FAA reauthorization struggles begin

WASHINGTON, D.C. — FAA reauthorization is up for renewal next September and an indication of upcoming struggles over it was highlighted in a House of Representatives committee hearing in late November.

A major disagreement will be over air traffic control (ATC). The airline industry is urging swift action to implement the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen), a satellite-based system to replace the ground stations that requires aircraft owners to equip with Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) equipment. Many in general aviation consider the cost too high for the ADS-B equipment and are concerned about its reliability.

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Endangered sea turtles need GA transport

AVweb is reporting that more than 400 sea turtles stranded along beaches on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, are in need of transport to aquariums where they can be cared for. The story quotes Leslie Weinstein, a board member for the Archie Carr Center for Sea Turtle Research at the University of Florida, who noted that several kinds of migratory turtles, which spend the summer in New England waters but head south in winter, have been driven ashore by a sudden drop in water temperature and strong onshore winds. Weinstein is coordinating the aviation effort, working with state and federal officials to secure transport from the Air National Guard, and also working with Pilots N Paws and other volunteer groups to solicit help from general aviation pilots. Read the full story here.

TBM Owners and Pilots Association convention breaks records

TBM

The TBM Owners and Pilots Association (TBMOPA) report that the 2014 annual TBMOPA convention broke another attendance record with the presence of more than 100 TBM 700s and TBM 850s, along with several brand-new TBM 900s.

Attracting almost a quarter of the entire TBM fleet in North America, this year’s convention, held Oct. 29-Nov. 1 at Lakefront Airport in New Orleans, registered an increase in attendance of 3% from last year, officials note.

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AIAA Science and Technology Forum set for Kissimmee

The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) will hold its Science and Technology Forum and Exposition 2015 (AIAA SciTech 2015), Jan. 5-9 at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center in Kissimmee, Florida.

AIAA SciTech 2015, which combines 11 aerospace conferences under one roof, will draw registrants from nearly every field in the aerospace community, according to AIAA officials.

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Solo cross country ends badly

Aircraft: Cessna 150. Injuries: None. Location: Red Oak, Iowa. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The student pilot was on the third leg of a VFR solo cross-country flight. He was on approach to an airport where he planned to do a touch and go, then return to his initial departure airport.

During his first and second approaches for the touch and go he executed go-arounds due to what he described as turbulence when the airplane came into ground effect.

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Ho, ho, ho, let’s go

Here’s a pertinent and timely question for you to ponder. What does general aviation have in common with the Christmas shopping season? The answer is unfortunately both depressing and obvious — Nothing.

Let’s set about changing that. You and me. Right now. Today.

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Putting aviation (and maybe you, too) in the movies

Jason Schappert

If you’ve ever fantasized about being a movie producer, or even starring in a feature length motion picture, this may be your chance.

“Flying Again is a film that any aviation enthusiast would enjoy,” says CFI, small business owner, and independent filmmaker Jason Schappert.

The film is a project of borne of Schappert’s love of flight and his love of instructing. Perhaps more than anyone in the industry, Schappert and his online ground school business, MzeroA, have adapted to the Internet and instructional videos in a big way. He’s engaging, enthusiastic, and driven. And he needs your help.

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25° nose down in Fat Albert

Here's what a 24-degrees nose down approach to landing looks like from the cockpit.
Here's what a 24-degrees nose down approach to landing looks like from the cockpit.

Here’s what a 25-degrees nose down approach to landing looks like from the cockpit.

In April of this year, I was lucky enough to be chosen to ride with the U.S. Navy Blue Angels support ship, a C-130 named Fat Albert. Not only did I get to ride in Fat Albert, I got one of the coveted cockpit jumpseats. Watching the crew perform… er, I mean fly, Fat Albert was a treat I’ll not soon forget. The above image is the view out the cockpit window on a 25° nose down approach to landing. If the photo isn’t enough, you can watch (or re-watch) the video below. [Read more…]