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Administrator Foreshadows EAA AirVenture as Definitive Forum on New Rules
July 20, 2004 - During a press conference today announcing a set of aviation regulations that will significantly reduce barriers to participation in recreational aviation, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) commended the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) for its work spanning more than a decade to promote, develop, and usher in a new era in sport aviation.

FAA Administrator Marion Blakey named EAA first among industry groups who partnered with FAA to create the new sport-pilot and light-sport-aircraft regulations, which will make basic sport and recreational aviation a viable pastime for more individuals by lowering the overall investment in training and equipment. She also designated next week’s EAA AirVenture event, the association’s annual showcase fly-in and convention in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, as the next major venue for disclosure and discussion of this new category of recreational flying,

“If you’d like to get the full depth and breadth of today’s announcement, what it means to America, visit EAA’s AirVenture next week at Oshkosh,” she told reporters. “If you’re looking for grassroots aviation, the grass is not going to be any greener anywhere than at Oshkosh this year.”

In discussing the appeal of sport aviation, Blakey related an experience she had at last year’s AirVenture. “I had the pleasure — and I do mean pleasure — of flying one of these aircraft out at Oshkosh. It was a FlightDesign CT, and I flew it with a pilot for about 30 minutes. It was like a bird, being out there. As I recall, we were at about 3,000 feet. It was a spectacular view. It tells you why this rule is so important to so many people. It was nothing short of an incredible experience,” she said.

FAA Administrator Marion Blakey
addresses the media.

EAA President Tom Poberezny with John Yonkin,
who brought his powered parachute from Pennsylvania
for the event; Administrator Blakey; and Sue Gardner.

When the new regulations take effect Sept. 1, the door to such experiences will swing wider for more aviation enthusiasts. “Getting wings just got considerably less expensive with one stroke of the pen. And on top of that, light-sport aviation just got considerably safer,” Blakey said.

In a private meeting following FAA’s media briefing, EAA President Tom Poberezny met with FAA’s entire sport pilot rulemaking team and the entire administrative team to share congratulations and to express thanks.

“When you’ve been working on something such as this you often wonder how you’re going to feel when it really happens. I can safely say there is nowhere else in the United States or on the planet that I would want to be than here,” Poberezny said of being at FAA Headquarters for the announcement.

With these regulations, FAA has created two new aircraft airworthiness certificates: one for special light-sport aircraft, which may be used for personal as well as for compensation while conducting flight training, rental or towing; and a separate certificate for experimental light-sport aircraft, which may be used only for personal use. The regulations also establish requirements for maintenance, inspections, pilot training, and certification.

The agency expects the return of thousands of pilots who left aviation because of high costs, and a significant influx of new entrants enticed by the dramatically lowered obstacles. It also anticipates that the regulations’ safety requirements should also give this segment of the general aviation community better access to insurance, financing, and airports.

Tom Poberezny presents Peggy Gilligan
with a special plaque of recognition.

Administrator Blakey seated in
John Yonkin’s powered parachute,
pictured with Tom Poberezny.

Pictured from left are Sue Gardner, FAA Sport
Pilot Manager; Peggy Gilligan, FAA Deputy
Associate Administrator for Regulation and
Certification; EAA President Tom Poberezny,
Administrator Marion Blakey, and Ron Wojnar,
FAA Deputy Director of Aircraft Certification Service

Tom Poberezny and
Administrator Blakey with
Doug Kelly in his Kitfox.

FAA’s Ron Wojnar and Jim Ballough pictured
in the cockpit of Doug Kelly’s Kitfox.

Jim Ballough, FAA’s Head of Flight Standards,
and Ron Wojnar, FAA Deputy Director of Aircraft
Certification Service, with Administrator Blakey
at the media briefing.

Wayne Bezner-Kerr (second from left), an
Airborne Australia Trike dealer from Ithaca,
New York, brought his aircraft to the briefing.
Also pictured are Tom Poberezny,
Administrator Blakey, Sue Gardner, and
Ron Wojnar.

EAA Aviation Center, 3000 Poberezny Road, Oshkosh, WI 54902
Phone: 920/426.4800

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