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4/15/20  2:52 pm



A week ago today, Robert Berg, from BERG AIR based out of Madras, Oregon, asked Ranch Matters to investigate-looking for clarification, as to why his flight school along with several other flight schools in Central Oregon, have shut down in accordance with the Governor’s Executive Order, with the exception of Hillsboro Aero in Redmond.

Rob Berg Owner of Berg Air LLC

Thanks to the hard work and dedication of our Jefferson County Commission, in particular Commissioner/Chair, Kelly Simmelink and Commission Wayne Fording we got some answers.

Jefferson County Commission Chair Kelly Simmelink


Simmelink working with State Senator, Lynn P. Findley received confirmation that Oregon Flight Schools are an “essential” business and can indeed start flying/teaching immediately. There are mandatory restrictions that must be followed, such as pilots must wear masks while flying, but the “6” foot rule is waived while in flight, but enforceable outside of the aircraft.

Simmelink received an email response from State Senator Findley that stated in part, “It appears that flight training is federally exempted from our restrictions as long as they are in the air and flying.” “Once on the ground participants must comply with social distancing guidelines as well as community impacts.”

We’ve been told Oregon flight schools could have been operating as early as March 30 had the exemption been properly communicated. Someone dropped the ball.

Commissioner/Chair, Simmelink provided a brief video statement today regarding his efforts and an explanation behind the exemption. See ATTACHED for further details.



Mr. Berg weighed in today, stating, “A week ago today, we started down this little investigative path, to find out why we weren’t allowed to fly and teach students in Oregon…”

According to Berg the matter was settled this morning with the assistance of the Governors Office and other governmental officials. He was told there was an exception issued on March 30 that “never got conveyed to all of the flight schools in Central Oregon that have been grounded.”


Berg is back in business and cleared for take off.

*As an aside, yesterday, we contacted Governor Brown’s Press Office regarding clarification issues. This afternoon we received the ATTACHED EMAIL from Brown’s Press Secretary, Ms. Liz (Craig) Merah.


Ranch Matters  Staff