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FAA documents raise questions about safety of drones in US airspace
Wired    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Under pressure to open the nation's skies to drone flights, federal regulators are relying on decades of aviation rules that imagined a human being in the cockpit — not an onslaught of remotely piloted aircraft — prompting questions about whether federal flight rules for drones are strong enough to prevent accidents and midair collisions, recently released documents show. Many drones and other small aircraft don't have elaborate on-board detection systems to help them avoid crashes in the air. More

General aviation shipments up in 2012, may signal start of recovery
Wichita Business Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Total shipments of general aviation aircraft rose to 918 in the first half of 2012, a year-over-year increase of 5.9 percent, according to new data from the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. Total billings for those aircraft also increased, climbing from $7.2 billion to $8.2 billion. GAMA reported 504 total worldwide deliveries of all models in the second quarter of 2012, up from 465 in the second quarter of 2011. More

Heroic pilot killed in Illinois plane crash
NY Daily News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A 30-year-old pilot died a hero the morning of Aug. 11 after he steered a crashing plane to avoid hitting any homes, saving the lives of several residents in Taylorville, Ill. Brandon Sparrow of Augusta, Ill. was the only person left on board the twin-engine Beechcraft 18 after 12 skydivers aboard the plane jumped to safety moments before the crash. The plane crashed in a backyard just 75 feet wide, leaving Sparrow with little room for error. More

You may be paying too much for aircraft insurance
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Report on heat dangers
FAA Aviation News via IFA    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From the IFR pilot holding for a clearance, to the air show pilot waiting to perform or to the glider pilot working a hot summer thermal, each is at risk from the heat and more importantly, from the danger of not drinking enough water. Heat related problems can be as deadly to a pilot as the lack of oxygen. We seldom discuss heat problems and their effects on the ability of a pilot to control an aircraft in flight. Learn more.

In-cockpit video captures crash
AVweb    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
VideoBriefA video shows the June 30 crash of a Stinson 108-3 as filmed by an occupant sitting right seat in the cockpit. All four aboard survived the crash and the NTSB is collecting information. The aircraft came down near Bruce Meadows airstrip near Stanley, Idaho. The strip offers 5,000 feet of grass and dirt at an elevation of 6,370 feet. Weather at the time of the accident included an altimeter setting of 30 inches Hg with a temperature of 27-degrees Centigrade and a dew point of three. The observations result in a density altitude of 9,167 feet. More

Related article:
» Michigan plane crash captured on video (ABC News)

Flying coast to coast in a homebuilt
General Aviation News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Many people dream of making the trip of a lifetime, but few make the dream a reality. Not so for Albert and Sharon Gardner, a Yuma, Ariz., couple who flew coast to coast in their RV-10. Last summer, the couple flew nearly 12,000 miles, landing in 100 cities in 37 states. The trip was the culmination of a longtime desire that Albert had to land his airplane in every contiguous state in the country. More

Teens plan flight to aid Colorado shooting victims
The Daytona Beach News-Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Tragedy can strike anywhere. That's why a Florida nonprofit that helps teens is raising money for the families of the 12 people killed and 58 others who were injured in July at a Colorado movie theater. "It wasn't personal to us, or our town, but it's about our country," said Cora Rand, 16, of Ormond Beach, Fla., who is a beneficiary of the Palm Coast-based Teens-N-Flight nonprofit. "Our organization wanted to raise money to help them." More

Mattresses aid helicopter landing
AVweb    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A medical helicopter broke a skid in flight when it hit a cellphone tower, but the crew landed safely at San Antonio International Airport after firefighters built a pile of mattresses to take the place of the missing skid. "[The pilot] knew if he landed, that he would crash," firefighter Kevin Campbell said. More

Florida airport wins environmental project of the year
Historic City News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Chairman Carl Youman announced that Florida's St. Johns County Airport Authority has received the "2012 General Aviation Airport Environmental Project of the Year" award by the Florida Airports Council. The award serves to recognize the Authority's environmental efforts at the Northeast Florida Regional Airport. "The Airport Council, in presenting the award, lauded the Authority's efforts in balancing the needs of the airport with adjacent environmentally sensitive coastal marsh area," said Youman. More

Flying high: Kansas technician receives special honor
The Daily Union    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Marvin Hornbostel of Junction City, Kan., a veteran mechanic with his more than half-century of experience, received the Aviation Maintenance Technician of the Year Award through the Federal Aviation Administration. Marvin has been an Airframe and Powerplant technician for more than 50 years and held inspection authorization for 40 of those years. For Hornbostel, safety is priority when he's working on planes. More

No surprises likely for small unmanned aircraft rule
Aviation International News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The draft FAA rule that will provide a regulatory framework for operating small unmanned aircraft systems of about 55 pounds or less in unrestricted airspace will likely limit those aircraft to flying at a maximum of 400 feet above ground, within visual line of sight of an observer on the ground and during day visual meteorological conditions. The "sense-and-avoid" aspect of keeping safe separation from other aircraft will be provided by a ground observer, said Ted Wierzbanowski, chairman of ASTM International Committee F38, which is developing UAS standards under an agreement with the FAA. More

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