A convoluted mess

I must agree with Brian Sheets of Beaverton, Ore., with regard to a “Disaster waiting to happen” (Letters to the Editor, Dec 10, 2004).

I believe that creating two new pilot designations with lower standards and less training, “sport” and “recreational” pilots, was a mistake. In order to make flying available to persons who don’t wish to go through the rigors of the current private pilot training syllabus, what the FAA should have done was to simplify some of the convoluted mess we now must live under and invite more private pilots.

For example, why in the world in this day and age must new private pilots have to learn all the antiquated weather symbols and abbreviations that were used when teletypes were in vogue, some of which are based on the French language? As important as weather data are, why must we live with so many possibilities for error? Does it really matter to the pilot where the weather data come from, satellite, radar, balloon, observation, etc.? Why not simply have comprehensive local and area weather progs and report charts? Shouldn’t the textual reports and forecasts be in plain English?

FAR 91.155 and many others could and should be greatly simplified. The regs that we currently live under are a result of decades of revisions and revised revisions.

Do we really need six classes of airspace, four, or is it five, types of ASOS, plus AWOS, etc.? The list of excesses goes on and on.

There are many areas where the rules and regs, indeed the whole system, should be simplified without compromising knowledge necessary for safe flying. We would all be better trained and safer if the effort expended to obtain a license were used to learn meaningful information instead of gobbledygook. There would be fewer potential pilots scared off by all the convolutedness.

Some of the brighter lights at the FAA should consult with some of us old instructors, then sit down and review the convoluted system we are enduring and come up with a simpler system both in the interest of safety and to attract more pilots who would be better trained, not lesser trained, as is the case with recreational and sport pilots.

John Shomin
Liberal, Mo.

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