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House Votes To Put Limits On Child Pilots

Tue., July 23, 1996

Prompted by the death of 7-year-old Jessica Dubroff, the House passed legislation Monday night forbidding a licensed pilot from turning over an airplane’s controls to a child trying to set an aviation record.

Jessica was attempting to become the youngest person to fly across the country when her single-engine Cessna went down April 11 after takeoff in an icy rainstorm near Cheyenne, Wyo. Her father, Lloyd, and flight instructor, Joe Reid, died with her.

The bill, passed 395-5 and sent to the Senate, prohibits anyone who does not hold a valid pilot’s license and medical certificate from attempting to set a record or engaging in an aeronautical competition or feat. The minimum age for obtaining a pilot’s certificate is 17.

Licensed pilots who turn over the controls to a nonpilot trying to set a record would have their licenses revoked by the Federal Aviation Admistration.

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