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Friday, February 10, 2017

BasicMed Not Impacted By Regulatory Hold Order

Friday, February 10, 2017 @ 8:00 AM

The suspension of all new federal regulations by the incoming administration will not impact BasicMed reforms, as had been feared by some in the aviation community. The directive issued on January 20 by White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus halts publication of new regulations until approved by an agency director appointed by the incoming administration and suspends the effectiveness of previously published regulations for 60 days.

The published effective date of the BasicMed rule, May 1, 2017, is more than 60 from the January 20 directive, which exempts BasicMed from this directive. Additionally, the directive excludes those regulations subject to statutory deadlines.

» Read More on AVweb

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

San Francisco Class B Airspace Changes Proposed

Wednesday, February 08, 2017 @ 8:00 AM

Proposed San Francisco Class B airspace changes would enable lower-angle descents into SFO optimized for the higher glide ratios of modern jet aircraft, reducing noise and fuel consumption.

“A low thrust descent in a clean configuration results in the smallest noise footprint [regardless of altitude], and a descent in a clean configuration at near idle thrust results in lower fuel burn” says Rick Cote, an ATC Specialist with Northern California TRACON (NCT).

» Read More on AVweb

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

FAA Funding Secured thru September 2015

Wednesday, December 17, 2014 @ 8:00 AM

by Russ Niles, AVweb

Assuming Presidential approval, The FAA has funding security for nine months after the Senate passed the so-called "Cromnibus" spending bill that approves appropriations for most government departments through September 2015. The vote on the $1.3 trillion spending bill was held late Saturday and rejects an administration user fee proposal and gives the FAA approximately $440 million more than the administration proposed.  The FAA gets $15.72 billion and includes money for NextGen implementation.

The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) stayed up late Saturday night to follow the legislative process and President Tom Hendricks said the relative stability is welcome. "Taking such action funds important priorities such as NextGen and removes the budgetary uncertainty the agency faces when operating under short-term funding bills," said Hendricks.

Friday, December 05, 2014

Michigan Toylift In Need of Santas with Airplanes

Friday, December 05, 2014 @ 8:00 AM

by Rick Durden, AVweb

Operation Good Cheer, the annual delivery of donated toys by general aviation aircraft to foster children in Michigan, is short 30 airplanes and pilots of the 100 it needs to get toys to over 5,248 children this Saturday, December 6.  Each foster child has a sponsor who has purchased, wrapped and delivered gifts to the Oakland County International Airport (KPTK) where they will be loaded into airplanes flown by volunteer pilots to airports across the state.

Operation Good Cheer is looking for another 30 pilots who have access to aircraft this Saturday and want to play Santa for children who might otherwise not receive gifts at Christmas. Volunteer pilots are asked to complete a Pilot Application at the website of the nonprofit association that organizes the toylift, Child and Family Services of Michigan, or simply fly into KPTK by 8:00 AM Saturday and advise ATC that they are there for Operation Good Cheer.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

ADS-B On House Committee Agenda

Wednesday, June 11, 2014 @ 8:00 AM

FAA Administrator Michael Huerta will update a congressional committee on the implementation of ADS-B requirements for general aviation at a hearing in Washington today.  Aircraft operating in certain types of airspace will be required to have ADS-B equipment on board by 2020 but so far only a fraction of the fleet has been equipped. Huerta will be the key witness at the House Committee on Small Business's session entitled FAA's 2020 NextGen Mandate: Benefits and Challenges for General Aviation. The committee is looking for insights into the process so far, the benefits for GA and the "importance of incentivizing and ensuring widespread adoption."

» More on AVweb

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

FAA: ADS-B System Is Complete

Wednesday, April 16, 2014 @ 8:00 AM

By Mary Grady, AVweb

ADS-B is now installed nationwide, the FAA announced Monday, although services won't be available at all air traffic facilities until 2019. "The installation of this radio network clears the way for air traffic controllers to begin using ADS-B to separate equipped aircraft nationwide," said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta in a statement. "It will also provide pilots flying aircraft equipped with the proper avionics with traffic information, weather data and other flight information."

Of the 230 air traffic facilities across the country, 100 are currently using ADS-B to separate traffic, according to the FAA. All aircraft operating in controlled airspace must be equipped with ADS-B Out avionics that broadcast the plane's location by Jan. 1, 2020.

» More on AVweb

Monday, March 24, 2014

EAA Agrees To Pay For AirVenture Controllers

Monday, March 24, 2014 @ 8:00 AM

By AVweb Staff

After months of negotiations and a legal challenge in the courts, EAA said this week it has agreed to pay the FAA's expenses to send controllers to AirVenture through 2022. "This ends the uncertainty that began with the FAA's sudden assessment of ATC fees for the 2013 event and the potential that air traffic support might not be provided this year or in the future unless such fees were paid," EAA said in a statement on Friday.

