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  • The FAA and Chinese regulators signed an implementation agreement for the U.S.–China Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement (BASA) late last week. Although the two countries signed BASA in 2005, generally agreeing to facilitate mutual acceptance of parts and aircraft certified by the other, it has taken 12 years for the countries to get to agreement on a concrete implementation plan.

  • As I approached Sarasota Airport on the downwind there was a Cessna 172 ahead of me who asked the tower clearance for landing … Tower: State your intentions.” … The pilot said that he planned to have dinner with his brother-in-law that evening … Tower:"Roger, cleared to land."

  • The FAA wants to fine the now-shuttered NavWorx $3.7 million for allegedly altering its ADS-B transmitters to hide the fact that they used a non-compliant GPS chip.

  • Transport Canada might leave all pilot proficiency checks on airline pilots up to the airlines themselves, according to documents obtained by the union representing government inspection pilots.

  • The airspeed indicator in the P-51D flown by former Sikorsky President Jeff Pino was frozen at 530 knots when investigators examined the wreckage from the crash that killed Pino and his friend Nicholas Tramontano near Maricopa, AZ in February of 2016.

  • AOPA, almost a year into their program to target FBOs charging what it views as “egregious” fuel prices and fees, is starting to declare victory against some of the FBOs on the most wanted list. OK3 Air, at Heber City Airport, Utah, had been a favorite AOPA target after the owner admitted he kept prices high because he didn’t want more aircraft using the airport. The non-towered field is the closest public airport to Park City, a ski destination and, in January, home of the Sundance Film Festival, which reliably brings in many of the biggest names in Hollywood.

  • While accustomed to runway incursions by the local fauna, the bearded seal seeking a moment of repose on Runway 7/25 at Utqiagvik’s Wiley Post-Will Rogers Memorial Airport was a first for airport personnel. Meadow Bailey, communications director for the Alaska Department of Transportation, says heavy storms had recently come through the area, which perhaps drove the marine mammal to the relative warmth of the asphalt runway.

  • NASA researchers are testing new technologies that should lead to wing designs that are lighter, more efficient, quieter and safer than today’s wings, the agency said this week. The Passive Aeroelastic Tailored, or PAT, wing is expected to arrive later this year at NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center in California. The uniquely designed composite wing is more flexible than conventional wings, said Larry Hudson, chief test engineer at Armstrong Flight Loads Laboratory.

  • Airlander, the British company that has been test-flying a hybrid lighter-than-air ship intended for remote cargo operations, said this week they are now working to develop a tourism version of the unique aircraft. The company said they have partnered with Henry Cookson Adventures to launch a trial “expeditionary journey” next year as a sort of shakedown cruise to try the airship out in the luxury and adventure-travel market.

  • Emirates Airline and a consortium of industry partners have launched an effort to build the “world’s first sector-wide [Aviation] Experimental (X) Lab to co-create the next era of human transportation,” the airline announced on Wednesday. The Aviation X-Lab, based at a Dubai think tank called Area 2071, will bring together airlines, manufacturers, engineers, academics and startups under a single roof to envision a “new transportation paradigm,” the airline said.

  • The integration of drones into the National Airspace System will accelerate with a pilot program directed by the FAA, the Transportation Department announced on Wednesday. The initiative will implement a directive signed by President Donald Trump this week that aims to develop a regulatory framework to allow more complex low-altitude operations; balance local and national interests; improve communications with local, state and tribal jurisdictions; address security and privacy risks; and accelerate the approval of operations that currently require special authorizations.

  • Flight-path changes implemented due to NextGen have resulted in noise complaints in neighborhoods across the country, but due to the way the NextGen technology works, it may be difficult to address those conflicts, according to an Associated Press story published this week. David Grizzle, a former FAA chief operating officer, said it’s not possible to redesign procedures to fix the problems without losing out on NextGen’s advantages.

  • One Aviation, the company that includes both Eclipse Aviation and Kestrel, announced layoffs late last week. The job cuts reflect the phaseout of production for the EA550 twinjet, which is being replaced by the new EA700 “Project Canada” aircraft, the company said in a statement. “As we transition through the development stages of the highly anticipated EA700 series we made the very difficult, yet necessary, decision to reduce our workforce,” said CEO Alan Klapmeier.

  • Air Canada got a lot of publicity last summer after an A320 nearly landed on a taxiway full of airplanes, instead of the runway, at San Francisco International Airport, and this week the airline is back in the news for another event at the same field. On tower audio from about 9:30 Sunday night, a controller can be heard repeatedly telling an Air Canada A320 crew to go around, and getting only silence. A tower supervisor used a flashing red light gun to try to alert the crew to abort the landing. After about two minutes, the crew responded, saying they had radio trouble.

  • After an initial Pentagon announcement on Friday that the Air Force would recall about 1,000 retired pilots, followed rapidly by a disavowal of any recalls by the Air Force over the weekend, the service now says the purpose of the amended executive order was to increase the number of pilots who may be voluntarily returned to service.

  • In the wake of the NTSB report on the deadly hot air balloon crash at Lockhard, Texas, a bipartisan group of three Texas Congressmen and Texas Senator Ted Cruz have introduced bills in both chambers to require medical certificates for operators of hot air balloons. Pilots of hot air balloons are not currently required to have a medical certificate, even at the commercial level.

  • The U.S. Air Force said on Sunday there are no plans to use the powers created by President Donald Trump last week to force the recall of retired pilots.

  • A few years ago I was returning to KHLN after an evening flight. It was a beautiful night and well into dusk and not another voice on the radio when I made my call into HLN … N3969B:  HLN tower cub 3969B, eight miles Northeast, inbound landing Victor … HLN tower:  cub 69B, not in sight, report three-mile right base runway 27 … N3969B:  OK, 69B, we'll call you three-mile right base 27,   but I bet I'm about the only light on out here on this quiet night … HLN tower:  Ah, don't be so sure. I cleared Venus to land just the other night … The Hln tower controller was Dave Mason who recently retired and now has a FAA waypoint named for him.

  • A New Zealand general aviation manufacturer is facing heavy fines and its executives prison sentences for violating international trade sanctions against North Korea.

  • A leaking oxygen hose fitting likely led to the fatal crash of a turbonormalized Mooney M20 Acclaim off the coast of Atlantic City on Sept. 10, 2015.

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