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FAA: Go away!

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If you are a pilot, you have likely heard the unofficial slogan of the FAA, "We're not happy until you're not happy." Like most idioms, there is often a bit of truth to this. Any pilot who has crossed a FAA inspector knows how miserable they can make your life. Pilots have very few rights as an airman certificate is considered a 'privilege', rather than a right. However, these injustices hardly touch on the significance behind the FAA's motto. It is much more complex than a few bad apples with badges. Skyrocketing fuel prices over the past decade are often cited as one reason people are flying less and the pilot pool is shrinking, but this isn’t the entire story.

It hasn’t always been like this. In 1938, the CAA was founded by FDR, with the goal of developing airways, air traffic control, and safety programs. After a few deadly mid-air collisions in the 1950s, the CAA was absorbed by a new entity, the Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA, however, became less and less interested in promoting safety. They have simply become another overblown government agency, an immovable bureaucracy. In essence, the FAA exists mostly as a means to provide Federal jobs to people. Any new 'rule' proposed by the FAA only adds 'cost' for the people. These 'rules' are rarely formed through scientific procedure, but rather on the rhetorical case, the opinion of the administration. One excellent example is the Airworthiness Directive program. Many AD's have been issued without absolutely zero evidence that an unsafe operating condition exists. Specifically, about 20 years ago the FAA put into final rule an AD regarding certain Continental crankshafts. Many older pilots and aircraft owners will remember this one! Not only did independent studies debunk the accusation that there was a problem, but so did the FAA's own data! This one cost light-aircraft owners nearly $100 million. Who benefited from this? Other than the FAA employes who justified their jobs? The FAA no longer exists as an organization of the people. It exists only for itself.

As I have seen firsthand, the FAA certification process for new aircraft is ludicrous. Beechcraft hasn't come up with a new design in 50 years. Why not? They can't afford to. It is much cheaper for them to keep modifying old type certificates than to certify a new aircraft. We haven't made many significant advances in general aviation in the past 40 years, and much of that is because the FAA has blocked it with an unnecessarily expensive and nearly impossible certification process. So, we are flying around with antiquated aircraft designs, and thanks to the FAA, even your grandfather's plane is so expensive that many people simply cannot afford to fly.

In the 1970s, there were 50,000 pilots per year being certificated. In 2010, there were just 15,000. There were 15,000 aircraft per year being manufactured in the 1970s. In 2010, there were barely 600 new aircraft built! In the mid 1970s, a fully loaded Beechcraft Bonanza could be purchased for $40,000. Today that same aircraft is $750,000. Even after adjusting for inflation, the acquisition cost to average salary is not even close to being linear. A new aircraft, instead of costing 2-3x a middle class salary, now costs 6x! Thanks to the FAA and product liability lawsuits, a small bolt will cost $300 and a lightbulb $8,800! Flying is becoming rich man's game. While the attorneys and product liability lawsuits have certainly contributed some to this, I believe the FAA bears most of the responsibility. I propose as an alternative, we eliminate all certification and maintenance requirements for aircraft, which operate below FL180, have 6 or fewer seats, and are to be used for non-commercial purposes. Eliminate the third class medical and allow a state issued driver license in its place. If you are healthy enough to drive a car, you are healthy enough to fly your Bonanza to Cincinnati for the weekend.

I’m not quite proposing we abolish the FAA, however, my message is this: We want to innovate. We want to break new ground. We want GA to prosper. We want flying to be affordable for the average guy ... and we can't do it with the FAA blocking the path. We need to take a step back and revaluate things. Perhaps it's time to do away with all the red tape and unnecessary regulations.


-T.R.

Theodore Wright Staff Writer
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mariescreations
Jerry Rader 16
This analysis is very close to the point of accuracy. I remember in the 1960's and 1970's when personnel working in the FAA were of the opinion that they were there to help the aviation community and make it easier and more safe to fly. When a pilot applied for a license, he was given a test by an FAA flight examiner and there would be no cost to take the test. When a mechanic needed help he could call the FAA inspector and the inspector was more than willing to provide help with his problem. It was affectionately known as the "Friendly Aviation Administration". After the 1970's the FAA took a 180 degree turn (from the top down) and decided that they would do absolutely nothing to help anyone but chose instead to become a police force and see how miserable they could be to airplane manufacturers, pilots, and mechanics by just enforcing regulations. More regulations were created which started it to make it more difficult build and to fly airplanes within a reasonable budget. The FAA started hiring new college graduates who had never seen an airplane before and made them inspectors who could only read and interpret the regulations to justify their jobs. They decided that if they were to do nothing they would develop a designee system so they could sit in their cubicle all day and not embarrass themselves. If you have any problems today, you have to go and pay a designee for help. This costs a lot of money and is part of the reason it has made the cost of being involved in aviation so expensive. I live in a metropolitan area of a major city and can remember when it was impossible to look up in the sky during the day and not see at least one small airplane flying within my vision at all times. Now, it could be an hour or more before an airplane comes into sight. With so few hours being flown, and with all work being done by designees, I wonder what justifies the need for FAA inspectors.

I wonder if it is really necessary to have all the new regulations created since the 1970's. Has flying become more safe? With so few airplanes flying any more I would think that we could go back to the 1960's regulations and see which regulations created since are actually necessary and if not, eliminate them. I also believe that the FAA personnel should come up through the ranks of the aviation industry with a requirement that they have actual years experience working in the field before they can become inspectors just like pilots who must have so many hours prior experience before they can obtain an advanced license and mechanics have so many years experience before they can become Authorized Inspectors. I would respect an FAA inspector more if he actually worked in the industry before becoming an inspector than one who just has a college education and never touched an airplane before. These kind of inspectors would more likely be able to use common sense in their decisions and actually be helpful again. We need intelligent inspectors and not policemen.

