The FAA fails General Aviation in a big way
I once thought the FAA was great all the way around, but they changed that. You know the old cliche, "the proof is in the pudding". Well, General Aviation is the biggest failing of the FAA. They are never there to help you, your local airport, or your aircraft. There is an exception of course, if it will get their name on a piece of paper that they think will bring them recognition, well, that is a different story.
Many moons ago, I had a helicopter that had two airworthiness certificates, the norm for dual operation aircraft. This particular aircraft was used for AG spraying seasonaly, and for other uses the rest of the year. I had angered an inspector by making a complaint against him for standing me up twice on checkrides for my students. He retaliated by claiming that my aircraft, which was fresh out of refurb, wasn't airworthy. The FAA sent an inspector out to look over my records and the aircraft. There was nothing wrong; the records were impeccable, and the aircraft was clean and right. However, on finding that the aircraft had two airworthiness certificates, the inspector asked if he could take one. I told him no. He had no right to it, he just wanted to take it. That is your friendly FAA.
When they visit the local airport, they aren't there looking to help anyone, they are looking for a feather to justify their jobs and nothing more. If they can find a reason to violate someone, that is just what they will do, and they will do it with the viciousness of a street gang. If they can find a reason to nab an airworthiness certificate they will. If they can find a reason to reroute aircraft because some idiots moved in near an airport and then complain about aircraft noise, they will. They completely lack the backbone to do anything for General Aviation.
One of the best examples of the complete lack of a spine with GA, is what happened with the lake front aiport in Chicago. This is just one; there have been many more airport closings. The FAA will always back up a public complaint over aviation because that, in their mind gives the appearance that they are earning their keep. An example of this is the way the FAA is willing to put aircraft at risk around hospitals where surrounding neighborhoods complain about low flying helicopters.
Another point is the fact that there is no requirement for a public airport to permit any particular operation. An example of this is the airport in Rockwood, TN, KRKW. At this airport, though there is very little traffic, the manager hates ultralight aircraft and forbids them to operate there. I called the FAA about this myself, and they stated that the manager controls that, period. Yet, my tax dollars support that airport and the low-life "good ole boy" management in the dirty government city of Rockwood.
Another common occurance at some airports, and Rockwood is one of those, is bogus traffic counts. Traffic counts is what gets these airports their funding. I fly at many airports around the US, and you don't have to look to hard to find bogus numbers at a lot of them. Check out their claims of aircraft based on the field. I can't tell you how many times I have been at airports and looked for the helicopters claimed to be based on the field and found NONE. I have been at Rockwood many times all day long doing flight training and never saw another aircraft, yet according to the count there had to be several there.
Another issue that GA faces is the fact that it is no longer the friendly environment that it once was. No longer can the local people take their kids to the airport and watch aircraft take-off and land for two reasons. First, they aren't there; thats right, there isn't any aircraft flying. Oh yes, you will find the occasional airport that has some traffic, but nothing like it used to be. Secondly, you go to the local airport and it looks more like a prison compound than a friendly airport. There is no way that you can take your son down flight line and show him the different aircraft. If the airport wasn't locked up like a prison compound, there wouldn't be any aircraft to look at anyway. That my friend is your good ole FAA! ENDJump to Top