What will change for YOU if the medical changes go through?

Here's the place to ask all of your medical questions. But don't believe everything you read!

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Jack Tyler
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Re: What will change for YOU if the medical changes go throu

Postby Jack Tyler » Sat Aug 02, 2014 6:35 am

Howard, I think we agree on much that relates to the future of GA. Perhaps one difference is that, in your description, you are looking out 20 years and beyond with some of your observations while I was being much more short-term focused (1-3 years, let's say...) when trying to answer the Q you posed: assessing the impact of no 3rd class medical for non-commercial GA flying. The increase in ab initio training by the big iron companies, young people's orientation to modern avionics, and the continuing decline in legacy Part 23 a/c inventory are all apparent, even from a short-term perspective. But I just don't see those trends fully addressing the current marketplace for our kinds of small, essentially recreational aircraft and the installed base of FBO's, rental a/c and existing Ma & Pa flight training businesses. Put differently, while change is obviously afoot, it's incremental and not roaring down the pike. And your Q really does relate to 2015 (we hope) and not 2025 or 2035.

Data that illustrates this slow rate of change includes the small if steady sales of LSA a/c, which initially was mostly the result of folks just like you with sufficient discretionary income, a PPL or better, and the inability or lack of desire to pursue a 3rd class medical. Another data point is that the last decade has only produced ~5000 SPL pilots, only a blip when compared to the PPL licensing. Another example is the commercial success of Garmin, and to a lesser extent the other avionics manufacturers, in selling avionics upgrades for these Part 23 'relics'. Companies like Dynon have been highly successful in furnishing equipment to the 'new a/c' marketplace, experimental & LSA, but their sales are dwarfed by Garmin and others simply because of the much larger Part 23 installed base and the much broader variety of a/c uses. E.g. today there are tens of thousands of 430's and 530's installed in these legacy a/c, with little or no VOR to VOR flying being done as a result. ADS-B is going to follow the same trend line only moreso, being essentially mandated for all those who live near and so fly near a Class C or B airspace. So the trend line for many is to dance with the one you brought.

I don't think any of those examples necessarily impeach what you see in your crystal ball. My point is that no matter how many old geezers stand in line at the Garmin et al. booths, most of them are financial mortals who have thin wallets with limited funds to split between owning an a/c and the cost of flying + maintaining it, and those wallets are going to shape the near-term choices pilots make who are considering buying or renting an a/c. Not true for the 'professional training' pipelines (airlines, military, the Embry Riddles, now Boeing, and who knows tomorrow). But mostly true for the young person who can't afford/doesn't have access to the pro pipeline, for the middle aged guy and gal who can now afford to indulge in a flying hobby, and so far mostly true (if we consider LSA sales) for the older person who has the time and money to stay in or enter recreational flying.

But the fun of this discussion and others like it is that, for the first time in decades, we are seeing a lot of change emerging within the GA world. Driven by both technology and demographics - and the resulting regulatory environment - a LOT is going to change! Trying to weigh the direction of those changes is a tantalizing challenge.
Jack
Flying in/out KBZN, Bozeman MT in a Grumman Tiger
Do you fly for recreational purposes? Please visit http://www.theraf.org

Nomore767
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Re: What will change for YOU if the medical changes go throu

Postby Nomore767 » Sat Aug 02, 2014 9:09 am

"But the fun of this discussion and others like it is that, for the first time in decades, we are seeing a lot of change emerging within the GA world. Driven by both technology and demographics - and the resulting regulatory environment - a LOT is going to change! Trying to weigh the direction of those changes is a tantalizing challenge."

