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Date: Mon, 11 Aug 1997 23:30:01 -0700
From: Johnny <>
Newsgroups: rec.aviation.homebuilt
Subject: Re: Borrowing a homebuilt (Was: Learning to fly in a homebuilt)

John R. Johnson wrote:

> On Sun, 10 Aug 1997 wrote:
> >
> > Expanding the scope of this discussion a little bit, what about borrowing
> > a homebuilt?
> >
> > Lets say I know someone who has a homebuilt and is willing to let me fly
> > it and add me on as an additional insured.  Surely I will be paing for the
> > gas & other direct costs.  What about things like engine & maintenance
> > reserve, portion of the tiedown, insurance,.....  And by the time I end up
> > paying for all of this too, how is it different from "renting" which is
> > clearly prohibited?
> And if you push the FAA on it, they will make the restrictions more
> restrictive.  Right now it is working extremely well with a gentlemen's
> agreement which is not being abused.
> It is exactly like the situation several years ago where it was quite
> acceptable to get professional help on parts of your homebuilt.  The
> FAA still accepted it as a homebuilt that YOU built for educational
> purposes, even if much of the work was actually performed by others.
> Then we began to see "hired guns" who advertised large subassemblies
> of you homebuilt.  Then they started advertising to build your homebuilt
> for you.  The started shooting the corners of the rules and forcing the
> FAA to become more restrictive with their restrictions.
> Now we have reached the point where you had better be careful about
> hiring something done on your homebuilt or it may NOT be licenseable!
> If we want, we can do the same with the use restrictions.
> Do YOU want to do that?

Since you asked...

I feel that the tip-toe approach that you have outlined above is not
strong enough. For example, being a gun enthusiast, I have watched the
tip-toe approach lead to a steady errosion of gun rights and a mass
media campaign to the ignorant masses against guns of all types. Instead
of coming right out and saying from the beginning that assault rifles
were a requirement and that all Americans should be taught the use of
and issued same, the gun clubs and the NRA, fearing increased
regulation, tip-toe'd around saying that they were for hunting purposes
and the like, hoping that would make the regulators go away. Instead,
all it did was show the gun people to be weak and vulnerable, and guess
what we got, more regulation.

The non-gun poeple have always used death and injury as the banner for
there platform, with images of a pipe dream called a "safe society",
completely and intentionally ignoring the basis of our always lessening
free society, which is a thing called Personal Responsibilty. By
exchanging personal responsibilty, and the rights that go along with
that, for government regulation and control, in essence people are being
asked to be irresponsible, or at least unresponsible.

Airplanes are not so different from guns in this respect. A minority of
people have them and use them. This minority has proven themselves, to
others like themselves, to be competent operators and responsible
individuals that won't be likely to hurt others or themselves while
riding these flying projectiles we call aircraft. But let's face it.
People die in airplanes almost every day. As with almost everything that
we interface with they, like guns, or even cars for that matter, are not
completely safe. Now I know this is not a big deal with the people here
in this newsgroup, but to the ignorant masses this fact brings terror
and panic. If the Advil selling brainwashers started to really hype the
death and injury aspect of flying, we would all be criminals within a
year. Because we would all still be flying, but it would be against the
law to fly, because the right to fly is not specifically protected under
the constitution and therefore much easier to "make safe" than guns.

So, flying is a privlage, not a right you say? Exactly why organizations
like the EAA should be pushing harder for complete deregulation.
Everthing under 12,000 lbs and not a part 121 operation should be an
ultralight with passengers.

Has he lost his mind?
Look, the regs don't keep homebuilts from falling out of the sky, or
ultralights either for that matter. What does then? Personal
Responsibility. Damn, there's that P word again. Taking responsibility
for your own decisions and actions. If you decide to rent a homebuilt
from someone, and it falls apart while flying, who's fault is it? Yours.
You were the one that made the decision to fly it, whether you were
paying to or not. If you decide to throw something together using the
eyeball engineering method, and the wings fall off and you die, who's
responsible? You are. If when you die you take a few people on the
ground with you, who's responsible? You are, and good show I say, taking
a few anti-flyers with you!

The "we're ok for the moment" tiptoe method will fail with time. There
has to be an organized and constant push toward complete deregulation or
eventually you will be regulated right out of it. It's either happened
or is happening to most other forms of recreation that require life or
death decision making and personal responsibilty on that level.

For example, when's the last time you went Jousting, or even witnessed a
decent Jousting match lately? You can bet that if the mambsy-pambsy,
Advil eating, brainwashed, safe-societist, couch sitting,
anti-anything-that's-not-a-total-bore, ignorant masses were either
Jousters or somehow making money off of it, it would be the
international past-time that it once was. As it is, if you and a foe
want to Joust, you just about have to be criminals to do it.

Ok, how about something much more civilized like open fencing? You will
have a hard time even carrying the sword around without some sort of tax
being payed, er... I mean license, let alone actually getting a good
dual going before some do-gooder is going to call some form of
"authority" and have you stopped because it scares them.

With all the daily death and injury involving cars, the only thing
that's keeping them going is the fact that most people still don't take
mass-transit. If car owners and operators were a severe minority, do you
think the masses would allow you to kill yourselves that way? No-sireee.

Now, how is flying so different from the above? It's not. It's something
most people don't do, so they don't know shit about it. Since they are
ignorant, only because they choose to be, they are scared of it because
flying causes death and injury, and besides that most people just
naturally fear what they don't know. It is intrusive into their couch
lives because when we fly over they can hear us, and if we get right
down on the deck it might even drown out the laugh track on the sit-soap
they are passifying on.

Instead of letting the feds get over by threatening your airworthiness
cert if you used hired guns to build your experimental, there should
have been a large uprising that said "your damn right I used hired guns,
because I'm an American and I deserve the best professional aircraft
construction for my airplane that money can buy". But no, we buckled
under giving yet another pawn to the man.

You see, with a self serving ever expanding bureaucracy, it's give and
take... we give, they take. It seems they want the authority, but not
the reponsibility that goes along with it. For an example of this look
at the DER program, or any other designee (read fall-guy) cop out. It
appears that there can be no such thing as a Gentlemens Agreement,
because that involves Personal Resonsibilty, which they neither want or
have any of. Jousting, Fencing, Dualing Guns, Drawing your sidearm only
in self-defense, these things are by Gentlemens Agreement. An agreement
based on Personal Responsibility between individuals without
intervention or a tax, er... I mean user-fee.

In practical terms it makes absolutely no difference whether you are
renting a homebuilt or you own it, or you are leasing it, or buying it,
or selling it, or are partners on it, or maybe even a club that owns it
together. It's these kinds of things that are not spelled out in the
FAR's about homebuilts that are not something to tip-toe around, but
something to have spelled out in the form of deregulation. If they are
not regulated, then it needs to say that before they decide to regulate
these gray areas. Sure, you might be able to fly for the rest of your
life before they are spelled out in regulatory form, but what about your
kids, or they're kids, or your youngest student pilot, or there eventual

IMO, and I have a lot of those, the EAA has not pushed nearly hard
enough on these matters. If flying follows any of the other personal
responsibilty based recreational activities, it will eventually become
either illegal, practially impossible to be able to do it, or just no
fun anymore because it's so regulated that you can't do anything with

-j- (founder of the Militant Builders and Pilots Association)

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