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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‘A Personal Flyer’s Guide to More Enjoyable Flying’

Capt. David C. Koch, author of “False Security: The Real Story About Airline Safety” and executive director of the Center For Airmanship Excellence, has released a new book, “A Personal Flyer’s Guide to More Enjoyable Flying,” which, he says, “provides guidance for personal flyers on how to adopt a new paradigm in personal flying that makes their flying more enjoyable, more affordable and safer.”

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Recommendations to improve pilot training and testing released

A joint industry-FAA working group has issued recommendations that will offer clearer written and practical test standards for student pilots and those pursuing advanced certificates.

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The Cheapskate’s Guide to Getting Your Pilot’s License

Do you know someone who doesn’t pursue their dream of learning to fly because it costs too much? “The Cheapskate’s Guide to Getting Your Pilot’s License” might be just the ticket for them to get their ticket.

Author Mike Arman, a pilot since 1978 and FAA Advanced Ground School Instructor, guides readers to a license at “half of the retail rate.”

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BMI could trigger additional scrutiny with proposed policy

The FAA is targeting pilots (and controllers) with a “proposed obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) policy.” Pilots and controllers with a Body Mass Index (calculate yours here) with 40 and higher, will be the initial target.

Federal Air Surgeon Fred Tilton wrote in recent medical bulletin those pilots “will have to be evaluated by a physician who is a board certified sleep specialist.” Those diagnosed with OSA must be treated before they acquire a medical certificate, Tilton wrote.

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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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Continuing a family tradition

More than 30 years ago, Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.) taught his son Perry to fly in the family’s 1954 Grumman Tiger. Perry’s first cross-country flight after he soloed was to Oshkosh, his dad sitting proudly in the seat beside him.

Fast forward to this year’s Oshkosh and Inhofe, a regular at Oshkosh no matter what is going on in Washington, D.C., keeps looking at his watch. He’s waiting for the arrival of the family’s Grumman, this time piloted by his grandson, Cole, who soloed just three weeks before the big show. In the family tradition, Cole was taught to fly by his father at Riverside Airport in Tulsa.

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1,000 Eagle Flights in first year

The Experimental Aircraft Association’s year-old Eagle Flights program, which provides one-on-one flight experiences for adults interested in becoming a pilot, marked its 1,000th flight on Aug. 10 in Hickory, North Carolina. Bradley Bormuth of Hickory’s EAA Chapter 731, took Joshua Austin for a flight in a Cessna 172.

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Would you fly more if avgas was $1 a gallon?

How does fuel price really influence general aviation? This October, a group of companies will use the Skyport aviation laboratory, in San Marcos, Texas, to find out by selling avgas for $1 a gallon.

“This experiment isn’t about the cost of avgas,” says Jeff Van West, director of Redbird Media, and spokesman for the experiment. “It’s true that we’re selling avgas for $1 per gallon for the entire month of October. [Read more...]

Airline cockpit still a dream for many

The cockpit of a Part 121 airline is still the dream of many pilots. However, following the Colgan Airlines accident in 2009, Congress passed a law requiring all airline pilots hold an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate. That certificate requires a minimum of 1,500 flight hours and 23 years of age.

A trio of universities, the University of North Dakota, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Eastern Kentucky University, now are all eligible to designate graduates of their respective programs as candidates for the 1,000-hour restricted ATP certificate at 21 years of age.

Prior to the rule change, first officers were required to have only a commercial pilot certificate, which requires a minimum of 250 hours of flight time.