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Sun, Mar 25, 2007

Victory! NY Pilots Defeat Minimum Age Proposal

Students Under 17 May Continue To Fly As PIC

Score one for the little guy... and for a large pilots' organization. After word got out last month regarding a proposed ban on pilots under the age of 17 from flying in New York State, pilots made their ire known to their state representatives. The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association reports they listened.

As ANN reported, AOPA protested the bill -- which would have prevented student pilots from flying solo in the state once they turned 16, as allowed by federal law. The group argued the state was out-of-bounds in attempting to subvert FAA regulations.

During New York Aviation Day on March 13, AOPA learned that Assembly Bill 3424 has been removed from consideration. The bill would have prohibited anyone under the age of 17 from operating an aircraft or applying for a pilot certificate in New York.

"Vocal New York pilots were the key to preventing this requirement," said AOPA Vice President of Regional Affairs Greg Pecoraro. "Legislators specifically told me that they were pulling the bill because they had heard from pilots who opposed it."

Pecoraro and Craig Dotlo, AOPA's Northeast regional representative, also began discussions with legislators aimed at repealing the student pilot background check law. AOPA has sued the state, challenging the constitutionality of that law, as well.

FMI: www.aopa.org, www.nysl.nysed.gov/ils/legislature/legis.html

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