After EAA was forced to sign a one-year ATC agreement under protest in 2013, the organization filed a petition with the U.S. Seventh District Court of Appeals, arguing that the FAA has no legal right to charge for ATC services without clear Congressional authorization. That challenge has now been dismissed by the court and can't be filed again, EAA said.

» More on AVweb

Friday, March 14, 2014

Busting Myths about the FAA and Unmanned Aircraft

Friday, March 14, 2014 @ 9:50 AM

By Rick Durden, AVweb

In a strongly-worded posting on its website, the FAA directly addressed what it called “misconceptions and misinformation about unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) regulations.” It listed seven common myths and set out the underlying facts on each.

The myths include that the FAA doesn’t control airspace below 400 feet—it is responsible for all U.S. airspace from the ground up, and said it believes the myth comes from the idea that manned aircraft must generally stay at least 500 feet above the ground; that commercial UAS flights are legal if over private property and under 400 feet—not so, trying to operate a UAS commercially by claiming compliance with Model Aircraft guidelines doesn’t cut it, commercial operations must be approved by the FAA on a case-by-case basis; and that commercial UAS operations fall under a “gray area” of the FARs—again, not so, operating any aircraft in U.S. airspace requires some level of FAA approval.

» More on AVweb

Monday, March 10, 2014

User Fees Return In New Budget Plan

Monday, March 10, 2014 @ 8:00 AM

By Mary Grady, AVweb

A new federal budget plan released by the White House on Tuesday includes a proposal to "establish a surcharge for air traffic services of $100 per flight." NBAA President Ed Bolen said similar proposals in the last three budgets were stopped when the aviation community mobilized and asked elected officials to oppose the fees. "There is bipartisan opposition to user fees on Capitol Hill," Bolen said. NBAA will continue working with leaders in Congress, he said, "to support FAA funding and aviation system modernization without user fees for general aviation, so that our nation's aviation system can remain the world’s largest, safest and most efficient." General aviation already pays for its use of the aviation system through the fuel tax, Bolen added.

» More on AVweb

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Lithium Ion Battery Certified For Light Aircraft

Wednesday, February 26, 2014 @ 8:00 AM

By Russ Niles, AVweb

The FAA and EASA have certified the first lithium ion battery for engine start and main ship use in light aircraft. Mid-Continent Instrument announced at HAI Heli-Expo Tuesday that the TrueBlue TB17, a 17 amp hour battery designed for piston and light turbine aircraft, is now available for OEMs to incorporate into new aircraft. The battery will not be available as an aftermarket item, at least at first. The company is also developing a 44 amp hour lithium ion battery for the business jet market.

» More on AVweb

 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Will 406 MHz ELTs be Mandatory in 2022?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014 @ 8:00 AM

By Russ Niles, AVweb

The White House, with the apparent blessing of the FAA, is urging the FCC to make 406 ELT equipage in aircraft mandatory by 2022. In comments filed with the FCC on Feb. 5 (PDF), the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) recommended the FCC get moving on its plan to eliminate 121.5 MHz-only ELTs but to give aircraft owners up to eight years to make the transition. The NTIA, which represents the executive branch's view on telecommunications policy, said it consulted with the FAA and the Search and Rescue Satellite Aided Tracking program (SARSAT) in making the recommendation. The filing of the document may mean the FCC is getting ready to implement a final rule on the disposition of 121.5 MHz ELTs, a process it started in 2010 with a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that caught most aviation organizations, including the FAA, by surprise.

» More on AVweb

Monday, February 17, 2014

House Passes Sleep Apnea Rulemaking Bill

Monday, February 17, 2014 @ 8:00 AM

By Russ Niles, AVweb

To thunderous applause from alphabet groups, the House passed a bill last Tuesday that will force the FAA to go through a formal rulemaking process to institute its controversial sleep apnea measures. As we reported in November, FAA Air Surgeon Dr. Fred Tilton sent a newsletter to air medical examiners telling them that any pilot with a body mass index of 40 or higher would have to undergo an expensive evaluation at a sleep clinic to determine if he or she has obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and be cleared to maintain their certification. The memo caught the entire U.S. aviation community, including AMEs, by surprise. There was a flurry of protest but Tilton wouldn't back down. The FAA measure was widely criticized for its scope, cost and questionable impact on safety. The House bill was proposed last month and a parallel measure is before the Senate. 

