Editors Archive

Strange but true general aviation news

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

Was that a beer can that just flew by? A promotional Budweiser Beer blimp that broke loose from its tether at an event in Saint John, New Brunswick, was found in a forest outside the city, reports CBC. Transport Canada issued a notice to pilots about the wayward blimp.

High-flying UAVs seek marijuana crops. If you’re illegally growing marijuana in the West Midlands region of the U.K., you may want to reconsider. The government is now using UAVs with heat-seeking cameras to find farms using hydroponic lights to grow their “crops,” reports the Halesowen News.

Speaking of UAVs A UAV operator in Springfield, Ohio, was arrested after his drone, while shooting video of a car accident, would not get out of the way of a medical helicopter trying to get to the scene, reports AvWeb. The man said he was going to give the video to a television station.

Water landing. A Swedish man survived his aircraft ditching into water off the Norrtälje municipality after he forgot to raise the landing wheens as he approached the water, reports The Local.

 

Working hard for your first regional fly-in

Friday, April 25th, 2014

kodiakIt looks it’s going to be a Texas-sized event. We’ve had about 2,000 individual RSVPs, and 707 airplanes are expected. Airplanes have already begun to arrive in advance of the fly-in, which kicks off Saturday, April 26.

Our Sweepstakes Debonair is front and center on the static display, waiting for you to check out her new engine and those decals you’ve been reading about. Editor at Large Tom Horne picked up the Debonair in Santa Fe, N.M. He got to San Marcos in about three hours, doing 199 knots, thanks to a brisk tailwind. Not too shabby.

It’s pretty warm today, and promises to be warmer on Saturday. I found Irma Ward in the shade of the air traffic control tower, with an easle set up. She was busily painting a portrait of the B-17 Aluminum Overcast, which is here at the airport selling rides. She and her husband, Hugh, came to San Marcos from Arlington, Tex. Hugh likes airplanes (they own a Piper Arrow), and Irma enjoys painting, so she’s painting the beautiful Flying Fortress for him, she explained. Hugh must really like Aluminum Overcast, because he had paid for a ride today.

One of the early arrivals was Gary Cole and a buddy, who arrived in Cole’s 1963 L-29, a trainer made in the former Czech Republic. Horne made a beeline for the unusual trainer, and quizzed the pilot as he was climbing out. Cole said it burns about four gallons a minute “if you’re just out playing around,” and 10 liters per minute in economy cruise.

We hope to see you on Saturday! If San Carlos isn’t in your neighborhood, perhaps one of our other regional events in 2014 would be more convenient.

 

 

 

 

 

Strange but true general aviation news

Friday, April 25th, 2014

Darned birds. A pilot was forced to land his aircraft after flying into a flock of birds, reports the South Wales Evening Post. The pilot landed the aircraft, which flipped over, on his own airstrip. He was later diagnosed with a slight concussion.

When drones attack. A female competing in the running leg of Australia’s Endure Batavia Triathlon was unable to finish after allegedly being hit in the head by a drone being operated by a photographer,  reports the Guardian.  The photographer says his drone was not to blame, claiming the woman tripped after being startled by the drone.

Escape plan. An aerobatic stunt pilot was able to parachute out of his single-engine aircraft before it crashed on Vermont’s Interstate 89 near Highgate, reports the Burlington Free Press. The pilot suffered minor injuries.

Icy rescue. An 80-year-old man was rescued after his 1977 Citabria aircraft broke through the ice in Canada’s Little Trading Bay, reports Canoe.ca. He sustained minor injuries and was treated for hypothermia.

Speaking of rescues…A Good Samaritan is being credited with rescuing two passengers on a Beechcraft Bonanza that crashed in the water as it attempted to land at Florida Keys Marathon Airport, reports the Bradenton Herald. No one was injured.

