MAKE CHAPTER 288 YOUR AVIATION HOME! E-AB, TYPE CERTIFIED, VINTAGE, WARBIRD, ETC.
MAKE CHAPTER 288 YOUR AVIATION HOME! E-AB, TYPE CERTIFIED, VINTAGE, WARBIRD, ETC.
Are you curious about what the MOSAIC Notice of Proposed Rulemaking would change for sport pilots and light sport aircraft?
READ THE EAA SUMMARY CHART for
MOSIAC by clicking on the button below:
When reports started surfacing about issues in the Rotor X community, ANN did two things that are highly unusual in the aviation journalism world.
First, we researched, corroborated, and looked into both sides of the issue to find out what appeared to be the truth of the matter -- not a short or easy process.
Second, we actually reported on it -- one of the more unusual aspects of such stories like these today.
Now, ANN has learned that Rotor X has filed for bankruptcy in the state of Arizona. The official documents we've seen so far indicate that Rotor X is filing their bankruptcy, pro se (both unique and questionable considering the size of the claims involved), and is doing so under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code which tends to suggest that they actually think they're going to reorganize the complex and convoluted mess that we've documented so far.
Nearly 100 customers are reportedly affected by over a year's worth of broken promises, undelivered kits, incomplete kits, and what can only be termed as untrue statements by the company as it attempted to prop up its faltering operations -- possibly, it appears, with the support of one or two players in the Builder Community.
Below is a wonderful article on AirVenture - or is it?
As I sauntered through the bustling grounds of AirVenture, the vibrant energy of aviation enthusiasts reverberated through the air like a symphony of piston engines and turbine whirrs. It’s an annual pilgrimage to the sacred mecca of flight, a place where every aviator’s soul finds solace amidst the aeronautical marvels that grace the Wisconsin skies. The smell of Avgas and fresh paint mingled, invoking nostalgia and excitement all at once. Amidst the towering aerobatic displays and rows of meticulously restored vintage aircraft, one couldn’t help but feel an overwhelming sense of awe and inspiration. Here, aviation’s rich tapestry unfolds, as industry pioneers share their wisdom and starry-eyed dreamers dare to sketch the blueprints of tomorrow’s flying machines. AirVenture is more than just a spectacle; it’s a living, breathing embodiment of our collective passion for flight, connecting aviators of all backgrounds and ages in an unspoken fraternity of the skies.
Read Paul Bertorrelli's excellent article about this - it's as interesting as it gets!!!
The rulemaking proposal released for public inspection July 19 is the product of a yearslong effort to modernize aircraft certification. The FAA invited collaboration with pilots and industry on the Modernization of Special Airworthiness Certificates (MOSAIC) initiative, an effort to overhaul the current rules established in 2004 and enable certification of new technologies that lead to safer and more capable aircraft.
AOPA (AS HAS THE EAA - Editorial addition:-) pushed hard to expand the light sport aircraft definition, relax most current operating limitations, and allow certain operations for hire heretofore reserved for certified aircraft. The FAA scheduled the rule's publication for July 24 in the Federal Register, which will start a 90-day public comment period.
The rulemaking proposal extends to more than 300 pages, with effects on experimental amateur-built aircraft and restricted category aircraft. It also proposes changes to right-of-way rules around Class G airports to eliminate present distinctions among various types of “powered” aircraft currently referenced in FAR 91.113.
AOPA is analyzing the details of this first major overhaul of aircraft certification rules in two decades and will provide comment.
“Modernizing the light sport category for the thousands of our members that fly these aircraft is something we’ve been long pushing for, and it just makes sense,” said AOPA President Mark Baker. “We’re pleased to see the FAA take this first step to help modernize the general aviation fleet and provide more options for pilots.”
At first glance, there is much to like. The agency eliminated any weight restriction and instead applied limitations to performance-based criteria:
The increase in stall speed will enable increased aircraft weights for more robust airframes, installation of safety enhancing equipment, higher fuel capacity, and more seating capacity. The change also will allow airplane designs up to about 3,000 pounds to be included in this rulemaking.
