There's hardly anything about the meeting that needs to be held in confidence. As is typical of Craig Fuller, I found him very forthcoming on this topic when I spoke with him at Sun 'n Fun a few days ago. The recent meeting was requested by EAA and AOPA for several straightforward reasons: the long period without an FAA decision, the logical question of how sequestration will affect the decision, and placing additional perspective before the Administrator (along with his attorneys and relevant staff) on the proposal. (Look at the last page in the second document cited in the post above. You can see how AOPA/EAA is positioning the no-medical proposal within the broader Department of Transportation licensing hierarchy, where medical requirements are aligned with complexity and risk in a way that is consistent with the no-medical proposal.
After the meeting, Pelton (EAA Chairman) expressed to AvWeb his own pessimism about the proposal being accepted by the FAA, which is where the 'it's ready to be disapproved by the FAA' impression comes from. What wasn't mentioned by Pelton was the new suggestion to Huerta & his staff about an interim phase where the proposal is evaluated in some fashion, for a specified period of time and with a suitable cross-section of the relevant pilot community, which is something the FAA hadn't heard before and which seemed to generate interest. As I understand it, the basic logic was this: Neither the EAA or AOPA would propose something that they think would harm their own members, the petition has received more (and more positive) pilot input than any former proposal ever received, and the recent LSA/SP data supports the proposal. Given all that, if you have reservations why wouldn't you test them for a period of time before dismissing the proposal?
It's easy to see how the discussion's dynamic sounds defensive of the proposal and suggests pessimism. OTOH Huerta apparently acknowledged that was an idea that deserved their attention and he was open to considering it. Glass half full or half empty? Given that it's always been viewed as a low-probability win and it comes on the heels of many previous proposals that (unsuccessfully) tried to ease regulatory demands on recreational pilots, I haven't seen or heard anything about that meeting that sounds significantly different.
Flying in/out KBZN, Bozeman MT in a Grumman Tiger
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