CFA Staff

2015 Seaplane Splash-In Cancelled for Safety!

Due to record rainfall over the last 6 months, SUN 'n FUN has made a decision to cancel the Seabird Splash-In that has been held annually on Lake Agnes at Fantasy of Flight during the SUN 'n FUN International Fly-In & Expo. The Lake Agnes water level is more than 2 feet above normal, which unfortunately creates numerous hazards to seaplane operations in the form of hidden obstructions and, very shallow and long approaches to land access. Additionally, both the dock and ramp at Fantasy of Flight are essentially unusable.

This decision does not come lightly and was made after a recommendation from the SUN 'n FUN Seabirds Chairman and discussions with Seaplane Pilots Association leadership and others. Kermit Weeks and the Fantasy of Flight team were ready and willing to support this year's event and we thank them for their preparation efforts to make it happen.

The SUN 'n FUN Seabirds Team is working on alternative activities for all seaplane enthusiasts. A Saturday night dinner at the SUN 'n FUN Seabird area will be held prior to the evening airshow and fireworks and will recognize all of our friends in the seaplane community. John R. Leenhouts, President & CEO of SUN 'n FUN added, "Though we sincerely regret having to make this decision, we always put safety first and foremost."

ICYMI: Rokita Continues Fighting for General Aviation

March 2015-

Washington, DC – Representative Todd Rokita, a member of the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee and the House General Aviation Caucus, introduced two bills last week to reform the Third Class Medical certificate and strengthen the rights of private pilots.

"I’m very pleased to continue the effort we started last Congress to eliminate the third class medical. As a pilot, I believe these two bills will grow the general aviation community by reducing unnecessary red tape, holding federal agencies accountable, and protecting the rights of pilots,” said Rep. Rokita.

The first bill, the General Aviation Pilot Protection Act, was first introduced in the 113th Congress, and would allow a person with a valid pilot’s license to operate as pilot in command of a small aircraft without a Third Class Medical certificate, within specified parameters. Rep. Rokita introduced this bill, H.R. 1086, with Representatives Sam Graves (MO-6), Steve Pearce (NM-2), Collin Peterson (MN-7), Dan Lipinski (IL-3), Bill Flores (TX-17), Mike Pompeo (KS-4), and Richard Hanna (NY-22). Sen. John Boozman reintroduced the bill in the Senate.

This bill comes with strong support from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA). AOPA President Mark Baker issued the following statement:

“It’s clear that third class medical reform has widespread bipartisan support in Congress as well as in the general aviation community.” said Baker. “We appreciate the steadfast way in which Rep. Rokita and Sen. Boozman and their colleagues are pursuing this issue on behalf of GA pilots.”

The second bill, the Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2, includes the Third Class Medical reform, along with additional provisions to protect private pilots from liability on charitable flights, extend legal protections to FAA representatives, and subject FAA contractors to Freedom of Information Act requests. This legislation was introduced by Rep. Sam Graves in the House and Sen. Jim Inhofe in the Senate.

Rep. Rokita looks forward to advancing these reforms in the weeks and months ahead.

CA Proposition 65 Lawsuit Regarding Avgas Settled

Alexandria, Va., Dec. 16, 2014 –

Last week, California FBOs and fuel distributors settled a 2011 lawsuit regarding the sale of leaded aviation gasoline brought by the Center for Environmental Health (CEH). CEH filed the suit under California Proposition 65, a ballot initiative passed in 1985 that requires businesses to warn individuals exposed to hazardous chemicals. The original lawsuit sought to prohibit the sale of leaded aviation gasoline and impose millions of dollars in fines and penalties on FBOs and distributors.

Under the agreement signed last week, the affected FBOs will provide warnings of lead exposure to individuals residing within one kilometer of the airport and pay a small settlement. National Air Transportation Association (NATA) assisted its members and others in the industry affected by the lawsuit to form a joint defense coalition.“We are pleased the matter is concluded and that California General Aviation and its related businesses are no longer threatened,” said Thomas L. Hendricks, NATA President and CEO. “100 low lead Avgas is currently the only fuel that allows the entire piston engine fleet to operate safely. We are working closely with the FAA as part of the Piston Aviation Fuels Initiative and it is entering into an exciting period in the search for an unleaded fuel for General Aviation aircraft.”FBOs operating in the state of California and selling leaded Avgas not party to this suit now have the option of joining in the settlement to preempt future suits.