The FAA also proposes allowing sport pilots to fly four-seat aircraft, but the current limitation of one passenger remains unchanged:
“To enable the design and manufacture of light-sport category aircraft that are safe to fly with increased capacity and ability, this proposal would apply new design and manufacturing requirements,” the FAA wrote. “This would allow growth and innovation within performance-based safety parameters. This proposal also expands aircraft that sport pilots can operate. Under this proposal, sport pilots could operate airplanes designed with up to four seats, even though they would remain limited to operating with only one passenger.”
Pilots operating under sport pilot limitations will be able to do so while meeting all sport pilot requirements, to include a valid driver’s license as long as the most recent medical was not denied and any special issuance medical has not been withdrawn. Sport pilots will also be able to take advantage of controllable-pitch propellers, retractable landing gear, and night VFR operations with appropriate training and endorsements under the proposal.
The agency also agreed with AOPA's request to allow sport pilots flying light sport aircraft to perform certain commercial operations, such as product demonstrations for engines or other modifications. These privileges would also extend to experimental aircraft that have flown at least 50 hours, provided that the applicant has established an inspection and maintenance program.
The agency noted that, since the 2004 rule, light sport aircraft “have shown a lower accident rate than experimental amateur-built airplanes. The FAA considers that the successful safety record of light-sport category aircraft validates certification requirements established in the 2004 final rule and provides support for expanding the scope of certification for light-sport category aircraft and operations.”
The noise limits would be broadly applied. “To provide flexibility and reduce burdens of compliance with these noise limits, the FAA is proposing options for compliance: conventional noise testing per [P]art 36 or means of compliance via FAA-approved, industry consensus standards,” the agency wrote.
“The FAA intends for these expansions to increase safety by encouraging aircraft owners, who may be deciding between an experimental aircraft or a light-sport category aircraft, to choose aircraft higher on the safety continuum and, therefore, meet higher aircraft certification requirements,” the agency wrote. “This rule would amend aircraft, pilot, maintenance, and operational requirements to increase both the safety and performance of these aircraft while mitigating risk. The FAA recognizes that this is a balancing act—where the risk is increased due to greater capability in one area, mitigations may be required from the other areas.”
We know you have questions about Remote Identification (ID). We’re here to help you figure it out.
Do I have to fly with Remote ID?
Remote ID applies to drones which are required to be registered or have been registered with the FAA, including those flown for recreation, business, or public safety, and drones that are foreign-registered.
While drone operators were required to comply with Remote ID beginning September 16, the FAA recognizes the unanticipated issues that some operators are experiencing with complying with this rule and will exercise discretion in determining enforcement actions for noncompliance through March 16, 2024.
Why is Remote ID necessary?
Remote ID is necessary to ensure the safety and security of the national airspace system by distinguishing compliant airspace users from those potentially posing a safety or security risk. Remote ID also helps to lay the foundation for routine advanced operations such as package delivery and flying beyond visual line of sight..
What do I need to do?
There are three ways to be Remote ID ready:
How do I know if my drone or broadcast module is Remote ID ready?
1. Go to the FAA UAS Declaration of Compliance website
2. Click on “View Public DOC List”
3. Filter by “RID”
4. Search for your drone or broadcast module
My drone or broadcast module broadcasts Remote ID but is not on the Public DOC List, am I Remote ID ready?
No, even if advertised as “Remote ID ready” or uses other verbiage, only drones or broadcast modules listed on the FAA DOC are considered to be in compliance with the rule. However, the FAA’s policy on Remote ID enforcement discretion provides until March 16, 2024, to have the DOC updated.
Do I need to update my drone’s registration with Remote ID information?
If your drone or broadcast module is listed on the public DOC list, you need to register or update your existing drone registration through FAADroneZone to include the standard Remote ID drone or Remote ID broadcast module serial number. The Remote ID serial number is not the same as your drone’s serial number. Drone owners should check with their manufacturer for additional information.
Since recreational pilots only need to register once and can apply that registration number to multiple aircraft, they can list one Remote ID broadcast module serial number and move the broadcast module from drone to drone as long as it is listed on the same registration.
