News aggregator

Tower Decisions Delayed Till Friday

AVweb News - Tue, 03/26/2013 - 22:12
The FAA was expected to announce Monday which control towers will close due to federal budget cuts, but now that announcement has been delayed until Friday, March 22. The FAA plans to eliminate funding for as many as 232 towers, most of them run by contractors, but operators of the affected airports were invited to make a case to the FAA why those measures would "adversely affect the national interest." Last Friday, FAA chief operating officer J. David Grizzle said the FAA has "received a very large number of responses" and needs more time to "review comprehensively the submission on behalf of each airport."
Categories: Aviation News

Short Final

AVweb News - Tue, 03/26/2013 - 22:12
My first flying job was as a flight instructor at Hanger One at Millard Airport (MLE) in Nebraska. One evening in 1989, while working with an instrument student in a Cessna 150, I overheard another instructor, Karl Lindholm, familiarizing his student with tower communications at Epply Airfield in Omaha, Nebraska. With calm winds and no other traffic in the area, the tower was allowing them to perform touch-and-goes on different runways. I then overheard the following:Tower:"Cessna 12345, you are cleared for the option on all runways."Karl:"Roger. So are we cleared to run amok?"Tower:"Affirmative. 12345 is cleared to run amok. Advise when you are ready to return to Millard."Gerald Sheehyvia e-mail
Categories: Aviation News

FBO of the Week: HOVA Flight Services (KGIF, Winter Haven, Florida)

AVweb News - Tue, 03/26/2013 - 22:12
>>> AVWEB FUEL FINDERCURRENT PRICE FOR 100LL: $6.06 (down 1¢ from last week)CURRENT PRICE FOR JET A: $5.60 (down 4¢ from last week)Fuel prices provided weekly by AirNav, based on prices from the past 2 weeks. Changes are relative to last week's prices. /TEXT_ONLY-->AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to HOVA Flight Services at Gilbert Airport (KGIF) in Winter Haven, Florida.AVweb reader Christopher Leonard told us how impressed he was with the facilities at staff at HOVA:This is the best FBO I have been to in a long time. The staff is genuinely friendly, and there is a true GA focus here. The restaurant inside the FBO building is excellent and creates a sense of community. The airport is active in flight training and promoting GA. The facilities are beautiful, and fuel prices for such an outstanding new facility are very reasonable. Getting in and out of the airport is a breeze. I would highly recommend this FBO and airport to anyone!Keep those nominations coming. For complete contest rules, click here.AVweb is actively seeking out the best FBOs in the country and another one, submitted by you, will be spotlighted here next Monday!
Categories: Aviation News

Helicopter Prison Escape In Quebec

AVweb News - Tue, 03/26/2013 - 22:12
Police in the Canadian province of Quebec said late Sunday they had arrested three men and had another cornered in connection with the helicopter escape of two of the men from a prison in Saint-Jerome, about 25 miles northwest of Montreal. Police are releasing few details but witness accounts gathered by various media sources suggest two of the men commandeered a helicopter at gunpoint and forced the pilot to hover over the prison yard. "At that point, two of the inmates came out and appeared to attach themselves to cables that were attached to the helicopter," CTV News reporter Derek Conlon reported. "The helicopter then took off with these two men suspended underneath and it flew away, much to the surprise and astonishment of everyone in the area."
Categories: Aviation News

Bizjet Crashes In South Bend Neighborhood (corrected)

AVweb News - Tue, 03/26/2013 - 20:10
Two people were killed when a Beech Premier 1 crashed into three houses in South Bend, Ind., Sunday evening. Reports say the pilot of the aircraft reported mechanical problems before the plane, which was on a flight from Tulsa to South Bend, clipped one house, plowed through a second and came to rest inside a third house. A small boy in one of the houses apparently escaped with a scratch on his head. Two others in the plane and another person on the ground were taken to hospital. The injured reportedly did not have life-threatening injuries.
Categories: Aviation News

New Study Challenges Pilot Shortage

AVweb News - Tue, 03/26/2013 - 19:09
A young upwardly mobile first officer for a major airline says the math doesn't support the notion of a pilot shortage anytime soon. Brant Harrison naturally has a vested interest in the pilots ahead of him on the seniority list moving on and when he heard about studies like one from Boeing suggesting the looming need for 460,000 pilots over the next 20 years he was encouraged. But when Harrison couldn't see any real-world evidence of that shortage he decided to put his college minor in math and business to work and see where all these jobs were supposed to be coming from. In a podcast interview with AVweb, Harrison said the airline-by-airline analysis he's recently released doesn't envision any significant change in the job market until at least the end of this decade. "There are so many pilots for a limited amount of jobs," he said.
Categories: Aviation News