» More on AVweb

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

FAA to Examine Air Traffic Control Tower Safety

Wednesday, February 12, 2014 @ 8:00 AM

By Rick Durden, AVweb

A lightning strike that injured an air traffic controller at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport has exposed a potential vulnerability at air traffic control towers during storms. It has prompted Federal Aviation Administration officials to inspect hundreds of towers nationwide, according to the Associated Press. The FAA said in a statement that the accident was "the first of its kind in FAA history," and the agency plans on "assessing the condition" of lightning protection systems at the 440 air traffic control towers it is responsible for across the country. In particular, the agency said it will examine lightning protection at more than 200 towers that were built prior to 1978, when the FAA first issued standards for the protection systems.

» More on AVweb

Monday, February 10, 2014

Bob Hoover Tribute Set for February 21 in California

Monday, February 10, 2014 @ 8:00 AM

By Mary Grady, AVweb

A special event to honor the life and achievements of Bob Hoover will be held Friday, Feb. 21 in Los Angeles. Guests will join the aviation community, "including celebrities, leaders, and icons," the organizers say, for a night at the Paramount Studios Theater. The event schedule includes a red-carpet reception, dinner, speakers and the premiere of a new documentary film about Hoover's life, narrated and introduced by Harrison Ford. A maximum of 500 tickets will be sold, at $950 each. Tickets are still available and can be purchased online at the event website. In his long career, Hoover has served as a combat pilot, test pilot, air racer and legendary airshow performer.

» More on AVweb

Friday, February 07, 2014

Disney Releases Trailer for Sequel to 'Planes'

Friday, February 07, 2014 @ 8:00 AM

The trailer for the upcoming Disney movie, "Planes: Fire & Rescue" the sequel to the popular animated movie "Planes" has been released.

Following on the success of the 2013 film that featured an ag aircraft with a fear of heights who became an air racer, Dusty Crophopper (voice of Dane Cook), the sequel will again follow the life of Dusty as he discovers that damage he has suffered may mean he'll never race again. High-profile promotional activity for "Planes" included the appearances of a real aerial applicator, an Air Tractor AT-301 in a Dusty Crophopper paint scheme, at events across the country, including numerous flights during the airshow at AirVenture 2013. 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Southwest Pilots Were Visual To Wrong Airport

Monday, January 20, 2014 @ 10:15 AM

By Russ Niles, AVweb

The NTSB says the pilots of a Southwest flight that landed at the wrong airport last week simply followed the wrong bright lights after opting for a visual approach to what they thought was Branson Airport in Missouri. According to the board's preliminary report, the crew was told by the Branson tower that they were 15 miles from the airport and cleared for a visual approach for Runway 14. The welcoming lights of Runway 12 at M. Graham Clark Downtown Airport, in Hollister, Mo., about six miles north of Branson, caught their eye and they set up for an initially uneventful landing on the 3748-foot runway. "They confirmed that they utilized heavy braking to bring the aircraft to a stop and then advised the Branson Airport tower that they had landed at the wrong airport," the NTSB said in its initial report released Friday.

» More on AVweb

Monday, December 30, 2013

Textron Fleshes Out Beech Deal

Monday, December 30, 2013 @ 8:00 AM

By Russ Niles, AVweb

Textron expects to gain $65 million to $85 million annually with the "synergy" of combining Cessna and Beechcraft into its new airplane company but it's not yet saying exactly where those savings might be realized. As AVweb reported Thursday, Textron is buying Beech for $1.4 billion. In a conference call with analysts on Friday (recording available by calling (320) 365-3844, access code 314378). Textron CEO Scott Donnelly said it's likely most of the money will come from savings that result from overlap of functions and premises but there have been no decisions on if and where cuts might be made at either company he acknowledged that cuts are coming.

» More on AVweb

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

FAA Moves On Sleep Apnea, Obesity

Wednesday, December 18, 2013 @ 8:00 AM

By Glenn Pew, AVweb

The FAA is moving ahead with implementation of mandatory screening and tests (apparently regardless of widely reported objections) for obstructive sleep apnea in pilots with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher, the agency said Thursday. Individuals are typically categorized as obese by current BMI charts if they score a number higher than 30. AOPA, EAA, the Civil Aviation Medical Association and members of the U.S. House of Representatives are among those who have requested the FAA make substantive changes to lessen the impact of its new sleep apnea policy. The FAA would require additional medical evaluations for those pilots determined to be outside of the FAA’s safe (under 40 BMI) range. Pilots scoring 40 or higher would have 60 days to receive an evaluation or have their medical certificate disqualified.

» More on AVweb

Monday, November 18, 2013

More Ready-To-Fly RV-12s From Van's

Monday, November 18, 2013 @ 8:00 AM

By Mary Grady, AVweb

Van's Aircraft is now taking orders for its second batch of ready-to-fly RV-12 airplanes, the company said this week. Van's, which has sold more than 8,000 kits around the world, offered a dozen S-LSA versions of the RV-12 last year, and sold out the first day. The new batch of 12 sells for $123,000 each, fully equipped, or $115,00 for the base model. The aircraft components are built by Van's and assembled into an S-LSA by Synergy Air of Eugene, Oregon.

