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Drone Operator Fined $1.9 Million »

The FAA on Tuesday announced its largest-ever civil penalty against a drone operator, proposing a fine of $1.9 million against SkyPan International, based in Chicago, for “careless or reckless” operations. The FAA says SkyPan conducted 65 unauthorized commercial drone flights to take aerial photographs in New York and Chicago between March 2012 and December 2014. About two-thirds of those flights took place in the “highly restricted New York Class B airspace,” the FAA said. More

FAA Expands Remote Control-Tower Testing »

Fort Collins-Loveland Municipal Airport has been named as the first test facility for the FAA’s new Virtual Air Traffic Control Tower technology, the agency announced last week. Currently, the field is non-towered. The new system, which will be up and running by next summer, is expected to help attract commercial operators to the airport. “The high-tech array will provide an enhanced level of air safety at a cost dramatically lower than the expense required for construction and staffing of traditional towers,” according to the Colorado Division of Aeronautics. More

Airline Captain Dies En Route »

The captain of an American Airlines A320 died during a flight on Monday from Phoenix to Boston, according to an airline official. Few details have been released about the pilot, but officials said the death was due to an illness. The flight diverted to Syracuse, N.Y., and landed shortly after 7 a.m. An airline spokesperson told ABC News they were "incredibly saddened" and are focused on taking care of the family members and crew involved. More

Short Final »

This past week I watched the Wings Over Wine Country Air Show practice from my hangar at KSTS. I was listening to the tower on my handheld. While I was listening, three different pilots wandered into the TFR, causing the rehearsals to be delayed. The fourth time it happened was when the Canadian Snowbirds had just started their routine. The tower notified them they would have to stop until the offender left the zone. ... One of the Snowbirds then asked the tower: "What's with all these pilots busting the TFR?" ... The tower responded: "Welcome to Sonoma County. They drive like that, too." -- Scott Peterson More

Pilot Faces Jail For Rescue Flight »

A helicopter pilot credited with saving the life of an injured hunter in New Zealand is facing a possible jail sentence because he did the flight with his license suspended for a suspected medical issue. More

AVIC Building GA Industrial Bases In China »

China's largest aviation company says it's building the first of 50 aviation "industrial bases" aimed at serving the country's general aviation market. The Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) Chairman Lin Zuoming told the Xinhua News Agency the 30-square-kilometer (11.5-square-mile) complex will include manufacturing, research and training facilities. More

Aviation Industry Wants Carbon Offset Scheme »

A blue-chip consortium of aircraft manufacturers, aviation groups and associated industry companies and organizations is calling for a global carbon offsetting program to make aviation carbon neutral by 2020 and to "halve aviation's net emissions by 2050, compared with a 2005 baseline." More

UAS Industry Urges FAA To Finalize Drone Rules »

The drone industry and other GA groups made another public push this week for the FAA to move ahead with commercial regulations for unmanned aerial systems. Wednesday was the date set by Congress in 2012 to complete the rulemaking process, but in recent months it has been apparent that the FAA wouldn't be ready. More

Aviastar Airline Twin Otter Missing In Indonesia »

The search is still underway in Indonesia for a missing DHC-6 Twin Otter operated by Aviastar, a domestic airline. There were unverified reports Sunday that wreckage had been spotted. There were three crew members and 10 passengers on board, according to the Jakarta Post. More