Membership News & Notes
Why a prepurchase inspection is critical
Low and slow with James Brown
Two days after a period of rain that drenched the southeast—and made the state of South Carolina a disaster zone—AOPA flew along the swollen, muddy James River from Richmond, Virginia, to the base of the Blue Ridge mountains.
Frequently copied designer Craig Barnett
Cirrus gets personal
Alequin approaches aircraft customization from his experience in the world of high-end cars—not aviation.
The destination was Kosrae (pronounced kose-rye), an island in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM)—an island nation in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, less than 400 miles from the Equator.
The Weekender: Fall Foliage Flying
The Weekender has some scenic seasonal flying in the works, thanks to SocialFlight, which found a Fall Foliage Fun Day (both Saturday and Sunday) at Warren Ohio's 80OH, Sloas Field. The event will be at the Ernie Hall Aviation Museum, and on the grass runway enjoy a biplane ride in a 1929 Travel Air.
High-Rez NASA Moon Photos Now Online
A trove of 8,400 NASA photos from the Moon missions has been posted online in its "raw, high-resolution, and unprocessed form." Kipp Teague, of the Project Apollo Archive, an independent, non-NASA website, said he worked with NASA to obtain the public-domain Apollo mission imagery. Teague has collected images in a Flickr gallery from both the Moon missions and from training operations on Earth. The collection includes original scans from the chest-mounted Hasselblad film cameras carried by the astronauts during their Moon explorations.
Drone Operator Fined $1.9 Million
The FAA on Tuesday announced its largest-ever civil penalty against a drone operator, proposing a fine of $1.9 million against SkyPan International, based in Chicago, for "careless or reckless" operations. The FAA says SkyPan conducted 65 unauthorized commercial drone flights to take aerial photographs in New York and Chicago between March 2012 and December 2014. About two-thirds of those flights took place in the "highly restricted New York Class B airspace," the FAA said.
FAA Expands Remote Control-Tower Testing
Fort Collins-Loveland Municipal Airport has been named as the first test facility for the FAA's new Virtual Air Traffic Control Tower technology, the agency announced last week. Currently, the field is non-towered. The new system, which will be up and running by next summer, is expected to help attract commercial operators to the airport. "The high-tech array will provide an enhanced level of air safety at a cost dramatically lower than the expense required for construction and staffing of traditional towers," according to the Colorado Division of Aeronautics.
Huerta Unveils New FAA Safety Strategy
The FAA has developed a new "compliance philosophy" to promote safety that "challenges the status quo," the FAA said in a news release on Tuesday. "The Compliance Philosophy is the latest step in the evolution of how we work with those we regulate," said Administrator Michael Huerta, at a Flight Safety Foundation event in Washington, D.C. "It focuses on the most fundamental goal: find problems in the National Airspace System before they result in an incident or accident, use the most appropriate tools to fix those problems, and monitor the situation to ensure that they stay fixed."