Saturday, June 29, 2013

Flying low....

This is a story I wrote 10 years ago on the 100th anniversary of powered flight. This year is the 110th anniversary of powered flight, and Wilbur and Orville would face even more obstacles today than they would have in 2003. What a shame.



 As we prepare to celebrate the 100th anniversary of powered flight this year, I think we can all be thankful that one of Indiana’s favorite sons, Mr. Wilbur Wright, lived in the era that he did. Can you imagine the hurdles that he and brother Orville would have to face today if they decided to invent the airplane?

It would take years for the EPA to complete it’s study on the effects of powered flight on the migratory habits of Monarch butterflies and Canadian Geese, and it’s a safe bet the Department of Homeland Security and the DEA would have some questions concerning the intended uses of such a machine.

Building an airplane in a shop that had only been approved for work on bicycles would surely throw OSHA inspectors into a tizzy, and the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission would no doubt take a dim view of the fact that the boys built the plane while Catherine stayed home.

And, if by some miracle the Wrights did manage to receive FAA approval to launch a flying machine constructed of wood and cloth, we can rest assured they would still be circling and holding while the commissioners and their neighbors debated on whether a landing strip violated proper land use and zoning requirements.

Timing is everything.

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