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09/09/04 - FAA SPORT PILOT MEETINGS CONTINUE IN OKLAHOMA CITY

EAA, others push for appropriate material for sport pilots

Practical test standards (PTS) and the aeronautical knowledge test for sport pilots remained the focus of discussion during Wednesday’s meetings at FAA’s Light-Sport Aviation Branch in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Morning sessions included individual group critiques of the PTS for the various categories of aircraft sport pilots may fly (fixed-wing, powered parachute, weight-shift control, and gyroplanes). FAA expects to release the PTS on October 1, 2004. Later sessions focused on a detailed review of the sport pilot general aeronautical knowledge test, which FAA expects to release in mid-October.

Marty Weaver, manager of the FAA Light-Sport Aviation Branch, welcomed the community’s input. “We invited the industry and community here to help us develop the knowledge testing requirements, so let us know your concerns.” Industry leaders emphasized the importance of including appropriate test questions.

“Let’s not let a proposed release date prevent us from getting the test right the first time,” said EAA Vice President of Government and Industry Relations Earl Lawrence.

Powrachute President Eddie Johnson echoed those sentiments when he said, “If we push this knowledge test to meet a deadline and we require individuals to have knowledge that’s not appropriate, the repercussions in the powered parachute community could be extremely negative.”

John King of King Schools, which is developing sport pilot instructional materials in partnership with EAA, added, “By including questions that are not really appropriate to sport pilot operations, we’re squandering the opportunity to really teach safety issues, which is FAA and the community’s common goal.”

A lively question-by-question review resulted in the deletion of numerous proposed questions and suggestions for improved variations of other questions.

The meetings continue through Friday, September 10.


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