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As 2012 comes to a close, I Fly America wishes you a safe and happy holiday season. As we reflect on the past year, we are providing a look at the most-accessed articles from the year. The regular The IFA American Flyer publication will resume on Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013.

Why pilots are fighting the NTSB over the use of emergency beacons
WRC-TV    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From Aug. 8, 2012: The Federal Aviation Administration has required private planes to carry a 121.5 MHz beacon for 40 years. The 121.5 emergency locator transmitter used to be connected to a satellite that alerted search-and-rescue crews about a possible crash. But the federal government shut the satellite down in 2009. The National Transportation Safety Board now wants the FAA to mandate general aviation planes to carry a better beacon called the 406 MHz. Within seconds, it can send GPS coordinates to the Rescue Coordination Center. But only 17 percent of the nation's private planes use the 406 ELT. More



Pilots' deadly private-plane crashes prompt US call for basics
Bloomberg Businessweek    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From June 20, 2012: The last fatal airline crash killed 50 people when a Colgan Air flight slammed into a neighborhood near Buffalo, N.Y., in February 2009. Private-plane wrecks since then have killed 30 times as many. The crash rate on private-pilot flights — up 20 percent since 2000 — contrasts with a roughly 85 percent drop in accidents on commercial jetliners. Many accidents have resulted from pilots' inattention to basics, according to research by a group created by industry and the federal government last year. More

NTSB report: Delayed pre-landing check leads to forced landing
General Aviation News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From June 27, 2012: In June 2010, a Cessna 401 was returning from a three-hour aerial mapping mission and was lined up for a straight-in, five-mile final approach for landing. About three miles out on final approach, and prior to performing the before-landing check, both engines stopped producing power, one almost immediately after the other. More

NBAA blasts latest user fee push in president's budget proposal
National Business Aviation Association (press release)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From Feb. 15, 2012: The National Business Aviation Association denounced the latest attempt from the White House to impose a per-flight user fee on general aviation, and said industry would need to engage Congress to stop the renewed threat. Per-flight user fees are included in President Barack Obama's fiscal year 2013 federal spending proposal, released Feb. 13, which sets budgets for government agencies. Specifically, page 30 of the president's budget overview states: "...the Administration proposes to create a $100 per-flight fee, payable to the Federal Aviation Administration, by aviation operators who fly in controlled airspace." More



White House says $100-per-flight fee is needed
General Aviation News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From Jan. 18, 2012: Aviation groups are gearing up for another fight against the $100-per-flight charge for use of air traffic services after the White House rejected a petition calling for dropping the proposal. Dana Hyde, associate director for General Government Programs, said in a letter rejecting the petition that "the Obama Administration believes it's essential that those who benefit from our world-class aviation system help pay for its ongoing operation." Current proposals are that only users of general aviation jet aircraft would pay the fee, but observers of U.S. government programs through the years doubt this limitation would continue if a fee structure of this type is started. More

Pilot's skill credited with saving passengers in Kansas plane crash
WDAF-TV    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From Aug. 22, 2012: A plane crash north of Topeka, Kan., still has everyone involved just shaking their heads in amazement after somehow everyone on board survived. The plane is badly damaged but all three men in the plane survived following an engine failure at night. The front seat passenger was the most seriously injured with what appeared to be a broken pelvic bone. But the other two men literally walked away from the plane's wreckage. More

The mystery of the missing plane
Minnesota Public Radio    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From June 20, 2012: Where is Michael Bratlie and the plane he was flying to Duluth, Minn.? The mystery is intensifying as another day of searching for the missing Lakeville pilot is underway. Air and water searches since he disappeared have turned up nothing. Civil Air Patrol pilots have been unable to spot any sign of the twin engine Piper PA-31 Navajo. Authorities have no choice but to assume the worst, that the plane has crashed somewhere. How can planes disappear like this? Easy. There's no real requirement that their movement be tracked. More



Pilot's Bill of Rights blocked in Senate
General Aviation News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From June 20, 2012: U.S. Senator James Inhofe, R-Okla., took to the Senate floor June 14 to ask for passage of his Pilots Bill of Rights legislation. The effort, however was blocked by Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., and ranking member Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas. More

Learning about flying from a worst-case scenario
Flying Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From Jan. 18, 2012: Flying his twin-engine Cessna 421 Golden Eagle on just one engine after the left engine died, pilot Brett Godfrey saw the runway appear through the clouds. He circled gently to the north, keeping up the airspeed in the descending turn to avoid any chance of a stall, avoiding the temptation to turn sharply and dive for the runway. He lined up for a visual approach and extended the landing gear, with 10 degrees of flaps and landing lights. Still above the glideslope, he reduced power on the right engine, which had been running full-bore for most of the flight, still with mixture full rich as he'd been drilled at FlightSafety. That's when the right engine died. More

NTSB: Cockpit weather displays could mislead private pilots
CNN    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From June 27, 2012: Weather imagery that private pilots see on cockpit displays — advertised as "real time" data by some firms — could be up to 20 minutes old, giving pilots a dangerously false sense of existing conditions, federal safety officials warned. While pilots generally know that weather information is five minutes old, the actual age can be much older. More



   
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Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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