Part 107 pilots need to register each drone individually. Therefore, each drone must have its own Standard Remote ID or Remote ID broadcast module serial number.
Visit our Remote ID webpage to learn more about adding a Remote ID serial number to your drone’s registration.
Have more questions? We’re here to help at the UAS Support Center or call us at 844-FLY-MY-UA (844-359-6982).
A while ago I wrote a proposed “Hints for Homebuilders” article for EAA on Curtis Fuel drain valves that are commonly found on most gascolators and Piper PA-28/32/34 fuel tanks. After quite a while, it finally got published and quickly got a couple of feedback responses from two guys that described themselves as A&Ps.
The first one went way over the top on my suggestion that we use Teflon tape to seal the pipe threads. He claimed that Teflon tape was banned from aircraft fuel systems and that many aircraft had crashed due to fuel system contamination from Teflon tape. The second letter to the editor claimed that the Curtis valves could be repaired in the field with an off-the-shelf O-ring and that he had done it many times. Let’s take a look at these two assertions in this KK.
I am not sure where the old wives tale about never using Teflon tape on aircraft came from, but I have heard it several times from fellow A&Ps. We banned Teflon tape in the Navy on 3000 psi hydraulic systems, but there is no FAA ban on it that I know of. AC 43.13.1B approves its use on oxygen systems, but does not address it otherwise. As with any sealant, if misused, it can cause problems. Let me reiterate that, ANY thread sealant, if used to excess, can cause blockages in the fuel system. However, the multiple screens (such as fuel selector, boost pump, gascolator, fuel metering system inlet, etc., if installed) between the fuel drain and the carburetor would surely preclude it blocking the passages in an aircraft carburetor or fuel injection system.
On experimental aircraft, one can use any sealant one wants to use, with the precaution that ALL must be properly used. However, Curtis specifically lists Teflon tape as the first recommended sealant for their pipe threaded fuel drains. I wrote the article looking at the "Curtis Superior Valve Wall Chart". You can view a copy at the Aircraft Spruce on-line catalog under "Curtis Pipe Thread Drain Valves", under tech data "Curtis Drain Valve Wall Chart". Curtis says "We recommend the following thread sealant: 1. Pipe Threads: 1/4" Teflon tape, Permatex 80632 threat sealant, Loctite 592 PST pipe sealant." This listing can be found in several places on the Curtis website www.curtissuperiorvalves.com. Put another way, the FAA says that on certificated aircraft, a Mechanic must reference acceptable data for the work performed. In this case, the manufacturer's data is the best available and lists first, Teflon tape. This came up at an IA renewal seminar a few years ago and the FAA folks there agreed that there was no ban on Teflon tape.\
As to the second question on repairing the Curtis drain valve in the field, on experimental aircraft, anyone can do maintenance, and unapproved parts can be installed, but this is not true for certificated aircraft.
Again, I wrote the article looking at the "Curtis Superior Valve Wall Chart" in my shop. Curtis says "Curtis Superior Valves do not use O-rings, we use a special flat molded seal, therefore can not be overhauled." I personally think their flat seal has a shallow P shape, but it is not available, so cannot be used to repair the valve, notwithstanding that field overhaul is not approved. This listing can also be found in several places on the Curtis website noted above.
Again, the FAA says that on certificated aircraft, a Mechanic must reference acceptable data for the work performed. In this case, the manufacturer's data is the best available and says that field overhaul of most Curtis valves is not approved.
This also came up at an IA renewal seminar a few years ago and those FAA folks agreed that using O-rings to repair/overhaul most Curtis fuel valves is not approved. Another problem with using O-rings is the material that they are made of. Many commonly available O-rings for oil and hydraulic systems are only moderately fuel resistant. The most fuel resistant rubber is Viton, which is what the Curtis seal is made of. Use of another type material, particularly if you use auto gas and run a chance of getting alcohol in the fuel is probably not a safe procedure.
Hope this puts some old myths to bed. It is always best to look up manufacturer’s data.
