New FAA Policy on Training In Experimental Aircraft.

Resasi

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fara

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There goes the Primary Category Certification of AutoGyro owner CFIs hoping to use the "certified" AutoGyro for training. Calling Primary Category "Type Certified" always bothered me as it is only a "Limited" Type certificate with a lot of restrictions that some have tried to gloss over in marketing material and one of the grey area ones with this clarification just put a whole bunch of gyroplane CFIs who own AutoGyro products they are using for training in the wrong with no way out as a LODA does not apply to them.
Hope FAA will address this but as of now they cannot train and charge for that training in those gyroplanes.
FAA - We are not happy till you are not happy

The correct way out for gyroplane training is SLSA gyroplanes like light sport airplanes and trikes have and some people are working in the background to try and make sure that happens in the next NPRM.
 
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bryancobb

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I have two thoughts. First, don't panic yet. Until a final law is published in The Federal Register, there's hope that common sense will win-out. The policy going into effect on July 12 is a short-term temporary situation.

Second, if I am not mistaken, the "vintage warbird" folks are the ones who stirred up this hornet's nest at the FAA. I think they widely interpreted the regulations so they could bend the rules to allow them to charge significant amounts to the general public for flights. I will now go read-up on it so I have a better understanding. Stay tuned.
 

bryancobb

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The crux of "Warbird Adventures, Inc. et al. v. FAA" and how it affects us all is the idea that, an
pilot who has never flown a particular model of aircraft, being allowed to pay a CFI, with significant
experience in that particular "limited category" aircraft enhances aviation safety and should be
allowed.

For "the little guy" who just bought a Calidus (SLSA) or a 2-seat Air Command (EAB) gyro, who was scared
to fly it without "some dual in his own aircraft," the FAA allowed for that by giving CFI's a LODA and then
it was copasetic. Safety was promoted, the CFI made a little bit of "bank," and everyone was better-off.

For Warbird Adventures, the situation was much different and it pissed off the FAA. This was not a case
of an owner wanting some dual to be safe at flying their own aircraft. This was a FOR PROFIT organization
with a $million aircraft, charging members of the public big bucks, for dual in their limited category P-40,
given by a CFI that was in the payroll of Warbird Adventures. Lastly, that CFI did not hold a LODA,
probably because the FAA would not issue them one. The FAA would have seen exactly what was going on and
that Warbird Adventures was violating the spirit of the LODA exemption. This scenario was fun and
profitable but the FAA NEVER intended the LODA exemption to give birth to a "get warbird dual in your
logbook for $2000" industry.


The P-40N ("Limited" Category Aircraft) is NOT certificated/authorized for paid FLIGHT INSTRUCTION,
and the FAA issued a cease and desist order against Warbird Adventures saying they were using their
P-40N to give "compensated flight training" without the required LODA (exemption).

Warbird Adventures asked a court (courts typically are ignorant pertaining to "things aviation") to
reconsider the FAA's Cease and Desist Order. The court refused to do that but in the written denial
made some disastrous statements that effect us all. The court's words "When a flight student is paying
for instruction, the student is being carried for compensation." CREATES A BIG TRAIN WRECK. This statement
was made out of ignorance and departs from the FAA's long-standing premise that the compensation a flight
instructor receives for instruction is not compensation for piloting the aircraft.

THE BOTTOM LINE IS, Warbird Adventures bent the rules, made the FAA mad, and we will all be affected if
the FAA's longstanding premise is no longer in effect.
 

Resasi

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Clarifies the why, sadly not the consequences which as Bryan points out will effect many who will inadvertently be caught up by this.
 

WaspAir

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The court opinion in the Warbird Adventures case is explicitly unpublished, it explicitly denies review rather than provides full review and analysis, and the troubling wording is what lawyers call "obiter dictum" (meaning comments made in passing and not a definitive statement of the law that establishes precedent).

If I tried to rely on something as weak as that to resist an enforcement action, the FAA's lawyers would laugh at me. We have some genuine idiots at the FAA, making grief for everybody.
 

