Drones weighing at least 0.55 pounds (250 grams) must once again be registered with the FAA if they are flown for noncommercial purposes under Part 101, the FAA Special Rule for Model Aircraft. President Donald Trump signed legislation Dec. 12 that restores the registration requirement for drones flown for hobby or recreation that had been struck down by a federal appeals court in May. (That ruling did not affect the requirement to register drones flown under Part 107, which applies to commercial operation of unmanned aircraft.)
The FAA has published a notice seeking additional members and describing new tasks for the Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC) Airman Certification System Working Group as it proceeds with development of the integrated airman certification standards (ACS) for the FAA written and practical tests for pilots and aviation mechanics.
A general aviation airport just northeast of Detroit’s Class B airspace has launched an online survey to help officials weigh the merits of lengthening its 4,000-foot runway to 5,000 feet or more.
Enrollment at aviation colleges and universities is on the rise, and the trend signals the beginning of a long-awaited boost in the number of young people pursuing aviation careers, according to educators at major aviation institutions and industry professionals. They noted that lucrative careers in medicine, law, or business had previously drained potential pilots, mechanics, and others from their roll books before recent improvements in financial compensation and job guarantees made aviation more attractive to young people.
Thanks to AOPA Foundation donors, the You Can Fly and AOPA Air Safety Institute teams, which are completely funded by donations, developed programs that are making pilots safer, providing more affordable access to flying, teaching high school students about aviation, and getting more pilots back in the air.
In southern Vermont, the Mount Snow area offers year-round recreation and scenic beauty. Sugar maples blaze like fire in autumn and then give up their sap in late winter, from which Vermont produces its legendary maple syrup. Enjoy winter or summer sports in the refreshing air. Beautiful historic inns, many of which offer fine dining, are scattered throughout this idyllic setting. You might not even want to rent a car, since there is a free shuttle service, the MOOver, or “cow bus” as the locals call it (it’s painted like a cow). Some of the lodgings will pick you up from the airport if you ask. Both West Dover, adjacent to the airport, and Wilmington, six miles south, are charming villages with historic buildings and shops.
Few people in the world have more firsthand experience flying drones in disaster areas than Justin Adams, the man behind the wheel as we worked our way along the Mount Baker Highway, winding through thick forest, approaching an active volcano that the U.S. Geological Survey considers a “very high” potential threat. The plan was to fly drones in various locations that will be in the path of the lahars expected when this glacier-capped stratovolcano once again blows its top.
Pilatus’ new business jet, the $9 million PC-24, earned its FAA and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certification Dec. 7. Deliveries of the first airplanes off the factory floor in Stans, Switzerland, will take place in January 2018, beginning with launch customer PlaneSense, a fractional operator based in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. PlaneSense already operates a fleet of Pilatus’ PC-12 single-engine turboprops.
One of the FAA’s most daunting tasks in bringing about a GPS-based instrument approach infrastructure is reducing the inventory of legacy procedures that don’t get enough use to warrant being kept usable with periodic flight checks and navaid maintenance.
America is blessed with many gorgeous mountain ranges, but the Tetons may be the most picturesque of all. The iconic view you most often see of the Tetons is from the east, the Jackson Hole side, home of movie stars and some very expensive real estate. What’s on the other side?
A warm front is advancing toward the area with its first effects expected during the time period of a proposed VFR cross-country flight to visit family in another state.
Following AOPA’s initiative to ensure reasonable fixed-base operator pricing and transparency, the FAA issued guidance Dec. 7 for pilots, FBOs, and airport sponsors. "Q&As—FBO Industry Consolidation and Pricing Practices” lays out a series of questions and answers addressing how federally funded airports should facilitate competition and transparency, as well as promote reasonable access and pricing. As a condition of receiving federal funding for development projects, airports must agree to protect public access to the airport by ensuring each FBO’s prices and fees are reasonable and not unjustly discriminatory.
Recent airline technology mishaps raise new questions about the proposal in Washington, D.C., to give control of the air traffic system to the airlines and special interest groups, five consumer and aviation groups said in a joint release Dec. 6.