» More on AVweb

Friday, November 15, 2013

Foxbat Xtreme STOL Lands On Cargo Ship

Friday, November 15, 2013 @ 2:41 PM

By Mary Grady, AVweb

The deck of a cargo ship in the English Channel became a landing site recently for the pilot of a Foxbat Xtreme STOL airplane. The landing, caught on camera from several angles, was a carefully planned stunt by Dutch pilot Jaap Rademaker. "The ship was sailing at 9 knots speed over ground, the true windspeed was 14 knots, just about the full flap stall speed with just myself in the plane and full long-range fuel tanks," Rademaker wrote.

   

» More on AVweb

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Portable Traffic System Maker Zaon Ceases Operation

Wednesday, November 13, 2013 @ 8:00 AM

By Larry Anglisano, AVweb

Zaon Flight Systems, the maker of the popular PCAS portable traffic alerting system, has ceased operation according to Sporty's Pilot Shop and Aircraft Spruce and Specialty, two of the company's largest distributors. Both distributors told AVweb that Zaon "is out of business" and couldn't offer any suggestions for obtaining support for existing Zaon products. Zaon introduced the first portable collision avoidance solution - the TPAS - nearly a decade ago, selling over 3000 units in just a few years.

» More on AVweb

Monday, November 11, 2013

Navy Christens New Aircraft Carrier, USS Gerald R. Ford

Monday, November 11, 2013 @ 8:00 AM

By Russ Niles, AVweb

The Navy christened its first new-design aircraft carrier Nov. 8 but it will be at least two years before the USS Gerald R. Ford is delivered to the Navy. The ship, which is the first of a series of Ford Class carriers, got the traditional wine bottle across the bow from the late president's daughter Susan Ford Bales as it got ready for its formal launch and a short trip to the fitting out berth in the Newport News shipyard. Planning for the carrier began more than a decade ago and it has been under construction for four years. The drydock was flooded Oct. 11. The carrier will hold more aircraft, including drones, and be able to launch and recover them up to 25 percent faster than the Nimitz class carriers that were launched in the 1970s.

» More on AVweb

Friday, November 08, 2013

Lighthawk Seeks More Volunteer Pilots

Friday, November 08, 2013 @ 8:00 AM

By Mary Grady, AVweb

Lighthawk, a nonprofit group based in Wyoming that works to use volunteer airplanes and pilots to promote environmental conservation around the world, recently was awarded a grant from AOPA to help expand outreach efforts. The group was one of 10 recipients of $10,000 grants in AOPA's first "Giving Back" awards, which were announced at AOPA Summit. "This program is our way of supporting those groups that are making a difference through charitable programs that rely on general aviation," said Stephanie Kenyon, vice president of strategic philanthropy for the AOPA Foundation.

» More on AVweb

Monday, October 28, 2013

NOAA Announces End of Paper Nautical Charts

Monday, October 28, 2013 @ 8:00 AM

NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey, which creates and maintains the nation’s suite of over a thousand nautical charts of U.S. coastal waters, announced major changes ahead for mariners and others who use nautical charts.  Starting April 13, the federal government will no longer print traditional lithographic (paper) nautical charts, but will continue to provide other forms of nautical charts, including print on demand charts and versions for electronic charting systems.

In September the FAA said there are no plans to stop printing paper aeronautical charts, but if nautical charts are the example, it seems inevitable that the FAA will follow in the same footsteps by simply stopping the production of traditional paper aeronautical charts.

“Like most other mariners, I grew up on NOAA lithographic charts and have used them for years,” said Rear Admiral Gerd Glang, director of NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey. “We know that changing chart formats and availability will be a difficult change for some mariners who love their traditional paper charts, but we’re still going to provide other forms of our official charts.”

» More on NOAA.gov

Friday, October 25, 2013

New Space Tourism Option: High-Altitude Baloons

Friday, October 25, 2013 @ 8:00 AM

By Mary Grady, AVweb

A new company this week announced its plans to offer high-altitude rides to about 98,425 feet in a pressurized capsule suspended beneath a helium balloon, for $75,000 per seat. The company, World View Experience, is based in Tucson, Ariz., and plans to launch the flights from Spaceport America, in New Mexico, no sooner than 2016. The capsule would carry up to six passengers and two pilots high enough to view the curvature of the Earth and the black sky of space. The ascent will take about two hours, and the travelers can then spend about two hours at altitude. To return to Earth, the capsule separates from the balloon and lands a half-hour later beneath a steerable parafoil.