EAA Sacks Homebuilder Manager

AVweb News - Tue, 03/26/2013 - 06:46
There's been more movement in EAA's executive suite. Chad Jensen, EAA's Homebuilder Community Manager, was released from the post on Friday. Jensen confirmed his sacking in an email to AVweb and also on the Van's Air Force forum. He declined comment on Sunday. EAA spokesman Dick Knapinski said Jensen's dismissal was a "personnel situation" that he could not discuss but he added that EAA is talking with him about another role within the organization. "We're hoping to keep him involved somehow," Knapinski said.
Categories: Aviation News

Crew Ignored Orders To Abort Landing

AVweb News - Tue, 03/26/2013 - 05:43
Canada's Transportation Safety Board is considering whether to investigate why the crew of an Air Canada flight ignored two orders from air traffic control to abort a landing at Toronto's Pearson International Airport last week. On March 11, controllers spotted a ground radar return showing an object near the threshold of the runway the flight from Edmonton was about to land on. They twice ordered the go-around but according to the Toronto Star the flight landed anyway without incident. The Star quoted a Transport Canada preliminary report as saying the crew told controllers they thought the go-around order was for "someone else." TSB spokesman Chris Krepski said, "We're assessing that information to determine whether we'll pursue a full investigation." Meanwhile, there will be another investigation on how a driverless van was able to run amok at the airport to start the whole thing.
Categories: Aviation News

AOPA Outlines Leadership Search And Revenues

AVweb News - Mon, 03/25/2013 - 16:20
Current AOPA President and CEO Craig Fuller announced in February that he would resign as soon as a suitable replacement could be found and AOPA chairman Bill Trimble has now described the kind of individual the association is seeking. In an open letter to AOPA members, Trimble said the candidate "must be a passionate outgoing aviator who believes in the critical value GA brings to our country and citizens." That individual must also be experienced in business and "able to articulate and fight for our cause" in the Capitol and nationwide. Trimble notes that the post-9/11 political landscape means AOPA must work with more agencies and defend against more regulatory threats. He noted the rising cost of flying for AOPA members and factors that negatively impact AOPA revenues.
Categories: Aviation News

Flying Camp, For Free

AVweb News - Mon, 03/25/2013 - 01:48
Seventy-year-old Vietnam veteran and CFII Rafael Sierra has created a short summer camp program in Thermal, Calif., that provides select high school students with ground school, one hour of flight training, and a student pilot certificate -- all free. Sierra's Coachella Valley Youth Aviation Education Program selects students on the basis of their essay submissions and their desire to become commercial pilots. He runs the program on financial donations and contributions from like-minded friends and local businesses. Sierra told AVweb, Friday, that last year 57 students "graduated" from the program, and this June 22-29 he will guide another group. Sierra says his model is simple and can be copied successfully across the country.
Categories: Aviation News

Wrights Likely To Retain Title Of "First" In Flight

AVweb News - Sun, 03/24/2013 - 19:36
Famed aircraft authority Jane's All the World's Aircraft says there's convincing evidence that Gustav Whitehead, not the Wright brothers, was the first to achieve powered controlled flight, but critics may be unmoved. In the foreword of the 100th edition of Jane's All the World's Aircraft, Jane's editor Paul Jackson cites the work of Australian aviation historian John Brown. Brown's evidence includes a 1901 article describing Whitehead's sustained flight in a controlled powered aircraft flown from a field in Connecticut, ahead of the Wrights' 1903 flight. Unfortunately, although one picture of a Whitehead flight was reportedly taken, observers who require any direct visual evidence will be disappointed. And Whitehead is not without his detractors.
Categories: Aviation News

Question of the Week: How Will the Sequester Affect Your Flying?

AVweb News - Sun, 03/24/2013 - 19:36
The full impact of the 5% budget cut is becoming known, and GA-oriented airports are bearing a significant portion of the impact. Will the sequester cut your flying?Plus: Last week, we asked AVweb readers if they'd had encounters with drones in the air space; click through to see the breakdown of responses.
Categories: Aviation News

UAV Industry On Its Potential Impact

AVweb News - Sun, 03/24/2013 - 11:32
Integration of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into the U.S. national airspace system is scheduled for 2015 and, according to the UAS industry itself, that will create more than 70,000 jobs and have a broader economic impact of more than $13.6 billion by 2019. The numbers are not from an independent study but from a study done by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International. It details specific job growth forecasts within the first decade following integration. By 2025, the study predicts more than 100,000 new jobs will be created by the new industry in manufacturing, maintenance, operation, sales and support.
Categories: Aviation News

Pilots Shielded From Lasers With Gold?

