A model for leaning the FARs

The bloat we’ve seen in the Federal Air Regulations is a hurdle to those interested in learning to fly. I’ve said it before. Now I’ve got proof. OK, so it’s not regulatory bloat, but it translates. In the September 2011 issue of the Avionics News, a story titled, “Lean & Mean” details how Duncan Aviation strives for lean:

“Duncan’s engineers also have applied Lean. One team was creating very detailed work instructions for Duncan’s Falcon 7X avionics and interiors completions, but these were not being used by the shop. The company found that, by reducing the amount of detail in the documents, the instructions were more usable from plane to plane. As a result, Duncan was able to redeploy two of the three engineers on the project to other work.”

FARs continue to add more and more detail to each chapter and verse, year after year. That detail is akin to legislating common sense. Rid ourselves of the bloat and we’ll rid ourselves of a significant barrier to entry for a pilot/mechanic/controller/etc.

By way of example from my earlier thoughts on the topic:

“Pulling just one section (91.5 — Preflight action) from 1965 reads as: Each pilot in command shall, before beginning a flight, familiarize himself with all available information concerning that flight. This information must include, for a flight under IFR or a flight not in the vicinity of an airport, available weather reports and forecasts, fuel requirements, alternatives available if the planned flight cannot be completed, and any known traffic delays of which he has been advised by ATC. (Just 66 words from start to finish.)”

Today, that section is 160 words. As I re-read the above section I wonder if the following edits would pass muster?

“Each pilot in command shall, before beginning a flight, familiarize himself with all available information concerning that flight.”

Eighteen words that say it all. While I understand the desire to detail what “all available information” could be, there is no way to factor in all variables.

Maybe we should put Duncan Aviation’s Ted Roethlisberger, the company’s manager of continuous improvement, in charge of “Leaning” the FARs.

Comments

  1. Ted Roethlisberger says:

    Ben, just came across this via google.  Give me a call, and maybe we can discuss your ideas.

    -Ted

  2. Mcdonald1313 says:

    BRAVO ! I’ve been a F.I. for 15years and I could not agree more.

  3. Amen!

  4. Ernie Kelly says:

    Hallelujah.  Common sense at last.

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  1. [...] The bloat we’ve seen in the Federal Air Regulations is a hurdle to those interested in learning to fly. I’ve said it before. Now I’ve got proof. OK, so it’s not regulatory bloat, but it translates. In the September 2011 issue of the Avionics News, a story titled, “Lean & Mean” details how Duncan Aviation strives for lean: Continue Reading » [...]

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