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A pilot’s revenge

Gazette staff August 1st, 2012

Sen. Jim Inhofe recently made headlines with congressional passage of his Pilot’s Bill of Rights, a major overhaul of the way the Federal Aviation Administration deals with disciplined pilots.

Credit: Brad Gregg

The saga of what future generations of grateful aviators might well refer to as Inhofecare began two years ago. That’s when the good senator, a pilot himself, had a run-in with the FAA when he landed his plane on a closed runway in Texas, scaring the bejesus out of some workers he narrowly missed. The incident ended with Inhofe having to undergo remedial flight training.

Clearly this whole thing was the FAA’s fault in the first place, so Inhofe took a stand. He introduced a bill to guarantee the fair treatment of pilots, giving them the right to appeal FAA actions in court and granting them greater access to tower communications, among other things.

Actually, the measure sounds fairly reasonable for legislation that arose from a guy who was pissed because he had to brush up on his piloting skills.

Inhofe said he was pleased that the bill now awaits President Obama’s signature to be signed into law.

“This bill … ensures that pilots are, like everyone else, treated in a fair and equitable manner by the justice system,” he said.

Or almost everyone else. While the fairness and equality of Inhofe’s ideal justice system might not extend to same-sex marriages or reproductive rights, surely we can all agree on the fundamental right to land our Cessnas wherever we damn well please.

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