Famed aerobatic pilot and aircraft designer Walter Extra has set a new FAI record for time to climb in an electric airplane. According to Extra and Siemens, the manufactuer of the motor used in the Extra 330LE, the climb was 4:22 to an altitude of 3000 meters (9842 feet). That's an average climb rate of about 2300 feet per minute. The record is a new C1b class for light landplanes but it doesn't exceed time to climb performance for piston airplanes in other classes. The record applies to powered electric aircraft with a takeoff weight of 500 to 1000 kg.
Civil aviation authorities in Brazil have suspended the operating certificate of LaMia airlines, which operated the charter aircraft that crashed in Colombia last week, killing 71 of the 77 people on board. Authorities have confirmed that the airplane, an Avro RJ85, was out of fuel when it crashed on a mountainside near the Medellin airport. Freddy Bonilla, Colombia’s secretary of air security, said the flight was in violation of both local and international regulations regarding minimum fuel reserves.
As airlines continue to unbundle what's covered by a basic fare, United Airlines announced this week that it will begin charging for the use of overhead space in its cabins. While discount airlines such as Spirit have charged for the overhead for several years, United is the first major airline to do so.