Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Breakin' the law in D.C.!

This is not exactly on topic, but:
The Heenes may have violated FAA regulations barring people from flying balloons or kites within 5 miles of an airport, an FAA official said.
Has anyone ever noticed the annual kite festival on the National Mall? That's only 2 miles from Reagan National Airport by my measurement. Somebody please arrest the Smithsonian Institution! Have FAA officials never been to D.C.?

It turns out that there's a qualification:
"…within 5 miles of the boundary of any airport…No person may operate an unshielded moored balloon or kite more than 150 feet above the surface of the earth unless…"
So, if you let go of your kite at the festival and it flies up 150 feet above the earth, then you're a malefactor.


  1. Guess I should have reprimanded my niece for letting her balloon go in Alexandria.

  2. Ditto anonymous. I better check the wind direction and speed next time I buy my kids balloons just in case they let them go...

  3. If they let the balloons go, then I would argue that they are no longer "operating" a "moored" device. I'd think the same would apply to the Balloon-boy family; wasn't the balloon unoccupied? I didn't follow that nonsense. Just another foolish media circus.

  4. Of course the first year of the Smithsonina kite festival, the WERE breaking the law. The Park Service had a rule against flying kites on the mall. -Jim A

  5. so what. In some states having sex with your wife a certain way is illegal.