Law Would Ban Solo Flight For Those Under Age 17
Legislators in New York state drew the ire of many pilots last
year, after passing a law requiring mandatory background checks for
all student pilots prior to the start of flight
training. But that, apparently, wasn't enough; they're now trying
to ban anyone under the age of 17 from operating an aircraft as
pilot-in-command within the state, as well.
Needless to say, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
"We are strongly opposing this measure, as we have for the past
five years it has been proposed," said Greg Pecoraro, AOPA vice
president of regional affairs. "We'll fight this, just as we are
fighting to get the background check law repealed. Flight training
cannot thrive in this kind of environment, and we are working to
AOPA notes the proposed New York legislation contradicts federal
law. FAA regulations allow student pilots to solo at 16 years of
age, and earn a private pilot airplane certificate at 17. If
students are training in gilders or hot air balloons, they can solo
two years sooner, and receive their certificate at age 16.
Under New York's proposed bill, student pilots couldn't fly solo
in the state once they turned 16 -- and those in nearby states
would have to steer clear of New York on their solo
AOPA recently pointed out to the Committee on Economic
Development, Job Creation, Commerce, and Industry, which is
reviewing the bill, that the FAA and Transportation Security
Administration regulate flight schools, training, and security...
not the state.