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Thread: Help From The EAA to Save FAR Part 103

  1. #21
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBlack View Post
    Was the flying depicted in the video safe or unsafe? Legal or illegal?
    Answer those questions and we can go from there.
    OK, I'll bite. The operations in the video were unsafe, and a violation of Part 103.

    So...where are we going from here? Are we expected to, en masse, contact the FAA and complain?

    The pilot community is, to a large extent, composed of conservative law-and-order types. Yet there's a curious dichotomy in our make-up: We have a powerful reluctance to "drop the dime" to the FAA about rules violations by other pilots. The FAA enforcement folks are generally looked on with fear and loathing; in the words of friend of mine, "I wouldn't [urinate] on him if he was on fire."

    Pithy expressions aside, it takes a very, VERY high bar before we call in the FAA. I've known guys who have removed a generator to avoid installing a transponder, who have removed the spinner and wheel pants of an RV-6-class homebuilt and declares it now qualifies as an LSA (he had developed diabetes and knew they wouldn't renew his medical), and those who crashed their airplanes and hid the wreckage before the FAA or NTSB found out about it.

    I didn't report any of these people, despite knowing the actual dates of the transgressions and the ability to point at specific rule violations. Why should I call the FAA about a violation that I only know about FROM A YOUTUBE VIDEO, and where I can't give them any more information (names, places, dates) than is contained in the video itself?

    I presume you informed the FAA about the video, yourself. What would be added by me giving them the same information?

    And if you haven't...why not?

    Ron Wanttaja
    Last edited by rwanttaja; 01-25-2020 at 01:41 PM.

  2. #22
    Airmutt's Avatar
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    Just to be clear.....EAA does not supervise its membership. EAA provides resources for the education, recreation and safety of its members. Volunteer assistance programs such as Technical Counselors and First Flight Advisor do not meet the standard of supervision. Supervision implies liability and I can unequivocally state EAA does not want or assume the liability of its individual members.

    The FAA is the sole authority to regulate and enforce aeronautical activity in this country. The various aviation alphabet organizations can provide policy input to the FAA and even help craft policy but enforcement authority is not delegated. So you’re out of luck there.

    If you and maybe others are unhappy with your association, then vote with your feet and your wallet. If your association is broke then it’s up to the membership to fix it themselves; don’t ask others.

    You seem to have a lot of passion on this issue and even some personal knowledge of past and current activities in that area. Like others, I would like to know have you contacted the local FSDO or FAST office? If yes, what was their response? If no, why are you asking others to do what you yourself have not done?
    Dave Shaw
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  3. #23
    Sam Buchanan's Avatar
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    Uhhh.....are we being trolled???

    (I can't believe I'm responding to this thread again......)
    Sam Buchanan
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  4. #24

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    JBlack, if the hang glider pilots flew inside a cloud as you allege, how did they control it without any artificial horizon instruments like an attitude indicator. How did they avoid losing control without visual reference to the horizon?

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Greenwood View Post
    JBlack, if the hang glider pilots flew inside a cloud as you allege,
    Never said that. Said they violated 103.23. Separation from clouds. 1000 ft over, 500 ft under, 2000 ft horizontal cloud clearance.
    They didn't have to go into the clouds to repeatedly, (18 times minimally), to violate 103.23, but I guarantee you they went in the clouds.
    That video footage was edited out. Whiteout is not make good youtube fodder.

    how did they control it without any artificial horizon instruments like an attitude indicator. How did they avoid losing control without visual reference to the horizon?
    To get perfectly technical with you, it's the much studied 'lawn dart' equation.
    The pointy end has most the weight. You pull in hard and you go down.
    This is why it is so dangerous for stick pilots to take up hang gliding in their waning years.

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by rwanttaja View Post
    OK, I'll bite. The operations in the video were unsafe, and a violation of Part 103.
    And they did it a minumum of 18 times.

    So...where are we going from here? Are we expected to, en masse, contact the FAA and complain?
    Well not yet.
    How about a strongly worded letter to the USHPA or the SHGA to get them to do their duty to correct these blatant, dangerous violations?
    The pilot community is, to a large extent, composed of conservative law-and-order types. Yet there's a curious dichotomy in our make-up: We have a powerful reluctance to "drop the dime" to the FAA about rules violations by other pilots. The FAA enforcement folks are generally looked on with fear and loathing; in the words of friend of mine, "I wouldn't [urinate] on him if he was on fire."

    Pithy expressions aside, it takes a very, VERY high bar before we call in the FAA. I've known guys who have removed a generator to avoid installing a transponder, who have removed the spinner and wheel pants of an RV-6-class homebuilt and declares it now qualifies as an LSA (he had developed diabetes and knew they wouldn't renew his medical), and those who crashed their airplanes and hid the wreckage before the FAA or NTSB found out about it.

