AVweb flash

Two Airplanes Successfully Ditch In Pacific »

Two airplanes, a Cirrus SR22 and a single-engine Cessna, ditched off the coast of Hawaii Monday morning, and all on board have been rescued. The Cirrus chute deployment, splashdown, and the subsequent rescue were caught on video by the U.S. Coast Guard. More

Drone Found On White House Lawn »

A quadcopter about two feet in diameter was found on the lawn inside the White House fence on Monday morning, the Secret Service has reported. In a 3 a.m. news briefing, the Secret Service said "an investigation is underway to determine the origin of this commercially available device, motive, and to identify suspects." The drone did not appear to be a threat to anyone inside, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said. President Obama was in India at the time of the incident. More

Short Final »

Back in the early 1960s, I was a USAF F-101B Voodoo interceptor pilot flying out of the San Francisco Bay area. Every couple of months, we would have an exercise where friendly T-33 target aircraft with the callsigns "Brainbird Alpha," "Brainbird Bravo," "Brainbird Charlie," etc. would sneak up on the base. I got to fly the target one time, entering from Oregon over the Baker Beacon (an early ADF radio range). Passing over the beacon, I got to call the FAA and announce: "Brainbird Bravo is over the Baker Beacon!" -- George J. Marrett More

Private Aircraft Still Blocked From Cuba »

Those dreaming of flying to Cuba in their own aircraft will have to wait for now. Even though the U.S. has liberalized travel restrictions to the island nation and some airlines are gearing up for scheduled service, the virtual ban on flying a private aircraft from the U.S. to Cuba remains in effect. More

Two Eagles Team Launches Pacific Flight (Updated) »

Two balloonists lifted off from Saga, Japan, about 6:30 a.m. local time on Saturday in a quest to cross the Pacific and set new distance and duration records for their category of aircraft. Troy Bradley, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Russian Leonid Tiukhtyaev plan to continue flying for up to 10 days, perhaps to Albuquerque or beyond. More

GA Groups Urge FAA To Consider ADS-B Compliance Concerns »

Fourteen GA groups told the FAA on Friday the agency must straighten out issues with the ADS-B Out compliance rules if aircraft owners are to meet the 2020 deadline for the new equipment requirements. In a letter to FAA Administrator Michael Huerta, they highlighted concerns including compliance for experimental aircraft, which don't have type certificates and so can't comply with a new certificate or STC. More

New Sleep Apnea Rules March 2 »

The FAA will impose new guidance on obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) to air medical examiners on March 2. The new rules are much different than the controversial 2013 edict that came from then-Chief Flight Surgeon Fred Tilton, which automatically grounded pilots with body mass index of 40 or more. More

Medical Reform Still Has Friends In GA Caucus »

Advocates of third-class medical reform hope the campaign will forge ahead with help from new leadership in the congressional GA caucuses. Sens. John Boozman, R-Ark., and Joe Manchin, D-W.V., will co-chair the Senate caucus. In the House, Reps. Sam Graves, R-Mo., and Marc Veasey, D-Texas, will serve as co-chairs. Boozman and Graves (also a member of the House Aviation Subcommittee) had previously spearheaded medical reform legislation. More

Man Pleads Guilty to Pointing Laser At Police Helicopter »

A Maryland man pleaded guilty this week to a federal charge of pointing a laser at a Baltimore County police helicopter in 2014, the Baltimore Sun reported. The helicopter was flying over a high school in September when a green laser beam twice illuminated the cockpit, according to the Sun's report on the court case. James Robert Hensler, 24, will be sentenced in March and faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. More

Drone Pilot Settles With FAA Over Video Flight »

A drone pilot who fought a $10,000 government fine for filming video with an unmanned aircraft in 2011 has settled his case for $1,100 without admitting guilt, Bloomberg reported Thursday. Raphael Pirker, a Swiss citizen, flew a drone over the University of Virginia in 2011 to make a promotional video. In court, he challenged the FAA's authority to criminalize drone flights. The FAA has yet to come out with a proposal to regulate commercial drone operations, even though the agency said it would have one by the end of 2014. More