Do we have too many regulations in aviation? It depends on your perspective. If you’re trying to pilot aircraft or profit from them, than you will think we do. If you’re a passenger or ground pounder wanting not to get killed by airplanes, you probably think not.
Of course there are a lot more people in the ground-pounder category. So it really doesn’t matter what aircraft fliers think—the voting masses will probably conclude that regulations are not excessive. Many may even harbor a desire for more. That hurts. Its also the crux of the saying “we fly at the pleasure of the people.”
I’ve conversed with one fellow who says we don’t need any regulation, even in the airlines. When questioned about airlines taking unsafe shortcuts his response: “they’ll crash, nobody will fly them, and they’ll go out of business.” As to those who perish in the process? “Oh well.” Obviously that’s an extreme view that I do not share.
Our sport, for the most part, doesn’t involve an unsuspecting public. This nation was founded on many principles of which freedom is a big one. The freedom to choose your own risk in your own pursuit of happiness was a highly touted. So we must have balance. Most pilots despise regulations that interfere with their personal choices of risk. Pilots should decide what risk they take themselves.
This is an individual sport where participants primarily risk only their own well being. Fortunately, in our case that is how the regulation, FAR 103 works. We must work hard to keep it that way.