» More on AVweb

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Military Airshow Teams To Return For 2014

Wednesday, October 23, 2013 @ 8:00 AM

By Mary Grady, AVweb

The Navy's Blue Angels and the Air Force Thunderbirds will return to a full airshow schedule for the 2014 season, military officials announced this week. "Community outreach is key to connecting Americans to the military," said Cmdr. Thomas Frosch, flight leader for the Blue Angels. "Our performances provide a unique opportunity to inspire millions to connect with and support our service members." The teams have been grounded since this spring, when federal spending cuts took effect, and many aviation events around the country were canceled when the teams and other military attractions were unable to appear.

» More on AVweb

Monday, October 21, 2013

City of Wichita Establishes Beijing Office

Monday, October 21, 2013 @ 8:00 AM

By Tim Cole, AVweb

Citing the need to forge closer links with China’s small but growing aviation market, Wichita, Kansas, mayor Carl Brewer announced yesterday his city has opened an office in the Chinese capital. “We have 90 years of experience in aviation, and we think we can show our Chinese partners how to do some of the things we’ve learned. More importantly, we want to connect our businesses together.” AVweb interviewed Brewer and Shanghai-based William J. Shultz of Cessna Aircraft Company at the Chinese International General Aviation Convention in Xi’an, China.

» More on AVweb

Monday, October 14, 2013

Baker: For GA Future, Friendly Airports Are Key

Monday, October 14, 2013 @ 10:02 AM

By Mary Grady, AVweb

Just two months into his new job, AOPA President Mark Baker addressed an overflow crowd at AOPA Summit on Thursday morning, to lay out his vision for the future of the organization -- and also revealed a hint at the "real reason" that this Summit will be the last. In response to a question from the audience, Baker said switching from the annual meeting to a half-dozen regional fly-ins will create opportunities for AOPA to recruit new members. "There are still thousands of pilots who are not members of AOPA," he said. "These fly-ins will take our message out to where people fly."

» More on AVweb

Friday, October 11, 2013

Senate Approves Small Airplane Revitalization Act

Friday, October 11, 2013 @ 8:00 AM

By Glenn Pew, AVweb

Legislation that would update FAR Part 23 and streamline aircraft certification, the Small Airplane Revitalization Act of 2013, has now passed through the Senate and will go back to the House of Representatives where it is expected to pass (again). The House passed its version of the bill back in July with a 411-0 vote before sending it on to the Senate. The bill aims to provide a more direct path for the certification of new aircraft designs that integrate new technology and safety enhancements. It would also provide a more effective path for existing aircraft to be upgraded and may reduce costs for pilots seeking upgrades.

» More on AVweb

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Redbird To End $1 Avgas Two Weeks Early

Wednesday, October 09, 2013 @ 8:00 AM

By Mary Grady, AVweb

Redbird Skyport's offer to fill your airplane's tank for $1 a gallon during October has drawn so much activity that the organizers have decided to end the promotion two weeks early, spokesman Jeff Van West said on Tuesday. "In preparing for this experiment, we planned for traffic averaging eight times normal," said Van West. "Actual response has been four times higher than that -- over 30 times our normal volume. By the end of the first week, we'd reached our data collection goal for the entire month." The incessant demand has become "unmanageable" for the Skyport staff, he said.

» More on AVweb

Monday, October 07, 2013

Government Shutdown Highlights Aviation Safety Requirements

Monday, October 07, 2013 @ 8:00 AM

By Glenn Pew, AVweb

Furlough of FAA aviation safety inspectors and NTSB accident investigators may put the country in default of its obligations under an aviation treaty that sets standards for safety for ICAO, former FAA lawyer Loretta Alkalay told Forbes magazine this week.  The U.S. failure to approve a federal budget and subsequent partial government shutdown has furloughed some 3,000 FAA safety inspectors and stalled NTSB investigations.  

Alkalay told Forbes that the inspectors perform oversight and surveillance required under the Chicago Convention treaty.  "It's hard to imagine that the FAA can meet its ICAO obligations without 3,000 inspectors," Alkalay told the magazine.  "And violation of the treaty could have consequences for U.S. airlines."

» More on AVweb

Monday, September 30, 2013

FAA Furloughs, Tower Closures, ATC Privatization Back On The Table

Monday, September 30, 2013 @ 8:00 AM

by Mary Grady, AVweb

With a new federal fiscal year about to launch on October 1, FAA officials are facing a $700 million budget gap, according to Bloomberg News.  A new round of automatic cuts will take effect in the new budget year and may have more impact than they did this year, sources told Bloomberg, citing briefings with FAA officials.  The FAA also may revisit its proposal to close many contract towers, which was shelved last year, Bloomberg said.  Bell Helicopter also blamed the federal budget cuts this week in announcing it cut 290 jobs in Fort Worth, Texas.  "Sequestration is having an adverse impact on our industry, making the future for defense spending more uncertain than ever," Bell CEO Jim Garrison said on Monday.  The recurring budget issues also have revived discussion about privatizing the air-traffic-control system.

