AOPA comments on DHS IG’s GA security report

Craig Fuller, president and CEO of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, commented quickly on the June 18 release of a report by the Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security in which general aviation was declared a “limited and mostly hypothetical” threat to national security. Said Fuller:

“The report issued by Richard L. Skinner, Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security, on general aviation security validates what the AOPA, the general aviation industry, and even the Transportation Security Administration have always contended – that the threat to national security posed by general aviation is ‘limited and mostly hypothetical,’ and that measures taken voluntarily by the industry are ‘positive and effective.’

“The report notes that while the threat is minimal, it is not non-existent and that constant vigilance must be maintained, which is why AOPA coordinated with the TSA to develop and implement the Airport Watch program. We have always done our part and will continue to do so. And we appreciate the recognition that our efforts have been effective.”

GA poses little security threat, IG says

Terrorists are not likely to be interested in the small aircraft found at U.S. general aviation airports, most of which meet recommended security guidelines anyway, according to a report by the inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security published on June 18 in Homeland Security Today and on  The report concluded that general aviation airfields do not represent any security vulnerability.

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Maple seeds, bugs, helos use same tricks to fly

The twirling seeds of maple trees spin like miniature helicopters as they fall to the ground. Because the seeds descend slowly as they swirl, they can be carried aloft by the wind and dispersed over great distances. Just how the seeds manage to fall so slowly, however, has mystified scientists. In research published in the June 12 issue of the journal Science, researchers from Wageningen University in the Netherlands and the California Institute of Technology describe the aerodynamic secret of the enchanting, swirling seeds.

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AZ aviation businesses urge caution on noise issue

A recent federal court decision overturning a ban on corporate jets at Santa Monica, California, could weigh heavily on efforts to control noise and enhance safety at Mesa, Arizona’s Falcon Field, the fourth busiest general aviation airport in the country, The Arizona Republic reported on June 16. The ruling essentially supports the Federal Aviation Administration‘s authority to prohibit cities with FAA agreements from denying airport access to particular types of aircraft in a discriminatory way.

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Aviation High School students earn AirVenture trip

Seventeen of the students at the Wathen Aviation High School near Riverside, California,have set their sights on this year’s EAA AirVenture at Oshkosh. The students, who have dubbed themselves “The Aviators,” came up with a plan to attend AirVenture on their own, without input from the school’s faculty. They overcame one major obstacle when Oshkosh EAA Chapter 252 volunteered sleeping bags, tents and camping space for their use at the fly-in’s Camp Scholler.

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Lucky winners fly ‘Spirit of St. Louis’ replica

Memories, smiles, and new-found respect for Charles Lindbergh’s feat were the experiences of eight lucky people who won a rare opportunity to experience what few others have known: a flight and some stick time in the Experimental Aircraft Association‘s “Spirit of St. Louis” reproduction. The rides were offered in a Lindbergh Foundation on-line auction that took place May 15 through 17.

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