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Blue Origin Wins Collier Trophy; Teases Passenger Capsule »

Blue Origin will be the 2016 winner of the Collier Trophy “for successfully demonstrating rocket booster reusability with the New Shepard human spaceflight vehicle through five successful test flights of a single booster and engine, all of which performed powered vertical landings on Earth.” Although Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) was first guide a boost stage to a successful powered landing after launching a real payload to orbit, which Blue Origin has yet to do, Blue Origin has led in actual reuse of the booster stage. More

FO Dies After Inflight Incapacitation »

CNN reported late Wednesday that a first officer aboard an American Airlines Boeing 737-800 became “incapacitated” while the aircraft was on a two-mile final and later died after the captain landed the aircraft in Albuquerque. More

Inhofe Introduces ‘Fairness For Pilots Act’ »

Senator James Inhofe, R-Okla., introduced S.755 (the Fairness for Pilots Act) on Wednesday, which, if signed into law, would offer an additional level of appeals for pilots facing enforcement actions. Under existing law, pilots facing loss or suspension of their certificates due to “significantly unsafe” violations of FAA regulations may appeal to an NTSB administrative law judge and, if unsatisfied, appeal again to the NTSB’s full board. Further appeal to a federal judge is limited to legal error on the part of the NTSB—there is no new finding of fact. More

Garmin G5 Certified As Replacement For Directional Gyro »

Garmin has received Supplemental Type Certificate approval for use of the G5 flight instrument in the heading indicator position for over 600 aircraft types when installed with a Garmin magnetometer. “Furthering our commitment to bring affordable, safety-enhancing and certified solutions to general aviation, the G5 electronic flight instrument that was initially developed for experimental aircraft may now be used to replace a DG or HSI in certificated aircraft and represents another industry-first by Garmin,” said Carl Wolf, Garmin vice president of aviation sales and marketing. More

Mooney's New Models Now Certified »

Mooney's two new models, the M20U Ovation Ultra and the M20V Acclaim Ultra, now are FAA-certified and ready to start deliveries, the company announced this week. Both airplanes come with an all-new interior and a Garmin G1000 NXi panel. The once all-metal airplane now has a composite-wrapped cabin, which the company says produces a quieter ride. And to ease the getting in and out, the cabin now comes with two wide doors. More

uAvionix Rolls Out New ADS-B Products »

As expected, uAvionix, a manufacturer of avionics for the UAV segment, announced this week four new ADS-B-related products that it hopes will ignite what have been lackluster sales of this equipment as the NextGen mandate looms. The California-based company says it plans to leverage potential volume in the UAS market to drive down ADS-B prices for manned general aviation aircraft while also producing products of much smaller physical size. However, for the time being, uAvionix’s products are limited to experimental and light sport aircraft, not certified aircraft. More

Garmin Announces New G3X Touch, GTN Upgrades »

Owners of the Garmin GTN series of navigators will be getting free upgrades in May. The touchscreen navcom systems will now offer visual approach guidance, which provides lateral and vertical navigation advisory data to assist VFR pilots with flying a stabilized approach down a standard glideslope to any runway—including those not served by instrument approaches. More

NTSB Finds Procedures, Systems At Fault In Fatal Helicopter Crash »

The pilot of an Airbus AS350 helicopter that crashed in July 2015 failed to perform a preflight hover check, the NTSB said in a synopsis of its probable-cause report on Monday. If he had performed the hover check, as required by operational procedures, he could have found that he hadn’t returned the yaw servo hydraulic switch to its “On” position after completing preflight checks on the ground. More

Startup Envisions Transoceanic Cargo Drones »

Natilus, a small company with just three employees, based in Richmond, California, is working to launch a transoceanic cargo business with airliner-size drones. They are currently building a 30-foot-long prototype that they plan to test this summer, according to their press kit. They then plan to produce a full-scale, 200-foot-long turboprop drone, built of carbon-fiber composite, by 2020. More

AOPA Says NTSB Too “Speculative” In GA Reports »

The NTSB should conduct an internal review to determine why several recent reports regarding general aviation accidents included “speculative” conclusions that aren’t supported by factual data, AOPA said on Tuesday. In a letter to the safety board’s acting chairman, Bella Dinh-Zarr, AOPA’s government affairs vice-president Jim Coon objected to reports that cited medical incapacitation of the pilot “contrary to other compelling evidence.” More