» More on AVweb

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

AOPA Says Texas Summit Will Be Its Last

Wednesday, September 11, 2013 @ 7:59 AM

by Mary Grady, AVweb

The annual AOPA Summit is coming up in a few weeks, in Fort Worth, Texas, but AOPA said on Tuesday this will be the last time it holds the event.  "Convention plans for 2014 have been cancelled," AOPA said in a news release.  AOPA said it plans to redirect the time and resources spent on the Summit to hosting more "grass-roots" events and visiting community airports.  "I want our members to make a personal connection with AOPA, and that is best achieved by meeting them where they fly," said Mark Baker, AOPA president, who took office last month.

The iFlightPlanner Crew will be setup with Sennheiser Aviation, the presenting sponsor of iFlightPlanner for iPad, in Booth #1307 at the Fort Worth Convention Center next month.

» More on AVweb

Monday, September 02, 2013

EAA, AOPA Talk "Collaboration"

Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 8:00 AM

By Russ Niles, AVweb

AOPA incoming President Mark Baker says he's already spoken with EAA Chairman Jack Pelton about future "collaboration" to better serve both organizations and their members. In his first (and, as far as we can tell, only) interview since being named to the post Aug. 22, Baker told AOPA Live host Tom Haines that while it's too early to describe the future alignment of the two organizations, the broad strokes of his discussions with Pelton could see members of each organization benefiting directly from the work of the other.

» More on AVweb

Friday, August 30, 2013

Redbird’s Skyport to Sell Avgas for $1/gal in October

Friday, August 30, 2013 @ 8:00 AM

By Paul Bertorelli, AVweb

In one of the bolder loss leader approaches we’ve ever seen, Redbird’s Skyport in San Marcos, Texas, will be selling avgas for a dollar a gallon throughout the month of October. What’s the catch? There really isn’t one, other than the company will ask fuel buyers to participate in a brief survey probing their views on flying habits and how—or even if—the price of avgas affects those views and, especially, flying behavior.

“The idea is to test whether the cost of flying had either a direct or indirect or even a cumulative effect on the fact that there’s a lot less flying going on,” said Redbird’s CEO Jerry Gregoire.

» More on AVweb

Monday, August 19, 2013

Aviation Consumer Wants to Know, Avgas vs. Mogas?

Monday, August 19, 2013 @ 8:00 AM

As the quest for a replacement for 100LL drags into its third decade, Aviation Consumer, is seeking opinions from owners, pilots and aircraft operators on how you think the process is going.  The FAA has established a special office devoted to a replacement for 100LL and piston fuels in general.  They would like to know if you've followed the process and, if so, what you think of it.

And what what about mogas? In some cases, it's $2 cheaper than avgas. Are you using it?  If so, what are your experiences and if you haven't used it, why not? You can take the 5-minute survey by clicking here.

We'll compile the results and compare them to the same questions we asked two years ago.

» Take the Survey

Friday, August 16, 2013

New Technology Aims To Enhance Bird Detection

Friday, August 16, 2013 @ 8:00 AM

A new feature from Xsight Systems aims to improve the detection of ground-level birds in real time, in severe weather, and in the dark, the company said this week.

The feature, called BirdWize, is an add-on to a system the company sells for detecting foreign-object debris on runways. "Forty percent of all bird-related incidents happen on the ground," said Xsight CEO Alon Nitzan. "This solution provides airport personnel with a more effective way to track birds and their behavior patterns." The product employs a dual technology sensor, with millimeter-wave radar and electro-optic abilities, together with radar and image processing, to help detect ground-level threats from FOD and birds if they appear on the runway, the company said.

» More on AVweb

Monday, July 22, 2013

Small-Airplane Revitalization Bill Passes in House

Monday, July 22, 2013 @ 8:00 AM

New legislation passed through the House last week calling for a restructuring of the FAA's Part 23 certification requirements for the purpose of expediting approvals for safety improvements.  The Small Airplane Revitalization Act aims to remove bureaucratic barriers to evolutionary progress within the industry (for the introduction of new designs and the addition of improvements to old ones); to cut certification costs for manufacturers; and to give manufacturers more responsibility in the certification process.

Industry trade groups spanning from GAMA to NBAA, EAA, AOPA and NATA have all expressed a range of support for the legislation, which now heads to the Senate. If it's approved there, new certification standards could go into effect within the next two years.