Hydro Pilot

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WARBIRD ADVENTURES:
I have visited Warbird Adventures at Kissimmee Gateway airport on several occasions. The first time was in 2013 and I wanted to see the 1950's era Aerocar built by Moulton Taylor. I had read that they had a small museum and one of the few still-flying Aerocars was there. My wife and I were pleasantly surprised how friendly they were. Not only did we get to experience the Aerocar up-close and personal for some pictures but the CFI let us climb into the cockpit of one of their T6 trainers and snap some pictures even though we weren't taking a flight. They have been training with two T6 (standard category) aircraft for quite a few years without any problems. He spent a lot of time with us just because we were interested. Each time we've gone there my wife asks me if I want to get a flight but I'd always declined. I don't remember the exact cost but it wasn't outrageous.

Our most recent visit was in February of this year. They had just made it through covid and were starting to get business going again. There was a young couple who I think are the owners that we met on this visit. Contrary to Brian's post, this is a small company with a shoe-string budget that barely makes enough to keep their small museum open. I can't imagine what the attorney fees are costing them for this FAA case. When I visited they had just acquired the P40 and told us they had planned to start flight training in it soon.

STALLION 51:
Contrast this with Stallion 51, another warbird training facility at the same airport. Stallion 51 has been training in 3 limited category P51s (N851D, N351DT, N51LW) for years and nobody cared. It is owned by Lee Lauderback, a friend of Kermit Weeks and BIG celebrity of the aviation industry. If you have been to Sun-N-Fun you've undoubtedly seen Lee's “Crazy Horse,” P51. They also have a T6 standard category and an L39 ( I don't know what its category is) that they train in. This is NOT the kind of place you just drop in and chat with the pilots and take a flight. This is the kind of place where you make an advanced reservation, pay your $2,000 (or more), go to a conference room for pre-flight briefing, put on a flight suit and finally go fly.

So what is the difference between these two that the FAA would single out Warbird Adventures?

I was really disappointed with Bryan's post about Warbird Adventures. It reminded me of many political news stories I have read recently. Here are some of my comments:

This was not a case of an owner wanting some dual to be safe at flying their own aircraft.”
Really? Then where would I go for training if I had a P40 and needed dual time? Do you think that all the flights given at fly-ins by CFIs are for people who have that same aircraft and need dual time?

This was a FOR PROFIT organization...”
Please show me a NON-PROFIT CFI so that I can get free lessons.

with a $million dollar aircraft...”
I can believe an aircraft as rare as a P40 trainer would be a million. Stallion 51's P51s are multi-million dollar aircraft.

given by a CFI that was in the payroll of Warbird Adventures.”
Again, what CFI is not on the payroll of some company?

Lastly, that CFI did not hold a LODA, probably because the FAA would not issue them one. The FAA would have seen exactly what was going on and that Warbird Adventures was violating the spirit of the LODA exemption.”
THE BOTTOM LINE IS, Warbird Adventures bent the rules, made the FAA mad, and we will all be affected if the FAA's longstanding premise is no longer in effect.”
There are many warbird training centers in the US. Not one of them holds a LODA!! In fact, many CFIs (including some gyro) train in experimental aircraft and are “bending” the same rules as Warbird Adventures because they don't have a LODA. Don't believe me? Check out EAAs list of who holds LODAs. You won't find a warbird training CFI on there, you will find SOME gyro CFIs on it.
https://www.eaa.org/eaa/pilots/letters-of-deviation-authority-holders-loda-holders

So here's my BOTTOM LINE:
Before you crucify Warbird Adventures remember, this case could have been brought against any number of CFIs or organizations who train in Limited, Primary or Experimental category aircraft without a LODA. One of the few statements I will agree with is: “we will all be affected if the FAA's longstanding premise is no longer in effect”.

From EAA's Jack Pelton:

“This entire episode is a scary example of how new interpretations of the regulations can upend the entire community. While this short-term fix allows operations to continue, it never should have come to this point. Creating more than 30,000 new LODAs and exemptions is a paperwork exercise that does nothing to advance safety.”
 