    I didn't report any of these people, despite knowing the actual dates of the transgressions and the ability to point at specific rule violations. Why should I call the FAA about a violation that I only know about FROM A YOUTUBE VIDEO, and where I can't give them any more information (names, places, dates) than is contained in the video itself?
    Your examples were more like parking tickets. Were any lives put at risk in your assertion of violations?

    The 103.23 violations, I assert, were dangerous to an un-calculable measure, to people, property and Part 103.
    And they were documented, on video, in the pilot's own words and deeds.
    See the difference?

    I presume you informed the FAA about the video, yourself.
    That's classified information at this time.
    What would be added by me giving them the same information?
    The power of numbers.
    The squeaky wheel gets the grease.
    Many hands make light work.
    The safety of our children makes it worth it.
    To help set an example for others.
    It's the right thing to do.

  7. #27
    Sam Buchanan's Avatar
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    Bizarre...but entertaining in a demented sort of way.......
    Sam Buchanan
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  8. #28
    Airmutt's Avatar
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    Hey Sam, I’m thinking more like a death spiral.
    “I’m pinned forward. Goose you’ll have to punch us out. Look out for the canopy!”
    Dave Shaw
    EAA 67180 Lifetime
    Learn to Build, Build to Fly, Fly for Fun

  9. #29
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBlack View Post
    How about a strongly worded letter to the USHPA or the SHGA to get them to do their duty to correct these blatant, dangerous violations?
    Have you written, and sent such a letter? Why in the world should EAA get involved in a ****** contest with other aviation groups? The groups should be beholden to their members, not other aviation entities.

    EAA doesn't interject into these organizations membership, like EAA is not shoving its way between the FAA and Boeing regarding the 737 Max. Even though yes, it's all about SAFETY....

    Quote Originally Posted by JBlack View Post
    Your examples were more like parking tickets. Were any lives put at risk in your assertion of violations?
    Certainly. One was operating without a transponder in airspace where a transponder was nominally required for his aircraft. The Cerritos crash LED to that requirement. The diabetic pilot was flying a 1,600-pound aircraft at ~150 MPH around a major metropolitan area.

    Quote Originally Posted by JBlack View Post
    The 103.23 violations, I assert, were dangerous to an un-calculable measure, to people, property and Part 103.

    And they were documented, on video, in the pilot's own words and deeds.
    See the difference?
    Certainly, you got it right on the head: un-calculatable. There was a theoretical risk (like the friends I mentioned), but no actual accident or even near-accident. You can't tell me how likely an accident of this sort will be, and, given the circumstances, the actuality of a collision is extremely low.

    Had this instance occurred in Class B airspace, the FAA might take notice... the public would be in danger. But the risk of mid-air collisions, ESPECIALLY AWAY FROM THE AIRPORT ENVIRONMENT, is incredibly low.

    I'm not surprised the FAA doesn't care.

    Quote Originally Posted by JBlack View Post
    I presume you informed the FAA about the video, yourself.
    That's classified information at this time.
    In other words, no. If doing so is a moral course you're pushing us to take, you should be proud to admit you've taken action.

    Ironically, you could have lied and just said that you had. The fact that you equivocated, rather than state yes or no, is a pretty good sign that you didn't file your own complaint with the FAA.

    Quote Originally Posted by JBlack View Post
    What would be added by me giving them the same information?
    The power of numbers.
    Now THAT'S a real thigh-slapper.

    This ain't "American Idol." A bunch of people (none of them actually WITNESSING the alleged violation) sending identical complaints based on the same Youtube video aren't going to affect what the FAA does here.

    The first step to the FAA process will be to establish what penalties might be assessed. The FAA can suspend or cancel airman certificates relatively easily.

    Not going to be the case, with a hang-glider operation. The FAA enforcement folks will need to go for the monetary fines. But that will trigger an increased level of due process. Just proving who "Vicarious Icarus" is likely to be expensive (note I said, PROVING, not knowing). The FAA is going to need to quantify the additional safety achieved through prosecution...and, as you say, the safety impact is "un-calculatable." Without a known near-miss, without an physical witness, without a quantifiable increase of safety to justify the expenditure, the FAA isn't going to care.

    The FAA is used to going after specific N-Numbers, with aircraft logbooks and traceable ownership, and pilots with valuable certificates that can be held hostage to their own actions. The FAA enforcement process is less "American Idol" than "The Batchelorette" ... a bunch of whiny men, a bunch of exaggerated claims, and at the end, someone gets s***wed.

    Ron Wanttaja
    Last edited by rwanttaja; 01-25-2020 at 07:43 PM.

  10. #30

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    "
    Uhhh.....are we being trolled???"

    Starting to sound more and more like fishing line peeling off a reel at high speed - lol

    "Don't believe everything you see or read on the internet" - Abraham Lincoln

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