» More on AVweb

Monday, June 17, 2013

Willow Run Preservation Campaign

Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 8:00 AM

An ambitious campaign to save a unique part of aviation history is on in Michigan but just like the events that created the Willow Run bomber manufacturing plant, the volunteers trying to preserve it face a daunting challenge. The Ford-owned plant, which churned out B-24 Liberators at the astonishing rate of one an hour during the Second World War, was bought by GM in the 1950s and used to build transmissions until 2009. The trust created to manage GM's assets when it went bankrupt has been trying to sell the defunct facility.

The Michigan Aerospace Foundation wants to preserve 175,000 square feet of the structure to house the new home of the Yankee Aircraft Museum but it needs to raise almost $5 million in six weeks to do it.

» Full Article on AVweb

Monday, June 10, 2013

Think Global Flight Ramps Up Support

Monday, June 10, 2013 @ 8:00 AM

The Think Global Flight Initiative has received funding from the Wolf Aviation Fund as it gears up for a circumnavigation flight in support of a global effort to promote STEM education.  Flight organizers have already involved 10,000 students in 10 countries (including 25 states in the U.S.) with projects to help with flight planning, navigation and logistics of the flight.  Donors who want to be involved can buy a "Skyway" that will fund fuel for the flight.  Judy Rice will be the pilot and she will be accompanied by navigator and relief pilot Fred Nauer.  Rice said in an interview with AVweb the goal is to inspire and enthuse students all over the world in the "hard" subjects.

The flight's Cirrus SR22 will launch from Sun 'n Fun 2014 and head west.  Rice will fly alone from California to Hawaii for weight considerations and then she and Nauer will hit dozens of stops from there.  The duo will visit each of 25 "student command centers" that are now busy with projects related to the flight. Numerous aviation organizations and companies, including AVweb and iFlightPlanner, are sponsoring the flight.

Monday, June 03, 2013

Huerta Reminds Pilots To Fly Safe

Monday, June 03, 2013 @ 8:00 AM

In an open letter to the general aviation community sent just before the Memorial Day weekend, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta asked each pilot to "make sure you're ready -- really ready -- to fly."  The letter (PDF) noted that GA accident rates have remained "stubbornly flat" in recent years and asked everyone in the GA community, from pilots to mechanics to passengers, to share some simple messages.  Huerta's advice includes: Take advantage of all training opportunities, know the weather for every flight, help to grow a safety culture among your local contacts, and intervene if you see someone doing something unsafe.

» Full Article on AVweb

Friday, May 31, 2013

FAA Asks EAA To Fund Oshkosh Controllers

Friday, May 31, 2013 @ 8:00 AM

Every year for EAA AirVenture, the FAA sends a batch of controllers to handle all the extra traffic at the Oshkosh tower, but this year, the FAA is asking EAA to chip in to cover their costs.  The FAA wants to collect enough to cover the controllers' travel expenses, per diems, and overtime. EAA is not happy about the change.  "This may be an early indication of further efforts by the FAA to charge GA operators for functions in ways that could add unforeseen costs for the average pilot who simply wants to enjoy flying," said EAA, in a news release.  Jack Pelton, EAA chairman, called the change "alarming," and AOPA president Craig Fuller said it was "extremely troubling news."

» Full Article on AVweb

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Federal ATC Facilities Open thru September

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 @ 8:00 AM

The closing of 149 federal air traffic control facilities that was originally scheduled for April and delayed to June 15 has been delayed yet again to November 1, 2013.

The Department of Transportation said Friday it would fund air traffic technology and maintenance programs with $21 million by moving funds within its budget. The FAA was required by sequestration to cut $637 million from its budget. As drafted, the agency was granted little latitude in how it applied the cuts. That changed when controller furloughs correlated with commercial flight delays, and more changes soon followed.

» More on AVweb

Monday, March 25, 2013

Wanted: A Methodical Means to Close Towers

Monday, March 25, 2013 @ 8:00 AM

The opinions expressed in this column are those of Jason Blair and are not representative of AVweb or iFlightPlanner.

As the government's budget sequestration gains steam, the FAA is expected to announce which control tower might close as a result, perhaps as early as today. Discussion on this topic has produced plenty of opinions, some valid and some best characterized as fear mongering, in my view.

Sequestration cuts will likely result in at least temporary tower closures. This isn't the doing of the FAA, but that doesn't necessarily mean the FAA is choosing which towers will close in a manner that best serves long-term aviation interests or safety. I am hopeful that any permanent closures will be evaluated using more thorough methodology. There actually is a formal process to do this.