I know these things will never happen but we can dream.
preacher1
preacher1 2
I'm a thinkin' that DESIGNEE is just another name for consultant or just another cottage industry that has spawned under the good ole boy system.
captmetro
Tom Dugger 1
Dear Jerry,
As I am an FAA Ops Inspector I take exception to some of your comments. I spent 25 years flying On Demand charter in everything from a Baron to DC-3, Beach 18, Caravan, Metroliner, etc. I was also Chief Pilot for two charter companies and a Check Airman for 3 companies. When I came to the FAA I decided I would really try to help pilots rather than hammer them. What we don't is when pilots decide they dont have to follow the rules and this ultimately puts the pilot and the public in danger. There is nothing worse than going to an accident site where there are deaths or serious injuries. I will tell you that of the 4 Ops Inspectors in my office we strive to help people. Something that was told to me is that when you become a member of our club you have to play by our rules. I will admit that there are Inspector out there that are of the Old School and will try to accumulate as many violations on pilots as they can. But for the most part, of the Inspectors that I have met that come from different parts of the country are highly professional. Oh, an by the way, the cost of flying has gone up due to 3 things, inflation in fuel cost and product cost, and product liability. Product liability being the driving force. You are right about one thing. We do have a lot of designees. The truth is we (FAA) could not possibly meet the demands of the public without designees. Because of bureaucracy you cant imagine how much time is being spent in front of a computer just entering data in the databases. Oh, by the way, you cant get into the FAA unless you have a commercial/instrument and a CFI and they prefer a minimum of 2000 hrs.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
Thank God ! I get to read views from the 'other' side.
I am primarily anti establishment, striving forever for perfection in the system. What we all have to understand is that in any system not all are bad or good.
Also, that any and every system moves on the basis of good people. And this mix of good/bad decides the rate of progress and mobility and growth of the system.
Can any system move or progress with a majority of bad people, those who want to put a spanner in the works ? No !
Be it USA or China or UK or India or Somalia or Uganda ! Or any part with in !
Three cheers to you my friend Tom Dugger.
:-)
joelwiley
joel wiley 1
Within a system governed by laws lawyers, of which you acknowledge being one, are by definition part of the system. Being an anti-establishment lawyer seems oxymoronic.
Mr. Duggar appears to reflect a slilghtly different facet of the same side, rather than being on the 'other side'
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
Please please my friend joel wiley , I am as much a part as you are. No more no less. So you are as much to blame. like it or not.
I grant you a better IQ to understand that.
Mr Tom Duggar tried to give FAA's side, the one at the butt end in this thread.
So please keep off. And tread wisely. Don't show your prejudices so loudly.
joelwiley
joel wiley 0
Thank you for pointing out my error.
Silly of me to be so busy polishing my prejudices that I missed Mr. Duggar's voicing the official FAA position. And here I thought he was expressing his own opinion from his own experience.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
ThanX my friend joel wiley for being so magnanimous.
Please stay as sweet. Always .
I am definitely prone to errors. But I try to correct myself.
I am here to learn and enjoy flying, on ground or in air.

:-)
WithnailANDi
WithnailANDi 1
I want some of this guy's brownies.
MultiComm
Spencer McLennan 0
The FAA still gives practical tests for free. DPE's are there because there are not enough FAA guys to do the tests. We could hire more FAA examiners (higher taxes) or we can pay into the free market and let a DPE do our test for a fee. Yeah, they make a killing but one way or the other it is never free!

Your statement on young inspectors that have not worked in the industry may be true where you live (and maybe even statistically ... I haven't checked the facts) but working for a large flight school, I routinely see a fair share of the inspectors (and DPEs) from the ATL FSDO and none are younger than there 40's with most being at least 50 or above. All are retired industry professionals albeit military or civilian. They have worked the ranks.
mariescreations
Jerry Rader 2
It is true that all inspectors in recent years do not fall into the inexperience category, but it seems the majority of them do and they are the ones that like to flex their muscles the most create the most animosity. The good ol' boys with the experience are still doing a good job and are appreciated for their common sense and helpfulness.
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 1
I ran into a pilot a few weeks ago that's a DE in South FL. He said if anyone wants a checkride on the weekend, the price is $1000!!!
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 3
Wonder if that's the guaranteed pass price?
Derg
Roland Dent -1
What make truck you got Wallace?
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
Ford f-150 platinum crewcab with the 6.5' bed, 6.2 liter. Just like they drive in your neck of the woods!
Derg
Roland Dent -1
Beat I can do is my Japan built 1,4 liter Corolla. I do pull a home made small trailer tho..built on a 1940 axle. Most of us who are engineers won't take on 3rd world..out in the boonies.. work unless we get a Toyota truck..BUT I have see your pic on this site...AND.. I have to say if I was in the USA I would mirror your choice..both truck and airplane. Very Very Nice.
Navy65
Navy65 6
When the cockpit voice recorder and area microphone was installed in airline cockpits, there were two inviolate "laws" before ALPA would allow them in our cockpits. 1. The information on the cockpit voice recorder would never be made public, and 2 the information on the voice recorder would never be used to violate a pilot. The FAA VIOLATED both of those "law" within months.
After years of the media making public what was on the voice recorders and the FAA punishing pilots, I had a scheme which caught on with others. I recommend today's airline pilot adopt this method.
In the event of an incident and in order to prevent the FAA from publishing my cockpit's voice recorder tapes (for the benefit of ambulance chasing lawyers), on approach, at 1000 feet above touchdown, I spoke the required speed and rate of descent announcement for the voice recorder. I always added the phrase, "The FAA is an incompetent, bureaucratic waste of the taxpayer's money." I never had an incident in my 3 decades of airline flying. But had there ever been an incident, I am quite sure that the FAA would NOT have published what was on my voice recorder tape.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 4
Now that's tits!!!
Derg
Roland Dent -1
Wallace WTF has that got to do with mammary glands...you been on the bottle or what?
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 6
Tits is what we rednecks say when something is cool or neat. Guess it hasn't caught on world wide. Lol
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 2
They say "balls" too when something is wrong...
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 3
Derg
Roland Dent 0
I beg your pardon WALLACE...
Rodentking
Hap Arnold 5
The FAA - The only thing standing between us, safety and progress.
inoc
JM Whitson 5
The FAA is just another gumnt bureaucracy. Like most they start out with a valid purpose, do a decent job, but over time become only interested in increasing their size, income and authority. There should be a 20 year rule (The Sunset Law) "Any organization in existence for 20 years shall be disbanded". - This would work well for congress.
odyluvs2av8
Ody Pond 5
NOTHING they are legislating is doing anything to create better pilots or a safer flight! It seems to me that they have taken the 'fun' out of flying and are pushing those kids who have always dreamed about flying away. When I was young, I learned most of what I know about flying from wandering around the airport talking to the 'old guys' (hanger flying), and hearing about some of the stupid things that they and got away with AND some of the great techniques they had each developed for doing various approaches...try and do that today and your likely to get shot. Sad, very sad indeed. I am glad that I am near the end of my professional career because of all this nonsense.
cuttlefish
cuttlefish 5
Well said, and the same in Australia with CASA,

It is just a bloated police force with most of the Flight Examiners being either has-beens out of GA with minimal recent experience in the vast majority of light single and twins yet happily expound on the failings of usually experienced pilots under licence renewals with far better skills than the CASA examiner himself.

