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104th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 2d Session                                                     104-683
_______________________________________________________________________


 
                         CHILD PILOT SAFETY ACT

                                _______
                                

 July 17, 1996.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

_______________________________________________________________________


 Mr. Shuster, from the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 3267]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, to whom 
was referred the bill (H.R. 3267) to amend title 49, United 
States Code, to prohibit individuals who do not hold a valid 
private pilots certificate from manipulating the controls of 
aircraft in an attempt to set a record or engage in an 
aeronautical competition or aeronautical feat, and for other 
purposes, having considered the same, report favorably thereon 
without amendment and recommend that the bill do pass.

                              Introduction

    On April 11, 1996, 7-year-old Jessica Dubroff, her father, 
Lloyd, and flight instructor, Joe Reid were killed in a plane 
crash in Cheyenne, Wyoming. At the time, Jessica was attempting 
to become the youngest person to fly an airplane across the 
country.
    The excitement of aviation has historically been enhanced 
by the aviators who were brave enough to push the limits and 
establish new records. Charles Lindbergh was the first pilot to 
fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, and Dick Rutan and Jeana 
Yeager were the first pilots to fly around the world without 
refueling. Most of the obvious aviation records have been set. 
Recently, however, some people have tried dangerous, publicity-
driven stunts using children for so-called record breaking 
flights across the country. These types of flights are unsafe 
as was tragically demonstrated by Jessica's death. The reported 
bill (H.R. 3267) would prevent these sorts of tragedies from 
happening again.

                               Background

    From 1964-1981, the Department of Transportation (DOT) and 
the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reported 151 
aviation-related accidents and incidents involving children 16 
years of age and younger who were injured or killed while 
flying an aircraft.
    In order to receive a pilot certificate, one must be at 
least 17 years old and have demonstrated the prescribed 
aeronautical knowledge and skills as required by the Federal 
Aviation Administration (FAA). Under current FAA regulations 
(14 CFR Part 61, Subpart D), the minimum number of hours 
required for a private pilot certificate is 40 hours (20 dual, 
20 solo); however, the average private pilot flies 72 hours 
before being certified. One can receive a student pilot 
certificate at 16 years of age (14 CFR 61.83).
    While there is a minimum age to obtain a pilot's license, 
there is no such minimum age governing who can manipulate the 
controls of a plane as long as the person is accompanied by a 
licensed pilot. Since Jessica was only 7 years old and did not 
hold a pilot certificate, she could not pilot the aircraft. 
However, she could manipulate the controls under the 
supervision of a pilot. This is presumably what she was doing 
during her short tragic flight. The actual pilot in command was 
the person sitting next to Jessica who held a pilot 
certificate. This arrangement is possible since aircraft have a 
complete set of dual controls so that the plane can be flown 
from either of the front seats.

                          Need for Legislation

    The reported bill (H.R. 3267) is narrowly drawn to prevent 
children from participating in dangerous record setting 
publicity stunts. However, it accomplishes this without over-
regulating the aviation industry.
    The bill would require the FAA Administrator to revoke an 
airman's certificate if the Administrator finds that while 
acting as a pilot in command of an aircraft, the airman 
permitted an individual without a pilot certificate to 
manipulate the controls of the aircraft while attempting to set 
a record. In this way, pilots will be discouraged from using 
children to generate publicity by setting so-called aviation 
records but will not be prevented from allowing children to 
experience the joys of flight by manipulating the controls of 
an aircraft in a safe manner. The Committee is confident that 
no pilots would risk their license to fly by participating in 
record setting attempts covered by this legislation.
    In addition, the bill requires the FAA Administrator to 
conduct a study of the issues associated with children flying 
aircraft. The report, which is due 6 months after the bill is 
enacted, should contain the Administrator's recommendations on 
whether the restrictions in this bill should be modified and 
whether certain individuals or groups should be exempt from any 
age, altitude, or other restrictions that the Administrator may 
choose to impose by regulation.
    This bill is supported by most aviation groups because it 
would still allow children to be included in responsible 
aviation activities. There are many youth groups that 
responsibly encourage the interest of children in aviation. 
Some of these programs include FAA Young Eagles, Aviation 
Explorer Scouts, Soaring Society (glider) activities and the 
Civil Air Patrol. These groups encourage young aviators, but 
discourage irresponsible aviation record-setting attempts.

                       Section-by-Section Summary

                        section 1.--short title

    This section provides that the Act may be cited as the 
``Child Pilot Safety Act.''

              section 2.--manipulation of flight controls

    This section states that a pilot in command of an aircraft 
may not allow an individual who does not hold a valid private 
pilots certificate and the appropriate medical certificate to 
manipulate the controls of an aircraft if the pilot knows or 
should have known that the individual is attempting to set a 
record or engage in an aeronautical competition or feat. The 
Administrator is given the power to revoke an airman's 
certificate if the Administrator finds that a pilot has allowed 
a non-pilot to manipulate the controls while attempting to set 
a record or engage in an aeronautical competition or feat.

                  Section 3--Children Flying Aircraft

    This Section requires the FAA Administrator to conduct a 
study of the impacts of children flying aircraft. The 
Administrator must consider the effects of imposing any 
restrictions on children flying aircraft on safety and on the 
future of general aviation. The report is due 6 months after 
enactment, and should include recommendations on: (1) whether 
the restrictions established by the bill should be amended or 
repealed; and (2) whether certain individuals or groups should 
be exempt from any age, altitude, or other restrictions that 
the Administrator may impose by regulation. Finally, the bill 
allows the Administrator to issue regulations imposing age, 
altitude, or other restrictions on children flying aircraft as 
a result of the findings of the study.

