I flew today after work taking an instructor for a ride. He didn't interfere or talk much. He just wanted to know I could get around without assistance. I did fine. In the end, he endorsed me to solo out of Addison (my home airport) so all that's left is solo time!! And ground work to plan a cross country flight. And LOTS of practice tests until I'm ready for my written exam.

In other news, I went to a safety seminar last night put on by AOPA. That was engaging. I wished Rusty could have joined me but he was working late. I loved that the meeting was interactive. There were some good safety reminders and reinforcement to training concepts I'm practicing such as stall recovery, flight planning, weight & balance, and generic good judgement.

AOPA sent an email asking members to support them in a stand against a proposed general aviation user fee. It would raise approximately $11 billion over 10 years by charging $100 for flights by commercial and turbine jet airplanes, and a fraction of the fee for small planes.
Here's the FAA's FAQ on the matter: http://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/reauthorization/media/Questions_Answers.pdf

I'm conflicted as to whether I support a user fee for general aviation usage. If the bill means to tax corporate jets and commercial planes, I'd support a small tax like $50-100. But most small plane pilots are far from rich and wouldn't be able to afford a user tax. A small tax would help fund outdated equipment upgrades, which we need. But I do have a "don't tread on me" attitude. Taxing small plane pilots would likely deter pilots in general. Fewer pilots would mean fewer airplane sales, fewer supplies sales, high costs for flight schools (thus fewer students and some business closure), and fewer taxes from avgas fuel consumption.

But I respect that we're in tight times and need funds to support an aging aviation infrastructure.

My opinion: a proportional user tax would be fair. Small tax for small planes including flight schools, larger taxes on larger commercial planes and corporate jets. Then a repeal of this tax when we finally beat this long recession!

Honestly though, I doubt it would pass during this administration since the Republicans are very opposed to it.

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