Pilots looking for training in experimental aircraft just got a little help from the Experimental Aircraft Association. EAA has created a page on its website listing instructors who are authorized to provide flight instruction in specified amateur-built aircraft through a letter of deviation authority (LODA). The LODA authorized instructor list was compiled based on FAA data and is organized by state, making it easy for pilots to search for an instructor nearby. The list was one of three recommendations from the National Transportation Safety Board as part of its effort to make amateur-built flying safer.
A LODA provides relief for instructors from FAR 92.319, which prohibits pilots from flying for compensation or hire in experimental aircraft. LODA approved instructors can provide valuable instruction for pilots constructing their own amateur-built aircraft, increasing the chances of a safe and successful first flight.
But because a LODA requires an application process, which must be started at least 60 days prior to the “date of intended operations” and must provide details of the proposed operation per FAR 92.319(h), there is a limited amount of available instructors. While builders may have a hard time finding an instructor flying an airplane of the same type, they will still benefit from training with an instructor in a similar aircraft.