What You Should Know About the New Student Pilot Certificate

By Sarina Houston Globalair.com

New changes to FAA student pilot certificates are coming our way, and although there was an initial display of panic from some members of the flight training community, the new student pilot certificate rule might just be a good thing. Here’s what you need to know about the new rule, which begins April 1st, 2016:

The Details
First, don’t panic. Although students could have a delay in getting their student pilot certificates, it’s not all bad news. Here’s the scoop:

  • Students won’t have to go to the FSDO to get a student pilot certificate. FAA certified flight instructors, designated pilot examiners, Part 141 programs, and the FSDO will be all able to accept and submit applications for student pilot certificates. The student pilot applicant will have to show up in person and bring a photo ID to verify identity.
  • The new student pilot certificate will not expire, which brings it in line with the other certifications.
  • Instructors will no longer have to endorse both the student’s logbook and the student pilot certificate. Only one endorsement will be necessary from now on, which simplifies the process.
  • The student pilot applications will go through some kind of TSA approval process, which, whether we like it or not, should add a layer of security to flight training that we don’t currently have.
  • Student pilots who already have a paper student pilot certificate may continue to use it until it expires, or may choose to obtain a new plastic student pilot certificate from the FAA.

What could possibly go wrong?
Okay, so we know that it won’t be a perfect process, and as with any new process, there are sure to be frustrations involved. The biggest frustration that people foresee is that there will be a delay in the processing of student pilot applications. The FAA says it will process the applications as quickly as possible, but that it could take weeks or even months before the student receives the new plastic pilot certificate in the mail.

This delay in processing will potentially make it impossible for student pilots to solo right when they’re ready to. Some students, especially those in fast-paced flight training programs, will get to the potential solo flight in a matter of days or weeks, and will be left waiting on a student pilot certificate to arrive in the mail. This can be a source of frustration, to be sure.

Finally, should a student pilot applicant be denied a student pilot certificate based on information gleaned from the TSA check, the student will be faced with an appeals process that, as we all know, could take an extended amount of time. This, perhaps, will be the greatest source of frustration for those who may be “flagged” in the system for some reason, but who are otherwise eligible for a student pilot certificate. And perhaps, sadly, we’ll lose a few potential student pilots to yet another lengthy appeals process.

What do you think about the new student pilot application rules? A good thing or bad?

FAA reauthorization moves to full Senate

Legislation to reauthorize the FAA through the 2017 fiscal year will move to the full Senate after being approved by the Senate Commerce Committee on March 16.

The committee swiftly moved through dozens of proposed amendments to the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2016 (S. 2658), passing more than 50 en bloc at the beginning of the markup session.

The legislation includes third class medical reform language that passed the Senate in December but does not include user fees for general aviation, instead relying on the current system of excise taxes on fuel. In addition, the legislation would authorize annual increases in Airport Improvement Program funding, streamline certification for light GA aircraft, support a transition to unleaded aviation fuel, and make it easier to install modern safety equipment in legacy aircraft.

“We’re pleased that the Senate is keeping FAA reauthorization legislation moving,” said Jim Coon, AOPA senior vice president of government affairs. “Past experience has shown that limping along from extension to extension—sometimes for years—can really slow important long-term initiatives. This bill would give the FAA a way forward while addressing many of the big issues that matter to the general aviation community, including third class medical reform and aircraft certification reform.”

During Wednesday’s markup, the Commerce Committee passed two significant amendments affecting drones—one that would require drone operators to tell the public about the type of personal data they collect and one that gives the Department of Transportation two years to issue a final rule creating a “small UAS air carrier certificate” for operators using drones for package delivery.

The Senate is scheduled to leave town on March 18 to start a two-week Easter recess, and Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) has said he hopes the full Senate will take up the FAA reauthorization legislation after it returns to work April 4. If the full Senate passes reauthorization, the House could take up the Senate-passed bill or pass its own FAA bill and request a conference with the Senate to iron out further details.

