GAO study highlights realities of pilot shortage

The lack of opportunities for aspiring pilots to build flight time required to advance to the right seat of a regional airliner is among the factors leading to the shortage of qualified pilots now confronting the U.S. airline industry, according to a study recently published by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) at the request of lawmakers and industry stakeholders.

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Sell the sizzle, not the steak

WASHINGTON, D.C. — There is not much talk openly about it here, but the steady decline in the number of general aviation pilots has some GA advocates concerned.

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FAI establishes environmental award

LAUSANNE, Switzerland — The FAI Environmental Commission (EnvC) has established the Angelo d’Arrigo Diploma, a new FAI environmental award to recognize major contributions in the field of environmental and sustainable development in sport aviation.

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Spring training for pilots

By KEVIN GARRISON

Winter weather leads to a cutback of flying for most of us. Pilots living in areas of the U.S. that are prone to frozen water in the form of sleet, freezing rain and snow find ourselves wistfully looking to the skies out of the iced-over windows of our homes. We think back on a time not so long ago when the winds were warm and skies were beckoning and we still had electrical power in our houses.

When is the power company going to get our lights back on after this ice storm anyway? Should you use your copy of General Aviation News as kindling to get some sort of blaze going in the fireplace?

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OpenAirplane expands

CHICAGO – OpenAirplane continues to expand its service which makes renting an airplane as easy as renting a car. Since launching in June, the OpenAirplane network has grown to 34 cities, with more than 100 aircraft available around the U.S.

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The Frugal Notebook

Every owner-pilot should have a Frugal Notebook. It’s a blank book you can keep in the glove box or your flight bag to record things about your airplane. If you are a renter, it’s a handy place to record your experiences with specific aircraft and flying conditions.

Let’s take a look at a few of the things your Frugal Notebook can help with:

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‘Prairie Sky’ published

Newly published is “Prairie Sky,” a new book that explores “the reality as well as the metaphor of flight: Notions of ceaseless time and boundless space, personal interior and exterior vision, social history, meteorology, and geology,” according to the publisher.

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The Frugal Pilot: Get more than you pay for

What’s the difference between a need and a want? At the grocery store, a need is buying milk, bread and other food staples. A want is getting soda, corn chips and snack cakes. In recreational aviation, a need is something required to meet your flying goals and your budget. A want is not required, but desired.

For most of us recreational pilots, airplanes really aren’t needs. They are wants. But one benefit to working hard through life is to be able to afford some of the things we want. However, once we own a plane, we cannot skimp on its needs.

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Proposed legislation would cut 3rd class medical requirement for many GA pilots

Reps. Todd Rokita (R-Ind.) and Sam Graves (R-Mo.) have introduced a bill in the U.S. House that seeks to abolish the third-class medical certificate for many pilots who fly recreationally.

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Observations and invitations

Attached to the main administration building at the Santa Monica Airport in Southern California is an observation deck. It’s a wide concrete structure with a curved metal railing that allows excellent views of the area, reaching from the Hollywood sign in the northeast all the way around to the Pacific Ocean on the southwest. A bleacher style seating structure provides a reasonably comfortable place to sit and watch the action on the airport.

That’s where I met Adam and Zoe. Adam is a software designer who grew up in Santa Monica. He’s been stopping at the airport for much of his life to watch airplanes fly, daydream about becoming a pilot, and generally enjoy a sunny afternoon.

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