Smack

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Steve, I visited Warbird Adventures in December 2019 with the express desire to fly in the P-40.
I knew of that opportunity from a magazine article (earlier that year, I think), so they've had it for awhile.
Unfortunately, the Allison engine was out of the P-40 (they had just removed it "the week before"), so no flying. Darn it.
My recollection is that a 1/2 hour flight was about $1500.
I agree with your other points; hope this bad ruling gets overturned quickly.
Brian
 

bryancobb

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Thank you for that Steve. I don't know first-hand, but from what I read, Warbird Adventures acted like someone on the side of the road who fights with the cops rather than just being submissive and letting the cops arrest them.
 

Hydro Pilot

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Smack, you could be right about them having the P40 for some time. I knew it wasn't there when I was there previously and it wasn't flying in Feb when I was there. I think their T6 training flight was about $850 and that is what I meant by "not unreasonable". I just went to check their website and saw this announcement posted:
BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!!!
We are moving to our own private grass airfield this summer to enable our clientele to enjoy our fleet of vintage tailwheel aircraft in their proper setting. We have very exciting plans for our new location. Please stay tuned for more announcements!
We will be offering all our flight instruction services at our new airstrip, from private pilot, aerobatic and tailwheel training, all the way up to our Warbird operations.
Make a point to come see us soon in SC! In the meantime, we will be available for flights in Kissimmee every day for the next few months.

Seems they are moving to Ninety Six, South Carolina.

After doing a little research I've found out that aircraft in the Limited category, as many of the warbirds are, are not eligible for a LODA. There are a lot of big warbird training organizations (ie Stallion 51) who could have helped WA with their lawsuit but instead sat back and let WA take the brunt of the FAA legal action. Maybe they read the same kind of mis-information that Bryan read about them. Now they all lose. I blame the big guys for not helping them out.
 

Sv.grainne

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FWIW, I submitted a LODA request using the info on the EAA website this past weekend. Just got my approved LODA back from the local FSDO a moment ago!
 

Hydro Pilot

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Wow that's good news. Did you list as "Gyroplanes" generically or a specific type ie. "RAF 2000"?
 

Sv.grainne

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Sorry, turns out with a single place machine not needed. If you own a 2 place and want to receive training in it you will need a LODA. Submit a request now, good for 4 years and email request at this point will be processed quickly.
 

bryancobb

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Sorry, turns out with a single place machine not needed. If you own a 2 place and want to receive training in it you will need a LODA. Submit a request now, good for 4 years and email request at this point will be processed quickly.
It's my understanding now, that if you even PAY a CFI to stand on the ground and provide flight instruction to you while you fly your single seat, N-Numbered gyro, THAT CFI will need a LODA.
 

Sv.grainne

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Bryan:

I was told that it wasn't needed by several people but my experience to date screamed at me to just get the LODA!

I followed the format suggested by the EAA and got the response from the FAA so quickly that I thought there might be a problem. The document (pdf) that I got would not display properly on my phone so I exchanged several emails with the FSDO. He went so far as to convert the 3 individual pages to .jpg's and sent them to me.
 

Hydro Pilot

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This is probably a good time for instructors to submit LODA requests. The FAA is probably inundated with requests and under pressure to get them all approved. I noticed two things looking at the LODA list. It is possible to list "gyroplanes" generically and to list it under a company name ie Rons Gyroplanes. Seems like the right way to go about it.
 

WaspAir

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It's my understanding now, that if you even PAY a CFI to stand on the ground and provide flight instruction to you while you fly your single seat, N-Numbered gyro, THAT CFI will need a LODA.
That's way past silly. It can't be logged by the CFI as "flight" instruction because - - duh - - he's not flying. He"s certainly not carrying persons or property for hire if he's not even in the aircraft. If a LODA is necessary, one has to ask just what regulation you would be "deviating" from with that Deviation Authority.

If that's "flight" instruction, then ATC will need LODAs and instructor ratings to give instructions by radio from the ground (they are compensated for their work).
 
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