Although I have been following this for the CAF, I received the email below
from the Collings Foundation which also sells rides in their B-17 and B-24
in order to "keep 'em flying".
To recap: A couple years ago, a FAR change just allowed "Limited" and
"Experimental" aircraft (such most WW2 warbirds are flown) to be used for
money-making flights. Currently, a FAA Letter Of Authorization (LOA) must be
acquired before making these charity-benefit flights. To get the LOA, the
organization must first provide the FAA with Operational guidelines to prove
safety of flight for aircraft and aircrews. The same drug testing,
recurrency training, airframe inspections, and other "airline-style"
requirements are enforced, and the flight must originate from and return to
the same airport.
Now that appears to be "not enough" and yet another "freedom of flight" is
being attacked in the "interest of public safety". Heard that one before?
Of course a word to your respective Congressmen is desired and outlined at
the end of this message. This movement is not the same as the one to simply
make non-flyable all previously military aircraft. That is another attack
from another quarter.
Your help is needed to keep the sounds of radials and Merlins alive for our
children in memory of what others gave for freedom. Please forward.
"Big Brother" Considers Shutdown of Air Tours and Charitable Flight
The FAA recently (October 22) published a notice of proposed rulemaking
(NPRM) which if implemented would drastically limit or eliminate the
Collings Foundations ability to offer contributors "flight experiences".
The FAA claims the National Air Tour Safety Standards are needed for safety
reasons, but they offer only a very weak jumble of supporting data which
include 11 accidents over many years, eight of which occurred in Hawaii, 8
of 11 were helicopters, and none were WWII multiengine historic aircraft.
While FAA regulations are difficult to interrupt, this regulation is subject
to public input. We must get this regulation substantially modified or
eliminated because as the EAA noted in their October 27th 2003 release, "The
rule if finalized in its current form, would effectively force the grounding
of many historic aircraft, preventing the public from ever experiencing them
in flight again".
TO BE SURE WE ARE PERFECTLY CLEAR - Without the donations associated with
flight experiences including DFC and Plane Sponsor contributions the
Collings Foundation would be forced to shut down all of its Historic
Aircraft flying including the B-17, B-24, B-25 plus 8 other historic
aircraft. What we need you to do is any one or all of the following:
. Submit your comments to the Department of Transportation online Docket
Management System docket number 4521. The web address for this is:
http://dms.dot.gov/ search/. Type in the docket number 4521 in the search
to read the text of the docket, and comment by using the
"Comment/Submissions" button at the top.
. Contact your FAA representatives or officials (listing at www.faa.gov) or
the Office of Marion Blakey, FAA Administrator.
. Contact your Congressman or Senator (find contact info at
http://capwiz.com/rollcall/home/) And give them this message: Non-profit
501C3 organizations operating under an approved Exemption Letter, such as
Exemption 6540f should be totally exempted from the proposed National Air
Tour Safety Standards. Do it now, the comment period closes in January.