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.
I was sitting in the terminal building in Orlando on my way home from SUN ’n FUN when my cell phone rang.
“Meg, this is Peggy Boyd…” she began. Peggy is the wife of Dean Boyd, my friend and aviation mentor of some 20 years. The tone of her voice told me before she got the words out. Dean had passed away a few days earlier from a cardiac event. He was 82 years old.
LeRoy Brown should hate me, but he doesn’t. He should at least be mad at me, but he isn’t — and for that I’m eternally grateful.
You see, I met LeRoy in the worst of circumstances for an editor. We had published a story from a freelancer that told of the long-ago exploits of a pilot and his B-17. Great story — problem was the guy who told it was the wrong guy. He was giving himself credit for things LeRoy had done. So understandably, LeRoy was upset when he called our offices.
We were able to smooth things over a bit — but it still galls LeRoy to this day that that man would lie so much — but remarkably, he has not only forgiven me, he has become my friend.
If you plan to fly anywhere near Thurmont, Maryland (May 18-19) or Chicago (May 19-21) be very careful. Thurmont is playing host to a G-8 Summit while a NATO Summit will be Chicago. Flight Advisory’s for Thurmont and Chicago events have been posted to the FAA website.
The language in these advisories are very strong. “The restrictions are designed to provide a safe and secure environment for the event” and “The United States Government may use deadly force against the airborne aircraft, if it is determined that the aircraft poses an imminent security threat.”
Our choices can lead us to amazing destinations…or nowhere.
“This kind of flying,” was Bill Langdon’s answer to my asking, “What kind of flying do you mostly do?”
We’d just lifted off from the back country mountain strip at the Minam River Lodge en route to nearby Joseph, Oregon, with a load of trash. [You can read about the Minam Airlift here.]
The truth is out there… somewhere.
Last week, a proposed amendment to the House’s National Defense Authorization Act caused a bit of a firestorm. The proposed amendment from Rep. Michael Turner (R-Ohio) would “bar the Department of Defense from loaning or gifting any U.S. military aircraft or parts to any entity except those that would put the aircraft on static display, such as in a museum,” says an EAA story posted on April 18.
Leave it up to the good folks in at San Antonio-based ECi to write a post for their website titled, “Cage Fighting for Cylinders“. In the post, ECi’s Tim Moreland acknowledges that “ECi has gotten a black eye for some cylinder failures so we went to the gym to toughen up.” Using the growing popularity of Mixed Martial Art (MMA) as the metaphor for the work ECi has put into their Titan cylinders makes for clever reading.
At a closing day media briefing, Sun ’n Fun president John ‘Lites’ Leenhouts said airshow performers donated $250,000 worth of performances to the fly-in this year. Lites was a few minutes late to the media briefing because he was thanking performers at the airshow safety briefing. “When a group donates $250,000 of services,” Lites said, “I think it is important to say thank you.”
I wonder if the insurance industry will accept a “driver’s license” medical should the AOPA/EAA petition for exemption of a 3rd class medical succeed. After all, just because the FAA says I don’t need a medical to operate a Cessna 172, an underwriter doesn’t have to insure me without one. It’s their money — but my butt — on the line.