Collins launches online column


With 20 years of working with Sporty’s under his belt, Dick Collins has turned his attention to writing an online column which will be posted at Collins will post on a variety of aviation topics with the same experience and insight he has shared with the GA community for the past 50 years.

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Homemade runway not ready for landing

This November 2007 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.

Aircraft: Cessna 140. Location: Poultney, Vt. Injuries: None. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The pilot was building a runway on his property and was anxious to try it out. Takeoff was normal but during the landing the right wheel hit a rock and the airplane ground looped to the right, then to the left. The Cessna stopped when it hit a ditch. Both wings were crushed and the engine was pushed back into the cockpit. The FAA inspector said the runway was in no condition to accommodate aircraft.

Probable cause: The pilot’s attempt to land on an unimproved airstrip, resulting in a ground loop/swerve.

For more information:

November 20 issue now available

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The digital edition of the November 20 issue is now available online.

Happy Thanksgiving

The offices of General Aviation News will be closed this weekend in observance of Thanksgiving.

The Pulse will return Monday to your e-mail boxes.

Enjoy the holiday!

Another FAA temporary extension needed

WASHINGTON, D.C. — It looks like the FAA will need another temporary extension.

After more than two years, the Senate continues to drag its feet in reauthorizing the FAA. Even many members of the Senate are fed up with the way that body is ignoring the needs of the FAA. Led by Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), a bipartisan group of 35 senators sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) calling for passage of an FAA reauthorization bill before the end of this year. That is almost one-third of the Senate getting impatient with the leaders for not moving. The House passed reauthorization again last May.

The current temporary extension expires Dec. 31. With what’s on the Congressional plate, it is unlikely reauthorization will come up in December.

Edward Bellande: Pioneering pilot

Bellande in 1916
Bellande in 1916

Bellande in 1916

“Air speed record to Los Angeles broken” was a headline in the Oakland (California) Tribune on Jan. 28, 1932. The story reported that a new coastal speed record for tri-motored planes was made on the Oakland-Los Angeles airway when a Transcontinental and Western airplane made the 360-mile hop in 1 hour and 52 minutes.

The craft, a Ford Tri-Motor, piloted by Eddie Bellande and Erwin Lewis, left the Bay Airdrome in Alameda at 10 a.m. and arrived at the Grand Central Air Terminal in Glendale at 11:52 am. Nine passengers were carried on the record-setting flight.

That was just one of the many highlights of Edward A. (Eddie) Bellande’s career in aviation, which spanned nearly 60 years. His career was as diversified and active as the industry itself during those years.

He participated, with other contemporary pilots like Charles Lindbergh, in some of the benchmark flights and activities of this dynamic era. He flew as a test pilot for Lockheed, piloting the first Lockheed Vega. He checked out Wiley Post in the famed “Winnie Mae” and co-piloted Charles Lindbergh on the first TWA transcontinental run in 1929. In addition, he either organized or directed some of the aviation industry’s largest business organizations.

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Airparks target of TTF crackdown

FAA officials are clarifying a recent guidance letter on Through The Fence operations, according to a post at the Airport Business blog, which notes that the primary focus of the crackdown is resident developments.

The blog quotes Randall Fiertz, director of airport compliance and field operations at the FAA, as saying:

“There are a couple of reasons why we don’t like through-the-fence residential. One is, we’ve had cases where we’ve seen that a through-the-fence agreement undermines the future capacity capability of the airport, where certain rights have been given in perpetuity or for very long periods of time. It may be a taxiway for the through-the-fence agreement that blocks airport development. We’ve seen residential hangars go up in places where it actually blocked the line of sight from the tower.

“The other problem is, if an airport operator allows residential through-the-fence, we’re concerned that it undermines their future capability of restricting residential development next to the airport. If the airport gives the OK for one type of residential — and we understand why people in aviation might want that — if someone else then wants to build a development on the other side of the airport, it undermines the ability to say ‘no’.”

Read the full blog here.

Have a story about flying in Canada’s North? Add it to Ice Pilots website


Reality television’s latest stars are the people and planes of Buffalo Airways, featured in the new History Television series, Ice Pilots NWT. Bringing a new dimension to reality television, the Ice Pilots NWT website, introduces an interactive story map to which visitors can upload personal stories about flying in Canada’s North.

In addition to these real-life dramas, tall tales, and vivid memories of veterans of high arctic aviation, the Ice Pilots story map features a real-time map display of the current position and flight trail of Buffalo’s working fleet of vintage DC-3s, DC-4s, and C46s. Real time geo-positioning data is being fed to the Ice Pilots story map by Latitude Technologies Web Sentinel data service.

While Buffalo’s airplanes may be vintage, the company’s fleet is outfitted with state-of-the-art flight following, flight data transmission, and satellite telephone systems supplied and supported by Latitude Technologies.

Ice Pilots NWT airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on History Television.