NOTICE

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION

N 8900.588

 

National Policy

Effective Date: 7/15/21

 

 

Cancellation Date: 7/15/22

 

SUBJ:

Flight Instruction in Aircraft Holding Experimental Category Special Airworthiness Certificates

1.    Purpose of This Notice. This notice provides clarification on flight training for compensation in certain aircraft that hold Special Airworthiness Certificates in the experimental category. It provides guidance on how flight training for compensation can be accomplished in these aircraft in compliance with regulations and describes an interim process for Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) managers to issue a Letter of Deviation Authority (LODA) to owners of experimental aircraft and flight instructors providing flight training for compensation in experimental aircraft, in accordance with Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 91, § 91.319(h), when no compensation is provided for use of the aircraft.

Note:  The parameters under which the interim process to obtain a LODA may be exercised by an applicant are found in the Notification of Policy for Flight Training in Certain Aircraft (“the Policy”), published in the Federal Register (FR) on July 12, 2021. This interim process cannot be utilized outside the parameters of the Policy.

2.    Audience. The primary audience for this notice is Flight Standards (FS) General Aviation Safety Assurance (GASA) personnel. The secondary audience includes the Safety Standards and Foundational Business offices.

3.    Where You Can Find This Notice. You can find this notice on the MyFAA employee website at https://employees.faa.gov/tools_resources/orders_notices. Inspectors can access this notice through the Flight Standards Information Management Systems (FSIMS) at https://fsims.avs.faa.gov. Operators can find this notice on the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) website at https://fsims.faa.gov. This notice is available to the public at https://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/orders_notices.

4.    Background. On April 2, 2021, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia Circuit dismissed a petition for review of an FAA emergency cease and desist order, ordering that the operator cease and desist from operating his limited category aircraft in violation of § 91.315. In this case, the operator maintained a publicly available website that advertised opportunities to fly in its limited category aircraft at upcoming air shows and allowed members of the public to book flights in exchange for substantial amounts of money. Section 91.315 states that “no person may operate a limited category aircraft carrying persons or property for compensation or hire.”

a.    Before the Court, the operator argued that it was conducting flight training for compensation in its limited category aircraft, which it claimed is not prohibited under § 91.315. The Court disagreed and denied the petition for review of the FAA’s cease and desist order, finding there was substantial support for the agency’s position that, under the plain language of § 91.315, flight training for compensation constitutes operating a limited category aircraft carrying a person for compensation or hire and, therefore, is a violation of the regulation. The prohibition in § 91.319 for experimental aircraft that mirrors the language in § 91.315 must be read to have the same meaning.

b.    The FAA has long emphasized the importance of pilots being trained and checked in the aircraft they will operate. Specifically, it is critical that pilots understand and are familiar with the particular systems, procedures, operating characteristics, and limitations of the aircraft that they will operate. This flight training is distinct from a situation where an aircraft with a Special Airworthiness Certificate is “held out” broadly for training to individuals who pay for both the flight training and the use of an aircraft.

5.    Interim Process to Obtain an Experimental Aircraft LODA. To obtain a LODA, owners of experimental aircraft and flight instructors providing flight training in experimental aircraft may submit a request to 9‑AVS‑AFG‑LODA@faa.gov. Applicants seeking a LODA through this process must adhere to the parameters of the Policy and provide the following information:

    Name.

    Address.

    Email address.

    Pilot certificate number.

    Flight instructor certificate number (if applying as a certificated flight instructor (CFI)).

    Aircraft registration number (if applying as an owner).

    Aircraft make/model in which you will receive or provide instruction.

    Aircraft home base airport (if applying as an owner).

a.    Applications submitted to the email address above will be reviewed and then provided to GASA personnel for signature. The LODA will be issued to the applicant via email and tracked via the Knowledge Services Network (KSN) LODA Tracker. A link to this tracker will be provided in the email to FSDOs sent from the LODA mailbox. A copy of the LODA must be carried on board the aircraft during flight training conducted under the LODA.

Note:  Although the Policy requires CFIs to submit a list of aircraft in which they intend to instruct, the list will not be included on the LODA. The “Aircraft Make(s)/Model(s)” box in Table 1 of the LODA will be left as “N/A” for CFIs, because the LODA authorizes a CFI to exercise the privileges of the LODA in any experimental aircraft for which he or she is qualified and authorized to provide flight training.

b.    Applications that are later found to lack compliance with the provisions of the Policy may be canceled or amended at any time. LODAs generated under this process will expire 48 calendar-months from the date of issue and may be canceled or amended at any time.

c.    This process does not preclude any individual from seeking a LODA in accordance with published FAA Order 8900.1 guidance. This process is not to be utilized for applicants who would otherwise be required to hold a LODA under Order 8900.1, Volume 3, Chapter 11, Section 1, Use of Aircraft Issued Experimental Certificates in Flight Training for Compensation or Hire. The guidance found in Order 8900.1, Volume 3, Chapter 11, Section 1, subparagraphs 3-292A, B, and C is superseded by this notice.

6.    Action. Provide interested parties with guidance for the interim LODA process. Completed applications will be forwarded to the applicable FSDO for signature and issuance (refer to the flowchart at https://ksn2.faa.gov/AVS/AFG1/Shared%20Documents/LODA%20Flowchart.pdf). An applicant is considered eligible for the LODA once he or she has submitted all information identified in the Policy. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that the information submitted to the FAA is correct and that they are eligible for the LODA. The FSDO manager or his or her delegate will sign and issue the LODA via the email address provided by the applicant and note completion via the KSN Tracker mentioned above.

Note:  See the sample LODA in Appendix A below. A fillable LODA template can be found at https://www.faa.gov/licenses_certificates/vintage_experimental/examiners/media/LODA_Template.pdf.

7.    Disposition. We will incorporate the information in this notice into Order 8900.1 before this notice expires. Direct questions or comments concerning the information in this notice to the General Aviation and Commercial Division Operations Group (AFS-830), General Aviation Operations Section at 9‑AFS‑800‑Correspondence@faa.gov.

ORIGINAL SIGNED by

/s/ Robert C. Carty

Deputy Executive Director, Flight Standards Service

 

 

Appendix A. Sample Interim LODA

Appendix A. Sample Interim LODA

Appendix A. Sample Interim LODA (Continued)