EAA Chapter 12

Houston, TX @ Ellington Spaceport

Current News

EAA CHAPTER 12 CALENDAR

Chapter Gathering - Thursday, 8 February 2024 at 6--7:30PM @ Lone Star Flight Museum (Ellington Airport) 

Our Monthly Topic will be recent Reciprocating Engine Losses, presented by Lance Little of the FAA's Safety Team (FAAST). Lance will review recent engine failures, their cause and actions taken. As always, we will begin the meeting with a Visual Flight Scenario to get our brains thinking about flying and conclude with snacks, sodas and conversation. Everyone is welcome to attend, whether you are just getting started in aviation or are a high timer. See you on 11 January at 6 PM.

"Homebuilder's Week" of  Webinars 22-3-26 of January (Recordings still available if you missed it)

Interested in building your own aircraft. Many builder topics were covered during the fourth-annual EAA Homebuilders Week online event. 

Experts from every corner of the homebuilt aircraft community briefed their knowledge and information to builders everywhere through free and interactive webinars. Homebuilders Week is a tremendous learning opportunity that celebrates the legacy of EAA founder Paul Poberezny. As he often said, using hand and mind to create aircraft that allow us to enjoy the personal freedom of flight!

The videos can be watched at EAA.org, search for "Webinars". If you haven't already, you will need to create an EAA.org account to watch past webinars.

.MOSAIC (Modernization of Special Airworthiness Certification) 

The FAA has published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) last summer that if adopted will provide new benefits to General Aviation. The main changes expanded the capabilities of the aircraft that can be flown by Sport Pilots and the aircraft that can be licensed as a Light Sport Aircraft. The comment period for the public has recently concluded. Most comments were to clarify the language or expand the capabilities even further. The FAA will group like comments, and either reject or incorporate them into the final rule by the end of 2024.

Chapter Membership Dues – For 2024 --- Big thanks to our 23 members who are current in their dues for 2024. 

Dues ($20) help cover Chapter 12 expenses and bills from Young Eagle rallies and internet fees. Details on how to join or can be found on the Tab to the left -- Join or Renew Membership.

Approval of Alternative Task Based Phase One

Resulting from a multiyear sustained advocacy effort by EAA, on February 2nd the FAA published its guidelines for an optional task-based Phase I Flight Testing program. The program can be an alternative to the standard 25 or 40-hour flight testing requirement for amateur-built aircraft, replacing the hours-based test period with a list of tasks to complete. When the tasks are complete and the aircraft is shown to operate as expected and an Aircraft Operating Handbook (AOH) is created, the aircraft can exit the Phase I flight testing period. If you would rather stay with the existing flight hour format, you can do that as well, but remember you are verifying that your aircraft performs as designed not just flying off hours.

The new guidance is housed in the recently updated Advisory Circular (AC) 90-89C, the Amateur-Built Aircraft and Ultralight Flight Testing Handbook. This is a wide-ranging document that the FAA first developed in partnership with EAA in 1989. The task-based program itself is found in Chapter 2 of the AC, beginning on pages 2-3. Link to EAA Article on the Topic

Transition to Unleaded Aviation Fuel

The FAA approved General Aviation Modifications Inc. (GAMI) Unleaded high octane Aviation Fuel (G100UL) for all spark ignited piston engines on the first of Sep 2022. G100UL can be mixed in any ratio with existing 100LL without limitation. Each certified aircraft will need a Supplemental Type Certification (STC) from GAMI, which will involve some paperwork and stickers for the aircraft. AvFuel, a major distributor of aviation fuel will assist in the roll out of this new fuel. Since some airports in California have already prohibited the sale of leaded aviation fuel, they will be a priority for G100UL distribution. The fuel will cost more (50-90 cents per gallons) especially while it is produced in small quantities. However, there are expected savings due to less frequent oil changes and spark plug mx. Swift Fuels expects to have its 100R unleaded fuel certified in early 2023. Swift currently sells unleaded 94 octane at select airfields around the U.S.  AOPA's Flying Magazine has a good summary of the topic: Getting the Lead Out..