“I tell everybody that Idaho is the sea turtle capitol of the world because I’m here,” True-Lock aviation fastener founder Leslie Weinstein told AOPA. Although he now lives 2,500 miles from his Eastern Seaboard childhood home, Weinstein holds a key role in sea turtle awareness and rescue efforts that he has championed since his youth.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University has received a $1 million federal grant to establish a new aviation and engineering research center in Florida, the school announced this week. The money will help to build the Applied Aviation and Engineering Research Hangar, in Volusia County. The hangar will serve as the new home for ERAU’s Eagle Flight Research Center, a hub for engineering research and development, in operation since 1998.
Faced with continuing delays in the development of a new jet engine from Silvercrest, Dassault Aviation said on Wednesday the Falcon 5X program is cancelled. It will be replaced by a new Falcon jet with the same cross-section, powered by engines from Pratt & Whitney Canada, with first deliveries in 2022. “There is still a strong market need for a brand-new long-range aircraft with a very large cabin,” said Eric Trappier, CEO of Dassault Aviation.
Only a week after the FAA and EASA issued type certificate approvals for the Pilatus PC-24, FlightSafety has received FAA interim approval for its FS1000 Level C simulator for the new “super versatile jet.”
The FAA has responded to recent complaints from AOPA and others about rising costs and limited access at some FBOs at public-use airports, issuing a document that aims to clarify the issues. The six-page Q&A spells out the various obligations of the FAA, the airport sponsors, the FBO and aeronautical users. “This is an important, welcome and significant first step,” AOPA general counsel Ken Mead told AVweb on Tuesday.
A Texas pilot has admitted to intentionally ditching his recently purchased Beech Baron in the Gulf of Mexico for the insurance money.
The aviation world was atwitter last week with the news that the U.S. Air Force had selected five recent enlistees to participate in a study on alternative pilot training techniques. The Air Force, however, confirms that they have no plans to put enlisted personnel in the pilot’s seat.
Following a path similar to the FAA's BasicMed, Australian pilots without paying passengers will now have the option of a Basic Class 2 medical, which can be issued by a general practitioner. Pilots will be limited to day VFR conditions, in piston airplanes, with up to five non-fare-paying passengers.
We were in a long holding pattern at STL on a typical bad day there. Approach Control gave a direct clearance to another aircraft and canceled his hold … Pilot: "Roger, cleared direct; you read my mind.” … Anonymous voice: "It was a short book.”… Tom Wilson
After looking to the airlines, the recently retired and just about anywhere else it could to fill a growing shortage of pilots, the Air Force is now looking to its own ranks, its enlisted ranks, to fill the void.
Rather than plunge into the development of two new clean-sheet designs, it now seems like Boeing is going to spend a few years concentrating on the tried and true.
The pilot who died along with his four passengers in the crash of a Beech Baron on the Caribbean island of St. Croix last week apparently didn’t have the multi-engine rating or night experience that would have been minimum requirements for the flight.
Police helicopter pilots regularly assist with the apprehension of suspects accused of pointing laser pointers at aircraft, but they rarely land to make the arrest themselves. Florida’s Bay News Channel 9 reports that Pasco County Sheriff’s Office helicopter pilot Stephen Bowman tracked the laser wielding suspect to his home, landed in a nearby vacant lot, then marched over the man’s house to confront him.
After 11 years of development, Pilatus has received type certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the FAA for its PC-24 “Super Versatile” jet. Three prototype aircraft flew a combined 2,205 hours around the globe prior to certification. The PC-24’s claim to fame is its ability to operate from shorter and more primitive strips than are typically demanded by business jets.
The crew of a Volaris A320 from Mexico was cleared to land on Runway 13 Left at John F. Kennedy International Airport, about 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, but instead lined up on 13 Right — a runway already occupied by a Delta Embraer 170. ATC cancelled the Delta crew’s takeoff clearance, and they taxied off the runway. The Volaris crew was told to go around, and they came back to land safely on Runway 22 Left.
Erik Lindbergh has formed a new aerospace company, VerdeGo Aero, he announced on Wednesday. Lindbergh, who is well-known in GA as an advocate for new technology and as the grandson of Charles Lindbergh, will serve as president of the company, which will be based at Embry-Riddle’s MicaPlex incubator in Daytona, Florida. “At VerdeGo Aero, we are building the first safe and efficient short-range vertical takeoff and landing aircraft for the millions of people stuck in traffic in cities around the world,” Lindbergh said.