EAA Government Advocacy
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EAA continues to work hard on these issues and others of importance to EAA members and other aviators. There is strength in numbers, not only in EAA member participation but also in joining with other aviation groups and important allies such as the general aviation caucuses in the House and Senate.
In mid-August, the FAA announced a
proposed airworthiness directive (AD) on
certain replacement cylinder assemblies
manufactured by Airmotive Engineering
Corp. and marketed by Engine Components
International (ECi). The proposed AD, which
affects certain ECi cylinders installed on
large-bore Continental engines, would require
frequent borescope inspections, unusual
record-keeping requirements for cylinder
times, and cylinder replacement before engine
TBO. The FAA estimates that approximately
6,000 aircraft would be affected, costing the
fleet’s operators $82.6 million.
The FAA uses the Monitor Safety/Analyze Data (MSAD) process, outlined in FAA Order 8110.107, as a risk assessment tool to profile potential impacts on aviation safety. If a particular issue is found to be a hazard, the results of the MSAD process are sent to the FAA Corrective Action Review Board (CARB). CARB is designed to be an intermediary, acting to “ensure a complete data package is submitted to the AD process.”
EAA, along with AOPA, NATA, American Bonanza Society, Cessna Pilots Association, and Twin Cessna Flyer, submitted a letter to the FAA requesting that the input data and results of the MSAD process, including the “data package” submitted to the AD process by CARB, be released to the proposed rulemaking docket for public review. The letter also requested an extension of the comment period so the associations and public have time to analyze the data, assess the relative hazards, and make intelligent, reasoned comments to the proposed AD.
“In order to fully understand what the actual risk profi le means to the GA community, we have asked that the FAA share the results from the risk assessment tool by posting it to the proposed AD docket,” said Sean Elliott, EAA vice president of advocacy and safety. “It is particularly important that this internal information be made public due to the potential massive cost and inconvenience that this AD would bring.”
The letter requests “that the Agency provide the supporting data and analysis used in developing this proposal and any future proposals,” which would make the AD process more transparent to interested parties who wish to contribute to the AD process during the comment period.
“The FAA has risk assessment protocols, and we want to see that they are being followed,” Elliott said. “We firmly believe that having as many eyes on the data as possible can only be a driver of targeted safety gains, and we are happy to be a part of the process.”
The Final Word - Sean Elliott, EAA Vice President of Advocacy and Safety
Paul Poberezny: Advocacy at Its Finest
The passing of our founder causes me to reflect on the long heritage of EAA advocacy and the tremendous influence of Paul Poberezny’s philosophy on EAA working successfully with the federal government.
Since 1953, Paul instilled a common-sense approach of working together to solve problems within aviation. Even at his first formative meeting of EAA, Paul invited a local representative of the then-CAA to attend and participate in what became the birth of our organization.
According to longtime EAA Director Buck Hilbert, Paul’s philosophy was one of “seek input and together find a solution.” This has been demonstrated time and time again. When the FAA was just beginning to recognize the benefits of aircraft shoulder harnesses, Paul demonstrated collaboration and leadership by asking EAA members to take a safety pledge committing to install shoulder harnesses in their homebuilt aircraft. This at a time, mind you, when even cars still had only a lap belt. Paul was never afraid to lead from the front. To this day, the FAA respects EAA for that trait.
During his days as EAA president, Paul spent a lot of time traveling to FAA headquarters in Washington, D.C. During these visits he never forgot his roots and whom he represented. It was during the late ’80s that Paul asked EAA Director Jack Harrington to attend meetings on behalf of EAA.
Jack remembers some sage advice Paul offered in representing EAA, “I remember speaking with Paul about the purpose of the meeting with FAA, and the goals I hoped to accomplish. I will never forget at the end of our discussion when Paul said to me, ‘Remember, Jack, when you are in Washington for EAA, you are not a Chicago aviation attorney, you are an EAA member from Oshkosh, Wisconsin, representing the grassroots of sport aviation.’ I never forgot Paul’s advice. In fact, I kept those words in mind on many occasions even when I was doing my job as a Chicago aviation attorney. Paul’s advice made me a better aviation lawyer.”
All of us within EAA will miss Paul enormously. Like all great leaders, his legacy of collaborative and respectful government advocacy will live on with EAA’s continued preservation of freedoms, high standards, and leadership within aviation. He would expect nothing less.
EAA's Government Relations department works to preserve the freedom of flight and reduce the regulatory barriers affecting affordability and access to EAA members’ participation in aviation. Protecting the freedom to fly is the foundation on which all of the organization’s advocacy initiatives are built. EAA fights to preserve this freedom by providing clear solutions and practical alternatives backed by hard work and dedication. EAA’s history of success is a testament to that philosophy.