Help Promote Electric Aviation

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Beth Stanton, an aerobatic pilot and superb writer (you can read her articles in Sport Aviation), shares the following action item.  Readers are invited to comment to the FAA by December 31.  Your comments could have a big effect promoting electric flight, especially in flight training.

Beth Stanton enjoying her favorite type of flying


“Progress on affordable electric training is happening!

 “Joseph Oldham, director of the Sustainable Aviation Project (SAP) asked me to pass this information along –

“The SAP petition to the FAA for exemption to operate 4 Pipistrel Alpha Electro Aircraft with the issuance of a Special Light Sport Aircraft airworthiness certificate to conduct flight training is now posted for public comment:

“Comments must be received by 12/30/19.

Locations for Sustainable Aviation Project airports enable cross-country flights between participating sites

“The progress of the Sustainable Aviation Project has been featured in the past few  years in two innovation features in EAA Sport Aviation magazine. An article with the latest updates is slated for the May 2020 issue of EAA Experimenter magazine.

 “Details about the mission of the Sustainable Aviation Project may be found here.
“Please feel free to pass the petition along to your associates. Let’s help get the word out!
We’ve promoted the Project in this blog extensively, since it’s a first attempt to provide certified flight training for electric aircraft:

Why This is Important

Read up on the Project and help show the FAA that electric flight training is worthy of their support.
As explained by Clean Technica recently, “Nonetheless, at stake for Pipistrel is the Special Category Light-Sport Aircraft (SLSA) designation, a highly sought-after airworthiness certificate for light-sport aircraft. It is issued to those that meet the definition of light-sport aircraft (LSA). So far, the Pipistrel Alpha Electros only have the restrictive Experimental status. They can’t be used for training in the US, which is what they were designed for. These 4 US Pipistrel Alpha Electros can only be flown privately, not for commercial purposes.”

A pair of the four Pipistrel Alpha Electros awaiting SLSA certification

Nicholas Zart concludes, “An easier path to SLSA status would open the doors to flying electric airplanes and training planes. A new generation of pilots would have an easier and more affordable way to get into the aviation industry. Considering that the aviation industry is finding it more difficult to find pilots, this makes perfect sense in an otherwise less than perfect scenario. On a personal note, I could visit family, friends, and fly into airports to cover UAM news. The more I think about it, the more pressing the idea is becoming.”

Showing why speed is of the essence, other than the December 30 deadline for comments: “The other hidden problem is that electrifying aviation and going through the many years required for certification means that the technology certified will be obsolete by the time it is approved. Electric aviation is like what desktop computers were a few decades ago, upgradeable if it is to be financially worthwhile.”

Those wanting to advance clean aviation have a golden opportunity to make their voices heard, and good reason to raise them.

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