Land Rover debuts technology aimed for cars that’s meant for aviation

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

The name Land Rover is synonymous in the automotive world with luxury utility. It’s the ultimate SUV for the aristocracy, whether officially recognized as such or just self appointed. It’s never been considered the most innovate, or even the most reliable brand. A recent announcement may change that. The company is developing a forward-looking camera system that creates the illusion of a see-through hood. The off-road applications are obvious when you think of the large rocks, gullies, and other obstructions these vehicles are meant to handle. But where a technology like this has real promise is aviation.

Describing the technology doesn’t do it justice. Watch the video below and the use in aviation becomes immediately obvious. 

It’s a bit of a misnomer, but what’s most impressive about the see-through hood is that you can still see the hood. Having a full view of everything in front of you would be useful, but it’s invaluable to know where the machine is in space. Imagine what this would mean in an aircraft. Judging the flare would be a non-event. Those nose-high full-stall landings would be easy and routine. Forget all that talk about how far down the runway to look. All the pilot would have to do is look out the front, through the cowling and to the runway stripes below. Or maybe off to the side a bit, through the door and tire until it touches the pavement. Even a helicopter, with its characteristically great view angles, would benefit from a system like this. The ability to look below and slightly ahead would be great in an off-airport landing, or even a normal touch down on pavement.

There’s only one problem with all this–it’s unlikely to ever happen. Given aviation’s glacial pace of innovation and strict regulatory environment, the hurdles are large. Which is unfortunate because Land Rover has proven that technologically it’s all within our reach.

Goodyear narrows names for new airship

Monday, April 21st, 2014


Goodyear newest airship

After receiving nearly 15,000 submissions for its national “Name the Blimp” contest, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company has selected 10 finalist names for its newest airship (pictured above). Now, fans can vote for their favorite name online, through May 9.  

The names up for voting are: Adventurer, Ambassador, Commitment, Excursion, Explorer, Goodwill, Inspiration, Pride of Goodyear, Resolute, and Wingfoot One.

The new airship, which took its first flight last month, is larger, faster, and more maneuverable than its predecessor. Technically a zeppelin, this is the first semi-rigid airship to be built in the 95-year history of Goodyear’s Wingfoot Lake, Ohio, hangar. During its long operational history, Goodyear has built more than 300 lighter-than-air vehicles, including two large rigid airships–the U.S.S. Macon and U.S.S. Akron.

What do you get for voting on the new airship’s name? Nothing but the satisfaction of knowing you participated–although the person who submitted the winning name will receive access to the blimp for a day. (Yeah, now I wish I had submitted a name, too.) Goodyear will christen the new blimp this summer.

 

Strange but true general aviation news

Friday, April 18th, 2014

No drones!! The FAA has taken exception with the Washington Nationals baseball team using a drone to take photos of its players during spring training, reports CBS Baltimore.  The agency said the team should have informed them before taking the photos.

Speaking of drones… AvWeb reports that an eight-year-old Irish lad had a tooth removed via a drone being operated by his father.  A string was placed around the tooth, and the drone flew about 20 feet, yanking it out.

They survived. Two men flying a Czech-built Allegro 2000 light sport aircraft  survived after crashing near the edge of the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills, N.C., reports PilotOnline.com. The aircraft ended up near a private back yard, and the men walked away from the scene.

Helicopter rescue. A wind surfer on New York’s Long Island Sound had to be rescued by the Westchester County Police Aviation Unit after going out too far, reports New Rochelle Patch.

Hat tip to General Aviation News for sharing the FlightChops video below of “The Scariest Take Off I’ve Ever Seen.”

Boeing 737 side-by-side with A380

Friday, March 28th, 2014

Here’s an interesting perspective on an Airbus A380 and a Boeing 737 making parallel approaches into Los Angeles. Boeing, how small thou art!

Strange but true general aviation news

Friday, March 21st, 2014

Drinking and flying don’t mix.  A man is facing DUI and obstructing a police officer after allegedly stealing an aircraft from Boulder City Municipal Airport in Nevada, reports Examiner.com.  The man, seen “recklessly” taking off and landing five times, said he was trying to complete part of his pilot’s license.

They should have just acted normal. Police in Cody, Wyo., confiscated nearly $260,000 in cash from two men who flew into Yellowstone Regional Airport without a pilot’s license and behaved suspiciously, reports the Powell Tribune. One man was charged with flying an unregistered aircraft, while the other was not charged.

