January 2014

Experimenter is a magazine created by EAA for people who build airplanes. We will report on amateur-built aircraft as well as ultralights and other light aircraft.

Issue link: http://experimenter.epubxp.com/i/247918

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Page 6 of 38

EAA Hails Bill to Cut Third-Class Medical for Many GA Pilots REPS. TODD ROKITA (R-IN) and Sam Graves (R-MO) introduced a bill in the U.S. House in mid-December that seeks to abolish the third-class medical certificate for many pilots who fly recreationally. The General Aviation Pilot Protection Act of 2013 (HR 3708), co-sponsored by Reps. Bill Flores (R-TX), Mike Pompeo (R-KS), Collin Peterson (D-MN), and Richard Hanna (R-NY), would require pilots who fly recreationally to hold a valid driver's license in lieu of a thirdclass medical certificate and operate under specific limitations. EAA and other aviation associations worked with Rokita to develop and promote this legislation as part of a continuing commitment to lowering barriers to aviation participation. "This legislation addresses two goals EAA has long advocated: eliminating excess red tape in the medical certification process while maintaining a safe way to keep pilots flying," said Jack Pelton, EAA chairman of the board. "Our members and the general aviation community have long supported a change in the medical certification process. This proposal will maintain safety, reduce costs for pilots and the federal government, and allow people to pursue the unique freedom of flight in the same way they can pursue other powered recreational activities." The proposed legislation would allow pilots to use a valid state driver's license in place of the traditional medical certificate if the flights are: • not for compensation • conducted in VFR operations only, at or below 14,000 feet MSL • no faster than 250 knots • in aircraft with no more than six seats and no more than 6,000 pounds gross takeoff weight. In addition to allowing pilots to operate common GA aircraft for recreational flying without a third-class medical, the bill mandates that the FAA prepare and send a report to Congress detailing the impact of the bill's passage on GA safety within five years of the bill's enactment. "The third-class medical certificate does little to evaluate the day-to-day fitness of pilots flying recreationally," said Sean Elliott, EAA vice president of Advocacy and Safety. "There are better ways to maintain high medical standards for aviation and allow individuals the freedom to enjoy the world of flight." The bill continues EAA's efort to maintain aviation safety while growing participation in aviation. EAA and other aviation groups have regularly petitioned the FAA for medical certification updates and changes, most recently in the joint EAA/AOPA third-class medical certificate exemption request in March 2012. The FAA has yet to move on the request, despite more than 16,000 supportive comments to the docket during the public comment period—a fact not lost on members of Congress who have been monitoring the issue. EAA is grateful for the support of Congress on this issue, which is critical to pilots everywhere, and will work tirelessly toward passage of the bill. Steve Wittman Among 2014 National Aviation Hall of Fame Inductees THE LATE SYLVESTER J. "Steve" Wittman, the pioneering aircraft designer, builder, and racer who was an early EAA member and the namesake of Oshkosh's Wittman Regional Airport, is one of six individuals who are among the class of 2014 inductees for the National Aviation Hall of Fame (NAHF). The NAHF announced the upcoming year's inductees in mid-December on the anniversary of the Wright brothers' first successful powered flight on December 17, 1903. Wittman built his first airplane in 1924 and competed in his first air race in 1926. He managed the Oshkosh airport and operated an FBO and flight school there while continuing to design, construct, and fly innovative aircraft, his homebuilt kit plans selling in the thousands. His final air race was in 1989, at age 85. Along with Wittman's name on the Oshkosh airport he managed until the late 1960s, EAA Chapter 252 in Oshkosh is known as the "Steve Wittman Chapter." The six 2014 inductees will join 219 other aviation and space pioneers who have been welcomed into the NAHF since 1962. That roster includes EAA's late founder, Paul Poberezny, who was inducted in 1999. Also on the list of 2014 honorees is EAA board member Alan Klapmeier, who will be inducted along with his brother, Dale. The 2014 induction will take place in Dayton on October 4, 2014. Other inductees include: the late Bertrand "Bert" B. Acosta; Brigadier General James A. McDivitt, US. Air Force (ret.); and Emily Howell Warner. EAA Experimenter 7

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