Red tape is horrific and it is an absolute nightmare for GA operators to meet the ridiculously high expectations imposed on them by CASA.

Before our infamous Dick Smith took over the reins with "affordable safety", the industry was gutted when Smith shut down many, many essential FSU's (flight service units) across the country and see and be seen was now the safety criteria. Smith himself had a reputation of being a cowboy with many transgressions of controlled airspace and other misdemeanours!

CASA is now joke in Australia and those of us who were round in the good old days when safety and policing was a priority would love to go back there!

CASA and FAA sound very similar!
tradi
If you think the FAA is bad, you ain't seen nothin yet until you experiment with general aviation in Europe!
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 3
Dear friend you may be right. BUT one must translate every thing in local terms. How actions of FAA benefit or harass the US aviation and general citizens !
For me, an Indian, I find FAA and NTSB are doing a fine job and how do I if wish the Indian counterparts were at least 50% as efficient as them !
But look at the sentiments of the US people ! They can not be all wrong !
So, at times comparisons may not be a fair proposition !
If an American is not happy with some US Law, how dow does it matter if an Indian like me finds that US Law to be good ?
Yes, comparisons and examples can be good to bring about improvements and changes BUT they must be compatible and adapted to local circumstances.
:)
canuck44
John Donaldson 15
There are many components to your piece, but essentially the general theme is absolutely correct. This bureaucracy has followed Parkinson's Laws, the basic tenant being that work expands to fill the time allotted (permitted). The corollary that says bureaucracies expand geometrically, not arithmetically is applicable to almost the entire federal government, enhanced by baseline budgeting and a lot of pork.

The answer is the same as it is for all federal agencies. Separate functions into essential and non-essential (ATC and safety for the former and almost all the rest for the latter). Then "Sunset" all regulations requiring reauthorization every two to five years to be submitted with their budget (we haven't had one for five years) to contain cost-benefit for each program and outcome. Then whole programs can be axed without touching the basic "raison d'etre" of the original agency. Mix this with tort reform and we will have an agency with a purpose other than sustaining itself.

I would not hold my breath.
preacher1
preacher1 4
Maybe now that the government is shutdown, we look hard at those deemed NON ESSENTIAL and furloughed. Have all departments and agencies justify them with more than just window dressing.
btweston
btweston 4
Or, since the whole thing is nothing more than a hostage taking exercise, it will just blow over in a few weeks.
aellman
Alan Ellman -5
Yes, the government shutdown is such a great idea, that we should just make it permanent. Think of the money we'd save! Of course, we'd have several million people unemployed, but no problem... I'm sure you'd be glad to provide for their needs.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 7
Don't think we have to worry about it very long. They are stupid but not crazy. I say "stupid" because they are the ones who created the problems. They alone grew the government to an obese underperforming turd, spent the money, went nation building, and didn't enforce or obey the laws of the land. But they are not crazy enough to hurt themselves. Lol
atsdroid
Andrew Skretvedt 1
Wow! That's a FANTASTIC suggestion. A-1 to you.
joelwiley
joel wiley 1
An zero base the budget.
66lima
Richard Dugger 4
Aaaaaaameeeeeeennnnnnnnn!!!!!!!
lbbramel
leo bramel 4
AMEN!!!!!!!!!
TWA55
Vincent Birkett 4
Time to scale back all gov agencies, toooooo much gov. is never a good thing. Millions already know this and history is a great teacher.
captras
Robert Stolting 4
This hit the nail on the head. I have seen FAA inspectors that knew absolutely nothing about helicopters come out to and investigate a helicopter accident. They didn't know what to ask the pilot, didn't know what to look for, then published results based on questions that were never asked, but rather assumptions made by those who knew nothing.
SP26AFlyer
F DeWitt Beckett 7
I think that your proposal is fantastic. I am an aircraft manufacturer and went through the entire certification process which in my case was more than 28 million dollars. To get a return on investment the price is driven very high when you add the expensive bill of materials that is in turn driven up by certification cost. Its an upward spiral with the certification demands of the FAA. The lawyers deserve their slap also. Tort reform should be a major action for all states and on the Fed level for aircraft. The 18 year moratorium helped (from infinity) but more should be done. Keep up the good work.
linaemily
linaemily 6
it certainly does seem like the FAA will do anything to keep us on the ground. the faa regulates the cr@p out of aviation, not in the name of safety, but in the face of common sense. apparently they don't trust us to have any common sense.
Mooney217RN
Michael Golden 6
The ever increasing cost of 100LL is inversely proportional to the decline of GA.

While the FAA certainly bears much of the responsibility as this Op Ed points out, the cost to operate the aircraft has become obscene.

The one place where I wholeheartedly agree with this opinion is the 60 year old technology being flown around thanks to a burdensome certification process.

