Homebuilt Aircraft Council Gets New Chairman

Vic Syracuse. Photo: EAA.

EAA Chairman and CEO Jack J. Pelton announced that Vic Syracuse, EAA 180848, of Locust Grove, Georgia, has been named the new chairman of EAA's Homebuilt Aircraft Council. Syracuse is assuming the role from departing chairman Rick Weiss, EAA Lifetime 214428.

"I would like to thank Rick for his dedicated service and leadership over the last nine years," Pelton said. "Under Rick's leadership, your council has been an important asset to EAA and to the entire homebuilt community."

EAA's Homebuilt Aircraft Council ensures the organization's continued focus on vital programs of benefit to current and future homebuilders. This council of EAA volunteer leaders represents homebuilders and provides direction for programs, services, and activities that add value for members who are dreaming of, building, buying, and flying homebuilt aircraft.

Syracuse has a long history with EAA, not to mention extensive building experience, having completed 11 aircraft projects including a Just Aircraft SuperSTOL, a Prescott Pusher, two Kitfoxes, and multiple Van's RVs. He is the East Coast representative for Van's Aircraft, an FAA designated airworthiness representative (DAR) for amateur-built aircraft and an EAA technical counselor, flight advisor, and a Young Eagles pilot, not to mention the owner and operator of Base Leg Aviation.

Syracuse is extremely excited about his new role.

"I keep thinking somebody's going to pinch me and wake me up," he said. "We've got a lot of momentum going, and it's a great group of people." His personal goals for the council include trying to get more people involved in homebuilding.

"We've got a segment of the population that isn't career focused in aviation, and I question if we're doing enough for them," he said. "The kids are gone, and they make comments like, 'Boy, I wish I'd have learned to fly.' Next line is how expensive it is. ... But they could build airplanes. Their kids could learn to fly. ... And it becomes a good family kind of thing."

EAA Asking FAA to Recognize All Homebuilding Activity

faaThe EAA today released a statement clarifying their position on the draft hangar usage policy that the FAA released for comment two weeks ago. In the draft statement. the FAA recognized only the "Final Assembly" of a homebuilt aircraft as an Aeronautical Activity, and this has troubled many homebuilders who have already made comments to the public docket. The EAA has recognized the potential for future misinterpretation of this phrase, and states in their news release that "...we do not agree with the draft language regarding finally assembly stipulations. EAA will ask the FAA to consider all active aircraft construction as an aeronautical activity. We believe any type of active homebuilding meets the standard of aeronautical activity and EAA will fight for that language."

A full text of the EAA statement follows:

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Junior Takes Wing

Have to share the news. The RV-3 that KITPLANES contributor Paul Dye and his wife, Louise Hose, built has flown. According to Dye, the first flight was textbook. The second ended in an off-airport landing with no damage. They flew it out and have continued testing; a mere burp, nothing horrible. Dye says he could probably write a book (or at least a chapter) on how to prepare for a first flight, and how that preparation pays off, as it did on this first flight December 10. Here’s his account of that first flight.

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Commentary: How Do You Solve a Problem Like Epic? UPDATED

Epic LT. (Photo: Epic Aircraft.)

The winding road traveled by Epic Aircraft rounded what could be the last bend today. On Wednesday, April 7, the bankruptcy judge received a proposal that would, in essence, put a consortium of Epic LT builders in the driver's seat. In the agreement, China Aviation, an aerospace concern owned by the Chinese government, will be allowed to develop the Epic aircraft for sale outside of North America. According to a report in The Oregonian, China Aviation and the LT Builders Group will pay $4.3 million for the assets of the collapsed company.

The lead creditor in the proceeding is quoted as calling the agreement, "an ideal cross between a shotgun wedding and a Mexican standoff." Federal judge Randall Dunn told China Aviation and LT Builders Group this week that if they couldn't come to an agreement, he would award the assets to a third party, Harlow Aerostructures. Continue reading "Commentary: How Do You Solve a Problem Like Epic? UPDATED"

30,000th Homebuilt Certified

On July 31, in AeroShell Square, during the 2008 EAA AirVenture show, Acting FAA Administrator Bobby Sturgell allowed EAA President Tom Poberezny to award the 30,000th Experimental aircraft airworthiness certificate to Robert Noll and his daughter Katrina, of Yuma, Arizona, who have built an RV-9A together.

In fact, the RV-9A was one of several aircraft that applied for and were awarded experimental airworthiness certificates in the last six months. All of them were entered into a lottery to select the ceremonial 30,000th experimental aircraft. But the Nolls will tell you that it was certainly an honor worth flying to Oshkosh to receive.

As for the airplane, "It was a family project," said Robert Noll, as his daughter stood beside him nodding.

"Mom designed the paint and the unique logo, and I helped Dad with the build," she says.

Sturgell noted that 10% of the certificated general aviation fleet are now Experimental/Amateur-Built aircraft, and that number is growing.