Around the Field News #101

The official start of summer... FAA speaks on the CFI controversy... two teens fly a Piper Cub across the country. Where have we heard that before?... A very low RPM Captain Stephen Force.

Summer is here!

Thursday, June 24, 2021 — #101

Summer officially started this week, and we're motoring along through the middle of prime flying season around the country.

What’s going on around general aviation in these early days of Summer?

FAA muddies the waters regarding commercial flight training’s legality.

A few months ago U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled in a suit about training of pilots in rare warbirds. The court ruled that the mustang training in question was a form of commercial aviation that was prohibited by the regulations. But the also chose to indicated that this ruling would apply to a much wider range of aircraft and training types than just that one aircraft model in question. And some believe this ruling might in fact prohibit a very very wide range of flight training situations.

Many in the aviation world have been pressing the FAA to weigh in here, and clarify that this ruling did not make a wide swath of flight training against the commercial aviation regs. And the other day they made a preliminary indication, but it seems to confirm the courts prohibition. This is a kinda big deal.

While it may not prohibit all flight training, it seems to throw a wrench in the legality of many everyday flight training situations.

The FAA says they will issue their formal response in the future. Hopefully wiser heads will prevail by that time.

…the agency has taken the position that “a flight instructor who is operating (i.e. “using”) a limited category aircraft that is carrying a person (i.e. the person receiving instruction) for compensation (i.e. payment) is acting contrary to the regulation [14 CFR §91.315]” that prohibits carrying people or property for compensation or hire in a limited category aircraft. The FAA also noted that the regulations governing experimental and primary category aircraft—sections 91.319 and 91.325—mirror the language in 91.315 and therefore must be interpreted to have the same meaning and restrictions.

Link: AvWeb: “FAA Clarifies Flight Training Policy For Limited Category Aircraft”

Two Teens, Two Cub Adventures

One of my all-time favorite aviation books is “Flight of Passage” by Rinker Buck. It’s the story of two teenage boys who fly a Piper Cub across the US in a flying adventure and coming of age.

AOPA’s website tells of two different modern-day teens who are attempting similar adventures.

18 year old Ben Templeton is working on a “100-airport, 8,300-mile journey” which began on June 1 and is ongoing.

Templeton says he hopes the trip will raise general aviation awareness among young people.

In a separate journey, 16 year old Luc Zipkin is attempting to fly from Connecticut to California and back. His flight is supported by his father, CFI Eric Zipkin who is following along in the family’s Cessna 180.

Young Zipkin says he’s doing the flight in part to raise awareness for the Young Pilots USA program. AvWeb writes, “Zipkin decided there should be an aviation organization specifically for young pilots and stressed that diversity and inclusion were paramount to growing the future pilot community.”

Link: AOPA

Pretty good fuel economy

Pilot Pal Steve Tupper posted this pic on Twitter.

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