The instrument rating requirement for commercial pilots created a hullabaloo in Juneau, Alaska, that was just an early episode in the ongoing dialog about the qualifications a commercial pilot should have.

For the commercial seaplane pilots in the area, it was unhappy times. The FAA had just mandated that all commercial pilots must have an instrument rating, or accept a limitation on their certificates prohibiting flying passengers for hire on flights of more than 50 nautical miles or at night.

This requirement was especially galling for these seaplane pilots, because the communities they served had no instrument approaches. And flying seaplanes on instruments in the prevailing icing conditions was a really bad idea anyway.

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