What the top man at the FAA wants GA pilots to know

OSHKOSH — FAA Acting Administrator Michael Huerta, on his first trip to AirVenture, wants general aviation pilots to know that safety is No. 1.

“We want them to know that the thing we care about most of all is safety,” he said Wednesday during a sit-down at the FAA Safety Building on the AirVenture grounds. “We want to know that every time they take the controls of their aircraft that they are safe — that we’ve done everything that we can to ensure the safety of that particular flight and that particular aircraft and everything that goes with it and they’ve taken the appropriate level of responsibility to ensure that every one of their systems is completely safe.”

He said FAA officials are asking general aviation pilots to take time this summer to reassess their safety. “We all have our routines,” he noted. “We just want them to take some time to sit back and ask the question ‘am I doing everything I can to maintain the maximum level of safety?’”

Huerta and other FAA officials will meet the Oshkosh crowds tomorrow at the annual Meet the Administrator forum on the AirVenture grounds. It’s usually a lively discussion with lots of good questions from the pilots in the crowd. Look for a post on that event tomorrow and well as more on our discussion with Huerta on topics ranging from Light-Sport Aircraft to the Next Generation Air Transportation System.


  1. says

    Going by the comments that are on topic, nobody seems to think this article amounts to anything. He’s just as full of hackneyed vebiage as his puppet masters. Hey Huerta, if you’re reading this go back to Riverside where you belong with all the grafitti and cholos and choke to death on the smog you Marxist weasel.

  2. says

    Maybe all this “be safe”, “safety is number 1”, “Think about safety”, is to get everyone acclimated so we go along with it when they have one morbidly obese TSA pedophile per PIC in our pants per flight.  After all, they are treating everyone at airports like criminals for our safety.  Every time they say “Safety” or “Enhanced” one of our rights went out the window. I say “Went” because they are ALL out the window. Thanks to our not being safe before 911 (don’t you feel so much safer now with all these terris around) there is only one right left, one God given right that the Constitution spells out. And it will work really nice when they come to take it away pretty soon after this “UN Small Arms Treaty” they are using the Bozo Wig Killer to hype.

  3. Shop says

    “Completely Safe” a nice goal but not realistic. Aviation, especially general aviation, has inherent risks. The best we pilots can do is maintain our planes properly and continued training and education.

  4. TDWelander says

    Safety has always been first for me and everyone I know that flies.  I do not know a pilot who needs the reminder safety first.  The nature of flying demands safety first always.  I assume this actually a poll to get confirmation that everyone puts safety first. So, based on all the other comments, there should be no doubt safety is first for all pilots.

  5. Bob says

    The General Aviation  (GA) accident and incident rate is not better.  If anything, it has gotten worse since the number of total GA flight hours is down and accidents and incidents has remained level.

  6. SafeMan says

    In GA we are typically flying with close family and good friends.  Why would we shortcut safety when it directly influences those that we love?  Most of us typically double and tripe check everything just for such reasons!

    • says

      Oboingo nominated him for this permanent position, so you know he’s a Marxist. He knows nothing about flight. He holds a Bachelors in Politics from Cal State Riverside, and a Masters in Public and International Affairs from Princeton University. My dog could do that. He wouldn’t be there if he wasn’t a Marxist going along with the Globalist Banksters that took over our government while everyone was getting obese and watching Dancing with the Stars. I hope he trips on a sprinkler in his yard and catches a lawn dart in his face.

  7. BE says

    Yeah, right.

    If the FAA is concerned about safety for GA, then why does it not relax the certification process for implementing advanced technology in GA planes? this is pretty much the only reason you can’t mount a modern, far more reliable (not to mention less polluting) engine in a 40-year-old airframe. Considering that many deaths are a result of engine failures in flight… 

    Why is there effectively only one “plug-in” WAAS glass GPS (Garmin GNS430) for GA airplanes? because the FAA certification process is so cumbersome and expensive, that only a company like Garmin can afford it. That gives them effective monopoly power, which allows them to price it extremely, still putting it out of reach of those who really need it (owners of those 40-year-old airframes), and it prices out any young competitor who might be able to make something more cheaply that would still work and increase safety a LOT for GA planes.

    And this goes on and on with FAA. My challenge to the FAA is: if you are REALLY concerned about GA safety, start developing GA regulations that actually serve to increase safety. Otherwise, shut the hell up. 

    • says

      Why is there effectively only one WAAS GPS Navigator on the market? First, we should mention the 430W is being dropped this year. Garmin wants to sell the new GTNs. However, the answer is… they were allowed to buy their primary competition, Apollo/UPSAT, which had the superior CNX80 that beat them to market by literally years. They bought the company, renamed the product they wanted to kill the GNS480, used the new Garmin AT operation to pour the GNS480 technology into the 430/530 form factors, and once that was accomplished, they announced the abrupt ceasing of 480 production on New Year’s Eve without any prior notice whatsoever.

      That’s how toy companies operate, not capital equipment manufacturers.

      Even worse than the effective monopoly for GPS navigators is the effective monopoly for GPS databases. Expect something like a $500 annual subscription cost from the Garmin/Jepp partnership in order to have current data, which is, you might remember, is generated by the FAA. The Jepp database is delivered to Garmin, they run a computer program to digest it into the formats their GPS products need, and then they  generally ship the result to Jepp for them to distribute.

      The FAA, with great fanfare and prodding by the AOPA, undertook developing a royalty free digital database, and it’s delivering it… to Garmin and Jepp, among a few others. They use it to help keep their $500 a year product up to date.

      Many pilots don’t bother updating at those prices, and safety suffers. The funny thing is that the AOPA stopped lobbying Jepp and Garmin for a one time decrease in database subscription cost, since recovered with regular price increases. It might have something to do with all those Garmin and Jepp advertisements in the AOPA magazines. And the FAA decommissioning of terrestrial navaids continues.

  8. R117532 says

    Safety. Of course. How arrogant for a bureaucrat to think that we need such a reminder. Babble immersed in a false sense of importance and divorced from the facts.

    Isn’t it a fact that GA safety is improving at a rate faster than commercial safety?

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