Jack,

Interesting points. Seems that we agree that the most immediate impact of the change (if it does what we think it will) will be to allow those who used to be able to fly to get back into their previous cockpits. Moving On will likely be able to resume flying and sharing his friend's Mooney, and that's obviously a good thing.
There is slack that will no doubt be taken up. One thing that LSA manufacturers have brought to market is innovation and the rapid growth of technology. In a market where unit sales of planes has been slow, it's quite amazing how many models have been introduced and are still being introduced. How big really is the market for amphibious LSAs? Apparently big enough for several manufacturers to take the plunge, so to speak.
The all newly designed LSA planes have allowed the manufacturers full reign in utilizing all the latest and greatest in tech advances. Look at the new Glasair Merlin. To me it's the 'fix' for the failed Cessna Skycatcher right down to it's stoke and gull-wing doors. Yet it's now composite, 912Sport injected engine, lighter, and more advanced in so many ways. They obviously believe there's a market for it.
This is typical of so many manufacturers.
On the other side…Piper and Cessna are essentially producing the new diesel powered Archer and Skyhawk for the big training schools. A very small number, in my opinion, of private customers will be ready to shell out close to $500k for an airplane that they can fly for $65 an hour on Jet-A. Are they going to spend big bucks for that saving? In any case the new alternative fuel to 100LL is around the corner.

So my point was, for me, the change will solve some short term issues, like getting those older planes, sitting in the rental spaces at numerous FBOs and schools around the country, flying again. To the relief of many who thought their flying days were done. The slack will be taken up.
That said the older geezers like me will get older, and the planes older too. A few more years and the schools will have to replace their fleets with…what?
I feel the Light Sport and PPL might begin to merge in scope. I mean, could there be a PPL-'Lite' which is essentially today's Light Sport, and the regular PPL with night and IFR? Pilots can choose the level of flying they want. Manufacturers can produce one model capable of both sport type flying as well as being capable of PPL flying IFR flight, in IMC, thus satisfying several markets in one.

It's time for change and time for the innovation to be unleashed in favor of the large group of frustrated pilots ad customers who are ready to get back into and to fully utilize the capabilities the market is already offering.

BrianL99
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Re: What will change for YOU if the medical changes go throu

Postby BrianL99 » Sat Aug 02, 2014 10:56 am

Just my 2¢.

First off, I don't agree with the FAA, AOPA or EEA's proposal. I think it's self-serving on the part of EEA & AOPA and will lead to increased scrutiny and bad publicity, once the accident rate starts to increase. I think it's fine if Pilots want to fly themselves around without Medicals, but as soon as you include a passenger, it's a different can of worms. That said, it looks like it's going to happen.

The dilemma now facing the GA world, is the next logical step ... how to get Part 23 changed. Until that changes, the GA world can't change very much.

The LSA initiative provided one, overwhelming conclusion ... decent, flyable airplanes can be built at a price within the means of "normal people", provided the manufacturer doesn't have to jump through Part 23 hoops.

I can't see guys who have been flying modern, glass cockpit LSA's for a few years, jumping back into 50 year old, rattle trap, steam gauge 152's and Warriors. Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't see it. On the other hand, I don't see there's any viable route to produce Part 23 airplanes, affordable to the average pilot. What I think we're going to see, is expansion of the LSA production, with more sophisticated airplanes, equipped for IFR and night flight. Think about it for a moment. In many cases, all it will take for an LSA to be legal for IFR, is for the manufacturer to say it's OK. No FAA filings, paperwork or certifications.

Look for the next initiative for EEA & AOPA, to be increasing the allowable Max Weight of LSA's, into the 1800-2000 lbs range. If they get that passed, the next step is adding seats.

MovingOn
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Re: What will change for YOU if the medical changes go throu

Postby MovingOn » Sat Aug 02, 2014 11:14 am

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Last edited by MovingOn on Fri Aug 22, 2014 7:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

CTLSi
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Re: What will change for YOU if the medical changes go throu

Postby CTLSi » Sat Aug 02, 2014 1:11 pm

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Last edited by CTLSi on Mon Dec 01, 2014 11:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

MovingOn
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Re: What will change for YOU if the medical changes go throu

Postby MovingOn » Sat Aug 02, 2014 2:29 pm

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Last edited by MovingOn on Fri Aug 22, 2014 7:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

BrianL99
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Re: What will change for YOU if the medical changes go throu

Postby BrianL99 » Sat Aug 02, 2014 2:32 pm

MovingOn wrote:It's not "self-serving," it's serving the pilot population. There is also no data suggesting the accident rate will increase. That's the point.


