An open letter to the FAA administrator: How can we help?

A third-class medical exemption for pilots operating four-seat, 180-hp (or less) aircraft in daytime, VFR conditions probably is not a high priority item for FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. Can you really blame him?

But it is to me, and no doubt a great many current, and potential, recreational pilots. So…Michael — can I call you Michael? — how can we help?

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The 11-year itch…scratched

BenSclair

When I left for the office on a recent Friday, my oldest daughter, 13-year-old Savannah, gave me an extra tight hug. She knew I would be out at Pierce County Airport (PLU) in the late morning to regain my currency so I could take her… and myself… flying. She was very excited.

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A five, or seven, year ‘loophole’… some context

President Obama has called for changing the depreciation schedule for newly aquired non-commercial aircraft from five to seven years. Jay Carney, the president’s press secretary calls the current two-year schedule difference a special tax loophole.  As you might imagine, this has pushed the aviation alphabet groups into damage control mode.

Being of limited ability to comprehend “Washington speak” I decided it would be good to run through a few numbers to see if I could understand (and create some context for myself) what the President is recommending.

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Lessons from the NFL

A few days before the Seattle Seahawks played the Washington Redskins in the Wild Card round of the National Football League playoffs, General Aviation News columnist, and nearly Washington D.C. resident Charles Spence emailed me to poke a little fun about the upcoming game.

I took the comments to Facebook for broader discussion and we were joined by a friend of mine in Tacoma, Wash., as well as Cassandra Bosco from the National Business Aviation Association. Cassandra, like Charlie, lives in the greater D.C.-area. A little friendly trash talking ensued. The game brought us together.

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Props for the prop

Touch&Go2

This time of year I find myself doing a lot of intro flights. The first question people ask is, “is it safe?” I reply that I’m more concerned about my safety driving to the airport than I am in the airplane.

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