Tag Archives: Operation Migration

FAA grants exemption, allowing ultra-light plane to resume whooping crane escort flight

Gee, isn’t that nice of them: The FAA has granted a one time waiver, allowing an ultra-light plane to resume this year’s whooping crane escort flight.

This infuriates me. What business is it of the FAA whether the ultra-light plane pilots make money on this or not?

This is a perfect example of “mission creep.” The FAA was originally chartered to manage airports, install required landing and navigational equipment, and monitor the designs of aircraft for safety hazards. Somehow, this mission now includes regulating who and what aviation groups are allowed to make money. Disgusting.

A U.S.-Canadian partnership to re-establish migrating cranes has been halted by the FAA because it doesn’t meet its regulations.

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?