from ground observation. You can of course get credit for the ground portion if you have renewed you CFI and if you take a checkride for a new rating (pass / fail) or get a new endorsement, tailwheel etc., you are covered.

So some will take flight review, the CFI will not sign them off and then they go to the next CFI until they find one that will.

Since I was licensed prior to 1968, I took my Commercial in a Cherokee 140 as no complex time was required. I flew a tailwheel aircraft prior also so no tailwheel endorsement was required, not pressurized, hi altitude, complex or hi performance. My multi did not require an instrument portion though that though my Airline Transport Rating on my Commercial license did, even though that changed radically when it became a license at the ATP. I was even able to voluntarily trade it for other concessions.

I ask all my flight review students, what they would like to review and work on, but I always chop and engine and require a stall series. In addition on planes with flaps, I fail the flaps and am surprised how many have not made a No Flap Landing in years. When I started all landings were power off, no flap, except short field. Today, in my experience, all the new pilots flying planes like the 172, are taught that a normal landing is with 20 to 30 degrees of flaps.

So why not a specific minimum requirement for what needs to be reviewed on the Flight Review? I know that making all CFI examiners, does not work, but if we put in a log book, Flight Review instruction, but did not include the endorsement, then the next CFI would at least know what the situation is and still have to go through the same requirements.

Then how about age. I know a pilot with a stint that normally required a medical review every year and for what ever reason has made it through BasicMed. He is 82 and I worry about him, but he is now good for another 4 years if he does not self ground himself when he should.

Making the Flight Review more comprehensive my solve some of these issues.

Then lets talk about CFIs. I got my CFI in 1968 and have never taken a recurrency ride. I have either shown my log book and number with the number of pass or fails I had sent for check rides, or Flight Reviews I have given, or in the past years just taken the online renewal course, printed the certificate and get renewed. For at least my last 5 renewals, I have not had to show proficiency or even ANY flight hours.

Then lastly (for this post) the insurance companies may see things differently, for those of us who carry insurance.


Re: Is It Time Aviation Goes The Next Step?

Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:15 pm

To keep the easy street open for student start-ups and completions, look for creative improvements to the "Single Passenger License". Insure the student gets completely and thoroughly through the syllabus but in the very shortest time possible.

The liability game will never change it's are out of our and everyone's hands. Many times the industry has presented liability wavers for the passenger to sign and they where reversed in court. The most common answer to a liability waver is: " I wouldn't have signed it if I thought there would be an accident".

The two most powerful tools to harnessing the liability monster:

Homebuilt aircraft - where the builder is an individual with limited personal value. The lawyers rarely try to get blood from a stone. If the builder is not rich enough that the lawyer will get his $200-$300/ hour fee he won't take the case.

The "SIGNATURE" - If you want to separate the MEN from the boys/girls? Just ask the person to sign their work or statement. The legal industry does back flips when they can find an individual who signed a document before an accident. It's a easy peasy case for a lawyer to make a big buck. Everyone knows this, so most pilots and mechanics will stop and think what they're signing.

As an experiment, I created a form at the flight school where the PIC must put their signature on a pre-flight and leave with the dispatch before takeoff. The form was acknowledging the safety of the plane and flight parameters (Weight & Balance, weather, TFR's, notams). The entertainment value alone made it a fun experiment. The same pilots that couldn't quote a single FAR the day before where able to recite the whole FAR/AIM and straighten me out on the regulations. The instructors confirmed without a doubt that there's absolutely no regulation that supports that form. I let the instructors in on the experiment and watch the next three or four days go by. The Pre-Flight form was only turned in half the time and only two or three out of 50 where ever signed.

The Pre-Flight form experiment came about because an owner was whining about the cost of his Annual. Even though I explained before the Annual that I'm a "Preventive Maintenance" mechanic not a retroactive mechanic and why. "When I sign off the Annual it puts me in the liability spotlight for 12 calendar months." Like you would expect he forgot his checkbook and credit cards the day he came to pick the aircraft up. That gave me the opportunity to create the Pre-Flight form. I handed it to him and explained to the owner/operator that he was only signing it off for one quick flight around the patch. I would tell you what was said next but the forum would be shut down.

Re: Is It Time Aviation Goes The Next Step?

Sun Jan 14, 2018 12:06 am

Eddie Rickenbacker who was a WW1 ace and later in charge of Eastern Airlines and had a boatload of common sense was asked while running Eastern if flying was safe? His reply was " no, but its relatively safe "


Re: Is It Time Aviation Goes The Next Step?

