Airplane rides in jeopardy?

Received this e-mail earlier this evening. Thought it might be of interest.


TO: Friends of the National Air Tour
From: Greg Herrick, Aviation Foundation of America, National Air Tour

As a friend of the National Air Tour we know that you are interested in AmericaÂ’s great aviation heritage. Now, you can help preserve that heritage – by simply expressing your opinion. HereÂ’s what is happening:

The FAA is presently considering a rule that would essentially eliminate the opportunity for citizens to purchase an airplane ride.

A family ready for a ride in a New Standard bi-plane. Scenes like this one from the National Air Tour, will become a thing of the past.

This is no exaggeration. On the National Air Tour we had four aircraft offering rides: a Ford tri-motor, two New Standard bi-planes and a Travel Air bi-plane. If the FAA adopts this new proposed rule, these types of rides will become a thing of the past. Unfortunately, unlike the large air carriers, the people who offer airplane rides are usually smaller operators who donÂ’t have a voice in Washington, D.C. The only voice they really have is yours – and now your voice needs to be heard.

The FAA is now proposing that people offering local airplane rides must conform to the same very onerous rules as large air carrier operations (known as Part 135 operators).
Presently, these folks who offer rides in your community, or at an event like the National Air Tour, operate under what is called “Part 91” rules. According to the FAA’s own statistics, Part 91 operators are nearly twice as safe as those operating under Part 135; Part 91 fixed wing airplane rides safer still! Most of the safety issues the FAA is trying to solve are with helicopter operations in Hawaii. Unfortunately, the FAA is trying to make a “one size sits all” rule. This will basically eliminate operators offering local rides in historic aircraft such as those offered during the National Air Tour.

Time and time again Clay Adams filled filled the seat of his beautiful 1929 Travel Air on the National Air Tour. He sells rides to share his passion and love for our history. He has no big lobby in Washington.

Here at the Aviation Foundation of America, we have nothing at stake other than to try to preserve an important grassroots aviation experience. People offering airplane rides, whether in a Ford tri-motor, a bi-plane, or a Cessna at your local airport have introduced millions of Americans to the joys of flight. They deserve our help.

What we are asking you to do is to write a letter to the FAA in your own words, opposing the incorporation of Part 91 ride giving operations currently operating under CFR 119.1(e)(2), into Part 135.

A great deal of additional detail, including supporting arguments and assistance in preparing your remarks, may be found at this link (click here)-> How I Can Help Save Airplane Rides in America.

As you will find at that site, you may post your remarks directly over the Internet at: FAA NPRM 4521 Comments. You may also write a letter (the address is listed at that link above).

The closing date for remarks is January 20th, so please make your opinion known to the FAA as soon as possible. Thank you for helping to save an important part of America’s aviation heritage – your ability to buy and airplane ride!
Believe it or not, scenes like this could disappear from across America in a few short months. The folks from Waldo Wright’s Flying service, who made so many people smile on the tour have written some of the commentary found in this link about the FAAs Notice of Proposed Rule Making found here: FAA NPRM 4521 Comments.

Many vintage aircraft like this Ford tri-motor which sold rides on the National Air Tour, will no longer be able to offer rides for hire. This, despite the fact that they have safely flown tens of thousands of people for seventy-five years and are lovingly maintained by their owners. With no way to even cover their expenses if they are taken on the road, these ships will be relegated to museums.

Please take a moment to visit the site: How I Can Help Save Airplane Rides in America and post a note at: FAA NPRM 4521 Comments, or send the a letter to the FAA telling them what you think about “NPRM 4521”.

Thank you for your helping to save the airplane ride!
Greg Herrick, President
Aviation Foundation of America