Something interesting is happening in General Aviation. It’s largely being driven at the grass root level, and frankly these developments fascinate and encourage me.
The industry has noted a loss of participation in past decades, with fewer active pilots taking to the skies. We’ve bemoaned this reality for years. While some point a finger at regulatory issues, others single out high cost as a detrimental factor, while a handful of us blame an aging fleet as the reason fewer of us are climbing into a cockpit, firing up the engine, and rotating skyward.
All these factors play a role, certainly. But none of them is truly insurmountable. None are so universally daunting they can’t be overcome. They are valid reasons for concern, but they are not even close to representing the end of GA as we know it.
There is a bright shining light on the horizon, with blue skies above. Truly there is. [Read more…]
The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) Foundation has awarded its 2015 Giving Back grants to programs that use general aviation to help critically ill children obtain medical services, prevent youth gang involvement, and allow low-income students to attend a week-long aviation and space camp.
Build a Plane, Hope Flight Foundation, and Sophie Gerson Healthy Youth will each receive a $10,000 grant. [Read more…]
The report, which provides an in-depth analysis of accidents that occurred in 2012, shows that there were 17% few GA accidents in 2012 than in 2011.
- 75% of the GA fixed-wing accidents were attributed to pilot-related causes, continuing the pattern that has characterized this sector for years;
- Accidents attributed to fuel management issues (starvation, exhaustion, and contamination) were the cause of 79 accidents, the second-lowest number on record;
- The report includes ASI’s first-ever analysis of the causes of helicopter accidents.
ASI also prepared a brief statistical analysis of GA accidents in calendar years 2013 and 2014, most of which have preliminary NTSB accident reports.
Highlights from those years include:
- In 2013, the number of GA fixed-wing accidents decreased by an unprecedented 18% from the year before, falling below 1,000 per year for the first time. This improvement continued in 2014 with 923 total accidents, an all-time low.
- The number of fatal accidents fell 24% from 2012 to 2013. While this was followed by a 12% increase in 2014, these remain the only two years in the past half-century with fewer than 200 fatal accidents in light airplanes per year.
- The GA fatal accident rate dropped below 1.00 per 100,000 flight hours for the first time ever in 2013. FAA estimates of GA flight time confirm that the accident rate improvements in 2013 did not result from decreased activity.
The decision follows an earlier announcement that the agency would stop producing the charts later this year. FAA officials claim publishing the WACs has become cost-prohibitive as more and more pilots move to digital flight planning. [Read more…]
This episode explores the dangers of flying in low instrument conditions with a dwindling fuel supply.
The January 2013 accident involved a Piper Arrow that struck trees while attempting to make a dead-stick emergency landing at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. [Read more…]
The chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has announced that he is working to separate air traffic control (ATC) functions from the FAA as part of the ongoing FAA reauthorization process.
In his June 15 remarks before the Aero Club of Washington, Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pennsylvania), proposed creating a not-for-profit, federally chartered corporation to operate and modernize ATC. [Read more…]
The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) Foundation is offering scholarships from two programs for those who are learning to fly, and those who want to learn someday.
The foundation will award 25 scholarships, ranging from $2,500 to $12,000, in 2015. At the same time, the AOPA Foundation’s AV8RS program – comprised of teens ages 13-18 – will offer $15,000 in financial assistance for aviation education. [Read more…]