But with the FAA’s current funding set to expire March 31 and the Senate leaving town March 18 for a two-week recess, senators have just two more days to pass an extension to keep the FAA operating while lawmakers negotiate reauthorization. The House already passed a short-term extension bill, and the Senate is expected to take up the bill later this week.

Elizabeth Tennyson
Elizabeth A Tennyson | Senior Director of Communications, AOPA

HAECO Americas Receives CAAC Certification


HAECO Americas Airframe Services Repair Station, located at the Piedmont Triad Airport in Greensboro, North Carolina, USA, has received certification from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) to perform A, B and C checks on Chinese-registered Boeing 757 aircraft. Additionally, the CAAC approval, under section CCAR-145R2, authorizes HAECO Americas to perform passenger-to-freighter conversions in accordance with Validation of Supplemental Type Certificate (VSTC) 141 on Boeing 757 series aircraft.

Jim Sokol, president MRO Services of HAECO Americas, said, “We are proud to announce that through diligent, collaborative efforts with our Chinese partners and the CAAC, HAECO Americas now joins a selected group of companies that can support customers with this authority. HAECO Americas looks forward to working closely with the CAAC to facilitate transitioning converted aircraft into China and supporting our customers with a global network of approved maintenance facilities.”

This certification complements the existing FAA and EASA certificates held by HAECO Americas Airframe Services. It permits HAECO Americas to pursue additional ratings in the future through coordination with the CAAC.

About HAECO Americas

A wholly-owned subsidiary of the HAECO Group, HAECO Americas (formerly TIMCO Aviation Services) supports global aircraft operators and owners with comprehensive aircraft care services including base maintenance from three multi-hangar locations, engine MRO and line maintenance support across the U.S. The company’s HAECO Cabin Solutions division provides interiors design, engineering, certification and cabin reconfiguration services, as well as manufactured products including passenger seating, structures, galleys and lavatories. HAECO Americas’ website: www.haeco.aero

HondaJet debuts in Mexico at 2016 Aero Expo

The HondaJet has received its type certificate from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority of Mexico, the Dirección General de AeronáuGAC).

The business jet will be on static display at the 2016 Aero Expo Mexico being held at Toluca International Airport.

“Receiving aircraft validation in Mexico is an important milestone for Honda Aircraft Company, paving the way for the start of HondaJet deliveries in Mexico,” said Michimasa Fujino, Honda Aircraft Company president and chief executive. “We are excited to respond to the interests of customers in Mexico, and we will begin with the first delivery in a few weeks.”

Honda Jet’s parent company Honda Aircraft has partnered with Aerolineas Ejecutivas in Mexico to provide sales, service and support to customers.

“It is a tremendous opportunity and a privilege to sell a world-class product like HondaJet that our customers will embrace,” said Arturo Ortega Olive, president of Aerolineas Ejecutivas. “There are several business opportunities for HondaJet in the Mexico business jet market. We are excited to showcase this advanced light jet for the first time at Aero Expo.”

The HondaJet received US Federal Aviation Administration type certification on December 8, 2015, and the company began deliveries on December 23, 2015. The HondaJet is manufactured at Honda Aircraft Company’s world headquarters in Greensboro, N.C.

Eric Peterson (Waxhaw, NC) wins AOPA’s You Can Fly Sweepstakes 152


Eric Peterson, a missionary pilot who has operated search-and-rescue, disaster relief, and humanitarian flights for almost 40 years, was awarded the AOPA 2015 You Can Fly Sweepstakes top prize, a Reimagined Cessna 152, at a surprise presentation March 22 in North Carolina.