Affected businesses should contact Michael France at for more details

.For more news from National Air Transportation Association (NATA), visit

Unapproved Parts Notification- Dukes Aerospace

February, 2015-

Information received during a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Suspected Unapproved Parts (SUP) investigation revealed between March 2011 and March 2013 Dukes Aerospace Incorporated, located at 9060 Winnetka Avenue, Northridge, CA 91324, improperly maintained, overhauled, and approved for return to service various aircraft articles (listed later in this document) which were manufactured by Dukes Incorporated/Dukes Aerospace Incorporated contrary to the regulations. Dukes Aerospace Incorporated holds FAA Air Agency Certificate No. 1DUR590B with Accessory Class 1 and 2 Ratings. Evidence indicates that Dukes Aerospace Incorporated approved aircraft articles for return to service that were not maintained in compliance with the manufacturer's maintenance manuals or other data acceptable to the FAA. Discrepancies include, but are not limited to the following: (1) approving articles for return to service without using methods techniques and practices acceptable to the Administrator (2) converting and/or modifying aircraft components without using approved data.

Click the link below to download PDF.

Flight Review Anxiety

February, 2015-

General aviation (GA) pilots enjoy a level of flexibility and freedom unrivaled by their aeronautical contemporaries. Airline, corporate, and military flight operations are all strictly regulated, and each uses a significant degree of internal oversight to ensure compliance. GA has relatively few of these regulatory encumbrances. As a result, safety depends heavily upon the development and maintenance of each individual pilot's basic skills, systems
knowledge, and aeronautical decision-making skills.

The purpose of the flight review required by Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) 61.56 is to provide for a regular evaluation of pilot skills and aeronautical knowledge. AC 61-98B states that the flight review is also intended to offer pilots the opportunity to design a personal currency and proficiency program in consultation with a certificated flight instructor (CFI). In effect, the flight review is the aeronautical equivalent of a regular medical checkup and ongoing health improvement program. Like a physical exam, a flight review may have certain "standard" features (e.g., review of specific regulations and maneuvers). However, just as the physician should tailor the exam and follow-up to the individual's characteristics and needs, the CFI should tailor both the flight review and any follow-up plan for training and proficiency to each pilot's skill, experience, aircraft, and personal flying goals.

To better accomplish these objectives, this guide, intended for use in conjunction with AC 61-98B, offers ideas for conducting an effective flight review. It also provides tools for helping that pilot develop a personalized currency, proficiency, risk management, and "aeronautical health maintenance and improvement" program. A key part of this process is the development of risk management strategies and realistic personal minimums. You can think of these minimums as individual "operations specifications" that can help guide the pilot's decisions and target areas for personal proficiency flying and future training.

Click the link below to download PDF.

Tips On Winter Flying

February, 2015-

Winter flying in most parts of the United States can adversely affect flight operations. Poor weather conditions with fast moving fronts, strong and gusty winds, blowing and drifting snow, and icing conditions are just part of the conditions that require careful planning in order to minimize their effects. Operation in this environment requires special winter operating procedures.
These pages are designed to refresh the pilot's memory in cold weather operations. Pilots should assure themselves that they have obtained adequate cold weather knowledge appropriate to the aircraft used and the geographical and weather environment. Winter flying is not particularly hazardous if the pilot will use a little extra caution and exercise good judgment in analyzing weather situations.

The material presented here has been taken from many discussions of winter flying techniques with highly qualified pilots in various parts of the United States. The experience gained in accident investigations has also been included in this guide.
This guide contains ideas and possible courses of action for the pilots to keep in mind while operating aircraft during winter months. It is produced in connection with the Federal Aviation Administration, General Aviation Accident Prevention Program, as a reference for pilots desiring information on winter flying.

Click the link below to download PDF.