• SAAA president Tony White would like to see RAAus and VH-registered aircraft all in the same camp. (Steve Hitchen)
    SAAA president Tony White would like to see RAAus and VH-registered aircraft all in the same camp. (Steve Hitchen)

Sport Aircraft Association of Australia (SAAA) president Tony White has said his organisation has opposed a weight increase for RAAus-registered aircraft arguing in favour of more harmonised regulations.

White's comment reflected solidarity with Australian General Aviation Alliance (AGAA) partner AOPA Australia, which has also rejected the options in the CASA discussion paper.

White also told a gathering at Ausfly last Saturday that he didn't believe the current push for a 760-kg limit on RAAus would be successful.

"It's my belief that it will fail this time unless CASA tries to manipulate the outcome," he said. "We opposed it in the sense that there's too many other things that don't add up just to give RAAus a free kick on the weight increase.

"What we want as AGAA is a level playing field. Nothing would please me more than to see our sector of aviation–RAAus, experimental, factory-built aeroplanes–all being considered in the way the FAA are talking about: aircraft up to 1634 kg flying around effectively with driver's licence medicals as a PPL."

White said the basis behind the SAAA and AGAA policies was that regardless of the maximum take-off weight, the rules regarding things such as medical certification, licencing and access to controlled airspace should be the same.

"What is the difference between a private person who flies any of these machines? Why do we have to have different acronyms that describe different licences and different medicals? Why do we need to be held to different standards? It's all bureaucratic bullshit, and we need a level playing field," he said.

"I'd like to see–and I think a lot of the other organisations too–is part of the Act currently 95.11C removed. I'd like to see RAAus be able to have 1600-kg aeroplanes flying around day VFR, but their syllabus us the same syllabus as a Part 141 school.

"I'd like to see all of the RAAus instructors grandfathered over to be Grade 3 instructors, if we could make that fly with CASA. I'd like to see all their schools as Part 141 schools so we all have the same rules."

According to the SAAA, the whole architecture of Australian general aviation for private pilots needs to change.

"If we can get a level playing field instead of interest groups using the rules put forward by CASA to advantage on over the other we'll all be flying," White said. "Why should I–with a CPL licence, twin-rated at night–not be able to jump into an aircraft with numbers on the side? Why shouldn't I be allowed to do that?

"I can't do that unless I belong to RAAus, and that's just crazy."

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