But without the numbers to support new manufacturing, there is insufficient demand for new advances in GA.
Clearly
Clearly 3
But how can higher numbers be generated to support manufacturing when aviation has become so cost prohibitive? In any other industry a decrease in demand would drive prices down but not in our overregulated aviation industry; manufacturers simply can't afford to ask any less. And so the vicious cycle continues.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
Please allow me to give my opinion about demand vs. price comparison.
With time and inflation, costs of various inputs, man-machine-material, increase. All know it.
All that the demand can alter or effect is the 'mark up', or say the selling price.
Derg
Roland Dent 0
India is on the way up Mr Mittal. In fact if the USA persists in crippling modern technology to appease a few folks in the "civilsed West" who are addicted to money and power your country could easily overtake them. Good Luck Mr Mittal "SHOOT" go for it.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
Friend, Roland Dent, I mentioned the principle.
Reality is always different and difference varies from system to system.
Derg
Roland Dent 1
I, Mr Mittal am an engineer. An international engineer. The 1777 theory of Adam Smith is as true today as it is anywhere. Money Mr Mittal..talks. If I got 500K US dollars in my wallet I can get what I want and when I want it
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
Agreed, money was always prime important. Much before Adam Smith. Even during barter days.
Then it was goods/services instead of currency ! And that was 'money' .
Derg
Roland Dent 0
Demand globally is greater than ever. As Michael said the technology paradigm needs to be upated. It exists. It it existed in 1967: I was there. It is called electro gravitics.
MultiComm
Spencer McLennan -2
Have you ever been in an aircraft with a student that got lost?
terryalberta
terryalberta 3
Well said, but it will never happen.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 3
In the context of this blog 'FAA:Go away !' - is the following a welcome development or no ? Part closure of FAA ? Howsoever temporarily and short lived ?

FAA Prepares To Ground One-Third Of Staff Should U.S. Government Shutdown
By Sean Broderick
Source: Aviation Daily

http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/avd_10_01_2013_p01-02-622141.xml

The FAA stands to lose about one-third of its 46,000 employees under a shutdown that at press time was scheduled to start today. Of the FAA’s 30,500 remaining employees, 24,200 will be in the Air Traffic Organization.
jmountz
John Mountz 4
Aircraft companies make safe planes, and pilots fly them safely for the same reason honest people do most things well. It’s partially because of the FAA, but mostly because we understand that we are personal responsible for our safety and actions. When I’m flying by myself, and especially with others, I want to know my aircraft and equipment are will maintained and I am current and capable of flying in the prevailing conditions. I, not the FAA, am responsible for this. The FAA has never helped to maintain my aircraft or teach me how to fly. When I drive on the ramp, I stay 25 feet away from airplanes not because of my annual test to be an AOA driver, but because I don't want to drive into aircraft. Most of the FAA can go away and the good plane manufacturers, mechanics, flight instructors and pilots will remain just as good.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 0
Bravo !
Three cheers to that ! !
odyluvs2av8
Ody Pond 2
NOTHING they are legislating is doing anything to create better pilots or a safer flight! It seems to me that they have taken the 'fun' out of flying and are pushing those kids who have always dreamed about flying away. When I was young, I learned most of what I know about flying from wandering around the airport talking to the 'old guys' (hanger flying), and hearing about some of the stupid things that they and got away with AND some of the great techniques they had each developed for doing various approaches...try and do that today and your likely to get shot. Sad, very sad indeed. I am glad that I am near the end of my professional career because of all this nonsense.
sparkie624
sparkie624 2
I can see both sides if this... Some are just out there to make problems and get enjoyment out of it and are totally clueless. There are a lot of them out there that truly want to help and make things better, and I have meet with some of them, and even joked with them. Be straight up and honest and they will usually treat you the same way.
mayitrapo
mario miliani 2
Well my American friends your are in heaven in Venezuela the scenario is really bad and only the millonaries can afford a plane even the most modest.Happy landing.
blake1023
blake1023 5
I never knew being a pilot should be considered a right? Where did that idea come from? If it’s a so called “right” to be a pilot, why didn’t the government pay for my flight training? Clearly, Mr. Wright has no clue how Federal Laws that govern the aviation industry are created. It’s comical to me that people call them just “rules” as if they apply to everyone but them. I’ve seen peoples careers ruined because of these “rules”.

Zero evidence for ADs huh, where was Mr. Wright during the 787 battery problem? Where was Mr. Wright during the A380 cracking problem? Just to name a few. Haven’t made significant advances in GA?! Wait, what???? Has Mr. Wright never heard of Gulfstream 650, EVS, RNP, RNAV, EFB cert., HUD, CAT II, CAT III, very light jets, just to name a few. I guess that’s not significant. I won’t even comment on the second to last paragraph. I would think someone who has an ATP would know the differences of driving a car, and flying an airplane. Just when I think I’ve heard it all.

