Our dear leader, President Obama, is coming to the Bay Area on Monday. (Why he’s coming is unclear to me; it’s not as though Romney has any chance of winning California, so I presume it’s so Obama can raise money from his legions of wealthy fans out here.)
Anyway, the point of this post is to point out what happens when he’s here. The picture below will help illustrate my complaint.
See those red rings? During his visit, most private aircraft are essentially not allowed to fly within those rings; flight training (and cropdusting, and animal control, and a long list of other operations) are specifically prohibited, and there are other restrictions. Commercial passenger and cargo flights are exempt, luckily (otherwise AA passengers departing SFO Monday would be in even more trouble, hey ho!)
The largest ring is a 35-nautical-mile radius centered around the San Francisco (SFO) VOR. That takes in the Palo Alto, San Jose, Oakland, and San Carlos airports. So from 1pm Monday until 10am Tuesday, the dozens of instructors and hundreds of students training at those airports are grounded. That means an immediate loss of several thousand dollars per instructor– and the losses are greater for flight schools themselves.
More to the point, this is just a further delay in my pursuit of my license, as I can’t fly during that time unless I am actively, y’know, going somewhere.
Oh, and the best part: the geographic and time restrictions of this temporary flight restriction can change at any time. So I could, in theory, inadvertently and innocently violate it if it changes while I am in flight. This is rare and unlikely, thank goodness.
So thank you, Mr. President. I’m glad you’re doing your part to help the economy. See also previous helpful contributions here and here. (substitute “Bush”, “Romney,” or the name of your favorite post-9/11 president above if it makes you feel better, although President Obama has been a worse offender in this respect than was President Bush.)