Ten young whooping cranes and the bird-like plane they think is their mother had flown more than halfway to their winter home in Florida when federal regulators stepped in.
Now the birds and the plane are grounded in Alabama while the Federal Aviation Administration investigates whether the journey violates regulations because the pilot was being paid by a conservation group to lead the cranes on their first migration instead of working for free.
Ostensibly, the regulations were put in place to prevent businesses or charities from taking passengers on joyrides in risky planes. Right.
Interestingly, it will be environmentalists most outraged by this bit of governmental overreach, but I doubt the burdensome regulations will change their minds about the goodness of government. They'll only insist that they be better-written next time.