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July 20, 2022
Growing OEM & MRO Parts Concerns Affecting Flight Training Industry
FSANA is receiving reports of supply chain parts shortages for various parts, supplies for keeping aircraft flying, powerplants, and even airframes. Engine oil filters and sparkplugs seem to be one of the biggest shortage items, but the concerns are spreading to all kinds of parts including crankshafts, cylinders, and even certain viscosities of oil.

The flight training segment represents the single largest generator of GA flight hours in the United States.

FSANA spoke with a representative at Lycoming Engines this week and has confirmed that engine cylinders and other components are experiencing long backorder conditions. Aaron Spotts, Lycoming Vice President of Sales and Customer Service told Bob Rockmaker, FSANA President & CEO indicated that the company is working to increase production in order to get the sales channel for customers back to a more normal flow.

Lycoming is increasing its capital spending on internal infrastructure in order to help close the production timing gaps. But with that, and not just at Lycoming, FSANA is hearing that many suppliers are experiencing backlogs in the tens of thousands for some critical components.

The flight training community has been extremely busy over the past two years and continues to provide for a heavy demand of needed hours of flight training. This takes aircraft and when we operate these aircraft t means components wear out and need servicing. Without available parts, it will become challenging or impossible for flight training providers to keep the infrastructure items needed for training, and aircraft, in continued operation. At some point, shortages of parts "Will" cause flight training providers to park aircraft and limit the ability they have to train more pilots.

If an OEM states that the engine oil must be changed every 50 hours, this includes the oil filter. Aircraft owners and operators who "Do Not" change the oil filter at the designated time interval would not be properly providing the maintenance to keep that aircraft in an airworthy condition and in service. Little things like this can limit the ability to keep serviceable aircraft flying.

For example, Lycoming Mandatory Service Bulletin 480F dated May 25, 2017, requires that the aircraft engine oil and filter "Must" be changed at either 25 or 50 hours depending on the aircraft utilization environment.

Chris Erlanson, President of Tennessee Flight Training (TFT) commented that he envisions several aircraft in their training fleet could be grounded by the 4th quarter of 2022 if the parts supply chain continues to slow down.

Mark Becht, Sales and Customer Service for Aircraft Engine Specialists in Chandler, AZ reported that their aircraft engine overhaul delivery times are now at least 12-16 weeks. They have also stopped selling retail parts due to supply chain issues.

FSANA is working to collaborate with the supply chain to help improve the flow of the flight training community but is very concerned that this problem is starting to become more of a problem. We are concerned that a previously held supply of parts and supplies that were present in our system has been depleted and that it is now catching up with the training community. As it is not refilled in a timely manner, supply shortages are likely to slow pilot production and the ability of businesses to train the next generation of pilots.
FSANA 2023 Conference and Trade Show Exhibitor/Sponsor Opportunities Open
FSANA has opened registration for flight training supply chain providers to participate in the 2023 FSANA Conference and Trade Show scheduled for Orlando, Florida March 1-3, 2022.

The supply chain plays a key part in the flight training process and attendees gain valuable insights and knowledge transfer from the many suppliers that exhibit and join panels. to learn and discuss the latest in the world of flight training.

FSANA 2023 Conference and Trade Show
Orlando, FL March 1-3, 2023
Plan now for the 14th Annual International Flight School Operators Conference. The 2023 conference is returning to the Rosen Plaza in Orlando, Florida, on March 1-3, 2023.

Our conference program committee is already working on the program and content that we will be sharing in the very near future. We are working hard to make sure that the content is timely to what concerns are happening in the flight training industry right now and things that will have a significant effect on your business operations and the training students will receive in the upcoming years.

More information is forthcoming, but for now, mark your calendar to join FSANA and a wide variety of industry partners and fellow flight training providers for the event that each year brings these groups together.
FAA Response to DPE ARAC Working Group
On June 17, 2022, the FAA posted their response to the Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE) Reforms Working Group Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC) report dated May 25, 2022.

The report resulted from an approximately year-long scope of work with aviation industry representatives and FAA staff. Working together to identify concerns related to the provision of practical tests for airman certification, the group produced a final recommendation document for the FAA to consider.

FSANA started the DPE issue project with John Duncan, former FAA Executive Director of Flight Standards in 2018.

The report is a response from the FAA to recommendations made by the ARAC.

The response included recognition and acceptance from the FAA that improvements regarding finding and locating examiners, implementation of enhanced DPE selection criteria that improves the ability to recruit and provide additional qualified examiners, allowing DPEs to provide their services while operating using Basic Med for their medical qualifications as is allowed for CFIs, and allowing more flexibility in the number and/or type of practical test activities a DPE may conduct in a day.

Some of the recommendations were accepted in full, some in part. While there is much work yet to be done, FSANA is hopeful that this is part of a continued effort to improve the provision of practical test efficiency and standardization for the aviation training community and pilot production pipeline.

