FAA: Planes to guide cranes must be replaced - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

FAA: Planes to guide cranes must be replaced

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Operation Migration is a conservation organization that uses ultralight planes to lead endangered whooping cranes south for the winter.  The Federal Aviation Administration says it needs to replace its aircraft to comply with regulations.

Operation Migration co-founder and pilot Joe Duff says the pilots will also be required to obtain private pilot licenses.  They will have to replace three aircrafts, which will cost about $20,000 each.

The organization ran into trouble with the FAA because it pays pilots salaries.  FAA says sport planes are only for personal use.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports the FAA allowed Operation Migration an exemption from the ultralight rules until April 30, 2014.  The group hopes to have the new planes by January or February.

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