I hope this letter reaches you in time. It has been a bit hectic lately, so I’m a little late. Wait, why am I telling you this? You already know. This year, I only want three things:
Prompt certification for lead-free avgas: Shell recently joined GAMI and Swift in the race to produce a lead-free 100 octane fuel. Options for those of us who buy fuel for aircraft (mogas or avgas) is much needed. (Being reindeer-powered, I’m certain this doesn’t affect you.) But, I’d love to see all three (and more) come to market. Is it too much to ask for a quick, but thorough, approval process? After all, we just want to operate our airplanes safely and affordably.
A lump of coal for the FAA: The FAA is attempting an end-run around proper rulemaking by foolishly targeting certain pilots — those with a Body Mass Index (BMI) over 40 or a neck size greater than 17 inches — for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
I’m sure the FAA desires a healthy pilot population, but this proposed policy is flawed from start to finish. While I’ve never seen you face-to-face, the pop culture images show you to be a rather portly fellow. You might want to be careful this year Santa. We’ll do our part and leave you celery (yeah, I know) and carrots.
Common Sense for Congress: The General Aviation Pilot Protection Act, a bill proposed by Representatives Todd Rokita (R-Ind.) and Sam Graves (R-Mo.), and co-sponsored by Rep. Bill Flores (R-Texas), Rep. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.), Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) and Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) is something General Aviation desperately needs. The bill would revise the third class medical by replacing a brief, compulsory medical examination with a requirement that pilots possess a valid driver’s license as proof of health.
It would also limit pilots to flying with no more than five passengers, not above 14,000 feet and at no more than 250 knots, and in aircraft that have a maximum takeoff weight of 6,000 pounds.
While not perfect, in my humble opinion, it’s a great start to make aviation more accessible to pilots and would-be pilots alike. A little common sense would go a LONG way here.
To be honest, there is more I want. But I don’t want to get greedy. Besides, these wishes won’t affect your weight and balance much.
Happy Christmas Santa. Dark skies and tailwind