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
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
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
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
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
There's no worry that the other pilot can't land the airplane. But it's a little more involved than most of us might think. More
Allen Macbean of American Fork, Utah serves up our latest "Picture of the Week." Click through for a better look and for more breath-taking reader-submitted photos.