If you haven't heard by now, the FAA has recently proposed another change to current regulation that would effectively wipe out general aviation mechanic inspectors. If this passes, expect it to become nearly impossible to find an A&P/IA to sign off or do an annual on your aircraft. The change is subtle but deadly. In this proposal, all they would do is define "actively engaged" to mean something most mechanics could not attain. If you want to know more, you can go to www.aea.net. You can also go to www.regulations.gov to leave a comment. Search for Docket FAA-2010-1060, read the proposal and then leave a comment. But remember, this is not something to be negotiated. Your message should say how you believe it would hurt aviation as a whole and that this proposal should be dropped and the regulation left as it is.
The following is my comment to them:
With the recent FAA proposal (FAA-2010-1060) to vaguely assess and decertify A&Ps/IAs deemed unnecessary, the FAA has exposed its ever accelerating spiral into the realm of absurdity. This extremely shortsighted effort is a symptom of a larger disease that threatens general aviation as a whole. That illness is the FAA’s misconceived belief they are graded on how much perceived safety is improved, and how many rules are placed on the books per annum. The result of this idea is an obsessive compulsive agency that chases, with frenzy, any ill-conceived safety suggestion to the far limits of the scale of diminishing returns while valuable improvements to aviation lie dead on the table from lack of basic care. This must stop.
The previously mentioned proposal can only have one of two purposes behind it. One it could have been designed to remove potential mechanics from the realm of General Aviation where a large percentage of Mechanic IA’s would not meet these new standards. Or two, this could be a follow up to the recent misguided rulings on pilot hiring standards which amazingly fell prey to one of the most well known and documented myths in aviation, hours equals ability. Again, absurdity rules and one can only imagine who or what is leading this agency and its (our) employees down the path to ruin. But whatever the case, it is time we get to the root problems at the FAA so that an end is put to the creation of additional needless resource wasting proposals, such as this one, down the airway.
As for the proposal that specifically addresses the definition of “actively engaged” mechanics, it is best left untouched. Additionally, by proposing to fight with aviation over further definition of more and more precise definitions, it is clear the employees of the FAA are putting off real work by creating the appearance thereof and telling us how busy they are. And by offering compromises, aviation enables more and more take from an agency that never gives. Mechanics get their experience, pass their FAA approved tests, and get their FAA approved licenses and that is how it should be. This is not a complex issue that should be debated as many will attempt to make it. It is simple; leave us alone.
As for those of you at the FAA, here’s the a problem; the citizens of this country and those of us in aviation are not stupid to what is going on and we are no longer willing to put up with your constant attacks on that which you are supposed to promote. The FAA is wasting valuable time and tax resources in an attempt to stay relevant by chasing safety vapors when all you really need to do is start listening to your employers, us. Out here in the real world, creative citizens are constantly inventing solutions to issues, building opportunities for further development and employment, and dreaming up the next big thing in aviation. None of these people want people to die and none of them want to do anything unsafe. Could you, as the FAA, play a valuable part, of course you could. But until you realize you are here to help instead of stand in the way, you are unnecessary to aviation and I deem you no longer “actively engaged.” Please gather up your stuff and turn off the lights.