IFA American Flyer
Jan. 18, 2012

White House says $100-per-flight fee is needed
General Aviation News
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

Budget cuts would eliminate some control towers for general aviation
Statesman Journal
The federal government is looking at a plan to cut funding to some airport control towers. The proposed cuts would eliminate towers serving airports without passenger air service. At issue is the proposed 2013 federal budget, recommended by the Office of Management and Budget. The budget would eliminate the contract tower system under which the Federal Aviation Administration hires private companies to staff the control towers at some airports.More

Study: Boston-area small airports give lift to local economy, employment
The Boston Globe
General aviation airports in the region support 807 jobs and generate more than $117 million for the local economy, according to a recent government study. The study, sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and funded by the Federal Aviation Administration, looked at 39 airports across the state and examined how they contribute to the economy. The ripple effect of a regional airport can be substantial. The study used FAA-approved methodology to measure the economic impact of each airport and calculate the number of area jobs that each supports.More

Snow bank stops downwind landing Mooney M20S
National Transportation Board via IFA
A Mooney M20S, operated by a private pilot in Port Huron, Mich., collided with a snow bank while landing on runway 04 (5,103 feet by 100 feet). The pilot was not injured and the airplane was substantially damaged. The 14 CFR Part 91 flight was operating in visual meteorological conditions without a flight plan.More

Pilot quiz: Biggest, best
IFA
Biggest, best, fastest, first — all adjectives that are used by pilots all the time. Test yourself to see how many questions you can answer correctly. Take the quiz here. The correct answers will be provided below.More

Learning about flying from a worst-case scenario
Flying Magazine
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

Teen certified in RV he helped build
AVweb
Plenty of kids grow up around airplanes but not many are raised building the airplane in which they take their checkride. And to top it all off, Blake Crawford was signed off on his 17th birthday by a world-renowned aerobatic pilot who is also an FAA examiner. Debbie Rihn-Harvey, three-time national aerobatics champion and Southwest Airlines pilot, confirmed Crawford as the youngest certificated pilot in the U.S. after putting him through the paces in the RV-7A he and his father built throughout his childhood.More

Agreement for general aviation security renewed
General Aviation News
The Transportation Security Administration recently approved a five-year extension of its partnership with National Air Transportation Association Compliance Services to provide security in the general aviation sector. The agreement authorizes NATACS to continue as a Trusted Fingerprint Facility to process biographical and biometric information for general aviation worldwide. NATACS has been partnered with TSA since 2002; the new agreement extends the contract until December 2016.More

Federal agencies: LightSquared GPS interference cannot be solved
FierceGovernmentIT
Proposed commercial broadband wireless service provider LightSquared received a possibly deadly blow with the Jan. 13 release of a letter from nine federal agencies concluding that the company's attempt to initially use lower frequency signals would still affect spectrum utilized by the Global Positioning Satellite system. The unanimous conclusion of testing done by the committee, the letter states, is that LightSquared's original and modified plan for rolling out a 4G LTE and satellite-signal nationwide network would cause interference problems with many GPS receivers. Analysis conducted by the FAA also finds that LightSquared proposals "are not compatible" with several GPS-dependent aircraft safety systems, the letter says.More

Space on Earth
Reason Magazine
The Mojave Spaceport is the private general aviation airfield where SpaceShipOne, the first private vehicle to zip twice between space and back, first took off in 2004. That's the same year that Mojave became certified by the Federal Aviation Administration as the nation's first private "spaceport," certified to send vehicles and people out of this world. Seven years later, more than a handful of commercial space companies operate out of this sprawling complex of runways, hangars, and airplane bits, and it's no longer the only private spaceport in America. More

Startup has sky-high aspirations for 'roadable aircraft'
Entrepreneur
Carl Dietrich is the co-founder of Terrafugia, a company based in Woburn, Mass., which is developing the Transition "roadable aircraft." The Transition's wings can be folded for driving and extended for flying from inside the cockpit. It is fuel-efficient, at 35 miles per gallon on the road, and its small size alleviates the need for hangar storage — it can be kept in a garage. "We've not only proven that we can make a vehicle that flies and drives and converts in 20 seconds, but we've also overcome all the major regulatory barriers," Dietrich says.More

Pilot uses airplane parachute after engine quits over Bahamas
Wired
Haiti-bound pilot Dr. Richard McGlaughlin was flying with his daughter in his Cirrus SR22 on a trip to volunteer his services at a medical clinic. After departing Florida, McGlaughlin says he noticed the oil pressure dropped slightly while flying at 9,500 feet. A few minutes later the engine had stopped completely. He and his daughter were now flying a glider over the blue waters of the Bahamas.More

Skypark airport: A haven for airplane enthusiasts
Santa Rosa Press Democrat
With runways and hangars tucked discreetly into 34 acres off Eighth Street East, Sonoma's Skypark in California doesn't attract much attention from passers-by. But after celebrating its 25th anniversary as a pilot-owned airport in 2011, its place in Sonoma Valley has been firmly established. Skypark serves business, recreation and destination flyers. It's home to a flight school, a collection of antique and classic aircraft, and a cargo-load of high-spirited barnstormers, retired airline pilots and other colorful aviators. But Skypark also offers numerous opportunities for community fun, learning, and involvement.More

Do you have all the auto coverage you think you have?
IFA
Millions of auto owners are involved in accidents every year — and if that weren't bad enough, some people are often stunned to find out that their auto coverage actually may not cover everything they anticipate. For instance, many auto policies will take a deduction for depreciation — even if the car is brand new and is involved in an accident while driving off the dealer’s lot! Below are some questions you should ask before purchasing auto insurance:

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