It Takes Money

March 24, 2006
Aviation takes money. It takes money to go to school and get an A&P. It takes money to get a pilot's certificate. To be an aircraft owner, it just takes money!

Let's face it -- it takes money to be in aviation . To be an A&P, we fork out money to go to school. After we get our certificate, we have to invest a large amount of money to buy the tools and equipment necessary for our job. A pilot needs money to get his or her pilot's certificate. But here's the irony -- if you want to be an aircraft owner (the person responsible for the airworthiness of an aircraft) it just takes money.

What’s wrong with this picture? Why is it that owners not required to have any training whatsoever? There is no experience required or even a review of the regulations. It just takes money.

This can be frustrating for mechanics and pilots alike. It's hard enough keeping ourselves out of trouble. But many times, we end up spending a lot of time trying to educate the owner. I'm not saying we should not communicate with aircraft owners. On the contrary, we should maintain an open line of communication with them. What becomes a burden is when mechanics (or even pilots) need to teach the regulations to the owners or why their aircraft if not airworthy.

O.K. here's a thought. Why not create an owner's certificate? In order to own an aircraft, one must first go through training in the applicable regulations. Maybe even general familiarization on aircraft systems would be called for. Here's an even more radical concept -- how about a recurrency requirement -- a few hours each year to learn the latest regulations and show they are still competent to perform the duties of an owner. For those owners that already are educated in the regulations (AKA pilots/owners) and understand what it takes to maintain and fly a safe aircraft, this new regulation would be a breeze. For those owners who now have no concept of the regulations or inkling of what goes on, it would at least establish a minimum standard. And that would make our lives much easier. What do you think?

Thanks for reading!

Joe Escobar