“Eric exemplifies the very best attributes of general aviation pilots through his willingness to give of himself for others,” said AOPA President Mark Baker. “He’s flown fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters all over the world in service to others. He’s known by his peers as an extraordinarily hard worker and, despite recent back surgery, he just finished extending a turf runway that will help train future missionary pilots who will carry on this demanding work. He’s also raised two sons, Rob and Todd, who followed his footsteps and became professional pilots—and that’s a legacy any of us would be proud of.“

Eric Peterson with his new Reimagined 152. Photo by Chris Rose.
Eric Peterson with his new Reimagined 152. Photo by Chris Rose.

Peterson served as a pilot and more recently an airport manager for JAARS Inc., a nonprofit, North Carolina-based firm that trains and places missionaries around the world. JAARS currently has about 30 pilots operating 26 aircraft in seven countries around the world (Australia, Brazil, Cameroon, Gabon, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and Tanzania).

Peterson was raised on a dairy farm in Michigan, became a pilot and aviation mechanic, and flew in Alaska, where me met his wife, Carol. The two became Christian missionaries and spent most of their careers in the Philippines, where Eric flew Helio Couriers, Super Cubs, and Hiller and Robinson helicopters. They also raised two children there.

Flying in remote and mountainous areas without reliable weather forecasts or navigation aids was exceptionally risky. Some of the landing strips were hacked on mountainsides with hand tools, and many were just 600 feet or less. Other hazards included a rebel group that once struck Peterson’s Hiller UH12E helicopter with five bullets, one of which lodged in a rotor blade.

Colleagues praised Peterson for his quiet competence as a pilot and his unwavering service to others.

“He doesn’t like being in the spotlight or taking credit for his accomplishments,” said Mike Mower, a fellow JAARS pilot who flew with Peterson in the Philippines. “He’d rather see others get the recognition.”

Peterson’s son Rob, a missionary pilot in Africa, wrote via email that his dad provided a “consistent example of character, integrity, and dependence upon on the Lord.”

“He has also set an example to me by his deliberate, careful, and disciplined approach to flying.”

Peterson’s son Todd is a U.S. Air Force pilot based in Germany, and he said his dad shaped his own flying ambitions.

Eric Peterson speaks with his son Todd, who is in the U.S. Air Force stationed in Germany. Photo by Chris Rose.
Eric Peterson speaks with his son Todd, who is in the U.S. Air Force stationed in Germany. Photo by Chris Rose.

“He is the most exemplary pilot and man I have ever met,” Todd wrote. “He is a person who gives his all to his family, his faith, and aviation. Words cannot even come close to expressing the gratitude I feel.”

As usual, the sweepstakes winner was chosen in a random drawing by a third party. The sweepstakes was open from Dec. 1, 2014, until Dec. 31, 2015, and Peterson’s membership in AOPA during that period automatically entered him for a chance to win. As anAutomatic Annual Renewal member, Peterson received extra entries in the sweepstakes. The previous four AOPA Sweepstakes winners have been Automatic Annual Renewal members.

The presentation of the prize airplane involved an elaborate ruse—and this year it was done in coordination with JAARS missionaries unaccustomed to subterfuge. The airplane, a 1978 Cessna 152, was remanufactured by the craftsmen at Aviat Aircraft in Afton, Wyoming, to “as-new” condition. (Learn more about the remanufactured aircraft in this AOPA Pilotarticle.)

The JAARS organization, which has more than 600 employees, came up with a plan to hold a ceremony to honor Peterson’s work on extending a rough, grass runway at its home airport that is used to prepare JAARS pilots for the obstructed, unimproved strips they will face overseas. Peterson had extended the runway to 1,400 feet from 800 feet, mostly with volunteer labor and a 1968 front-end loader.

The honor was real, JAARS said. But the surprise award of the airplane to a well-loved and respected pilot was a tightly kept secret.

Baker arranged to attend the runway ceremony with several members of the AOPA media staff.

Eric Peterson thinks the hangar ceremony is just for the grass runway expansion, but AOPA has another surprise for him! Photo by Chris Rose.
Eric Peterson thinks the hangar ceremony is just for the grass runway expansion, but AOPA has another surprise for him! Photo by Chris Rose.

