Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar to the right. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.
We’re here to help you! A U.S.-Canadian partnership to re-establish migrating cranes using human-powered ultralights has been halted by the FAA because it doesn’t meet its regulations.
FAA regulations say only pilots with commercial pilot licenses can fly for hire. The pilots of Operation Migration’s plane are instead licensed to fly sport aircraft because that’s the category of aircraft that the group’s small, open plane with its rear propeller and bird-like wings falls under. FAA regulations also prohibit sport aircraft – which are sometimes of exotic design – from being flown to benefit a business or charity. The rules are aimed, in part, at preventing businesses or charities from taking passengers for joyrides in sometimes risky planes.
What goddamn business is it of the FAA to “prohibit sport aircraft … from being flown to benefit a business or charity”? Isn’t that exactly how the aviation industry got started, taking passengers on short flights during the barnstorming era?