Frustrations/Disappointments - Good Show Topics

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Frustrations/Disappointments - Good Show Topics

Postby davidpatton111 » Thu Jun 29, 2017 12:31 pm

Hello guys. Love your show and always look forward to a new episode for my long drive to and from work. I apologize for this long email. I hope you all can please talk about each one of the issues I have here. I think the listeners would appreciate the insight, etc.

I'd like to request you do an episode, which addresses a few issues (a bit negative or at least frustrating), that I've noticed or learned since becoming involved in aviation just a short 1.5 years ago.

1. ADS-B mandate....Less than a month after I earned my PPL I bought my own plane, a Piper Clipper (PA16). It was affordable and I wanted to master flying a tail dragger (or conventional gear to be exact). Since then I've flown over 100 hours in the PA16 and of course learned a lot about maintenance costs and the painful world of owning a certified aircraft.

This brings me to my point. Does the FAA not want old planes flying, because the sure do make it difficult to get parts for such aircraft. Sure, thus far I've found the parts I need which have PMA's (I think that's the right term) but wow, is it limited at best. So now it's time for me to start thinking about ADS-B out and I have. I've found the perfect ADS-B out unit which will give me WX and traffic data to my iPad, Stratus ESG, which can be easily installed on Part 23 aircraft, using the lead STC. BUT can it, and why the heck does a radio or transponder need to additionally be on the AML (approved manufacture l)? Are they trying to make a mandate nearly impossible if not difficult to accomplish.... I need help understanding this insanity and especially for those of us who choose to fly something older. Yes, Appareo did return my email an said this about my plan not being on the AML..." The ESG is TSO'd and approved for installation in any Part 23 aircraft, regardless of AML status, by simply filling out a 337 document and noting: The uninstalled ADS-B Out system was shown to meet the equipment performance requirements of 14 CFR section 91.227"

From almost everyone I've talked to, to include mechanics and avionics professionals here in Virginia, the FSDO has been reluctant almost always to ever sign off on a 337.

This is what frustrates me. Why? Why is a mandated piece of gear required to undergo such a ridiculous process? I sometimes get the feeling, after a 1.5 year learning curve, that this entire process is because everyone thinks we need to have the exact matching standards as airliners do or that they really don't like GA and they intentionally have tried to make life very painful for us. I would love to hear ya'll address these types of issues.

2. AOPA - did I mention this was going to be the more negative or frustrating
I hear a bunch of talk about "affordable" flying and "we need to get more people interested in aviation." But are we really doing that? I see not affordable airplanes ever ever ever ever ever talked about in AOPA magazine nor the video podcast show they have AOPA live. Instead I see half a million to multi million dollar aircraft advertised. So are we trying to make it affordable for maybe middle to upper middle class (sort of) and definitly affordable to upper class? I see a lot of mixed messages. We talk about Cirrus airplanes like they are the norm (not you guys but others) on every podcast I listen to and show, like AOPA. I would love to hear your views on this issue.

3. Flight Schools - promise, last frustration and negative comment - I have three areas of absolute frustration and they all are in this email.
Ok... so we are attempting to bring folks into aviation... so, why is it that almost 100% (not all but most) flight schools have the worst customer service. I mean you walk in and no one looks at you and then some guy is like, yeah, can I help you. And no one is ever around to talk to, and I have but on only 2 or 3 occasions, actually had someone call me back and say "hey, you came to the flight school today, lets talk about your awesome goals and how we can help." And most of the instructors are so uptight and just hard to really talk to. I suppose after spending 120K in flight training and having a lot of debt I'd be frustrated as well. But really, I am very serious about this...flight schools are not welcoming. And really if you are shy about going to a flight school and have that kind of experience you may never come back again.

Guys, I appreciate it. I want to talk about some real issues and frustrations I know every listener ca n identify with. And If my observations are wrong then I need to know. These are just observations and things I've picked up on over time. I love flying, I love my Clipper, and I mostly like the folks I come across.



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Re: Frustrations/Disappointments - Good Show Topics

Postby C5Guy » Fri Jun 30, 2017 5:23 am

Hi Dave,

I've been an airplane owner for 5 years and a pilot for 28 years. I understand the frustrations you describe, but I'd like to give you my perspective on your concerns.

1). ADS-B mandate. Yes, it is expensive (in many cases it can approach 25% of the value of the airplane). The FAA has mandated such equipment in the past (e.g. transponders). Although expensive, I believe these measures have provided a substantial increase in safety for all of us.

My avionics shop installed my ADS-B transponder 6 months ago and I had no issues with paperwork. The process was very straight forward and I had my rebate check in hand 10 days after the installation. As far as gov't bureaucracy goes (and I would know, I was in the Air Force for 22 years) that is pretty spectacular. Perhaps the problem lies with your mechanics or FSDO.

I don't believe the FAA is actively trying to prevent "older" airplanes from flying. Yes, the 337 process can be frustrating. Every mechanic and FSDO seems to have different standards. But I do believe the FAA is changing. Slowly. The recent approval to allow non-certified equipment into our certified airplanes is evidence of this. Shop around for willing mechanics.

2) Flying is expensive. There is no way around it. AOPA and EAA can't make it more affordable. Most of us make sacrifices elsewhere in order to fly. But I do believe AOPA and EAA provide information on other paths to get into the air: flying clubs, partnerships, and home-building. No, most Americans cannot afford to solely own and operate a certified airplane like a 172. But that doesn't mean flying is impossible. Yes, the magazines often depict beautiful airplanes that most of us can only dream of owning. To me, that is part of the magic of being in aviation. Jeb pointed out something similar in one of his pieces on the guilty pleasure of browsing through a Trade-a-Plane.

3). I don't think your experience with flight schools is representative of all of them. Yes, there is a long way to go and AOPA is aware of the problem with some schools and FBOs. May I suggest you contact the owner of the flight school you had an issue with and offer some constructive criticism? Maybe the next person will have a better experience and you will have done your part to further this great passion for all of us.

Congrats on your Clipper. Fly it to OSH. It will restore your faith in American aviation.



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Re: Frustrations/Disappointments - Good Show Topics

Postby jackhodgson » Sun Oct 01, 2017 7:31 am


So so sorry for the late reply on this.

You ask some very good questions. I plan to include them in some upcoming episodes.


// Jack

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