Willamette Aviation Makes Adjustments in Response to COVID-19
We at Willamette Aviation are closely following events surrounding the outbreak of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), along with others in the aviation community and people around the world. In our more than two decades of operation, our highest priority has always been the health and safety of our aviation community. Over the past several weeks, we have taken steps to ensure that our campus at the Aurora State Airport is suitable for pilots who are engaged in flight training, establishing currency, or renting aircraft for personal use.
Please note that all staff, customers, and guests on the Willamette Aviation campus are required to maintain a minimum six-foot distance from each other at all times. Willamette Aviation staff will notify people immediately if they are not maintaining an appropriate distance.
Dual flight instruction and dual simulator training is ongoing, under specific conditions. Pilots flying with CFIs are expected to exhibit no fever, shortness of breath, or dry cough. Customers can expect to answer additional questions prior to any dual flights. Since aviation and flight training in the United States are regulated by the federal government, all pre-solo student pilots flying at Willamette Aviation are strongly encouraged to apply for and obtain student pilot certificates from the FAA.
While we have temporarily reduced our active fleet, many aircraft remain available for solo flights. Our Redbird FMX flight simulator also is available for pilots maintaining instrument currency, or those seeking an Instrument Proficiency Check (IPC). Private Pilot students also can solo in the Redbird, by prior arrangement with their instructors.
Our Designated Medical Examiner, Dr. Janice Buenafe, is still conducting medical examinations twice a month. Maintenance services are available upon request. Please see the Medical and Maintenance sections on our website for more information.
While we hope to resume normal operations as quickly as possible, we have developed additional contingency plans, which will we will announce if necessary. Until then, we ask everyone to do their part, so that we can resume normal operations when it's appropriate to do so.
We remain upbeat, responsible, and unified in our actions.
FAA Suspends Penalties for Expired Medicals
The FAA recently announced that it would not take Enforcement Actions against pilots who fly with expired medical certificates (read the full text here). This grace period will extend through June 30, 2020. Please note that this action does not apply new expiration dates to medicals — rather, pilots who fly with expired medicals will not face a penalty.
Pilots who intend to fly during the grace period with an expired medical should be familiar with their insurance requirements. Renting pilots at Willamette Aviation are covered by our insurance carrier, who has agreed to continue coverage for pilots with expired medicals. However, aircraft owners with expired medicals should confirm their coverage with their own insurance carriers.
The FAA's announcement is welcome news for pilots who are socially distancing but still flying. We also note that our Medical Examiner, Dr. Janice Buenafe, is meeting with customers on our campus the third Thursday and fourth Saturday of every month. Please contact our office to set up an appointment.
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Willamette Aviation Service, LLC
23115 Airport Road NE
Aurora, Oregon 97002