AVweb Flash

  • Floyd Carter Sr., one of the last Tuskegee Airmen, decorated veteran of three wars and NYPD officer, died Thursday, March 8, 2018. He was 95. Carter was given the Congressional Gold Medal by President Bush for breaking the color barrier in Tuskegee. Carter rose to the rank of Air Force lieutenant colonel years after joining the group of African-American pilots at Tuskegee University.

  • The unblinking eye of a video camera caught the dramatic crash landing of a Cessna 210N at Florida’s Kissimmee Airport this week. Although the airplane touched down on a narrow, tree-lined Martin Luther King Boulevard Tuesday afternoon, neither the pilot nor his passenger were seriously injured, according to Kissimmee police.

  • Two complaints about FBO pricing and practices that AOPA filed with the FAA last August have completed the “reply and response” phase and now will be studied by the FAA, AOPA said on Wednesday. The complaints address “egregious” fees and restricted airport access imposed by FBOs at Asheville Regional Airport, in North Carolina, and at Key West International Airport, in Florida. AOPA believes those airports and FBOs have failed to fulfill federal grant obligations to protect the airport for public use.

  • Boeing has produced 10,000 copies of the 737, setting a world record for the most-produced model of a commercial jet aircraft ever, the company said this week. Guinness World Records has certified the record. The aircraft first flew in 1967, and has been continuously revised and updated. It is operated by more than 500 airlines, and flies to destinations in 190 countries.

  • Owners of vintage Cessna Skyhawks now have another option for glass upgrades and an autopilot. Dynon Avionics announced today that the FAA gave the SkyView HDX integrated avionics suite the nod for aftermarket installations in a wide variety of 172 models, which also includes removing the primary flight instruments and the vacuum pump.

  • An effort to change the current pilot certification rules through legislation has stalled, but an “administrative fix” could still come to pass, according to a report this week in Roll Call, a Capitol Hill news site. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, said he will drop a provision about pilot training from the FAA authorization bill, which is expected to be addressed this summer.

  • With so many companies working on electric-powered VTOLs and other airplanes of the future, it may seem odd that NASA is experimenting with what is essentially a big RC model of a Cub. Yet the recent tests conducted at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in California are “leading a critical phase for UAS integration into the National Airspace System, by educating engineers and validating key technologies that will directly apply to the next generation of large-scale unmanned vehicles,” NASA said.

  • Effective with this week’s editions, longtime aviation journalist and editor Joy Finnegan joins the staff as editor-in-chief of AVweb. Prior to coming aboard, Finnegan has been—and will remain—editor of Aviation Maintenance Magazine and she served as editor at Rotor & Wing Magazine. She also has experience in the industry in contract administration, flight training and airline and charter flying.

  • The initial wind-tunnel testing of the new twin-engine Cessna SkyCourier turboprop is now complete, Textron announced on Tuesday. Engineers will analyze the results from the tests to develop performance and aerodynamic characteristics and structural load data. “We’re making outstanding progress in the development of this clean-sheet aircraft and are eager to continue defining the details that will allow us to start creating tools and parts,” said Brad Thress, senior vice president for engineering.

  • Kitty Hawk, the California company that has been working on a “flying car” funded by Alphabet CEO Larry Page, has released a video of its newest autonomous VTOL prototype, which is now flying in New Zealand. The electric-powered aircraft, dubbed “Cora,” is driven by 12 rotors mounted fore and aft of the wing, plus a propeller at the tail. After taking off vertically, it transitions to horizontal flight. Each of the rotors can operate independently, the company says, for redundant safety, and the aircraft will also be equipped with a ballistic parachute.

  • The pilot of a helicopter that autorotated into New York's East River Sunday evening told investigators that one of the passenger's bags may have inadvertently bumped the emergency fuel shutoff. The AS350 reported engine failure before it autorotated into the river, appearing to touch down on skid-mounted floats. The pilot, 33-year-old Richard Vance, was the only survivor. Five passengers who had booked the aircraft for a photo flight were killed in the mishap.

  • Voom, the urban helicopter service operated by Airbus, now has launched operations at a second site, Mexico City. Voom has been flying in Sao Paulo, Brazil, since last April. “We couldn’t be more excited to bring an urgently needed, alternative transportation option to Mexico City,” said Uma Subramanian, CEO of Voom. Mexico City was chosen because it’s one of the most congested cities in the world, with a population of 23.9 million, and significant helicopter infrastructure is already in place, the company said.

  • A bipartisan bill introduced in the Senate last week would provide $5 million each year from 2019 through 2023 to expand programs and apprenticeships that would train workers for careers in aviation maintenance. “Our aviation industry needs skilled workers, and the aviation-maintenance industry provides high-paying, high-skilled jobs across the country,” said Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., one of the sponsors of the bill. Seventeen aviation advocacy groups signed a letter in support of the bill, including AOPA, GAMA and NATA.

  • Five people were killed after a tour helicopter autorotated into New York's East River Sunday evening and turned over after touching down on the water. News reports said the pilot was the sole survivor of the accident. Prior to touching down on the water on inflatable skid floats, the pilot had reported engine trouble to ATC. CNN published dramatic footage and ATC audio of the mishap early Monday morning.

  • A new report this month from the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) says the Federal Aviation Administration lacked effective management controls over the “project level agreements (PLAs)—an internal control mechanism for documenting the agreed-upon work and managing project execution” for the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen). This program was implemented to meet the FAA’s goals of modernizing the National Airspace System.

  • Red Bull Air Race selected the VectorNav VN-300 Dual Antenna GNSS-Aided Inertial Navigation System (INS) as the primary source of aircraft telemetry data for the Master Class raceplanes participating in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship. The February inaugural event of the 2018 season saw the VN-300 used for the first time in all 14 aircraft to provide real-time telemetry data used for judging, in-race simulation and virtual reality applications. The first stop on the circuit was Abu Dhabi.

  • In its 20th annual "Turbine-Powered Civil Helicopter Purchase Outlook," released in late February 2018, Honeywell forecasts 4,000 to 4,200 new civilian-use helicopters will be delivered from 2018 to 2022. Honeywell says they feel a better long-term global economic outlook this year means customers are holding firm in their intentions to invest in new helicopter purchases.

  • AOPA has developed a curriculum for ninth-grade students that uses aviation to teach science, technology, engineering and math, and is offering it free to schoolteachers. Teachers will be introduced to the program through a professional development workshop offered June 26 to 28, which can be attended at AOPA headquarters in Frederick, Maryland, or taken online. The course has been tested with more than 700 students in nearly 30 schools over the last year, AOPA says.

  • Santa Barbara Municipal Airport has intersecting runways. Runway 7/25 handles all of the airlines and most private jets while the parallel 15/33 pair is for private piston aircraft—long as the normal westerly winds cooperate.

  • The White House plans to request that law enforcement and security agencies be permitted to track and shoot down civilian drones, according to endgadget, a technology site.

Pages