The group held a presentation in the JAARS hangar with a PowerPoint presentation that touched on the highlights of the project, and Baker was asked to say a few words.

“It’s always great to be back in the state that was first to fly,” Baker said. He praised the new runway, and noted JAARS’ efforts to train pilots and mechanics and restore aging bush aircraft. He said that AOPA shares those goals and even launched a Reimagined aircraft program that restores worn out trainers to as-new condition.

The very first such remanufactured aircraft is N152UC, a bright yellow Cessna 152 that was scheduled to be given to the winner of the AOPA You Can Fly Sweepstakes in the first quarter of this year. Baker congratulated Peterson on winning the sweepstakes, and JAARS officials pulled the hangar doors open to reveal the airplane, which had quietly landed at the airport and taxied to the hangar during the ceremony.

Peterson was totally surprised by the gift and graciously thanked AOPA, saying, “I got too old to fly for JAARS, but I’ve been thinking about getting back into flying.” The Cessna 152 is perfect for that mission.

His sons, who have known it was in the works for a week, had their own ideas for the airplane’s future.

“I’d like to train my children to fly in it someday,” said Todd, who is 6 feet 4 inches tall. “I’ll make myself fit.”

Eric Peterson hops in his new Cessna 152. Photo by Chris Rose.
Eric Peterson hops in his new Cessna 152. Photo by Chris Rose.


Bill to extend FAA reauthorization introduced in House, Senate takes up reauthorization

General Aviation News

A bill has been introduced in the House to extend the authorization of the FAA through July 15.

Meanwhile, the Senate has unveiled its own plan for the agency’s reauthorization.

In the House, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) introduced the bill to extend the FAA’s authorization. The legislation also extends key revenue provisions through March 31, 2017.

Rep. Bill Shuster

Rep. Bill Shuster

“Last month, the Transportation Committee approved the long-term Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization (AIRR) Act, which represents a profound, transformational reform of our aviation system and a departure from the status quo,” Shuster said. “Yesterday, the Senate introduced its own FAA legislation, and I look forward to working with them to produce a final bill. In the meantime, while both House and Senate continue efforts to move each bill forward, we need to pass an extension to ensure that the FAA and the federal aviation programs remain fully funded and functional.”

“By extending key revenue provisions, we ensure the Airport and Airway Trust Fund continues to serve American travelers,” Brady said.

The original bill included a controversial provision to privatize the Air Traffic Control function of the FAA. After much outcry from the GA community, that provision was pulled from the legislation.

The latest bill, H.R. 4721, the Airport and Airway Extension Act of 2016, is a clean extension of FAA programs and the Airport and Airway Trust Fund collection authority.

Without an extension, the authority to collect aviation taxes will lapse, and the Airport and Airway Trust Fund will be deprived of more than $30 million a day — funding needed for air traffic control, airport development, and other aviation programs.

In addition, airports will be unable to receive grant money that’s already been awarded to them, putting dozens of construction projects across the country at risk of delay, cost overrun, or cancellation. H.R. 4721 avoids these unnecessary consequences as Congress works to finalize a long-term aviation bill, officials noted.

Meanwhile, in the Senate Commerce Committee has unveiled its own version of FAA reauthorization legislation. Discussion on the bill — known as mark up — is slated for March 16.

The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2016 (S. 2658) would authorize FAA funding through September 2017.

According to officials with the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, the bill contains third class medical reform language that passed the Senate in December but does not include user fees for general aviation.

In addition, the legislation would authorize annual increases in Airport Improvement Program funding, streamline certification for GA aircraft, support a transition to unleaded aviation fuel, and make it easier to install modern safety equipment in legacy aircraft.

Mark Baker with his Piper Super Cub.

Mark Baker with his Piper Super Cub.