» Full Editorial on AVweb

Monday, January 21, 2013

Colorado Airport Finds Use for Snow, Improves Safety

Monday, January 21, 2013 @ 8:00 AM

The Steamboat Springs/Bob Adams Airport in Colorado says they've successfully tested a new method of snow removal that's safer and more economical than just plowing it out of the way, which it began implementing in December after the city's Parks, Open Space and Recreational Services Department agreed to loan the airport a snowcat.

The process also has eliminated the usual icy bank that pilots might have expected to find after overshooting the runway safety area at a mountain airport.  Pilots landing in Steamboat Springs now find several inches of sand-like material in that area, which airport manager Mel Baker says can safely stop and support an airplane if it leaves the runway.

Read the full article in The Steamboat Today about two pilots who unexpectedly, but thankfully tested a successful idea.

Friday, January 11, 2013

iPad Mini, AVweb's Flight Trial

Friday, January 11, 2013 @ 8:00 AM

The iPad has gained nearly unconditional acceptance among pilots since its debut in the spring of 2010, but some say the iPad is too large for the cockpit.  Enter the iPad Mini.  Apple's new tablet is about 2/3 the size of the iPad but otherwise has the same features and performance specs of the iPad 2.

In this video, AVweb and Aviation Consumer put the iPad Mini through its paces, and other than the ongoing issue with screen glare, might just become your favorite new cockpit accessory for iFlightPlanner for iPad!

 

Monday, October 22, 2012

FAA Policy Causes Checkride Costs To Rise

Monday, October 22, 2012 @ 8:00 AM

Obtaining a pilot certificate in popular training areas of the southwestern United States may get more expensive as a result of the FAA's decision to limit the number flight tests DPEs will be allowed to administer.  FAA spokesman Ian Gregor confirmed to AVweb's Russ Niles that the agency has capped flight tests for DPEs under the authority of the Scottsdale and Las Vegas flight service district office (FSDO).

"The FAA routinely reviews procedures, policies and programs to ensure they are operating safely, efficiently and properly," Gregor said.  "A review of our Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE) program identified potential issues with DPEs who conduct a high number of pilot flight checks.  As a result, the FAA's Western Pacific Region is limiting DPEs in two locations; Las Vegas and Scottsdale to conducting 50 flight checks per quarter, or 200 per year."

» READ MORE on AVweb

Monday, October 15, 2012

Red Bull Stratos, Baumgartner Breaks Records

Monday, October 15, 2012 @ 8:00 AM

When skydiver Felix Baumgartner stepped from the Red Bull Stratos on Sunday from 128,000 feet, he broke two records that stood for more than 50 years.  His was the highest-ever parachute jump and the highest manned balloon flight.  Baumgartner is reported to have reached Mach 1.24 during his 4:18 freefall.  While it was the fastest, it was not the longest duration freefall on record.  That record still belongs to Col. Joe Kittinger, who waited until the 4:30 mark to deploy his parachute in 1960.  Coincidentally, Baumgartner's successful jump took place exactly 65 years, to the day, after Chuck Yeager first broke the speed of sound in the rocket-powered X1.

Monday, August 27, 2012

eBook: Learning to Fly an Airplane

Monday, August 27, 2012 @ 8:00 AM

Learning to Fly an Airplane” was first published in February 2012, and consistently ranked as the #1 eBook in its category on Amazon.com.  It received positive reviews from flight instructors and students alike, and just recently was made available to would-be pilots and anyone who wants to know more about the flight training process free of charge.

» eBook: Learning to Fly an Airplane, Ted Seastrom

» Interview: Ted Seastrom with AVweb's Russ Niles

Ted writes, "This is the book I wish I’d read before taking my first flying lesson.  “Learning to Fly an Airplane” is not about how to fly. Instead it walks you through each stage of the training process. It warns you of the pitfalls and encourages you when facing unexpected challenges.  As a recent student, I believe you will improve your chances for success if you know more about flight training going in. You’ll definitely have more fun and less frustration."

If you know of other resources that you think the iFlightPlanner community would appreciate hearing about, please let us know!

The iFlightPlanner Crew
PLAN. FLY. LOG.™

Monday, July 30, 2012

AVweb Features iFlightPlanner, iFlightPlanner for iPad

Monday, July 30, 2012 @ 8:00 AM

AVweb contributing editor Glenn Pew spent a few minutes with iFlightPlanner co-founder Andy Matthews at AirVenture 2012 and filmed a quick piece that highlights the latest wireless sync features available with iFlightPlanner.com and iFlightPlanner for iPad.

If you're not yet an iFlightPlanner member, simply head to http://www.iFlightPlanner.com/Join to create your iFlightPlanner FREE or Premium account!

The iFlightPlanner Crew
PLAN. FLY. LOG.™