FAA Experimental Aircraft LODA Rescinded

Following a court case early last year, the FAA required that every Experimental Aircraft obtain a Letter of Deviation Authorization (LODA) to allow flight instruction in an Experimental aircraft, even when the aircraft was owned or borrowed by the student. This was contrary to common practice for over 50 years. Congress directed the FAA to change this policy in the recently passed National Defense Authorization Bill signed by the President. Net Effect: you can get instruction or take a checkride in your own Experimental Aircraft (whether the instructions is free or for a fee).

FAA Extends the Requirement to Reregister Aircraft to 7 Years

At one time, Aircraft were registered with the FAA for an indefinite period (no expiration date). However, in 2010 the FAA changed to requiring each aircraft owner to renew their aircraft registration every three years. This burdensome requirement has been modified per FAA request to every seven years. Every aircraft with a valid registration is extended from three to seven years unless an event or circumstance necessitates a new registration being submitted prior to the expiration of the certificate. (Due to the backlog of pending reregistration requests, aircraft owners may fly their aircraft up to 12 months past the renewal date.)

Chapter 12 Officers (For 2024&2025)

Hal Getzelman – President, Dan LaFon – Vice President, LD Stevenson – Secretary, John Jordan – Treasurer, David Braun – Young Eagles Coordinator, Carl Martin – VMC Coordinator, David Forster – Tech Counselor, Brian Strack - Web Master.

Chapter Tool Crib

The Chapter Tool Crib is up and running for our current Chapter Members. Thru the generosity of our members, who have made their own tools available or via chapter owned tools, you may find a seldom used tool for loan that can help with your aircraft build. (See the menu to the left for the a list of tools and the process to check them out.)

Future Gatherings:

- Thursday, March 14th, 6:00 PM @ Lone Star Flight Museum, Program TBD

VMC Club:

The VMC club meeting will be at the beginning of the chapter meeting at 6 PM. Please feel free to join us as I am sure we will have another lively discussion on how best to fly under Visual Meteorological Flight Conditions. An actual flight scenario is presented and members contribute their thoughts as we iterate to a best technique to resolve the situation.

Upcoming “Local” Events: 

The Lone Star Flight Museum is open, Tuesday-Saturday 10:00 AM to 5 PM and Sunday Noon to 5 PM. The museum includes programs for all ages, with hands-on displays and simulators for future pilots and historical exhibits for all patrons. Their Redbird MX2 motion simulator can be used to log instrument time with a CFI.

MEMBER NEWS

AVIATION JOBS

As noted in prior e-mails, the aviation professional shortage is a real thing and recruiters are looking for people interested in an aviation career. We will advise if we get any leads, but please forward us if you are looking for people! In the past year, we have had guest speakers from Texas Southern University in Houston and Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches about their undergraduate aviation programs.

FOR SALE

Do you need some artistry for your Aircraft Paint Job? 

Chuck Coupland of Coupland Signs 118 S. 5th Street, La Porte, TX 77571 has produced some excellent airbrushed artwork that were reproduced as decals for local EAA aircraft.

If you have any aviation items to sell please send me a simple pdf document to president@eaa12.org with a description and your contact info so we can add it to this section. We will post it here for 3 months unless you contact us requesting it to be extended or removed.

BUILDER / VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY

Do you have a project where you need some extra volunteer help or just want to convey some knowledge, let us know and we can put out a call.

The Rutan Aircraft Flying Experience (RAFE) is restoring several aircraft that were designed by Burt Rutan. You maybe familiar with one of his more popular designs, the LongEZ. They are looking for volunteers to help work on these aircraft at their hangar on Ellington Field. You may find out more and volunteer here: RAFE Volunteer

HAVE NEWS TO SHARE or Update on Your Project?

Please send us your airplane/project/flying photos, your news, for-sales, and other items of interest to Chapter 12 members and friends. For events or news, please advise at least two weeks in advance so we can get it in the general news e-mail.



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