I’m all for less government in our daily lives, but good god; to do away with with ADs, and aircraft certification. Wow!
joeserdynski
Joe Serdynski 5
Death throes of the Tea Party ? ? ?
TRWright
Theodore Wright Staff Writer 2
We had Concorde in service 40 years ago. You expect to tell me that EFB certification is a step forward from that?
blake1023
blake1023 2
Ask any airline pilot about hauling a flight bag around, and inserting ALL revisions. They’ll tell you it’s an improvement.
blake1023
blake1023 0
and if you have any experience dealing with the Airbus MEL/CDL, which weights about 11 pounds in paper form.
jimmax23
Jim Maxwell 1
Think Concorde would be flying with today's fuel prices?
ronash13
Ron Nash 1
We can only hope so. Such a bull-headed, arrogant, domineering, "born-to-rule" group, that has zilch conciliation and negotiation skills, belongs in the Dark Ages, not in the 21st Century.
The fact that this group is prepared to hold the entire U.S. economy to ransom, and prepared to plunge America into a economic abyss, indicates to me that they are just one small step away from a terrorist organisation, and deserve to be treated like the 5th columnists they are.
The President was elected to govern by a majority of the people - but the Tea Party thinks that system is wrong, and that their select small group should rule via obstruction and the perverting of democracy by every unethical method available.
The sooner this group is identified as anti-American and treated accordingly, the sooner America will move forward.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 2
Somehow you don't get how the system works. The same system that allowed obamacare to pass allowes dissent to it or anything else. Pick your side of any issue but don't say the other side has no right to dissent. Let's see what happens in 3 years.
joelwiley
joel wiley 1
I have to agree with Ron Nash on this.
IMHO there has been an element that declared jihad against Obama from his election.
They have continued since 2008 and are willing to tear the nation down to succeed.
The government shutdown and effect on the economy is just acceptable collateral damage.
Just MHO.
ronash13
Ron Nash 1
There's a major and critical difference between "dissent", and outright obstructionism, designed to bring a country to its knees, so that the obstructionists can get their undemocratic way.
This is regularly referred to, as "cutting off your nose to spite your face".
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
Your remarks can apply to either side of the isle. Lol
blake1023
blake1023 -4
What’s even more hilarious, Mr. Wright has a picture of an Eclipse jet on his profile! Mr. Wright you took a picture of an advancement.
TRWright
Theodore Wright Staff Writer 5
Yes, I have an Eclipse Jet. It is a wonderful personal jet, and I really love it. I have flown it over 200 hours in the past 10 months. However, as much as I love the plane, it is basically a Baron with turbofans mounted on it. You call that advancement?
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
Correct me if I go wrong my friend Theodore Wright, the 550 is claimed to be highly efficient and economical model on per mile basis !
Economy of a prop and flying of a jet ! (It's a non aviator speak, please)
blake1023
blake1023 0
Eclipse Jet goes about 20,000 ft. higher. Turbofan engines are a lot like piston engines. I guess they’re kind similar. All you need is a driver’s license right?
blake1023
blake1023 0
To answer your question, yes it is an advancement by your own standards. You mentioned the Concorde in your pervious comment. As if speed is the only indicator of advancement. So yes, the eclipse jet is faster than a Baron. I guess I'm a minority when it comes to comparing airplanes. I look at more than just speed. I think advanced Inertial Reference Systems (IRS), ACARS Data Link systems (versus HF radios), 200 min+ ETOPS cert., all the research that went into the 787 in terms of cabin comfort, the range some airplanes have, and the impact that has on fuel management. Those are improvements that have made a HUGE difference in our industry.
kelw1a
Robert Keller 3
While I agree with most of your post I believe the FAA has a purpose. I've of the opinion that the biggest roadblock to general aviation is our legal system. Constant lawsuits are a big driver behind the rise in cost of aircraft and is killing general aviation. Hell, it's the reason I don't own an airplane and rent instead.
WtfWtf
WtfWtf 4
Amen to this. The medical cert in general violates hippa.. First or third class.. A drivers license should suffice.
canuck44
John Donaldson -1
Love your moniker, but you may want to rethink it now that CAIR has become Washington Trust Foundation...and is liable to get indicted for money laundering for the Muslim Brotherhood...LOL
Mungrel
James Ashurst 4
Eliminate ALL certification and maintenance requirements for aircraft below FL180? I cannot agree with that. Bare in mind it's not just the pilot and any passengers on board who's safety is at risk.. It's also the people on the ground who may not appreciate an ill-maintained aircraft landing on their heads.
TRWright
Theodore Wright Staff Writer 5
I would argue that excessive regulation does the opposite of making us safer. If you think these ridiculous certification requirements for aircraft are preventing planes from cashing into your back yard, you are oblivious. First of all, the planes are not the problem. The pilots are! An inexperienced pilot in a Cirrus is more dangerous than someone properly trained flying around in an experimental homebuilt. The only serious problems I have encountered in an aircraft were maintenance induced. I take post-maintenance flights very seriously for this reason. This is just another example of excessive regulation doing more harm than good. On-condition makes a lot more sense than using arbitrary numbers for things.
preacher1
preacher1 6
Black & White must have a splash of common sense in order to taste good sometimes, much like creamer will take the edge off black coffee.
MultiComm
Spencer McLennan 2
The planes are not the problem because of the tough maintenance standards created over time in light of multiple accidents.

--A landing gear on a particular aircraft type fails numerous times and an AD is issued to prevent the rest of the fleet from being devalued since no one would want to purchase a plane with a landing gear issue.

--Aircraft flying high hours (training, charter, etc.) will 'wear and tear' and lot sooner so inspections on a more regular basis (100 hours, phase checks, etc,) were developed.

Pilots are most often the problem...yes, I agree, but it is a lack of training after receiving that golden tickets combined with complacency that causes accidents. Try to reduce the medical standards and guaranteed there will be much more medical related accidents occurring due to things like heart problems or medication induced problems. Many can drive a car and pull over if they don't feel well...landing an aircraft can't just happen anywhere safely.
eater1952
Kent Thompson 2
Beechcraft= stuck in the past and it's killing them.
ashwort2
ashwort2 2
The FAA is there to create order and a process. I was on the ramp at my local airport the other day with a few other people and it was brought to our attention that there was an inspector on our ramp. We were scared, but for what reason? He/She was inspecting our aircraft like we were running a drug operation out of our airport.

The FAA has turned into an organization that is scaring not so much helpful.Honestly, as many of you will agree it is there for the general traveling public. The FAA is there to make them feel "safer", but from a general aviation perspective it can be a pain. We have much to be thankful for the FAA, but there needs to be a "red line" drawn haha
skylab72
skylab72 4
Pishaw, Beech is the company that did the Starship. This thread has the key, the FAA is killing them...
SpaceRanger
And what if that inspector had found an overlooked defect on your aircraft that made it unsafe to fly? What would your reaction have been then?? Would you have complained? Or offered thanks?
jedswift
Jared Smith 6
Like the FAA inspector that red taged a twin bonanza with "Prince P-tip" propellers that have a 90º bend at the tips. Evidently the inspector thought the airplane had made a touch and go with the gear up. Or the inspector that started red taging airplanes at the Oshkosh fly in that had polished propellers. Not an approved corrosion resistant finish. The telling I heard had that inspector nearly run out on a rail.

Idiots with badges.
ashwort2
ashwort2 1
I would be very grateful for that inspector and thankful.
wiseman85
Kenneth Wise 2
The legal system and sue happy families of people who crash is what has caused the cost to go up. Just about every regulation you hate is in response to the possible threat of some lawsuit.

You proposal is way to extreme. Eliminate all regulations and turn the sky into our roads?........really?

You want cost to come down? Then you need to find some way to protect manufacturers from lawyers but still allowing them to be punished if they were truly at fault. I think the current system is just the way it is going to be.

Your idea is basically how it use to be.....and look where that got us.
SpaceRanger
It was the early aircraft builders and airline operators that sought federal regulation of aviation in the first place. Without certification and maintenance requirements for aircraft and medical exams for pilots, liability insurance for aircraft and pilots would go through the roof, making it impossible for anyone to design and build aircraft or fly them. I don't want uncertificated aircraft and unlicensed pilots operating in the airspace over my head and the places I live and work.

