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Why should an international organization have anything to do with issuing FAA waivers?
I used to have a "ground up", It didnt cost anything then. If I wanted one now, It would take years to get it by going through ICAS ladder..
Part of it is the FAA claims to be too busy, so they handed it to them.
Just checking, am I the only one upset by these ICAS folks?
How is it that a non-government, for profit company, International Council of Air Shows (ICAS), has a monopoly on aerobatic competency cards paper work?
Two years ago they charged $50, last year it was raised to $90 and this year $200!! Further more it take them less than 10 minutes* to enter the paper work and forward it to the FSDO who actually issues the 8710-7, "Statement of Aerobatic Competency" card. However, unless you pay them an EXTRA $50 they will sit on the paper work for 30 days before forwarding it to the FSDO. There is no other way to get a card (which is required to perform in any airshow) except by dealing with ICAS. The $200 fee is grossly exorbitant for 10 minutes work and the $50 to have them not sit on it for a month is extortion.
On top of the fees paid to ICAS you must also pay an ACE (Aerobatic Competency Evaluator) for the evaluation. This is not my complaint, the ACE must spend his/her time (several hours), evaluate, sign their name and take responsibility. The standard charge for most ACE evaluations is $150. A full $100 less than ICAS demands you pay, if you want your paper work forwarded to the Feds in less than a month, for 10 minutes of secretarial work.
I doubt this whole racket would pass the "legal" test but it's such a few folks (getting fewer all the time!) who it effects that they will probably keep getting by with it unless we really start a revolt. Funny, airshows are being killed by a few airshow folks.... I doubt the big name performers are really that threatened by folks with 500' cards flying little airshows for fun. If anything it is getting more folks interested in watching airshows.
Sorry folks, I just had to vent.
*10 minutes, proven just last week in the time it took from the ACE paperwork faxed to ICAS to the time faxed approval from ICAS arrived at the FSDO, with the extra $50 fee paid of course.