“This bill includes meaningful reforms that the general aviation community wants and needs — especially changes to the third class medical and the aircraft certification process,” said AOPA President Mark Baker. “We hope the Senate will move quickly to pass this legislation, which could save general aviation pilots hundreds of millions of dollars, improve general aviation safety, and strengthen the GA industry.”

The FAA’s current authorization expires March 31. Both the House and the Senate have indicated they will approve another short-term extension ahead of the deadline, giving Congress time to complete negotiations on a reauthorization bill.

FAA proposes rule to overhaul certification standards for GA airplanes

General Aviation News

The FAA has proposed a rule that overhauls the airworthiness standards for general aviation airplanes. The FAA’s proposal, which is based on industry recommendations, would reduce the time it takes to get safety enhancing technologies for GA airplanes into the marketplace while also reducing cost.

“This proposal would improve safety, reduce costs, and leverage innovation to ensure the highest level of safety is designed and built into small airplanes,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “General aviation is vital to the U.S. economy, and this proposal would benefit manufacturers, pilots, and the general aviation community as a whole.”

The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking restructures the existing certification standards and replaces the current requirements in Part 23 with performance-based standards that maintain the same level of safety, according to FAA officials.

It would add new certification standards to address general aviation loss of control accidents and in-flight icing conditions.

The proposal also establishes performance- and risk-based divisions for airplanes with a maximum seating capacity of 19 passengers or less and a maximum takeoff weight of 19,000 pounds or less.

Michael Huerta

Michael Huerta

“This proposal would streamline how we approve new technologies for small piston-powered airplanes all the way to complex high-performance executive jets,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. “The FAA’s collaboration with industry and international partners reflects a performance-based, flexible approach which would accommodate today’s rapidly changing aviation industry and technological advances now and in the future.”

The proposal responds to the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 and the Small Airplane Revitalization Act of 2013, which directed the FAA to streamline the approval of safety advancements for small general aviation aircraft. It also addresses recommendations from the FAA’s 2013 Part 23 Reorganization Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee.

The FAA has also released a video that highlights the benefits of the proposed rule.

The news was welcomed by GA advocates.

Mark Baker with his Piper Super Cub.

Mark Baker with his Piper Super Cub.

“This NPRM includes much needed and long overdue reforms to the aircraft certification process,” said AOPA President Mark Baker. “AOPA has worked diligently with the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, other industry stakeholders and the FAA to promote a shift to standards that maintain safety while making it easier and more affordable to bring innovative technology into GA aircraft. This proposed rule is a critical step in that direction.”

While the NPRM focuses on design and certification of new aircraft, changes are still needed to make it easier and more affordable for the owners of legacy aircraft to put modern safety equipment in their airplanes, AOPA officials notes.

“We hope that this NPRM, along with policy changes already in place to support the installation of safety enhancing equipment in GA aircraft, signals a new approach to regulation and certification,” said Baker. “One size does not fit all when it comes to aircraft equipment. With the GA fleet aging and just over a thousand new piston-powered GA aircraft being delivered each year, we must make it easier to upgrade legacy aircraft with a wide range of innovative safety technology.”

First Aviation Services Inc. Named “MRO of the Year” by Aviation Week

Business Wire

FAvS’s principal operating subsidiaries are Aerospace Turbine Rotables, Inc. (AeTR) in Wichita, Kansas, Piedmont Propulsion Systems, LLC (PPS) in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and Evolution Aerospace, Inc. (EVO) in Wichita, KS. More information about FAvS and its subsidiaries may be found on the company’s website www.firstaviation.com.

First Aviation Services Inc. has been selected to receive the 2016 ‘MRO of the Year Award for Military Center of Excellence’ from Aviation Week. The company was singled out from maintenance repair and overhaul (MRO) industry nominees and will receive the award during an April 5th ceremony at the MRO Americas Conference to be held in Dallas, Texas.

