Creating an unmanned aircraft that can sense-and-avoid

University of North Dakota electrical engineer Naima Kaabouch, second from right, and UND mechanical engineer William Semke, second from left, work with students on a UAS unit in the UAS lab on campus.

By JUAN MIGUEL PEDRAZA, Office of University Relations, University of North Dakota

It looks easy to fly unmanned aircraft: Launch, fly, land. But there’s lots more to keeping an Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) safely aloft than toggling controls from the ground.

“Among the major technical challenges facing the UAS industry is the sense-and-avoid system aboard the aircraft,” said Naima Kaabouch, associate professor of electrical engineering at the University of North Dakota College of Engineering and Mines and an expert in sense-and-avoid electronics and software.

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Flying coast to coast in a homebuilt



Many people dream of making the trip of a lifetime, but few make the dream a reality. Not so for Albert and Sharon Gardner, a Yuma, Ariz., couple who flew coast to coast in their RV-10. Last summer, the couple flew nearly 12,000 miles, landing in 100 cities in 37 states.

The trip was the culmination of a longtime desire that Albert had to land his airplane in every contiguous state of the Union. Prior to this trip, he had landed his airplane in every state west of the Mississippi.

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My first Oshkosh


“Silver and white Cirrus, right side of the runway.” As I taxied my aircraft through the chaos at Wittman Regional Airport (OSH) on the last day of AirVenture, it was hard to believe that only one week ago I had arrived at the big show for the first time.

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If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again

With the lack of general aviation maintenance representation in the alphabet soup of Washington, D.C., the Aircraft Electronics Association requested that we reprint the following information from Ric Peri, vice president, Government & Industry Affairs, to help the GA maintenance shops better understand what the FAA is proposing and how it will affect their businesses:

The author of this quote, William Hickson, was a 19th century British educational writer. Yet, living in the present, perhaps the famous quote from W.C. Fields is more appropriate — “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There’s no use being a damn fool about it.”

After 20 years of trying and three changes in 10 years, the FAA’s latest proposal for Part 145 repair station ratings, while well intended, is simply ill-timed, too costly, and takes dead aim at the avionics industry. But, the FAA keeps trying — some of it is good, some bad and some is simply a cheap shell game.

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Ferry intriguing

Michael Magnell after ferrying a B737-200 to Kabul from Victorville, Calif., for a Russian company. He's also delivered general aviation aircraft to Kabul.


During the last four years I have ferried 35 planes from various places in the United States just to Brazil alone. Most of the planes were Cessna 210s, 206s, Caravans, and Barons, but number 35, my most recent, turned out to be not only the exception, but also quite an adventure. Number 35 was a 1980 C152 and the smallest and slowest plane I have ever ferried on such a long route. It will be used by the new owner to teach his young son to fly. The C152 is the best little trainer every built, in my opinion. [Read more…]

Keeping the spirit of flight alive


Story and Photos By JEAN-PIERRE BONIN

I like to call myself an aviation freak.

Though I never became a pilot, I have been an aviation lover since I was a teenager, but it was not until some decades later that I stumbled into general aviation. In 2000, a neighbor began building a Ultravia Pelican Sport 600 kit plane in his garage and that was the start of a whole new era for me.

From an aircraft photographer, attempting, like others, to upload some pictures to websites like, I slowly began to widen my interest (and contacts), making me a more complete aviation photographer. Through the last 10 years or so, I have witnessed the true Spirit of Flight as pilots, owners, mechanics and just “plane” volunteers have shared their passion with me.

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Unmanned Aircraft Systems and the GA pilot



Unmanned aircraft systems — UAS — are now in the public lexicon.

Everybody’s heard of UAS, but not everyone knows what they’re all about. That state of affairs underpins some widespread misconceptions about what UAS are, who uses them, and how they’ll affect the National Airspace.

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First Steam Plant Fly-In a success

Civil Air Patrol Gallatin Cadet Squadron receives a briefing on the Eurocopter EC 135 used by Vanderbilt University Medical Center LifeFlight.


The Sumner County Regional Airport, in Gallatin, Tennessee, hosted the first-ever Tennessee Steam Plant Fly-In Saturday, June 23. Organized by EAA Chapter 1343 and GTO Aviation, Inc., the inaugural fly-in featured vendors, information sessions, flight simulators, food, music, and more than 200 airplanes. Aviators from across the southeast and as far as Las Vegas  flew in to help kick off what EAA Chapter 1343 Vice President Len Assante hopes will be an annual success.

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The closing of Mattituck


LETTER TO THE EDITOR: I believe it was in 2003 that my brother told me about a program called the Mattituck Engine Workshop sponsored, as you can guess, by Teledyne Mattituck Services. It was free and all you had to do was to get there. The program took a group of people, put them in a room with a bunch of parts and a Mattituck technician, spend a few hours together and at the end of the day, we took a group photo of all us standing behind the completely assembled engine like proud parents.

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Denny Hauge, Burt Rutan and Don Pischner


My day with Denny Hague: He’s a former Air Force Officer, aviator, fighter pilot, and hero with an outstanding career who has participated in several astounding exploits. During Vietnam, he flew 189 combat missions. He and two fellow airmen flew cover for military pilot Bernie Fisher, who’s life-saving bravery earned him the Air Force Medal of Honor.

It’s been my good fortune to have maintained a friendship with Denny since Coeur d’Alene High School days in the 1950s. Now entering a new era of life, Denny was recently diagnosed with beginning stages of Alzheimer’s. Still, he recalls earlier times reasonably well.

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