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.
As the government shutdown continues into its second week, aviation is suffering the effects of the piecemeal closing of federal offices. In our case, the most harmful so far is the shuttering of the FAA office in Oklahoma City that handles aircraft registration. During the shutdowns of the mid-1990s, registration remained open. The effect on aviation business even a few days into this protest action is dire.
By all accounts, the crash of a Citation CJ2 into a hangar at Santa Monica Airport on Sunday evening was a tragic and extraordinary event. After a seemingly uneventful flight from Idaho, an experienced pilot landed his light jet on Runway 21 in good weather. What happened next is a mystery, the kind that the NTSB is tasked to solve.
It was five years ago this week that the wheels came off the global economy. As we all vividly remember, the U.S. government bailout of AIG and the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008 sent the Dow into a tailspin unlike anything we had seen in decades. The historic Great Recession was officially under way.
The body of David Riggs has been recovered from the lake near Shenyang, China, where his Lancair 320 crashed last week. Unfortunately the story hit close to home for me. I hate to admit it, but I flew with Riggs a few years ago. It is an understatement to say that the flight left a lasting impression.
In early 2011 a friend with close ties to Riggs recommended that I go flying with him.