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Thu, Jan 05, 2023

Update: LODA Restrictions Finally Abandoned By Congress

"It Was Never Anything But A Bureaucratic Paper Chase"

Our friends at SAFE (The Society of Aviation and Flight Educators) have been celebrating the elimination of a particularly onerous bit of FAA decision-making... by virtue of an act of Congress. H.R. 7776, the “James M. Inhofe National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2023”  -- which was passed by both the House and Senate and signed into law by the President just before year's end.

The FAA policy, established in July 2021, required certain aircraft owners and flight instructors to obtain a letter of deviation authority (LODA) prior to providing flight training in experimental aircraft—including the owners of homebuilt aircraft seeking training in their own machines.

The unforeseen 2021 policy change engendered a great deal of confusion among pilots and aircraft owners and forced the FAA to hastily adopt the LODA workaround lest tens-of-thousands of aviators found themselves summarily grounded.

The corrective Bill eliminates the FAA policy change last year that required a Letter of Deviation Authority (LODA) to give or receive flight training in an experimental aircraft. Prime movers for the measure were Reps. Sam Graves (R-Mo.), Rick Larsen (D-Wash.), Kai Kahele (D-Hawaii) and Senators Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.).

Sec. 5604 of the Bill states:

"A flight instructor, registered owner, lessor, or lessee of an aircraft shall not be required to obtain a letter of deviation authority from the [FAA administrator] to allow, conduct, or receive flight training, checking and testing in an experimental aircraft if 1) the flight instructor is not providing both the training and the aircraft; 2) no person advertises or broadly offers the aircraft as available for flighty training, checking, or testing; and 3) no person receives compensation for use of the aircraft for a specific flight during which flight training, checking, or testing was received, other than expenses for owning, operating, and maintaining the aircraft."

"It was never anything but a bureaucratic paper chase," said SAFE Executive Director David St George. "It actually decreased safety, which is the opposite of what the FAA is supposed to do." SAFE had been among the many GA organizations vociferously demanding this correction in policy.

FMI: www.congress.gov, www.faa.gov, www.safepilots.org

 


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