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"Small Aircraft Businesses Taking a Hit"



Wednesday, September 26, 2001

Small Aircraft Businesses Taking a Hit 
WKRN Channel 2 - Nashville (TN)


In Washington Tuesday, lawmakers heard from the commercial airline
industry about security issues. They also heard from those representing
aviation's little guys. As News 2's Chris Bundgaard reported, the
continued security measures are hitting the little guys in the wallets. 

Russ Mann works and flies out of the Springfield-Robertson County
Airport. 

He starts up his refurbished crop duster once in a while to keep the
moisture out of the engine, but since the events of September 11th, his
little plane and the business it creates, has been grounded by the
federal government. 

"Sunday, I had a full card." 

Russ Mann used to spend Sundays and weekends in the fall pulling aerial
banners around places like Adelphia Coliseum or NASCAR tracks. 

He's not even a mom and pop business...he's just pop. But with a full
list of bookings, Russ was scheduled to do quite well this year. 

Then, he was told not to hook up his banners and fly until further
notice. 

"In the last two weeks I lost five grand, and basically that hurts
because the fall is when I make about half of my money." 

Each day Russ checks FAA regulations hoping the aerial banner ban might
be lifted as it has been for some parts of general aviation. 

But each day, it remains on the top of the list, still banned along with
such things as sightseeing and news helicopters. 

"I understand national security, but we have been flying these things
for years and years and years, and now all of sudden we are the bad
guys." 

Russ says he's just a guy pulling a banner around a ball game, trying to
make a buck. 

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association represents little guys like
Russ Mann. They told congress that its members should get economic help
just like lawmakers gave last week to the commercial airline industry.

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