USUA Boss Dale Hopper
tells ANN that, "The story of the Carrier Petition goes on."
Some time ago, USUA member Dick Carrier, along with USUA, NAPPF
and ASC, petitioned the FAA to create a safety study that would
identify and allow additional safety items to be listed in Advisory
Circular 103-7. By detailing the safety items identified by this
survey, and listing them in an Advisory Circular, additional weight
(for those items) could be allowed on a Part 103 legal ultralight
without having to change or even touch Part 103. That petition was
denied earlier this year.
In March of 2006, shortly after the petition's denial, Mr.
Carrier and USUA Executive Vice President Dale Hooper met via
teleconference with FAA officials concerning that action. FAA
provided additional clarification on the reasoning behind the
denial, and what possible action could be accomplished to rectify
the situation. According to FAA, the idea of and premise behind the
Safety Study was not denied. The denial pertained only to the fact
that Part 103 ultralights (which would require an exemption) were
to be used. FAA reported that they where actually in favor of the
study, and it's benefits to ultralight aviation.
However, the study could
not include exempted ultralights. Since there is now a category of
aircraft that would not require exemptions (Light Sport), FAA
suggested that USUA investigate and proceed with efforts directed
toward this study; to which USUA agreed.
Since that time, Carrier, Hooper (pictured right) and USUA Board
member Skip Little have met personally with FAA regarding the
matter. At the Lakeland airshow, Hooper took FAA Manager of General
Aviation Pete Dula, on an informal tour of the ultralight exhibit
area. Legal ultralights and Experimental Light Sport Aircraft (Fat
Ultralights) that were possible examples of aircraft that could
effectively participate in such a survey were viewed and
It is important to note however, that this project is in the
investigational stage of development. USUA is committed to the
preservation of Part 103 and the freedoms it provides. Any effort
that would jeopardize the rule in any way would be unacceptable.
While USUA is exploring the possibilities of creating this safety
study this will be the benchmark in which all decisions and actions
will be weighed.
It is hoped that within the next few months, enough information
can be ascertained to decide on the course to take. As developments
arise, USUA promises that they will be reporting on, and soliciting
member comments about, possible actions and specifics related to
creating a safer ultralight vehicle.