& there is data that suggests the accident rate won't increase?

"Associations" like EEA & AOPA, exist primarily as "businesses" and their survival depends on increasing levels of revenue and membership. To think otherwise is naive.

MovingOn
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Re: What will change for YOU if the medical changes go throu

Postby MovingOn » Sat Aug 02, 2014 2:39 pm

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Last edited by MovingOn on Fri Aug 22, 2014 7:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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drseti
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Re: What will change for YOU if the medical changes go throu

Postby drseti » Sat Aug 02, 2014 3:48 pm

BrianL99 wrote: In many cases, all it will take for an LSA to be legal for IFR, is for the manufacturer to say it's OK.


If we're talking SLSA, what it will take is for ASTM to say it's OK. Until they develop IFR consensus standards, the manufacturer's hands are tied.
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
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drseti
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Re: What will change for YOU if the medical changes go throu

Postby drseti » Sat Aug 02, 2014 3:52 pm

CTLSi wrote: IRS, VA, DOJ, State Dept, Homeland security, and US Military are also in full disarray thanks to the past eight years of Dem party rule.


Nobody disagrees that all the various agencies are in full disarray. It's not so clear that you can blame Dem party rule, or any other single cause. The whole point of three branches of government, checks and balances, and a bicameral legislature is that no single political party will ever have that kind of power.
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof. H. Paul Shuch, Ph.D., CFII, LSRM-A/GL/WS/PPC, iRMT
AvSport of Lock Haven
fly@AvSport.org
http://AvSport.org
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dstclair
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Re: What will change for YOU if the medical changes go throu

Postby dstclair » Sat Aug 02, 2014 4:15 pm

drseti wrote:
BrianL99 wrote: In many cases, all it will take for an LSA to be legal for IFR, is for the manufacturer to say it's OK.


If we're talking SLSA, what it will take is for ASTM to say it's OK. Until they develop IFR consensus standards, the manufacturer's hands are tied.

Hands are tied for those S-LSA's manufactured circa 2010 and later.
dave

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FastEddieB
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Re: What will change for YOU if the medical changes go throu

Postby FastEddieB » Sat Aug 02, 2014 5:00 pm

BrianL99 wrote:
& there is data that suggests the accident rate won't increase?


I think so.

The lack of high accident rates among Sport Pilots operating sans medical - like me.

Maybe anecdotal, but there seems to be a dearth of DL flyers having medical-related emergencies.
Last edited by FastEddieB on Sat Aug 02, 2014 6:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What will change for YOU if the medical changes go throu

Postby Merlinspop » Sat Aug 02, 2014 5:57 pm

FastEddieB wrote:
BrianL99 wrote:
& there is data that suggests the accident rate won't increase?


I think so.

The lack of high rates among Sport Pilots operating sans medical - like me.

Maybe anecdotal, but there seems to be a dearth of DL flyers having medical-related emergencies.

Gliders, too, yes?
- Bruce

BrianL99
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Re: What will change for YOU if the medical changes go throu

Postby BrianL99 » Sat Aug 02, 2014 6:37 pm

FastEddieB wrote:
BrianL99 wrote:
& there is data that suggests the accident rate won't increase?


I think so.

The lack of high accident rates among Sport Pilots operating sans medical - like me.

Maybe anecdotal, but there seems to be a dearth of DL flyers having medical-related emergencies.



In my recent search to buy a used LSA, I'd estimate that somewhere approaching 50% of the airplanes I discussed with owners, had previous damage history.

Certainly anecdotal and limited to low-wing aircraft, but alarming just the same.

MovingOn
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Re: What will change for YOU if the medical changes go throu

Postby MovingOn » Sat Aug 02, 2014 7:00 pm

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Last edited by MovingOn on Fri Aug 22, 2014 7:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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