Of all the alphabets you're aware of, there's one that does more good for us everyday pilots than you know, and you can't even join it.
You are certainly familiar with the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) and probably even the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), but even if you've heard of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) — it puts out the quarterly and annual aircraft sales statistics — you probably don't have any idea exactly what it does or the benefits the organization'
The FAA’s major overhaul of training rules for airline pilots, formally adopted with a new final rule on Tuesday, came as a long-overdue reaction to the deadly Colgan Air Dash-8 Q400 crash in Buffalo, New York, almost five years ago. Earlier changes, also prompted by the Colgan disaster, have altered flight and duty time regulations for airline pilots and increased the minimum number of flight hours to become an airline first officer.
At Cessna's press conference at the NBAA Convention, CEO Scott Ernest made the surprise comment that the Skycatcher has "no future." As most of our readers will know, the Skycatcher is Cessna's LSA entry, a two-seat side-by-side high-wing sheet metal trainer with a Continental O-200 engine. If that sounds familiar, it's because Cessna built a fabulous little trainer by that description for 30 years.
I hope that Alec Baldwin feels vindicated today, now that the FAA has decided to allow the use of personal electronic devices (PEDs) on airliners throughout the flight. (Though I do have to say I’m surprised at the timing of the announcement; with sequestration, another looming shutdown and an agency in disarray, this is what they’re working on?)
On my trip from Austin to Las Vegas for the NBAA Convention I saw the national trend of very light winds aloft continue to play out.
I flew out at between 12,500 feet msl (VFR on the first leg) and 16,500 feet, in part to test the mid-teens performance of my SR22, which I haven't had enough time to fly on longer trips of late, ironically, because of a too-busy travel schedule to some very distant destinations over very large bodies of water. The good news was I saw better than 200 knots true at 16,500 and 16.5 gph.
Honeywell advanced technology guru Bob Witwer gave an interesting talk in Las Vegas this week in which he discussed the future of air travel and posed the intriguing question of whether airliners, cargo planes and business jets years from now will have a need for pilots or, indeed, even cockpit windows.
Shortly before this year's NBAA Convention, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta phoned Ed Bolen, president and CEO of the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), to tell him he'd be a no show for his planned appearance to discuss with the attendees at the show the FAA's current sorry state of affairs. Whether Huerta was ducking the fire by staying in D.C. or really had to stay home to get the agency's house in order is a question that I can't answer.
By now we've all seen the impressive new large jet that Dassault launched here at the 2013 Las Vegas NBAA Convention. The Falcon 5X has a bigger, taller, more technologically advanced cabin than the company's ostensible flagship, the tri-engine Falcon 7X. Like it's longer-legged sibling, the 5X is a fly-by-wire airplane.
I spent the better part of last week at AOPA’s “final” Summit in Fort Worth and, as usual, had a great time visiting with the very best and brightest in the industry from a wide variety of organizations that do everything from making sunglasses to building jets.
Despite the announcement a couple of weeks back that the 2013 Edition of Summit would be the last one, I wasn’t sad about my final AOPA fly-in. Not in the least.
I had a great flight up to Fort Worth (I went into Alliance) in the SR22, and arrived at Summit ready to go.
No wonder the White House believes it’s winning the 10-day-old standoff with Republicans over the government shutdown. With the power he has American businesses, including much of the aviation industry, the president holds what might be an unbeatable hand. If Republicans didn’t know it before, they do now.