Database helps experimental-aircraft pilots find instructors

December 11, 2012

The Experimental Aircraft Association wants to help pilots of experimental amateur-built aircraft contact flight instructors who can provide them with additional safety training.

EAA has published an online list of instructors authorized by the FAA to offer instruction for compensation in their own experimental aircraft “for purposes of type specific training.” The organization created the resource in response to one of several recommendations addressed directly to EAA by the National Transportation Safety Board in the report, “ The Safety of Experimental Amateur-Built Aircraft.”

“EAA, as well as the FAA and NTSB, strongly recommend that all builders and new owners of experimental aircraft undertake a thorough transition training program before flying their own aircraft solo for the first time (during Phase I testing or otherwise),” EAA said.

The certificated flight instructors listed are holders of an FAA-issued Letter of Deviation Authority (LODA) that makes an exception to the regulatory prohibition on “the carriage of persons or property for compensation or hire in aircraft having experimental certificates.” Among the types of training acceptable under a LODA is “flight training for the operation of a specific make and model of experimental aircraft.”

The list is based on FAA data and is a portion of EAA’s action on the four NTSB recommendations, said Dick Knapinski, EAA senior communications advisor

The other NTSB recommendations included creation of a coalition of aircraft type clubs; identifying and applying incentives for owners, builders, and pilots to complete flight-test training; and working with industry stakeholders to develop standards for the recording of data to be used in support of flight testing or the continued airworthiness of experimental amateur-built aircraft.

“A couple of the recommendations are already checked off, and two are in progress,” he said.

The report also contained 12 recommendations for FAA action.

Knapinski encouraged any certificated flight instructor who holds a LODA but was not listed to contact EAA. Instructors with amateur-built aircraft who would like to provide the training but do not hold a LODA must apply through their FAA Flight Standards District Office, he said.

Dan Namowitz

Dan Namowitz | Aviation Writer

Dan Namowitz is an aviation writer and flight instructor. He has been a pilot since 1985 and an instructor since 1990.