Report: Small-plane crash rate increasing
Although small planes are getting safer, crashes are increasing. NTSB officials revealed recently that the rate of small-plane crashes is up 20 percent in the past decade, while the crash rate for commercial planes is down 80 percent. Airplane companies are packing small planes with more safety technology. But according to accident reports, that new technology isn't overcoming an old problem: pilot mistakes.
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Cobwebs and flying don't mix
FAA Aviation News via IFA
Pilots, the season to fly is upon us. We shake ourselves from our winter sleep, ready to take on the warmer skies. That means preparing our airplanes and ourselves by getting the cobwebs out, so to speak. Remember that if your aircraft has been sitting all winter, it needs to be thoroughly checked over before you take it out for your first springtime flight. Learn more.
Pilot quiz — Aviation firsts
It is common understanding that the Wright Brothers were first to build and fly a controllable airplane. But in the more than 100 years since that flight, there have been many other firsts in flight. See if you can correctly identify these 10.
1. What was the first international body set up for flyers?
a. English Flight Organization
b. American Aero Club of New York
c. Federation Aeronautic Internationale
2. In what and where was the first fully controlled aerial journey from point to point made?
a. Lebaudy airship — France
b. Aerodrome monoplane — Washington, D.C.
c. Zeppelin airship — Germany
Continue to the quiz and find out the answers.
Legislators oppose president's proposed user fee
Aviation International News
Members of both houses of Congress have sent letters to President Obama decrying his advocacy of a $100-per-flight user fee on turbine-powered aircraft that fly in "controlled airspace" in his proposed Fiscal Year 2013 federal budget. In a March 12 letter, 28 senators told the president that bipartisan passage of the comprehensive, multi-year FAA reauthorization bill was possible "in part because it did not assess new user fees on general aviation."
Sport pilot license
A fairly new kind of pilot's license is gaining some interest.
That may because you can obtain the "sport" pilot's license in just half of the time of a regular one. When anyone gets a pilot license they have to undergo a certain amount of flying hours with an instructor — typically around 40, and most licenses require a medical certificate saying you have passed the FAA's health tests. The sport license is a bit different.
Terrafugia's flying car prototype goes for first test flight
Los Angeles Times
Terrafugia, makers of Transition — the world's first flying car — has released video of a production-type prototype flying over Plattsburgh, N.Y. The flight was the first successful test of the two-seat personal aircraft that you can park in your garage, drive on the road and fill up at a gas station.
» Video: Dutch PAL-V flying car takes maiden flight (CBS News)
New Aviat Husky A1C: How to tame taildragger bounce
Any taildragger pilot who's jammed a landing — and that's basically all of them — will tell you that nailing three-point landings without a bounce takes practice and sometimes even that's not enough. But in the latest version of its popular utility aircraft, the Husky A1C on display at Lakeland, Fla., Aviat has added a nice little feature: The gear legs have race-car style shock absorbers that take the worst of the bite out of a landing that smacks the runway a little harder than the pilot intended.
Master pilots honored at Sun 'n Fun
General Aviation News
On March 30, a distinguished group of aviators received the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award during a ceremony at the Federal Aviation Administration Production Studios on the Sun 'n Fun campus at Lakeland-Linder Regional Airport in Florida. The seven recipients, plus their friends and family, packed the room, as FAASTeam Program Manager Jim Minardy hosted the festivities and John Duncan, FAA Deputy Director of Flight Standards in Washington, handed the Master Pilot plaques to the pilots, along with lapel pins.
80-year-old passenger lands plane after pilot husband went unconscious
The Associated Press via WEAU-TV
An 80-year-old woman was able to successfully land a twin-engine airplane in northeastern Wisconsin after her husband became unconscious at the controls and died. Door County Sheriff Terry Vogel says the dispatch center was told just after 5 p.m., April 2, that a Cessna about 6 miles south of Sturgeon Bay had declared an emergency. The pilot, an 81-year-old man, had suffered a medical emergency and was unconscious. His wife, who was the passenger, was flying the plane.
Flying machines: Wisconsin man builds airplanes of all sizes
To say Tom Marson has a gargantuan love of flying is probably a gross understatement. By his own admission he built his first model airplane at age 10 or 11. The first real plane he built was a Dakota Hawk. He got the kit from the North Dakota manufacturer in 1994 and took his maiden flight in the fall of 1996 off a runway in a field. "I've owned eight planes," he said, "Four I built and four I bought. That first one was my favorite."
King Schools to release online FIRC for flight instructor renewals
King Schools via Aviation Pros
John and Martha King announced that they will release an online Flight Instructor Refresher Course by the end of April. The course follows the latest guidance from the FAA recently released as revision "G" of FAA Advisory Circular 61-83, which specifies more up-to-date topics for flight instructors and puts emphasis on effectively teaching risk management.
Wisconsin pilots learn to land on water
Herald Times Register
What do you get when you combine the Miracle on the Hudson, a seaplane, a western cattle rancher and a hint of Elvis? A fun seaplane weekend in northern Wisconsin.
A different kind of corporate aircraft
General Aviation News
When you think corporate airplane, the image of Gulfstreams and Citation jets may come to mind. The folks at ComLine Pro have something else in mind: a 1969 Polish-built PZL.