Vacuum failure, inadequate assistance from ATC proves fatal

Aircraft: Piper Cherokee. Injuries: 1 Fatal. Location: Parkton, N.C. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The private pilot, 63, who had logged more than 1,000 hours, took three tries to get his instrument ticket. He failed the checkride twice because he failed the “air traffic control clearances and procedures,” “instrument approach procedures,” and “emergency operations” areas of operations, with special emphasis on partial panel. After additional training he was able to obtain the instrument rating in August 2003.

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‘The show is back on’

When Dee Hanson, Executive Director of the Alaska Airmen’s Association called on Thursday, she sounded relieved. The first words out of her mouth were, “The show is back on.” The “show” is the annual Great Alaska Aviation Gathering.

Until Thursday, there was doubt about an 18th annual show taking place in the FedEx Express maintenance hangar at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport next May. [Read more…]

FAA funding secured through September 2015

Congress has passed a spending bill that keeps the FAA, and other government agencies, funded through the end of the fiscal year in September 2015, according to a report at AOPA.org. The bill includes $12.4 billion for the FAA, approximately $17 million less than the FAA’s 2014 funding level. It also covers full operation of the air traffic control system, as well as $3.35 billion for the Airport Improvement Program, which funds infrastructure repairs and improvements at airports, including general aviation airports.

Sporty’s launches Cessna 172LITE project

The Cessna 172LITE

Sporty’s has launched its new Cessna 172LITE project, acquiring Cessna 172s and equipping them with basic flight instruments. In fact, the only avionics are a communications radio and a transponder.

A factor not usually considered in attracting new pilot starts is today’s trainers overwhelm beginning students as they stare at dozens of switches, buttons and knobs providing access to unneeded information, Sporty’s officials note. For solo training, the mission is simple: To launch an airplane into the sky and return it safely to the runway, officials say.

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