Discussion continued Friday on a strike-and-insert amendment for HB4846, relating to flying under the influence.
Counsel explained the FAA told the Department of Transportation that certain language must be in place. The strike-and-insert amendment reinserts a current article of existing law.
Senator Robert Karnes of Randolph County asked Counsel, “Can you direct me where to find this FAA regulation?”
Counsel deferred to Rita Pauley, Assistant Commissioner of the Division of Highways, who responded that the FAA depends on states to have laws in place for local law enforcement so they can do testing.
“The state must have a mechanism to come test the pilot or crew member,” she said.
Senator Karnes proposed an amendment to delete a portion of the bill that already is a federal regulation, removing Section 9 about “operating an aircraft at a low altitude or in a careless or reckless manner.”
Senator Ryan Weld of Brooke County spoke against the amendment, noting the language is part of very old law (1947), and no one has brought it to his attention that it needs to be changed. He reminded the committee of singer Patsy Cline’s fatal plane crash and the need for a pilot to be aware of the topography around him.
Senator Mark Maynard of Wayne County also spoke in support of the amendment, giving the example that “a friend of mine flies low enough to read road signs so he knows where he’s at.”
The amendment passed on a voice vote, and the bill passed as amended.
At the conclusion of the meeting, Senator Maynard recognized and applauded “his favorite Senator from Harrison,” Mike Romano, on the occasion of his last Judiciary Committee meeting.
Senator Romano reminded him that he’s the only Senator from Harrison.
Chairman Trump said he planned a get-together to recognize staff, Senator Romano, and Senator Robert Beach of Monongalia County, who, like Senator Romano, also is leaving the Senate.