IFR Fix: Busting beneath the shelf
Sometimes it's unavoidable: If you want to get where you're going, you must file IFR. At other times, it's a choice between convenience (VFR) and certainty (IFR). Then how will you play it?
AOPA seeks comment extension on proposed FAA data policy
AOPA wants the FAA to extend the comment period on a proposed data distribution policy that could impact the public's access to FAA data.
Fresh reports of aircraft searches, CBP has little to say
AOPA coverage of general aviation aircraft searches conducted by federal officials prompted similar reports, but the government has yet to explain the practice.
Public meetings set in Oregon as Air Force considers SUA
Potential changes to military airspace in several parts of Oregon could affect general aviation pilots, who are being encouraged to weigh in.
Army to align new restricted airspace with chart cycle
The U.S. Army will delay using new restricted airspace in Virginia until the Washington sectional chart is published, which will include the new areas.
'Most Affordable' LSA Headed To Market
A Utah company says it will introduce the "most affordable" glass-equipped ready-to-fly LSA at AirVenture Oshkosh this year. The SkyCraft SD-1 Minisport is a Czech design that zips its single occupant at 118 mph at 1.8 gph on a 50-horsepower Hirth engine. SkyCraft says the little LSA costs $12 an hour to fly, including the overhaul of the Hirth (1,000-hour TBO). The kit has been available for some time at around $21,000, including engine. The ready-built model will be a hair under $55,000.
Angel Flight NE Aircraft Crashes
A Piper PA-34 Seneca being flown for Angel Flight Northeast crashed in Garoga, NY killing at least two of the occupants and likely the third. The aircraft took off from Hanscom Field in Bedford, Mass bound for Rome, NY and crashed about 60 miles from its destination. Witnesses reported seeing the aircraft, minus a wing, drop into a reservoir next to a campground crowded for the long weekend. Two bodies were recovered and the third was believed to be trapped inside. Angel Flight Northeast confirmed the crash. ¬ďAngel Flight NE staff and volunteers are tremendously saddened by this tragedy and we all offer our thoughts and prayers to the families of those affected,¬Ē said Larry Camerlin, the group¬ís founder and president, in a statement.
Cirrus Deploys Chute Training
Cirrus says it has made pilot safety its new top priority with a program designed to ensure the pilots of its aircraft know how, and perhaps more importantly when, to use the built-in safety features, including the parachute. In announcing Cirrus Approach, CEO Dale Klapmeier said the Cirrus safety record is "on par" with other designs even though Cirrus aircraft have a host of safety features, like automatic levelers and flight envelope detection and overrides, plus the chute, meaning an average safety rating "is not acceptable to us." He said the Cirrus Approach aims to change that. "...If pilots do not utilize these features or are not trained properly on how to use them, then these safety devices are not as effective as they could be," Klapmeier said. "Cirrus Approach is our new commitment to making Cirrus pilots safer."
Australian Senate: Norfolk Island Crash Investigation Could Lead To Criminal Probe
In a scathingly critical report (PDF) of Australian safety investigators and regulators, the Australian Senate last week found that an investigation into the 2009 ditching of a medical evacuation flight off Norfolk Island was so incompetently handled that it could be referred to authorities for criminal prosecution. The Senate investigation, which began last September, found that during the crash investigation, Australia¬ís Civil Aviation Safety Authority failed to provide the Australian Transport Safety Board with critical documents and findings concerning the Pel-Air ditching. That information would have revealed, according to the Senate probe, that CASA knew of ongoing systemic shortcomings in Pel-Air¬ís operation that directly contributed to the accident. CASA¬ís action, says the Senate report, may have violated Australia¬ís Transport Safety Investigations Act. ¬ďIt could be seen as a breach of the Transport Safety Act in terms of obstructing an investigation,¬Ē said Sen. David Fawcett.
Refurb of the Month: Steve Wathen's P-210
click for larger imageAlthough considered somewhat high maintenance, Cessna's P210 offered -- and continues to offer -- unique performance at an affordable purchase price. A careful search will find older airframes worth refurbishing, and that's exactly what Steve Wathen of Columbus, Ohio did with his P-210.