I've been making regular monthly visits to the FAA in Oklahoma City to do research for a book. I've never encountered an unfriendly or unprofessional FAA employee who wasn't interested in and working for aviation progress AND safety.

[This poster has been suspended.]

TRWright
Theodore Wright Staff Writer 6
Yes, imagine if we were still driving cars designed in the 1960s because innovation was being stomped by overregulation or worse, if nobody could afford to drive at all anymore? Also, forget about the number of exits on an airliner. The Asiana crash would have been prevented entirely had 'pilots' been flying the airplane.
jclark12345
Jordan Clark 1
You Contradict Yourself. Implying That "Pilots" Were Flying The Plane Would Require Tougher Training RequirementS From A controlling Agency. If It Were Up To The Airlines Pilots Would Only Need Minimal Training On How To Land Aircraft.
TRWright
Theodore Wright Staff Writer 4
No, no. Not tougher training requirements. 'Different' training requirements. I have written about this in other articles ...
jclark12345
Jordan Clark -1
I guess you'll have to elaborate on what you meant by "The Asiana crash would have been prevented entirely had 'pilots' been flying the airplane," because pilots were flying the plane - and it crashed.
I see your point on how it appears that regulation can halt the forward progress of innovation. However, unlike cars, airplanes fly over populated areas. They are capable of causing more damage and loss of life. The FAA is in existence for safety. I would rather spend more money than fly a death machine for much less.
TRWright
Theodore Wright Staff Writer 3
There is a big difference between a Pilot and a guy who sits in the front of an airplane and pushes buttons. We could discuss this in further scope, but I wrote an article about it in detail last month. I do not believe a 4 seat airplane is capable of causing more damage and loss of life than a 4 seat automobile. This misconception of yours probably stems from the general public's view on aircraft. The media sensationalizes a gear up landing, which is the aviation equivalent of backing your SUV into a lamppost in a parking lot. They will send out reporters and even dispatch a news chopper for this, and the public hangs on every word! I believe this comes from the general public's simple ignorance of aviation, how planes fly, etc. The bottom line is I will never understand how anyone could think Big Government, overregulation, and laws formed without taking into account any commonsense whatsoever will make the world a safer place.
MultiComm
Spencer McLennan 2
The media sensationalized something like a gear up landing cause it doesn't happen everyday. One may argue that it does but it really doesn't where as I can bet someone is backing into a mailbox, lamppost multiple times per day and the media and even the authorities most often don't care.
joelwiley
joel wiley 1
There is a population difference there. There are a lot more SUVs on the road than aircraft with retractable landing gear. There is also the skill-level difference. How many SUVs are driven by neophytes with fewer operating hours than the average pilot? If there were as many aircraft flying as SUVs driving, would gear-up landings cease to be novelties?
airnrail
John Watson 0
"The bottom line is I will never understand how anyone could think Big Government, overregulation, and laws formed without taking into account any commonsense whatsoever will make the world a safer place."

Sounds like a line from the American gun lobby and just as absurd.
jclark12345
Jordan Clark 0
Also, That Four Seater Airplane Is Safer Than A Car Because Of Standards Set and Testing Required By The FAA..
jclark12345
Jordan Clark 0
Whatever Man, It's All Opinion At This Point.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal -2
Dear friend Theodore Wright, I will echo your sentiments by asking all, please compare stats ! Varying from insignificant to serious incidents and accidents including misses and near misses ! For both.
Road users will 'out shine' their counter parts from sky corridors.
But media coverage, sky provides limitless limits.
captainjman
Jason Feldman 5
The FAA not only likes to intimidate pilots, and act like bullies, but they turn a blind eye to real safety issues perpetrated by the airlines. Self reporting airlines are a perfect example. They will throw the pilot under the bus if a violation or accident happens- but because they self reported the airline that forced that pilot to break a leg goes unpunished.

This was the case at Mesa airlines. I had refused to take an assignment because it would have not only violated the 30 in 7 rule, but also give me a 21 hour day. So I got called into the Chief Pilots office to get yelled at. A different pilot also sitting ready reserve for the dame number of hours that day gave in to crew tracking and "helped them out". And how did the company thank him, before he even landed they self-reported on the pilot and he got a one year suspension. Mesa knew the pilot was illegal to fly that day but they wanted the high completion ratio so they get paid. What is a pilots career to them? NOTHING

There are major issues with POI's not understanding their role, some who are mere puppets of the companies they are supposed to watch over. One POI at Avantair asked me questions about runway marks - asking me how wide the runway with X number of lines was. Like that is truly important. Thank god I knew because he busted my partner on service volumes of various VOR and NDB's. What a load of crap!!!

Avantair was flying illegally all the time, with some pilots doing anything to "help the company out" - and rewarded those actions while skipping over people's upgrade because they stuck to their guts and said no when they should have. Of course their MX was deplorable too. But it took forever for the POI's to notice.

The FAA needs to change, If the general public were treated this badly by local law enforcement there would have been a coup de etat by now!

Jman
JD345
JD345 1
It'd ridiculous when you compare the price of your run of the mill GA airplane manufactured when Mickey Mantle was still playing to virtually an decent new car on the market these days... then look at the technology.
liory
Lior Yavor 1
I must say that all my eetings with the FAA I've got execlent service and great answers. I founnd nice people that doing a lot to help. Lior
jmcav
Joe Cavanaugh 1
Right On!
jmcav
Joe Cavanaugh 1
Right on!!
66lima
Richard Dugger 1
My AME tells me that back when the CAA was created the common belief was that only the most healthy athletic type could possibly be fit to operate something as complicated as a flying machine.
Some of that thinking still exists even though much of the nonsense has been lightened up.
But it does seem funny that a person can drive a huge motorhome 75 MPH on a 2 lane hwy but not capable of operating a Cessna 140?
C'mon!
rewilliams3
rewilliams3 1
I thought the unofficial slogan was " We've upped our standards, so up yours." I understand where this article is coming from but do not fully agree. Some "driving rules" may be unnecessary as well but the fact is is that the CFRs are put in place for the safety of the flying public. Many of the regs written by the FAA are written in blood. Everyone needs to realize that the U.S. has the most efficient and safest system in the world. I don't like some of it either but if it keeps me and my family safe then I can live with it.
crownkestrel500
Javier Baez 1
Remember the LAST AIRWORTHY CV-990A...Did AD ordered its destruction?
joelwiley
joel wiley 1
If you can get into the DMV (not even have to walk in) and see the eye chart, you have passed the physical. If you can finance a 34 diesel pusher shaped like a wonderbread loaf with a toad, you can then launch yourself unto the highways. Does that demonstrate you are capable of safely operating it?