We’ve all heard pilots discussing their weekend plans or just shooting the bull on 123.45 while the rest of us try to report our positions in Alert Areas (training areas). This annoying interruption can be downright dangerous.
The FAA actually has a frequency for BS’ing between aircraft believe it or not. The frequency 122.75 is dedicated for general air-to-air communications between private fixed-wing aircraft.
Please use 123.45 if you intend to communicate with another aircraft during a maintenance flight, or for reporting your position in an Alert Area, and by all means please keep your transmissions short and concise.
Want to discuss dinner plans, talk about your airline interview last week, meow, or chat about anything unofficial? Then 122.75 is the frequency for you. Everyone will greatly appreciate it!
The Federal Aviation Administration is implementing changes to make wind turbine farms more visible on VFR sectionals, VFR terminal charts and helicopter route charts -- to go into effect on or around Aug. 10.
The FAA contends commercial airline passengers bound to central Florida airports from northeastern U.S. states will no longer experience delays or re-routes during what the agency called “typical” space launches.
Based on analyses of past space launches and data provided by the U.S. Space Force and major space launch concerns—the FAA has determined existing airspace restrictions pertaining to Florida launches are generally excessive and may be safely reduced. By not closing the aforementioned airspace, the FAA ensures busy overwater routes linking airports in the Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. metropolitan areas to destinations the likes of Orlando, Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Sarasota are utilized to the fullest extent.
Individual space-launch operations, on average, occasion the re-routing of 36 Part 121 air-carrier flights. Subject re-routes affect as many as 4,300 passengers, waste up to three-hundred total minutes (five-hours) of irrecoverable time, and necessitate over 1,300-nautical-miles of unplanned, unpleasant, and unprofitable flying.
By virtue of the FAA’s revised space-launch policy, flights formerly obligated to re-route around the Cape Canaveral region will remain more consistently along the most optimal and efficient routes.
Ten of the 12 space-launches undertaken since the April 2023 implementation of the FAA’s new policy saw no flights rerouted.
To better convey the particulars of its revised space-launch conventions, the FAA has produced a public-service video titled Safe Integration of Space Launches. Parties wishing to view the two-minute, 42-second presentation may do so by visiting: www.faa.gov/space/airspace_integration .
Pilots are often nervous about flying into or around airports with skydiving operations. There’s really no need to be, as Paul Bertorelli explains in this AVweb video. Just avoid the airport by three or four miles on the downwind side when transitioning and don’t overfly a dropzone airport if you’re landing there. Just fly a normal (not too tight) pattern. Watch the video by Paul Bertorelli published 5/29 with full credit to AvWeb
SYSTEM OVERHAUL REQUIRED
Legislation that would establish a task force on improving notices to air missions—and require the FAA to develop and implement a new NOTAM system—is now headed to the president's desk.
The House passed the Senate-amended version of H.R. 346, the NOTAM Improvement Act of 2023, on May 22, following the passage of the bill by unanimous consent in the Senate on May 9.
H.R. 346 requires the FAA to create a task force—consisting of aviation industry professionals, safety experts, and unions—to review existing methods for publishing notams to pilots. The group would examine regulations, policies, and systems to provide informed recommendations to Congress. The bill also sets a deadline for the FAA to implement the new notam system and a backup.
A version of the bill was first introduced in 2021 to establish a task force to improve the notam system, but the bill was never considered by the Senate. After a notam outage grounded airplanes nationwide in January, Reps. Pete Stauber (R-Minn.) and Mark DeSaulnier (D-Calif.) reintroduced the bill in January which passed the House later that month.
Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), and Shelly Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) introduced the companion bill in the Senate where it was later amended to include directing the FAA to finish modernizing the NOTAM system and create a backup system by September 30, 2024.
AOPA worked closely with industry stakeholders to include in the Senate version of the bill a realistic, but pressing, timeline for the FAA.
“These changes to the notam system are long overdue,” said AOPA Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Jim Coon. “AOPA appreciates the bipartisan effort to ensure pilots can feel safe operating in an accurate and updated system.”
Thanks to AOPA for this article