Wed Jan 17, 2018 9:04 am

Joining the conversation a bit late but I am really interested in some of what's been addressed. I really like the thought behind pushing for some kind of change, and even with some skepticism, the shared interested in trying to find a feasible way to make it happen. I have a few thoughts that I'll throw out and they kind of go with a few different points.

1. Klaus, If you transitioned sport pilot over to single passenger, would that... eliminate the 10,000 ft, no night flying rules, and how much instrument time would be included in the training (currently none if I recall correctly)? If someone wants to be instrument rated would they simply be required to go to the multi-passenger license?

2. With Bob's response of each small step having it's own rating. I really like this idea and think it would definitely be a good way to help pilots get only the ratings they are actually looking for. I could definitely see this route being a nightmare to try to set up the training requirements and more importantly the currency, continuous training, or checkride requirements to stay at your level, but if we could that would be a great way for a pilot to customize and (pick and choose) what kind of flying fit's their needs.

3. I think Klaus' "signature" idea is brilliant. If pilots and the FAA could/would work together to get some kind of official form that can be done paper or online before a flight that is a part of FARs then it could put a lot more accountability on the PIC. Before they crank up and take off they have to officially sign a letter stating that they have knowingly complied with all FARs and have done everything possible prior to flight to ensure the safety of the flight, not only for their own sake, but for the passengers as well. I know this would probably face a huge amount of backlash (as Klaus already alluded to) but with just a few minutes and a legal document (everyone knows how Americans love legal documents) you can impress the importance of that "signature."

Just a few thoughts...looking forward to seeing where this goes next...

Re: Is It Time Aviation Goes The Next Step?

Wed Jan 17, 2018 10:01 am

Right now under BasicMed, those restrictions are off for Private Pilots and above, so night, IFR etc. but the Sport Pilot License, at least now, does not allow it and in the 20 hour curriculum there is no night or instrument training at all, so you are right about a change would be needed.


Re: Is It Time Aviation Goes The Next Step?

Wed Jan 17, 2018 2:56 pm

I'm going to suggest that the Single-Passenger (Aviation abbreviates everything so S-Pax and M-Pax) continues to be as simple to acquire and maintain as possible. The restriction of night flight and 10,000 feet need to stay. The idea of the S-Pax is to get the interested pilot soloing and hooked. The other purpose of the S-Pax is to allow a pilot to meet the most minimum requirements to fly into their later years. Flying at night and high altitudes are for pilots and aircraft meeting the more advanced training and equipment. Unfortunately, I think the S-Pax accident rate needs to be accepted. We accept the automotive industry accident rate so it's only fair we allow pilots to press their limits.

The Muti-Passenger(M-Pax) needs to have NO TOLERANCE for accidents just like the airlines are held too. I'm in the commercial part 135 industry today 2018. The FAA has a '0' TOLERANCE for us. The politicians and bureaucrats feel they have to answer for every incident. If one of the commercial pilots has a mix up while communicating with air traffic control. The pilot and controller are both removed from operations until a satisfactory review releases them back to operation status. If I as a mechanic have an error in a log entry or haven't met the expectations of an FAA inspector, I'm put on leave and the company will have a complete audit. Depending on the outcome fines and suspensions can be implemented. These seem to be ridiculous punishments for nominal mistakes but..... It's working. Every time a non aviation person is involved in the most nominal event the politicians, bureaucrats, media and social media goes into 'wacked-out radical mode'. I know pilots think that the public cares when they have a fatal accident but, hate to break the bad news.... No one cares but your family and fellow pilots. Less then .01 percent of the population. The explanation for this is simple; Lawyer$ don't make enough $uing every product, company and manufacturer. The media is egged on by the law firm when big bucks can be made. Then the politicians, bureaucrats and industry leaders get scared. The power people get nervous about their future. They will say and do absolutely everything that protects their power position. Including shutting down good companies and revoking pilot and mechanic's license. We are the scapegoat when anything goes wrong.

Re: Is It Time Aviation Goes The Next Step?

Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:59 am

For me at my age, one thing to consider is, look how long it took the EAA / AOPA / Senate and Congress to even get BasicMed passed. I do not think I will see a change like this in my lifetime. And, I know of very few pilots that were against that, so it had grass routes support.


Re: Is It Time Aviation Goes The Next Step?

