What role does radio-controlled flying have in GA?

At the Arlington Fly-In in July I bought a Blade Scout radio-controlled (RC) helicopter. It’s a beginner-level RC. It’s also an absolute blast to fly.

Horizon Hobby was the exhibitor. “We are trying to reach new markets, that’s why we are here in Arlington,” said Kim Payne from Horizon Hobby. “We’ll be at AirVenture as well.” Both displays were packed with people every time I happened by.

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UAS operation in the homeland

“According to a recent national poll conducted by Monmouth University in New Jersey, nearly two-thirds of Americans support the use of unmanned aircraft [systems] (UAS) to protect the U.S. borders and control illegal immigration. Eighty percent of Americans support the use of unmanned aircraft to help in search and rescue missions.”

The above is included in Michael Toscano’s prepared testimony for the House Committee on Homeland Security hearing set for July 19, 2012. Toscano is the president and CEO of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI).

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The search is on for Texas Airplane #21

John Bradberry from Sulphur Springs, Texas sent me an email recently with a very specific request. I’m hoping someone from our readership can assist him.

“On Thursday, May 19, 1938, Texaco Airplane #21 piloted by Roy Harding landed at six towns in Northeast Texas, picked up mail pouches at each stop, and returned to Dallas Love Field in observance of National Airmail Week.  One of those towns was Sulphur Springs.  The property on which Texaco Airplane #21 landed in Sulphur Springs eventually became the Sulphur Springs Municipal Airport.  [Read more…]

A sweet deal

SR22T Platinum 04

Psst. Hey buddy…you wanna buy a new Cirrus? I’ll make you a sweet deal…

Jamail Larkins and his team at Ascension Air are anything but shady characters, but they will make you a sweet deal on a 2012 Cirrus SR22T GTS. How does $9,440 down and $2,043.18 a month grab you?

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Shades of grey

Flight Design CTLS

General Aviation News columnist Dan Johnson recently wrote about LSAs vs. Cessna 150s. The post discusses the pros and cons of a new Light-Sport Aircraft versus the venerable Cessna 150. Dan was a long-time 150 owner and is “the man” when it comes to new LSAs, so he’s as much an expert on both — at the same time — that any of us could hope to find.

Suffice it to say, neither a brand-new LSA or a 30-year-old 150 is the perfect airplane for everyone. The comments quickly evolved into most “cost-effective” and most “expensive” arguments. Very black and white, which makes no sense to me.

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Rich Suicidal Idiots

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GUEST EDITORIAL By THOMAS P. TURNER

Rich, suicidal idiots — that’s what most people think about general aviation pilots. In many ways we bring these perceptions on ourselves. If we are to improve the public’s opinion of personal aviation, these are the stereotypes we need to address and, if possible, refute.

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Do something

We donated a gift subscription to the Friends of Oceano Airport (FOA) for their May 12 Oceano Airport Celebration silent auction. In today’s mail I received a thank you letter from FOA organizers, Mitch Latting and Jolie Lucas. From the letter, “we’ve gathered funds which will help us continue to promote and protect this ‘little slice of paradise’ California beach airport, L52.” With funds from the auction and other fundraisers, FOA has plans to…  [Read more…]

Drones getting easier to fly in U.S.

A May 31 story by Sarah Childress on the Frontline website is titled, “It’s Getting Easier to Fly Drones in the U.S.” The story links to a few videos posted by the Mesa (Arizona) County Sheriff’s Office showing how they use their UAS. Childress also links to the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s “Lists of Drone Certificates” which are both mapped and in list form. While this story and link focuses primarily on privacy implications (and there are many), we must not forget the safety implications of UAS operating in U.S. Airspace.