AVweb News - Sat, 03/23/2013 - 13:28
Laser chemist and researcher Jayan Thomas of the University of Central Florida is working to create eyewear that could use gold to prevent pilots from being temporarily blinded or injured by laser light shot into the cockpit from the ground. Thomas is working in collaboration with other researchers at the Carnegie Mellon Institute in the field of nanotechnology. The team is working to develop a method of impregnating lenses with tiny nano clusters of gold that block out high-intensity laser light while allowing normal visible light to pass through. Last year, the FAA documented more than 3,400 laser incidents that involved aircraft.
Categories: Aviation News

A Chance For Kids To Build Airplanes

AVweb News - Sat, 03/23/2013 - 08:27
Eight high-school students will win a free trip to the Glasair build center in Arlington, Wash., this June, in a new educational competition announced this week by GAMA and Build-A-Plane. The students will participate in Glasair's "Two Weeks to Taxi" program, building two Sportsman airplanes and learning about science, technology, engineering and math. "This competition will give students the opportunity to explore general aviation," said Pete Bunce, GAMA president. "We need to expose young people to the exciting and rewarding careers that await them in the aerospace industry and ensure they have the tools to succeed." High schools who wish to enter the competition should call Katrina Bradshaw of Build-A-Plane at 804-843-3321 immediately, as space in the competition is limited.
Categories: Aviation News

GA Advocates Fight Sequester Impacts

AVweb News - Fri, 03/22/2013 - 15:23
As federal agencies scramble to cope with looming federal budget cuts, GA advocacy groups are pressing to minimize the impact on flight operations. NBAA President Ed Bolen this week asked FAA officials to consider more factors than simply the total number of operations at an airport in deciding which towers will close. For example, Tracon staffers would have to handle IFR traffic into those airports, adding to their workload, Bolen said. The shutdown of 173 control towers (PDF) is expected on April 7, with 16 more to close on Sept. 30. The FAA said it won't take any more industry input on its tower-closure plan after today, and will announce a final decision on Monday, March 18.
Categories: Aviation News

FAA Approves Testing For 787 Fix

AVweb News - Fri, 03/22/2013 - 12:23
The FAA has approved flight testing of what Boeing hopes will be a permanent fix for the lithium ion batteries on its 787 airliners. Two test aircraft have been cleared for flight to test a three-part solution to the issue that has grounded the fleet since the middle of January. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said the aircraft won't carry a passenger until the fix is proven through a "comprehensive series of tests." "We won't allow the plane to return to service unless we're satisfied that the new design ensures the safety of the aircraft and its passengers," LaHood said in a statement. It appears Boeing has opted to fix the existing setup rather than recertify a new system and it involves a reworking of the internal workings of the battery.
Categories: Aviation News

And The Collier Goes To -- Curiosity

AVweb News - Thu, 03/21/2013 - 23:01
The NASA/JPL Mars Science Laboratory/Curiosity Project Team will receive the 2012 Robert J. Collier Trophy, the National Aeronautic Association announced on Tuesday. In choosing the project from a field of seven nominees, the committee cited the"extraordinary achievements of successfully landing Curiosity on Mars, advancing the nation's technological and engineering capabilities, and significantly improving humanity's understanding of ancient Martian habitable environments."
Categories: Aviation News

NTSB Issues Five Safety Alerts For GA Pilots And Mechanics

AVweb News - Thu, 03/21/2013 - 23:01
The NTSB issued five safety alerts on Tuesday that aim to highlight the five most frequent errors that cause general aviation accidents. "We see the same types of accidents over and over again," said NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman. "What's especially tragic is that so many of these accidents are entirely preventable." The alerts remind pilots to develop effective risk-management strategies, pay close attention to maintenance issues and always conduct a careful diagnostic flight after leaving the shop, be vigilant when flying at night or in reduced visibility, and be sure to understand stalls and how to prevent them. One alert, aimed at mechanics, reminds them to carefully follow procedures when conducting inspections and maintaining aircraft.
Categories: Aviation News

Cirrus Resolves Loan Issue, Names New President

AVweb News - Thu, 03/21/2013 - 12:49
Cirrus executives got what they wanted from the city of Grand Forks. N.D., this week -- not only the $950,000 loan they had requested, but also an apology. Last week, city official Doug Christensen raised questions about Cirrus's ability to repay the loan, and William King, vice president for business administration at Cirrus, tried to explain that his concerns arose from a misinterpretation of the company's financial reports. On Monday night, Christensen apologized for how he "conducted the meeting … [and] addressed Mr. King," and the city approved the loan, which will go to buy an autoclave for Cirrus's Grand Forks manufacturing facility. Cirrus also announced this week the appointment of a new president for the company, Patrick Waddick.
Categories: Aviation News