The FAA certainly gets its share of grief, and much of it is probably deserved. One of the most common complaints from pilots is the lack of common sense that is applied to the Federal Aviation Regulations (see the recent proposal for all airline pilots to hold an ATP certificate and the strong reaction). Often, the FAA’s view of flying and the job of a pilot seems completely divorced from reality. This can lead to rules that are impractical, ineffective or even unsafe.
But regulation is certainly a necessary evil. US airlines are currently enjoying the safest stretch of flying in history, with no fatal accident on a major airline in a decade. There are many reasons for this, but the FAA undoubtedly deserves some credit for creating an aircraft and pilot certification process that demands safety.
So how do we tell the good FARs from the bad FARs? Specifically, what is the right balance between safety and the utility we all want from our airplanes? Should the FAA focus more on how their regulations can hinder general aviation, or is it all about safety? And what do you think is the worst FAR of all?
Share your opinion below.