Air Tours -- Get 'Em While You Can

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During this weekend's Festival of Roses in Orangeburg, S.C., some pilots at the local airport decided to get into the spirit of the event and host an open house. Anyone who wanted to see the festival from the air was invited to visit the field, and for a donation of $10 or so, they could take a ride in an airplane with the New Hawthorne Aviators, aka EAA Chapter 1367. Such non-commercial air tours would likely become defunct under new rules proposed by the FAA. Meanwhile, the FAA and the National Park Service will meet tomorrow to discuss whether to restrict commercial air tours over Lake Mead and Hoover Dam, in Nevada. Some operators fly across Lake Mead en route to Grand Canyon tours, which has raised a question whether they are then subject to the strict rules that govern Grand Canyon air-tour operators.