Next week, the 110th anniversary of the Wright brothers' successful powered flight at Kitty Hawk, N.C., will be celebrated with several events at the Wright Brothers National Memorial. The First Flight Society is hosting a public ceremony on Tuesday, from 8:30 a.m. until noon, with a band concert, a flyover of military and civilian aircraft, and various speeches and tributes. The Society also is hosting a dinner on Monday night and a luncheon on Tuesday, which are open to the public, but reservations are required.
In preparation for a planned round-the-world flight in 2015, the builders of Solar Impulse, the world's largest solar-powered electric airplane, will conduct a 72-hour simulation next week, during which pilot Bertrand Piccard will experiment with using self-hypnosis as a means to fight fatigue. "I hope it will work," he said. During the 2015 flight, a solo pilot will need to stay airborne for up to five days and nights nonstop, to cross the Pacific Ocean. The simulator cockpit is identical to the real one, with a size of just 9 feet x 5 feet x 3 feet.
At least two snowy owls were shot and killed by airport employees in New York last week, after owls reportedly struck five airplanes in the New York/New Jersey region. News of the killings brought swift protests from local birdwatchers. The New York agency that manages the airports now says they will instead work with the state's environmental agency to capture and relocate the birds. The large white owls, which can have a wingspan up to 4.5 feet, have been unusually abundant in the northern U.S. this winter. They are protected under federal law, but airports can get permission to kill them if they pose a hazard. The owls also have caused problems at Boston's Logan Airport, where the Audubon Society has been working to trap and relocate the birds.
Representatives in the house Wednesday introduced legislation that would expand the use of a driver's license as an acceptable qualifying medical standard for pilots flying light certificated GA aircraft. The General Aviation Pilot Protection Act would set the driver's license as the medical requirement for noncommercial VFR flights in aircraft with no more than six seats and weighing 6,000 pounds, or less. As written the proposal would cover most (nearly all) single-engine aircraft, and also some twins -- the Beech Baron 55 and 58, and Cessna 310, for example. But there are other conditions.
The Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA) Wednesday joined the NTSB, AOPA, EAA, the National Air Transport Association and others in requesting that the FAA reconsider proposed rulemaking regarding ECi cylinders used in Continental engines. ARSA wrote in electronic comments submitted to the FAA that the agency "disregarded the most basic requirements for promulgating a regulation," by failing to comply with its own internal guidance policies. And "As a matter of law, the FAA cannot establish that the cylinders should be subject to this regulatory action." The group's comments did not stop there and accused the FAA of acting in a threatening manner.
The pilot in the left seat of Asiana Flight 214 that crashed in San Francisco in July told the NTSB he didn't feel comfortable flying a visual approach on that cloudless, calm day, nor did he feel well enough trained to operate the Boeing 777's automatic flight systems. The NTSB held a public hearing Wednesday on its investigation of the landing accident, which resulted in three deaths and 182 injuries.
After an Air Wisconsin pilot was fired from his job and boarded a commercial flight to go home, his former employers alerted the TSA that he might be armed and mentally unstable, launching a legal dispute that made it to the Supreme Court this week. William Hoeper was fired in 2004 after he failed several simulator tests. Both sides agree he was upset, yelled at the instructor, and said he would complain to his union about unfair treatment. After dropping him off at the airport to catch a United flight, Air Wisconsin officials grew concerned and called the TSA. Hoeper was taken off his flight and detained. A Colorado court ruled in Hoeper's favor, but the airline appealed to the Supreme Court, claiming it should have legal immunity if it raises what it believes to be legitimate air-safety concerns, even if they turn out to be false.
Last year, the showcase military teams were grounded by federal budget problems, but for the 2014 airshow season, both the USAF Thunderbirds and the Navy's Blue Angels are back in full force. The Thunderbirds released their full schedule last week at the International Council of Air Shows annual conference, and the Blue Angels also announced an updated and revised schedule. The Thunderbirds will start their year on Jan. 1, with a flyover at the Tournament of Roses parade in Pasadena, Calif. After that, they will fly at 34 airshows around the country, from February through November, including a first-ever appearance at EAA AirVenture.
"Education of the many would have far greater public health impact than regulation of the few," the Civil Aviation Medical Association, which represents FAA aviation medical examiners, said in a recent letter to the FAA, regarding its proposed sleep-apnea policy. The letter, posted online Tuesday by EAA, objects to the FAA's proposal that AMEs should send pilot applicants to a sleep specialist if they exceed a certain body-mass index. "No scientific body or evidence has demonstrated that undiagnosed obesity or OSA (obstructive sleep apnea) has compromised aviation safety," wrote Dr. Mark Eidson, CAMA president.
Bell Helicopter has announced it will build its new Short Light Single helicopter at Lafayette Regional Airport in Louisiana. The SLS is a restart of the iconic JetRanger line, an updated five-seat turbine single that will include modern technology standard on bigger airframes.
Next week, the 110th anniversary of the Wright brothers' successful powered flight at Kitty Hawk, N.C., will be celebrated with several events at the Wright Brothers National Memorial. The First Fligh...
In preparation for a planned round-the-world flight in 2015, the builders of Solar Impulse, the world's largest solar-powered electric airplane, will conduct a 72-hour simulation next week, during whi...
At least two snowy owls were shot and killed by airport employees in New York last week, after owls reportedly struck five airplanes in the New York/New Jersey region. News of the killings brought swi...
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