Amateur Built Aircraft Committee

This is an update on the Amateur-Built Policy Committee that the Board has asked me to chair. I had planned to make these comments at the meeting tonight. I am sending them out because of the meeting cancellation.

On my behalf, the Club Secretary sent out a request for expressions of last month to ask people to sit on this committee, and we have now filled out the committee membership.

The committee consists of,

Tom Timm – Chair,

Bob Leroux,

Bevan Tomm,

Brain Appaswamy,

Devin Campbell,

Ken McKeen, and

Paul Coltura.

I think that this membership represents the broad range of knowledge and backgrounds that will be needed to achieve the committee’s mandate.

The purpose of the committee is explained in the Terms of Reference that the Board approved and which are posted on the Club website. In summary, the Board has asked the committee to make recommendations on what policies the Board should adopt, regarding the operation of amateur-built aircraft by the Abbotsford Flying Club.

The Board also asked the committee to review the ongoing work and the schedule and budget to get GSBS up and flying. I think that we essentially concluded that part of our task in our first meeting. Bevan Tomm gave us an outline of the work that is being done, and the budget and schedule to finish that work. The committee agreed that the current work program, the schedule, and the budget are all reasonable and we didn’t see any reason to recommend any changes. Bevan is going to continue to keep the Board advised on how the work is going.

All of the club’s existing policies concerning the use of club aircraft will apply to GSBS and we will not be revisiting those. We are only looking at the things that are different about amateur-builts as opposed to type certified aircraft and any issues that differentiate the Glastar from our other aircraft.

So far the committee has had one meeting. At that meeting we;

– reviewed the issues that we think should be included in our review,

– discussed collecting information from outside sources like Transport Canada, our insurance providers, and any other clubs with experience operating Amateur-Builts, and

– talked about how to collect input from the membership on the issues we have identified as well as additional issues that the members want us to consider.

The issues that the committee has identified so far include:

– Are there any other flying clubs that are registered non-profit societies who have experience operating amateur built aircraft, and what can we learn from their experience?

– Who will be authorized to do maintenance work on GSBS, and under what supervision?

– Who will be authorized to sign maintenance releases, and what are the legal options on this issue?

– What will the transition training and check flight requirements be for GSBS?

– Is the club’s insurance appropriate for flying an amateur built? (both aircraft insurance and director’s liability insurance)

– What are the issues that might prevent members from flying GSBS or any amateur-built owned by the club and how do we eliminate or reduce those barriers?

– Should the club consider requiring signed waivers from GSBS pilots acknowledging that the aircraft is operated under a “Special Certificate of Airworthiness”?

– Are there any specific operating limitations that the Club may want to apply to GSBS? (ie. similar to the restriction of IUK to paved runways only)

– Should the committee make any recommendations on the hourly rental rate for GSBS, or on any other possible rental schemes such as pre-paid block time?

– What other issues do the members think we should address?

– How do we ensure that our policy recommendations are acceptable to a broad majority of the club membership?

In terms of collecting input from club members and the current pilots of the club aircraft we plan to:

1 Send out an online survey to update the one that was done last year, which is more specifically focussed on the aircraft that the club has now bought. WE hope to have the survy finalized and circulated by the end of this week and it will be open for responses until the first week of March.

2 The committee minutes will be posted on the website.

3 There will be a blog on the website where you can post your comments, if you wish to share them with other interested members.

4 We have created an email address,, where you can give the committee your comments without publishing them on the website. Emails to this address will be shared with all committee members.

5 You can also email or talk to any one of the committee members when you see us around the club.

I would like to encourage you all to respond to the survey which should go out before the end of this week. There is room in the survey to raise any issue that you think has been left out and that is important to you. We hope to get broad input from all club members whether you are

– a potential pilot of GSBS,

– a potential passenger,

– or just a club member who is not likely to fly in this or any of the club’s aircraft.

The current schedule is to have GSBS ready to undergo test flights by Mid-March, and to be on-line for member flights before the Wings and Wheels event in May.

The committee plans to make our recommendations to the Board in time to facilitate that schedule.