DOT changes may reduce pilot training cost

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According to an Experimental Aviation Association bulletin, the long awaited revisions on the docket in the Federal Register support the 22 FAA proposed changes affecting sport pilots. Changes include allowing Sport Pilots to fly higher and safer in mountainous regions and permit weight-shift control aircraft and powered parachute to gain experience in towered airport airspace. Also S-LSAs will be able to be used at Part 141 flight schools helping to reduce training costs for all student pilots.

The EAA also was enthusiastic that a key change to the aircraft maintenance rules will allow E-LSA owners whose aircraft were originally certified as an S-LSA to perform their own maintenance. “The revisions to the rule will affect everyone differently. For most there will be very little change. But certain groups like E-LSA owners whose aircraft used to be certificated under S-LSA provisions should be excited since they will now be able to maintain and sign-off maintenance on their own aircraft.” said Earl Lawrence, EAA’s vice-president of Industry and Regulatory Affairs. “Obviously there were disagreements with the FAA’s in other areas, and EAA will continue to fight for changes in the future such as the rules on ultralight aeronautical experience.” EAA and NAFI’s three primary focus points during their review of the proposals were to maintain the original intent of the rule; ensure continued growth of the technology for the pilots, instructors, and repairmen; and ensure the continued lowering of economic and regulatory barriers for participants. The revisions are set to go into effect on April 2, 2010.

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