I suppose the parallel in aviation would be to solo and get your private license, and go buy and take off in a Citation or the equivalent.
66lima
Richard Dugger 3
That was a very poor comparison. But thanks for playing.
Yeah, that was exactly what I meant.

Or maybe I meant he should captain a 777.

Caution: replies like you made don't make you sound like reasonable person.
If you are persuaing a career as a comedy writer.......... DON'T.
The point I am making is that there is little difference in the skill level but one requires a trip to an expensive doctor and one doesn't.

The medical profession has been manipulated into the natural enemy of the aviation profession.
joelwiley
joel wiley 1
Beyond the medical, isn't there a requirement to demonstrate that one can actually carry out the responsibilities of safely handling the aircraft? There isn't an equivalent requirement you get typed in a Winnebago before take it off the lot.

<humour>
As for comedy- any attempt on my part to get a flight physical would give any doc a laugh.
</humor>
MultiComm
Spencer McLennan 1
Not to forget the introduction of many new aircraft since late 90s or early 2000s (Diamond, Airbus 380)...yes not US built but still certified via FAA. Or how about Boeing 777, 787?

What about the introduction of the sport pilot certification which has spawned all kinds of new aircraft designs (including home-builts). Sure they are not cabin class or corporate luxury and certainly the are not cheap but ingenuity is still alive and well.
Stonesurfer
Stonesurfer 1
As of 12:01 am today, they have (partially) gone away...
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 0
Dear friend Theodore Wright, the opening para reminds me of a management revolution that occurred at the dawn of 20th century in the 1910's ! When the concept of Scientific Management emerged and thus was born a new creed of Efficiency Experts in the area of Industrial Management.
There have many anecdotes associated with it but my favourite has been this.
A woman was asked what husband did and her reply was, " If we women do that, it will be called nagging !".
Auditors are similar.
Coming down to legislation, it is well established that excessive legislation helps no body except the legislators !
Need has always been for the fair and prompt implementation. Be it USA or UK or India or China or Somalia .
And that's the hardest thing to achieve.
When will they ever learn ? - lines of the famous song
symagicmanta
symagicmanta 0
We should privatise ATC. I am no longer paying dues to AOPA, because they are fighting it.
btweston
btweston -5
You should have an AM radio show. Wouldn't it be nice if the world were so simple? Just do whatever we want without regard for other people... Fly around above people's heads in questionably designed and maintained aircraft with a beer in one hand and heart pills in the other... I'm sure the FAA will get right on that. Take it to the general public. They'll love it too.

By the way, you really 'like' apostrophes, eh?
boingjoe
boingjoe -1
Bureaucracy is a bitch everywhere. But the outcome might be not so bad in this case. Burning flight fuel is so bad for the environment in the big picture, that every flight less gives our kids and grand kids a better change for a planet, they still can live on. The more complicated and expensive flying gets, the better.
Derg
Roland Dent 0
My next door neighbour is a retired surgeon. He believes commercial jets are responsible for air pollution. So I put forward the usual argument that pro rata they put out less pollution than any road vehicle. We have pushed the gas turbine (that's turbofan in the aviation world) just about as far as we can. Maybe another 10% is left to squeeze but no more.

Now my next comment will a very sensitive subject that sets of the alarm bells of every oil company and political elite within the major western world. What if I said that I could fly say a B777 from Singapore to London using only 15 tons of kerosine. Does that excite you?

Is that really possible. Am I nuts? You decide. The technology is called electro gravitics. It is in use but it is classified and kept within closed and divided compartments of yet more inner sanctums of military hardware.

Most of you will know and have an immediate mental picture of the stealth B2 bomber. Work out the volume of that design and calculate the fuel loads and the range it can cover between refuels.

As the USA self destructs right now might be a good time to release this technology and start using it. Of course we will have to offer an amnesty to those who kept it from us for so long...50 years...all is forgiven. Just give us the technology.
pthomas745
Pa Thomas -6
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz........
Derg
Roland Dent -2
There are some facts I wish for you guys to consider. Now this might upset some and one post I made has already been removed from this thread. Seems some of you are so far up your own jacksies that you believe that free expression is only for the few. So many of us died fighting for free expression and we are not about to give that right up. I would remind all of you that the USA is the leader of the free world. The C in C of the military protection of that free world is Pres. Obama and right now he is doing a very good job keeping peace.

The FAA is part of the Fed Govmnt. They get lobbied by politicians. The staff are good people trying hard in difficult circumstances. The accident rate amnogst all classes of aviation has fallen to the lowest level since the industry began. One only has to look at the accident rates of previous decades to determine this fact.

Much of the work of the FAA goes unreported. Those of you who are operating into or out of Hong Kong will be aware of the tough regulations now in force preventing flammablke goods, including lithium batteries, in both hand and cargo hold goods. This did not come about by magic. This was liased internationally by the FAA.

It is all very well wanting this that and the other freedom to fly your machines as and when you please without restrictions, but please, accept the responsibility of due care. The traffic levels of aviation grow increasingly every year. To complain about the FAA seeking to enforce rules is insane. If you have a gripe seek out your Senator and complain. They are the people who apply pressure to the FAA.
linaemily
linaemily 3
not accepting all of the faa's regulations, does not mean not accepting the responsibility of due care. opening our eyes to the fact that the faa does not always make sense doesn't mean we are reckless pilots with no regard for others. many regulations just don't make sense and greatly hold operations back and frustrate the hell out many many people. that is why the faa earned their unofficial slogan. also, accident levels are all very dependent on so many factors (the number of aircraft in the air today versus yesterday itself affects mathematical percentages) that it's impossible to credit the trends to any one factor and that includes whatever role the faa plays.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
Dear friend linaemily without meaning to be critical, you perhaps mean that it can be ok to jump the red light when there is little or no traffic? Or NOT to use the seat belt because you are driving at a low speed ? And so on ?
Respect or disrespect there of law is a chain reaction , and becomes a life style of the person for all activities, in all facet of life. And there after transfers the same attitude to the next generation or those closer home !
If some laws are bad or WRONG, there are ways to say so. I am not undermining the effectiveness of the opposition ! Problems can be there, but persistence pays .
Sooner or later.
linaemily
linaemily 3
yes persistence pays. it is a absolutely good attitude to have, but not one that should be mandated by the faa or government. and mandated so heavily to the point that in circumstances that should be left to the judgement of the pilots or operators there is no option for them to do so. this is debilitating especially when such circumstances hold back operations that result in unnecessary lost time and money, and more importantly hold back innovation, which I believe is the author's most important point. the belief that the faa must protect us from ourselves in every facet of aviation unfortunately has bred the common attitude that there is no faith to be had in the ability of pilots, that it is too risky to allow us to make any sort of unregulated decision... it's an attitude that is extreme. as I said we are not asking to be reckless, I personally am not against rules and regulations, but senseless over-regulation.
Derg
Roland Dent -1
Your mind set is flawed. Money does not come before life and limb.
linaemily
linaemily 3
not the point I was making at all, u just don't grasp that. this will be my last reply to you. have a good day
Derg
Roland Dent -4
Amzn..you got some evil people over in the USA.
linaemily
linaemily 3
you can judge that I am evil now? I think you're just an idiot with nothing substantial to say.
Derg
Roland Dent -3
Oh Ok you got some evil and a bunch more who are terminally mentally challenged.
Derg
Roland Dent -1
Just to focus your minds.

As an engineer I was on a contract in 1982, dangerous contract involving blasting tidal sea shores for a nuke installation. WE WERE LOSING ONE MAN PER WEEK in accidents.

The same job TODAY..we have lost ONE IN 10 years.

We work hand in hand with organisations like the FAA to make the world a SAFER PLACE.

You think I am annoyed at your attitude. For sure I am. Get smart!
linaemily
linaemily 4
again, not arguing against sensible regulation. your one example is so specific and obviously does not cover the whole scope of what the faa regulates. I'm annoyed as well at your reluctance to fathom experiences and circumstances outside your own
Derg
Roland Dent -1
Sensible regulation...the protection of human life is called "sensible regulation".

If one of my team called protecting the public "sensible regulation" you would be out the door.

Thank God you have the NTSB. The FAA is there to make the NTSB redundant.

There is no place for hubris where public safety is concerned. As is clearly demonstrated on this thread a lot of you need protecting from your own self belief.

Thank God the engineers of today are better trained than I was. Think about loss of a family member due to non regulation. Then again evil does exist alongside ignorance.
linaemily
linaemily 4
because absolutely everything the government does is all in the name of safety and our best interests... ignorance indeed.
Derg
Roland Dent -1
I am not paid to break any laws or make up the rules as I go along.

Unless you keep within the rules you are criminally liable, it is called culpable manslaughter.

You want to break the law you accept the consequences.

Your mind set is not suited to commercial work involving public risk.
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 3
Dear friend Rolland Dent, your comment and counter comments have become very interesting.
Freedom of speech is not absolute. It has inbuilt conditions which vary from country to country, society to society.
About 'sensible' regulations ? Who to decide ? And how ?
One size fits all ?
One person teaches the whole class, full of variable IQs and attitudes. Qualitative outcome/learning ?
University/College is obliged to one common yardstick for 'ability' test. Result ?
This rationale or problem is common all over the world. The only change can be in physical appearances.
The omnipresent reason for regulations is to make system safe for larger benefit. Whether for society as a whole, or for a specific needy group or person.
And it is impossible to be right always and in every case. That is why mid course corrections are applied, sooner or later.
:)
Derg
Roland Dent -2
Thanks for that Mr Mittal. All I want is a peaceful planet where we can all live without the fear of war or starvation.
linaemily
linaemily 1
control does not equal peace. and when did we start talking about war and starvation
Derg
Roland Dent -2
That's the problem..bingo...we need to think about how 3/5 of the world has no fresh water and not enough to eat.

Oh by the way I just adore Delta Lina and that wagging finger.

Now that lady has it all...
linaemily
linaemily 2
it looks like someone got lost on their way to a different thread..
linaemily
linaemily 2
the topic is the faa and the unique issues those in aviation have experienced with the faa. not "organizations like it." you are not a pilot. what's your experience with the faa?
akayemm
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
Dear friend linaemily, please educate me about FAA and area of operations.
As I have understood, FAA regulations under CFR 14 cover not only pilots but also every one associated with aviation and aircraft, whether as a manufacturer, as an Airline, as an Airport service provider, as ATC, as a ground support service provider, as Cabin Crew and many more not known to me .
Please do help me to understand .
linaemily
linaemily 2
hello mittal, the question was directed at Roland who does not appear to live in the US as a pilot or occupation directly assocuated with the faa / US aviation. either way his comments and inapplicable references do not apply to the topic of discussion and seem better left ignored.
Derg
Roland Dent 0
One thing is for sure linea this airport
http://baseoperationsfmy.com/
ain't exactly what you would call cosmopolitan is it?
Derg
Roland Dent -4
99.9% of FAA staff are good honest people. They get lent on by politicians. A lot of good work goes unreported. International pressure and diplomacy goes on all the time with the help of the FAA. Example: Hong Kong has introduced new legislation banning lithium batteries in hold and hand luggage. Unless the FAA had pushed for this through diplomatic staff this regulation would not have been mandated.
Derg
Roland Dent -5
FOR THOSE OF YOU ON LAY-OVERS ON THIS WEEK. View this film...2 hours.. with the knowledge that the problems Boing had with the B787 was a kind of protest.

Do you REALLY belive that we cannot master a simple DC Lithium battery in 2013?. Golf Carts and Disabled Buggies use 'em every day. That fact is that most engineers are pissed off with governmenat restriction keeping us at 1958.

My part in this. In 1967 the USAF were running craft using anti gravitics over Russia.

As the USA self destructs NOW is the time to release this technology ..already in daily use..transparently in the Stealth B2..to the civil sector.

This film is 2 hours long. You are NOT dumb people. Use your minds and ask the questions.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aY4UkoOZT0M