                    Hearings and Legislative History

    The Subcommittee on Aviation held a hearing on H.R. 3267 on 
May 1, 1996.
    H.R. 3267 was introduced on April 18, 1996. On May 30, 1996 
the Subcommittee reported the bill to the full Committee on 
Transportation and Infrastructure. On June 6, 1996, the 
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure ordered the bill 
reported, with amendments by voice vote.

            Committee Oversight Findings and Recommendations

    With respect to the requirements of clause 2(l)(3)(A) of 
rule XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee's oversight findings and recommendations are 
reflected in this report.

                     Inflationary Impact Statement

    Pursuant to clause 2(l)(4) of the rule XI of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, the Committee estimates that the 
enactment of H.R. 3267 will have no significant inflationary 
impact on prices and costs in the operation of the national 
economy.

                        Costs of the Legislation

    Clause 7 of rule XIII of the rules of the House of 
Representatives does not apply where a cost estimate and 
comparison prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office under sections 403 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974 has been timely submitted prior to the filing of the 
report and is included in the report. Such a cost estimate is 
included in this report.

                     Compliance With House Rule XI

    1. With respect to the requirement of clause 2(l)(3)(B) of 
rule XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives, and 
section 308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the 
Committee references the report of the Congressional Budget 
Office included below.
    2. With respect to the requirement of clause 2(l)(3)(D) of 
rule XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee has received no report of oversight findings and 
recommendations from the Committee on Government Reform and 
Oversight on the subject of H.R. 3267.
    3. With respect to the requirement of clause 2(l)(3)(C) of 
rule XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
section 403 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the 
Committee has received the following cost estimate for H.R. 
3267 from the Director of the Congressional Budget Office.
                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                     Washington, DC, June 19, 1996.
Hon. Bud Shuster,
Chairman, Committee on Transportation, and Infrastructure,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
reviewed H.R. 3267, a bill to prohibit individuals who do not 
hold a valid private pilot's certificate from manipulating the 
controls of aircraft in an attempt to set a record or engage in 
an aeronautical competition or aeronautical feat, as ordered 
reported by the House Committee on Transportation and 
Infrastructure on June 6, 1996.
    H.R. 3267 would prohibit a pilot from allowing an 
individual without a private pilot's certificate and medical 
certificate to manipulate the controls of an aircraft if the 
pilot knows or should have known that such an individual is 
attempting to set a record or engage in an aeronautical 
competition or feat. The Administrator of the Federal Aviation 
Administration (FAA) would have the authority to revoke the 
airman certificate from the pilot who allows an individual 
without the required certificates to manipulate the controls of 
an aircraft. This bill also would direct the FAA to conduct a 
study and issue a report on the effects of children flying 
aircraft. Based on the findings of the study, the Administrator 
could issue regulations imposing restrictions on children.
    Federal Budgetary Impact.--Based on information from the 
FAA, CBO estimates that the cost of conducting the study and 
issuing the report on the impacts of children flying aircraft 
would be less than $50,000. If the Administrator of the FAA 
decides to issue new regulations as a result of that study, the 
cost of issuing the regulations would be between $100,000 and 
$200,000. CBO cannot predict whether regulations would be 
issued under H.R. 3267 or what the costs of enforcing any such 
regulations would be, but such costs are unlikely to be 
substantial. Spending for the required study, any regulations 
that might be promulgated as a result of that study, and any 
enforcement actions would be subject to the appropriation of 
the necessary funds. Thus, enacting H.R. 3267 would not affect 
direct spending or receipts, and pay-as-you-go procedures would 
not apply to the bill.
    Mandates Statement.--H.R. 3267 contains no 
intergovernmental mandates as defined in Public Law 104-4, and 
would have no impact on the budgets of state, local, or tribal 
governments. Because it would restrict who can operate the 
controls of an aircraft, the bill contains a private-sector 
mandate. This mandate would impose no direct cost on the 
private sector.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contacts are Clare 
Doherty (for federal costs), and Dan Lieberman (for the impact 
on the private sector).
            Sincerely,
                                         June E. O'Neill, Director.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

    In compliance with clause 3 of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (new matter is 
printed in italic, existing law in which no change is proposed 
is shown in roman):

              CHAPTER 447 OF TITLE 49, UNITED STATES CODE

                     CHAPTER 447--SAFETY REGULATION

Sec.
44701. General requirements.
     * * * * * * *
44724. Manipulation of flight controls.
     * * * * * * *

Sec. 44724. Manipulation of flight controls

    (a) Prohibition.--No pilot in command of an aircraft may 
allow an individual who does not hold--
          (1) a valid private pilots certificate issued by the 
        Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration 
        under part 61 of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations; 
        and
          (2) the appropriate medical certificate issued by the 
        Administrator under part 67 of such title,
 to manipulate the controls of an aircraft if the pilot knows 
or should have known that the individual is attempting to set a 
record or engage in an aeronautical competition or aeronautical 
feat, as defined by the Administrator.
    (b) Revocation of Airmen Certificates.--The Administrator 
shall issue an order revoking a certificate issued to an airman 
under section 44703 of this title if the Administrator finds 
that while acting as a pilot in command of an aircraft, the 
airman has permitted another individual to manipulate the 
controls of the aircraft in violation of subsection (a).
    (c) Pilot in Command Defined.--In this section, the term 
``pilot in command'' has the meaning given such term by section 
1.1 of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations.