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The Presidential Candidates and General Aviation

by John M. White |

I am what is called an "old timer" in general aviation, having acquired my Private Pilot's license back in the early 60's.  Over the years I have seen dramatic changes in general aviation, and more are surely on the horizon.AOPA logo 1

Among the issues facing general aviation are two that are very important: User Fees and Security.  My sense is that more and more pressure will be brought to bear by both the airlines and congress to force user fees on the air transportation system in the United States.  Each of these issues will certainly involve more cost, and you can bet the government will be looking for ways to fund them.

I am always amazed when the Democrats talk about "paying for tax cuts", as if the pie were a fixed size.  Conservatives see the pie as ever growing, and the Republicans are lost in never never land.  Given that view, and the probability of an Obama presidency, expect more costs to be assessed against general aviation.

Considering the decline in pilot training by over 50% in recent years, and the high cost of fuel and maintenance, the last thing general aviation needs is more costs.  With all of this in mind I began exploring the web to see what the candidates have to say about general aviation. The best source has been the AOPA (Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association), and you can see the results of the questions they submitted to the candidates at "AOPA Interviews The Candidates".  I think you will find the answers interesting.

Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch!


"High Flight"

Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds...and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of...wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up, the long, delirious burning blue
I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, nor even eagle flew.
And while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space...
...put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

by John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

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