Thu Jan 18, 2018 4:10 pm

Who knows how long it will take to make a change? In this case it would benefit the politicians and bureaucrats as much as the industry. The lawyers will be the big losers. The less slam-dunk simple law $uite$ the less money for the legal industry.

The one regulation change that I'm proposing; eliminate the Private Pilot license. That would mostly be a word change throughout the FAR's and adjustments to training.

The reason for the re-naming of the "Instrument Rating" is mostly to get the point across to the non-flying population. When the reporter says "the Pilot is Multi-Passenger Licensed", John Q. Public will understand by the name that the pilot passed more FAA test and meets a higher standard. When the cute low cut dress reporter says "the Pilot was Single-Passenger Licensed", that will be understood in short time to be a much lesser standard. I believe that Jane Q. Public will ask a friend before riding with them if they have a 'Single-Passenger" or "Multi-Passenger" license?

"I'm only trained well enough to kill one passenger". "Next month after I pass my M-Pax check ride, I'll be smart enough to kill as many as I can 'shoe-horn' in the back". :mrgreen:

The 'Gross Weight' limit will be the biggest battle. I'm pushing that a M-Pax pilot out of currency reverts to a S-Pax pilot and can still fly their Piper Seneca or Cessna 206 on amphibs but with only one passenger.

Another way of looking at it; change the S-Pax rules to be more 'BasicMed' then 'Sport Pilot'.

Re: Is It Time Aviation Goes The Next Step?

Thu Jan 18, 2018 6:12 pm

I still have this hunch that raising our standards should beat our efforts to reword any particular FAR. Nothing will happen to the attorneys unless there is limited liability for manufacturers and less implied liability down the road, as well as a complete review and reconfiguration of our current tort law.

We need to rework our training and certification system and along the way that will cause inconvenient and long overdue discourse on how to make it happen.

I sincerely doubt that our terribly divided country could get remotely close to having these discussions and still come out with attainable goals. Look, even our small industry in the seaplane world is divided between old cronies and open minds. GA is the same at a much much larger scale.

Its a really noble idea, but it may just be impossible to do as long as we fight sandbox and turf-wars, rather than focusing on things we could change.

Cultural change takes a lot of time and that is a fact for societies and organizations. Dismantle status quo and the rest will follow.

Re: Is It Time Aviation Goes The Next Step?

Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:43 pm

The reason "we" have to change is because the lawyers are not going to write a single law that will have a negative impact on their income. It's time the Aviation community sucks it up and excepts higher training standards. The benefits in better trained pilots will be a positive to the industry in many different ways. Less accidents, less law suites, less negative press, lower insurance rates and potentially reduce the cost of aircraft and parts.

More people will become pilots if they don't perceive flying to be dangerous. Many of us ignored the risk and believed the other guy messed up and we wouldn't. Things have changed since then and people don't have confidence in themselves.

For some reason getting a loan for acquiring a pilots license seems to be a big deal to everyone. Every pilot I have worked with had to get money from someone. Very rarely does a eighteen year old have enough money saved up from their fast food job to buy a pilots license.

If the flight training was properly organized the loaning institutions would be more willing to fork over the money. That's why I want a path to the commercial with less steps. Model the M-Pax license training to be based on the FAR part 141 school syllabus. The first 20 hours should be focused on preparing the student for the S-Pax license then after that straight to instrument, navigation and airspace. Go right in to IFR flight plans and instrument approaches. Even better if all training after 20 hours is done in a twin.

$80,000 to $100,000 for a commercial rating? 300 hours of twin or helicopter at an average $300.00 an hour. That's still pennies compared to the military training cost. The military runs their pilots straight through a curriculum focused on the aircraft the pilot has been qualified for. Often the airlines give military pilots preferential hire because the extensive training they go through. Civilian pilots are not less qualified just not sure what all they know. Each pilot has a different flying background. Military training is rigid and disciplined. The military pilots knowledge is a known factor.

Re: Is It Time Aviation Goes The Next Step?

Fri Jan 19, 2018 8:12 am

Jason, I agree with you. Earlier I commented on the Flight Review and how it can be useless. So are all private pilots without instrument t ratings, who have been flying VFR for years and years, going to have to all of a sudden be down classed to Single Pilot. Glenn, want to wade in on that one? I think the idea that a Single Pilot accident involving a fatality is going to be more acceptable to the non-flying public, who IMO really do not care much about it, is far fetched, but I have been wrong plenty of times before. I can only again say, that I doubt that I will see it in my time, though that doesn't mean it can't and won't happen.

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