FAA permit approval comes 2 months late for Sitka celebration

SITKA — Federal aviation authorities have approved a plan to let a World War II-era plane take part in a celebration in Sitka. The only problem is, the event was held two months ago.

Local officials received word Tuesday that the Federal Aviation Administration approved a permit to let a twin-engine amphibian aircraft fly from Washington state for the Alaska Day celebration. The permit is good through Dec. 13, 2013, but the plan was scrapped when officials didn’t get the permit in time, the Daily Sitka Sentinel reported .

“At this point there’s nothing in the works,” Sitka Historical Society Director Bob Medinger said Tuesday after receiving word of the Dec. 16 FAA ruling. “Someday it would be cool to do it. We didn’t get any further than that.”

The aviation history of Southeast Alaska was highlighted during this year’s festival, which commemorates the handover of Alaska from Russia to the United States on Oct. 18, 1867.

Noel Rude wanted to bring his plane from Washington state. The longtime pilot in Alaska was invited to take part in a panel discussion.

The permit allows planes to be flown to events like air shows.

A message left with the FAA’s regional office in Renton, Wash., seeking an explanation for the delay was not immediately returned.

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