May 19, 2005

AOPA Runs Ad on General Aviation Safety

aopa_ad.jpg"Last week one pilot made headlines, the other 588,656 did not" is the headline of an advertisement the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) ran in Wednesday's USA Today and Roll Call, the primary newspaper on Capitol Hill. This ad of course refers to last weeks Washington D.C. airspace violation by two general aviation pilots in a Cessna 150.

The rest of the ad which can be viewed on the AOPA website goes on to talk about all the organization has done to ensure pilots safely navigate the complex airspace restrictions established aften September 11, 2001. The article talks about the temporary airspace flight restrictions (TFRs) e-mails that are sent out to AOPA to members within range of the TFRs. They sent almost 5 million of those messages last year alerting pilots of restricted airspace. Safety is very important to AOPA so much so that it connected with 327,222 pilots and flight instructors last year through its online and live seminars.

If you have not read the advertisement yet download the PDF now from the the AOPA site.


Posted at 8:19 PM | Post Category: AOPA, In the News, TFR | Save & Share This Story

May 12, 2005

Mayor Daley - Enemy of General Aviation

gaenemy.jpgMayor Daley irked many General Aviation pilots when he closed Meigs Field in the dead of night a little over two years ago. The Mayor stated the lakeshore airport was closed for post 9/11 security concerns. His story fell apart shortly thereafter when Tom Ridge, then Homeland Security Secretary, said that his agency had never been consulted about Meigs Field airport and that he was personally disappointed that the airport had been destroyed. Additionally, the Transportation Security Administration has stated that it doesn't consider general aviation airplanes and airports like Meigs to be security threats in and of themselves.

I am sad to say the mayor is at it again. Thanks to my fellow aviation enthusiast Matt at "It Came From Black Background" for the tip on this article. A recent CBS Chicago Online article quoted Daley "We need the same protection as Washington, D.C.�, referring to the general aviation flight restrictions over the nation's capitol.

Luckily I don't believe the mayor can pull off implementing such stringent restrictions. Unlike closing an airport in the middle of the night which he was able to covertly pull off on his own he will need support of government agencies if he wishes to impose stiffer flight restrictions for Chicago airspace. I feel confident that the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and its many members can block such changes.


Posted at 10:41 PM | Post Category: In the News | Save & Share This Story

May 11, 2005

In the Skies over Washington D.C.

A General Aviation aircraft that flew into restricted airspace today was the cause of an evacuation of the U.S. Capitol and White House. Military F-16 fighter aircraft intercepted the Cessna 150 and fired four warning flares. That surely got the pilots attention and will likely require them to make a dry cleaning run. From there Cessna was escorted to Fredrick Municipal Airport were the two pilots were taken into custody.

One of the two pilots was a student pilot. According to the Chicago tribune the Student Pilots wife stated "Troy was discussing with me last night after they made their flight plans all about the no-fly zones and how they were going to avoid them. He said they were going to fly between two different restricted areas."

I would imagine that these pilots may be grounded for a long time if not permanently.


Posted at 8:12 PM | Post Category: In the News | Save & Share This Story

April 11, 2005

Fatal General Aviation Accident Near Cincinnati

A University of Cincinnati Student and his flight instructor were involved in a fatal accident today. Details at this time are limited and most details will not be released until the NTSB report is put out. Until then you can learn more about the accident by reading articles on WLWT.com and in the Enquirer.

As a private pilot it is always sad and frightening to learn of general aviation accidents. It is a reminder that this hobby I am so passionate about is also one with inherent dangers.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of these fellow pilots. I hope they can take comfort in that their loved ones died doing something they probably loved.

For the pilots out there we should be sure to read the NTSB report when available and learn from tragedies like this one to make our flying safer. We should also keep in mind that reports like the Annual Nall Report remind us that flying is safer than it has ever been before.


Posted at 11:40 PM | Post Category: In the News | Save & Share This Story

February 28, 2005

GlobalFlyer Ready to Circumnavigate the Globe

globalflyer2.jpgThe Virgin GlobalFlyer is preparing to circumnavigate the globe without stopping. It would be the first jet to fly non-stop around the globe without in air refueling. The flight which has been delayed several times is set to take off this afternoon from Salina, Kansas. The plane will be piloted by Millionaire and adventurer Steve Fossett.

