[Start sarcasm]: The FAA has seen the light. With its budget challenged by sequestration, FAA brass came up with a “pay for play” program to extort — er… I mean bill — the nation’s fly-ins for traffic control.
This is a great thing.
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?
There is a lot of chatter about the pending tower closures. Yet I don’t hear anyone asking, “Do we need this control tower?”
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.
“Well, I am now a real private pilot, as of yesterday,” noted an email I received this morning from Jennifer Julian. If you don’t recall, I wrote about Jennifer last May. She survived a double lung transplant, earned her 3rd class medical, and was an active student pilot. She’s now a certificated pilot.
I met Bill Harrelson at the 2009 Copperstate Fly-In. Bill, an efficiency expert, sent me an email detailing the nearly non-stop flight home (Arizona to Virginia) in N5ZQ, a Lancair 320. That was more than three years and one N-number ago. In Thursday afternoon’s EAA e-Hotline I see that Bill is back at it. He flew from Guam to Florida (7,051 nm) non-stop (38 hours, 29 minutes) in N6ZQ, Lancair IV. Congratulations Bill.
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.
We are all encouraged to “Write Congress” to support [fill in the cause here] from time to time. Often, the intention of the person seeking help is honorable.
A post I just read on the Facebook page of Kyle Franklin from Franklin’s Flying Circus is a good example. It is a plea with the best of intentions: