AOPA put out a call to action Tuesday asking pilots to contact the members of Congress to sign the Certainty for General Aviation Pilots Act of 2021 (S. 2458, and H.R. 4645) to clarify the fact that giving or receiving flight training is not considered carrying a passenger for compensation or hire, for either the instructor or aircraft owner/operator.
Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.) introduced the measure on July 22.
“Flight instruction should never be interpreted as commercial transportation nor carrying persons or property for compensation,” said AOPA president Mark Baker. “This sudden change in long standing FAA policy places a new burden on thousands of pilots, aircraft owners and qualified flight instructors.
“This is a safety issue and pilots and instructors who receive and give flight instruction should be able to do so with confidence and without the burden of uncertainty,” he continued.
The association explained that either the owner/operator of the aircraft or the instructor could hold the LODA—as long as at least “one person in the cockpit has one.”
During Oshkosh, as part of the meeting with media and attendees on July 29, FAA administrator Steve Dickson admitted that the requirement to obtain a LODA in order to train in experimental category aircraft—and the exemption to train in limited (warbirds) or primary category aircraft—was a bureaucratic exercise. It runs counter to guidance that the FAA’s own inspectors have been handing out for years.
For more on this ongoing issue, see our previous coverage.