In order to make this flight without a fuel stop the plane needs to carry four times its weight in fuel. The plane has never flown at its full fuel capacity like it is expected to today. The takeoff and initial climb will be the most dangerous due to the overloading of fuel. Mr. Fossett told the BBC "Turbulence is worse at the lower altitudes, so I've got to make my climb to the cruising altitude without encountering any significant turbulence.". The aircraft will cruise around the globe at 49,000 feet.

The GlobalFlyer was built by Scaled Composites the same company that built the first private space craft - SpaceShipOne.

You can learn more about the GlobalFlyer and track progress on the GlobalFlyer website.


Posted at 5:30 PM | Post Category: In the News | Save & Share This Story

February 26, 2005

EAA AirVenture to Feature SpaceShipOne

spaceshipone.jpgEvery year the Expiremental Aircraft Association (EAA) host the World's Greatest Aviation Celebration, AirVenture, at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. This year the show will have a special exhibit SpacehipOne & its carrier White Knight. SpaceShipOne was the first succesfull civilian-built spaceship that won this summers $10 million Ansari X Prize.

According to AVWeb "EAA AirVenture 2005 will offer all attendees the opportunity to see the aircraft that accomplished that goal and hear from the main participants exactly how it occurred." In a release on the AirVenture site EAA President and AirVenture Chairman stated �SpaceShipOne and White Knight show where the dreams of flight can lead us, to a place where not even the sky is the limit. We are very proud that those who led this achievement received inspiration through EAA and want to share their accomplishment in Oshkosh, where the whole world gathers to celebrate flight.�

AirVenture is slated for July 25 - July 31. I plan to make my second visit to AirVenture sometime during that week.


Posted at 3:34 PM | Post Category: In the News | Save & Share This Story

February 25, 2005

Learning to Fly - Safer in 2004

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association is reporting that General Aviation (GA) has never been safer. They back that statement up with statistics that show 2004 was the safest year in GA since record keeping began in 1938.

For those interested in learning to fly you will be glad to hear instructional accidents were down by 11.7% and fatal instructional accidents were down by 50%. Please keep in mind too that instructional accidents that result in fatalities are normally infrequent, there were only 17 last year.

I know these statistics would have made my family more comfortable while I was learning to fly.


Posted at 6:59 PM | Post Category: In the News | Save & Share This Story

January 17, 2005

Local Pilot Lands On Road After Engine Failure

roadlanding.jpgA Cincinnati Pilot, Daniel Hayden, flying from Lunken Airport to Butler County Regional Airport needed to make an emergency landing after encountering engine failure at 2,500 feet this afternoon.

The media loves to cover these types of accidents for the pictures and video. Often the stories are reported in a slant that makes general aviation sound like it is a reckless hobby.

I am just always glad to hear when a fellow pilot is able to safely bring a plane down after encountering engine problems. I am sure his Flight Instructor would be proud that his emergency training paid off.

Officials said Daniel W. Hayden, 36, of Anderson Township, was flying the two-passenger plane from Lunken Airport to the Butler County Regional Airport at about 1 p.m.


Posted at 10:44 PM | Post Category: In the News | Comments (0) | Save & Share This Story

December 9, 2004

No more Flying Miss Daisy!

freeman.jpgMorgan Freeman will need to return to driving Miss Daisy as his newly acquired pilot's license has been revoked by the FAA. The Oscar-nominated star who has spent the past few years chasing Ashley Judd in frighteningly similar films failed to observe landing regulations at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey.

During approach, pilots need to wait for approvals from air traffic controllers before descending. Freeman reportedly descended 2,000 feet without previous approvals and therefore violated FAA regulations.

An FAA official stated "Each airport has specific approach procedures that are published for that airport, and pilots are given directions by controllers as to what altitude to maintain."

Freeman made the following comments, "I'm being censored by the FAA, and they're going to ground me. The hardest thing about flying is holding altitude."

Many pilots on StudentPilot.com have blasted Freeman for not being able to maintain altitude. When I first learned to fly, managing altitude was tasking but over time became very manageable to the point where maintaining feet to an degree of accuracy of +/- 100 feet is not difficult. Though in Freeman's case the arrival procedures to a busy airport can be tricky for a new pilot.


Posted at 10:19 PM | Post Category: In the News | Comments (0) | Save & Share This Story