You see, Congress and the President can get things done…when they want to.
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:
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.