2nd Annual DPE Symposium in Phoenix, AZ
October 11-12, 2022
FSANA is again taking the lead in bringing together those who provide practical tests to those seeking pilot certification, the Designated Pilot Examiners and the community who work with them.

FSANA will be hosting the second annual DPE symposium, this year heading west to Phoenix, Arizona on October 11th and 12th, 2022.

Our DPE Symposium team is developing this year's symposium content and will be working hard to include FAA participation in 2022. We look forward to bringing the industry and DPEs together to continue working to best provide practical tests in a timely and consistent manner.

More details will be coming soon. If you are a DPE involved in airman testing or are interested in becoming a DPE, save time in your calendar to join us in Phoenix, Arizona.
Four Forces Flight School Management
Software Webinar for Flight
Training Providers August 3, 2022
Four Forces is a first-of-its-kind flight school management software whose sole intention is to help flight schools save their margins. At a time when margins have been harder than ever to preserve, Four Forces can be an asset to any flight school.

Please attend our webinar so we can show you how Four Forces can start saving you money today."

General Aviation Joint Safety Committee (GAJSC) Renaming Focus
The General Aviation Joint Steering Committee (GAJSC) has had a slight name change to
the General Aviation Joint Safety Committee. Having the word safety replace steering better describes the purpose of the government and industry work group.

The GAJSC produces a variety of in-depth "Safety Enhancement" (SE) reports designed to
help aircraft owners and operators along with aircraft maintenance providers to increase safety with the goal of reducing and eventually eliminating GA accidents.

Bob Rockmaker, FSANA President & CEO is co-chairing the GAJSC outreach and marketing work group along with Tom Hoffman, FAA Managing Editor of FAA Safety Briefing.

The final outputs from the many dedicated government and industry volunteers are a testimony to the quality of the final products. The key to the success of the GAJSC is to get the safety information into the hands of the GA community.

FAA Releases New Video on Pilot Fatigue
In the latest episode of the Pilot Minute video series, Federal Air Surgeon Dr. Susan Northrup tackles the topic of fatigue and whether it’s ok for pilots to fly even if they are just a little tired. As the video points out, pilots should know to never fly when exhausted, however any amount of fatigue can be dangerous. Research shows that fatigue can cause difficulty concentrating, fixating on tasks, increased reaction time, increased errors, and memory problems. Any of these can impact your flight safety and can’t be remedied with an extra cup of coffee.

Check out the video here for additional information, as well as the entire series of Pilot Minute videos here. For more tips on fatigue prevention, check out the aeromedical brochure here.
Elixir Aircraft Announces a 4th Generation Training Aircraft Coming to the USA
Elixir Aircraft, the Type 23 certified, 4th generation Single Engine Piston aircraft manufacturer announced its commitment and focus on the North American market. With its aircraft, the company intends to offer a unique brand-new design leveraging innovative technologies such as Carbon OneShot airframe.

Since the middle of 2021 the company has been working on its strategy and investment plans for the North American launch and future business development. These areas of development will include investment in a dedicated US sales and marketing team, in order to meet the different requirements of the private owner pilot, and the flight training organizations, FTO’s.

US-based assembly and demonstration site with the capability to expand to US-based production and service center. Spare parts stock and logistics centers to meet the high level of after-sales support expected from Elixir owners.


DPEs Available to Travel
FSANA has been collecting DPE names who have expressed a willingness to travel to help flight training providers secure practical tests.

An up-to-date List of Travel-Willing DPEs with contact information is available on the FSANA website. If you are a flight training provider who is finding a challenge of scheduling DPEs in your local area, feel free to reach out to these individuals. They may be able to serve some of your local testing needs.

While this effort is being made in general, it is even more relevant as many DPEs self-selected to delay a return to providing practical tests during this period of COVID-19 uncertainties.

If you are a DPE who is not on this list but would like to be, please let FSANA know by emailing us at info@fsana.com with your name, city, state, email and phone number and we will add you.
Have feedback concerns about FAA practical tests? Email inquiries here
Practical Test Feedback
Email Feedback Concerns about FAA Practical Tests to:

Tell us what is important to you as a school owner, manager or chief flight instructor. We will share comments in an upcoming edition of Flight Training News. Send your thoughts to info@fsana.com.
V I S I O N A R Y •• P A R T N E R S

D E V E L O P E R •• P A R T N E R S
B U I L D E R •• P A R T N E R S
L E A D E R •• P A R T N E R S
Established in 2009, the Flight School Association of North America (FSANA) is the first and only association of its kind dedicated solely to the flight training industry. FSANA represents flight schools, firms that provide products and services to the flight training or aviation industry, and other supporting partners.

The Mission of the Flight School Association is to support, promote and advocate for the business of flight training; to provide knowledge, programs and services that help its members thrive and better serve their customers and communities; to foster best business practices; to educate and inspire youth; to increase the global pilot population; to improve general aviation safety; and to work in alliance with the aviation and aerospace industry.

fsana.com / 610-791-4359 / bob@fsana.com