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Frequent Questions

SSA GOVERNMENT LIAISON

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

(March 6, 2002)


DOES MY GLIDER OR MOTORGLIDER REQUIRE AN EMERGENCY LOCATOR TRANSMITTER (ELT) ?

NO. FAR 91.207(a) states that the EMERGENCY locator transmitters must be carried aboard U. S. registered civil AIRPLANES. Gliders and motorgliders carry a U.S. airworthiness certificate that states "Glider" and therefore are not affected by this rule.

MY SCHOOL OR CLUB WISHES TO PROVIDE NONSTOP SIGHTSEEING GLIDER RIDES TO THE PUBLIC EITHER FOR HIRE OR ON A NON-PROFIT BASIS. DO I NEED TO COMPLY WITH THE DRUG AND ALCOHOL TESTING PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS OF FAR 135.1(a)(5)?

NO. FAR 135.1(a)(5) states that FAR Part 135 prescribes rules pertaining to nonstop sightseeing rides; however the FAR states: "those operations conducted for compensation or hire must comply ONLY with 135.249, 135.251, 135.253, 135.255 and 135.353."

FAR 135.1(c) states: "for the purposes of paragraphs 135.249, 135.251, 135.253, 135.255 and 135.353, OPERATOR means any person conducting non-stop sightseeing rides for compensation or hire in an AIRPLANE or ROTORCRAFT"; A glider is a category of aircraft which is neither an airplane nor a rotorcraft.

Both the FAA's NPRM on alcohol testing and the SSA's response (April 4, 1993) to the NPRM recognized the differences in categories of aircraft and their operations in the cases of "sightseeing rides". SSA agreed with FAA's intent to restrict drug and alcohol testing only to those categories of aircraft for which the testing had some level of practicality, for which the aircraft had some potential of long-distance or extended duration flight, or for which the economic burden would be tolerable. Thus the final rule used 135.1 (c) to restrict the alcohol and drug testing to the AIRPLANE and ROTORCRAFT categories.

Posted: 3/6/2002


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