Educating the public — and pilots — about RPAs

Justin Newcomb and Lindsey Helland, Micro Drone Vision Creative Director marketing answer questions during SUN 'n FUN.

Can you imagine ordering an aircraft off the Internet, then learning to fly it by trial and error without knowledge of physics, weather or airspace?

That’s what’s happening when people buy Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA), also referred to as drones or unmanned aerial systems (UAS). These non-commercial RPAs can range in size from under five pounds and about the dimensions as a six pack of soda to ones that weigh more than 50 pounds and are larger than a medium-sized suitcase.

And they are sharing the airspace with full-sized aircraft, often because the owners don’t realize they are breaking the rules. [Read more…]

VFR into IFR kills two

The private pilot had logged 175.7 hours, including18.1 hours in the Cessna 182 prior to the crash. He obtained an abbreviated weather briefing, filed an IFR flight plan and took off on a cross-country flight to Fredericksburg, Texas.

The pilot was accompanied by his wife. The purpose of the flight was to celebrate their wedding anniversary. While en route, an air traffic controller queried the pilot if he had the current weather information for his destination airport. [Read more…]

Slow approach leads to fatal stall

The private pilot of the Cessna 170, 59, had logged 476.2 total flight hours, including 432.1 hours in the Cessna 170, including 3.75 hours in the previous 90 days.

A friend of the pilot said he saw the Cessna 170 enter the traffic pattern at the airport in Auburn, Calif., but didn’t watch the full approach and landing because he was busy putting his airplane back into his hangar. [Read more…]