Bootleggers in the sky. The owner and pilot of Alaska’s Ken Air charter business is in hot water after being accused of  pointedly ignoring illegal booze being carried on trips in his Cessna 206, reports the Daily News Miner. The owner has been under surveillance by the Statewide Drug Enforcement Unit since 2010.

Now selling on Amazon! General Aviation News reports that SCOUT Paramotors  has become the first  powered aircraft to be sold on Amazon.com. The Slovakia-based company builds backpack aircraft from  aluminum and carbon fiber.

Emergency landings. A pilot made an  emergency landing outside McKellar-Sipes Regional Airport after losing oil pressure, reports the Jackson Sun. A pilot was forced to make an emergency landing near Otago, New Zealand, reports the Otago Daily Times. A pilot and his passenger walked away from an accident in a Cessna 182 after making an emergency landing 100 feet away from a strip at Maryland’s Chesapeake Ranch Estates Airport, reports Southern American News Net.

Strange but true general aviation news

Friday, March 14th, 2014

EBay auction for Soviet “Bear” bomber pulled.  Someone trying to auction a Soviet-era Tupolev Tu-95 “Bear” on Ebay pulled the long-range strategic bomber from the site, reports ARS Technica. The non-flying aircraft is located somewhere in Ukraine.

Do the crime, do the time. Sergio Patrick Rodriguez, 26, of Clovis, Calif., has been sentenced to 14 years in prison after being convicted of pointing a laser into the cockpit of a police helicopter, reports the Sacramento Bee. He claims that he was just playing with his family and meant no harm.

Lightning does strike twice! There were not one, but two accidents within two days on the Alton Bay ice runway on New Hampshire’s Lake Winnipesaukee, reports the Concord Monitor. No one was injured in either accident.

Now taking off: AC/DC’s drummer. Phil Rudd, drummer for the iconic rock band AC/DC can move forward with reapplying for his helicopter license after a court in New Zealand ruled he didn’t lie on his application about a marijuana conviction, reports the Guardian. But he did cop to  failing to maintain a logbook and was fined $700.

 Emergency landings. A pilot escaped injury after making an emergency landing in a field in Wood’s Cross, Utah, reports the Deseret News. A pilot flying a Piper Saratoga  made an emergency landing at South Carolina’s Myrtle Beach International Airport after the aircraft’s landing gear wouldn’t come down, reports WMBF-TV. A pilot and passenger were not injured after making an emergency landing of a Cessna 152 at Australia’s Moorabbin Airport, reports the Herald-Sun.

Strange but true general aviation news

Friday, March 7th, 2014

Let’s go to the GoPro! Mia Munselle of Cloverdale, Calif., was minding her own business as she was wandering around her pig pen when she found a pig chewing on a GoPro camera, reports the Telegraph. The camera had footage of two skydivers about to jump as the camera falls to the earth, where it sat for eight months.

A daring helicopter rescue! A critically ill French Antarctic expeditioner aboard the expedition ship L’Astrolabe was rescued by the Tasmania Police and the Westpac Rescue helicopter, reports Mercury News. The boat was located just outside the range of the helicopter, but the pilots were able to make the rescue.

Asleep at the yoke.  An Australian businessman and politician caused flights in Sydney to be diverted after he put his Cessna 210 on autopilot and fell asleep, reports the Sydney Morning Herald. Air traffic controllers made the diversion after being unable to wake the pilot.

It was an interesting flight lesson. A student pilot practicing landings at Massachusetts’ Mansfield Municipal Airport made a landing that was too low, hitting a snow bank at the end of the runway, reports WLNE-TV.  The student was not injured, but the aircraft damage totaled $45,000.

Emergency landings. A pilot made an emergency landing at Washington’s Newman Airport after experiencing engine failure, reports Australia’s ABC News.  A small jet with seven passengers aboard skidded of a runway at Chicago’s  DuPage Airport, but no one was injured, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.