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1.) In order to fly at a US soaring site in a glider that is not registered in the US, Canada or Mexico, the pilot must obtain a waiver from the restrictions imposed by NOTAM FDC 2/5167

2.) Waiver application forms are available online at www.intl.faa.gov/displaypage.cfm?id=22

3.) The TSA form is geared toward applicants whose operations will involve filing a flight plan - others can amend the form as needed, making sure all required information is provided

4.) Completed waiver forms are to be faxed to (571) 227-1947; processing in most cases takes approximately 7 days.

Only recently made aware of this issue, SSA is now working to make sure the waiver process works as advertised for foreign entrants in the Return to Kitty Hawk race coming up June 19 - July 4. As a short-term service to others requiring a waiver, we will -- as soon as possible -- post samples of glider-friendly application forms for individuals and sanctioned soaring events.

For the longer term, we've recommended that NOTAM FDC 2/5167 be amended to exclude gliders and balloons flown by pilots who hold US pilot certificates. Obtaining that certificate subjects the pilot to the same TSA scrutiny the waiver involves, we noted. We also pointed out that a similar exclusion should apply to any aircraft participating in special events such as the Reno Air Races, AirVenture (Oshkosh) and aerobatic competition, since these involve sanction or organization by national groups which coordinate the events through FAA FSDO offices.

For what it's worth on this topic...

SSA is aware of instances in March and April, 2003 where FSS and FAA District Offices have not been aware that NOTAM FDC 2/5167, as interpreted in Washington, does not exclude gliders, balloons and other Part 91 operators who plan to take off in the US and remain within US airspace during one or more flights. Apparently, the common mis-conception is that these are part of an exclusion provided for Part 91 operators with a maximum certificated takeoff gross weight of less than 95,000 pounds; in actuality, this exclusion applies only to IFR operators and even these are authorized in US airspace only for the purpose of flying through it, with take-off and landing taking place outside the US.

NOTAM FDC 2/5167 is available online at www1.faa.gov/NTAP/
(Click on Special Interest NOTAMS and scroll through the list.)

Posted: 4/19/2003 By: Government Liaison Committee

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