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FAA's Proposal to Grant SSA's Petition

1) As many soaring operators have learned in recent months, policy changes at FAA allow existing Restricted Category tow planes to remain in service, but any newly-acquired tow plane must be certificated in Normal category.

In the Federal Register of November 2, 2004, FAA proposes to grant SSA's petition seeking the recognition of glider towing as an approved use for Restricted Category aircraft. This proposal would amend FAA policy, enabling glider towing to be considered a special use under 14 CFR 21.25(b)(7), as an operation specified by the Administrator.

SSA consciously chose to seek a policy interpretation in this instance rather than seek amendment of 14 CFR 21.25(b) to include towing gliders as a separately-listed special use. Our rationale was simple: FAR amendments can take several years in this instance, the same benefit can be achieved by formal policy interpretation.

Without this policy interpretation, no Pawnee or other prospective tow plane certificated in Restricted category can be put into service as a tow plane. With this policy interpretation, existing tow planes can continue in service and our soaring sites can continue to choose the best tow aircraft available.

Please read SSA's original petition and consider the situation at your soaring site in order to make the most meaningful comments.
Restricted Category Aircraft .

Comments in support of the new policy interpretation can help deliver relief to your soaring site and others nationwide! Please send these comments by November 30 to:

Federal Aviation Administration
Aircraft Certification Service
Aircraft Engineering Division,
Certification Procedures Branch, AIR-110, Room 815
800 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20591
ATTN. Mr. Graham Long

2) Also related to aircraft certification, a new FAA Order outlining FAA procedures for aircraft certification is available online for review, with comments also due by November 30. Read or download the document at

Federal Register

This document is being reviewed by SSA personnel our comments will be posted here ASAP.

Posted: 11/4/2004 By: Government Liaison Committee

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