“DOD’s recent competition reports show that up to 80% of aircraft sustainment spending is contracted without competition, usually to the aircraft’s original manufacturer”

Aviation Week editors selected First Aviation for the award due to the company’s efforts to eliminate waste in Department of Defense (DOD) maintenance spending by reducing sole source contracts and promoting competition using the Government’s rights to maintenance and repair technical data. “DOD’s recent competition reports show that up to 80% of aircraft sustainment spending is contracted without competition, usually to the aircraft’s original manufacturer,” explains Josh Krotec, Senior Vice President. “However, we have demonstrated that U.S. based FAA-certified Repair Stations like ours – of which many are small businesses – have the technical capability and experience to meet all DOD Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) requirements.” By taking the simple initiative to use the Government’s right to maintenance and repair manuals for aircraft and other weapon systems, DOD can immediately convert tens of billions of dollars of annual MRO spend from sole source to full-and-open competition. Krotec projects that First Aviation’s efforts will result in over $300 billion in savings to U.S. taxpayers over the next decade and provide tremendous job growth in the U.S. aviation industry.

Chairman & CEO Aaron Hollander said “We are very honored to receive this recognition. What is most important to our firm is that the MRO award provides legitimacy to our efforts to increase competition in the Department of Defense’s procurement processes to bring savings, innovation and improved readiness to support the American warfighter. The move to stop sole sourcing will provide additional funds for our country’s necessary and urgent need to modernize our armed forces.”

First Aviation Services Inc. (FAvS), located in Westport, Connecticut, is a leading provider of repair and overhaul, rotables management and related engineering services to the aviation industry worldwide. FAvS’s principal operating subsidiaries are Aerospace Turbine Rotables, Inc. (AeTR) in Wichita, Kansas, Piedmont Propulsion Systems, LLC (PPS) in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and Evolution Aerospace, Inc. (EVO) in Wichita, KS. More information about FAvS and its subsidiaries may be found on the company’s website www.firstaviation.com.


First Aviation Services Inc.
Larissa Strautman, 203-291-7700
Corporate Secretary

Western North Carolina Pilots Association Educational Foundation


Applications open for WNCPAEF grant

Western North Carolina Pilots Association Educational Foundation, a nonprofit organization, is accepting applications for its 2016 grant program. The grants are for those who need financial help toward reaching their goal in aviation.

Interested persons should live in Western North Carolina, be at least 17 years old and have a keen, if not proven, interest in aviation.

For 2016, the WNCPAEF is offering grants within three programs described below. These programs encompass a wide range of aviation opportunities and allow for a varying degree of aviation experience from applicants.

Program A: Pilot Certificate/Rating. You must demonstrate a serious pursuit of a pilot certificate or rating (e.g., recreational to airline transport pilot certificate, instrument rating, etc.). If you are seeking your first pilot certificate, you must have soloed an aircraft or passed a written test toward certification.

Program B: Pilot Familiarization. This is an alternative for those who have no or only brief experience in aviation. Recipients of the program should pay for the first $500 of flight time and the WNCPAEF will provide a grant for the next $500 of flight time.

Program C: Aviation Mechanic or Avionics Repairman Certificate. You must demonstrate progress toward satisfying the requirements of the certificate you are seeking.

To apply, submit a letter of application and two letters of reference (none from a family member) to Don Watson. Additionally, for Program A, one of these references should be from a certified flight instructor familiar with your aviation interest and achievements.

Your letter of application should include the following information about you in the following order:

–Email address, U.S. Postal address, and contact phone number

–Aviation objectives

–A plan for completing those objectives

–Aviation accomplishments (for Programs A and C)degree of commitment to aviation in Western North Carolina

–Community involvement

–Explain (briefly) why financial assistance is needed

–Any other information that might be of interest to the Selection Committee

Mail application materials to Don Watson, 47 Cedar Hill Drive, Biltmore Forest, NC 28803. Applications must be received on or before April 1. Follow up with an email to dcw828@aol.com. Applicants will receive an email confirmation upon receipt and may be contacted for an interview.