AVweb flash

Turkish F-16s Shoot Down Russian Su-24 »

A Russian Sukhoi Su-24 was shot down Tuesday near the Syrian-Turkish border by air-to-air missiles fired by Turkish F-16 fighter jets, officials said. Various accounts have disputed whether the aircraft was above Syrian or Turkish territory at the time, and a U.S. official, speaking off the record to the Los Angeles Times, said if the jet did cross into Turkish airspace, it was only for a few seconds. The crew reportedly ejected before the crash, but Russian military officials said at least one of the pilots was killed. More

Blue Origin Achieves Safe Rocket Landing »

Blue Origin, the space company headed by Jeff Bezos, has succeeded where every other effort has failed on Monday, the company launched its unmanned New Shepard suborbital space vehicle from Texas to 329,839 feet, then the crew capsule separated and landed under a parachute, and the rocket module also made a safe, powered, vertical landing. It's the first time a rocket has been recovered intact and reusable after a space vehicle launch. More

Eclipse Jets Offered By The Hour »

Ascension Air, which operates a fleet of Cirrus SR22 aircraft from its bases in Atlanta and Fort Lauderdale, now is offering jet cards and time shares for the Eclipse 550 jet. "Our new Eclipse 550 Contrails program will bring personal jet transportation to a growing segment of aviators who want the flexibility and benefits of flying their own jet, without the worries of full jet ownership," said Ascension Air CEO Jamail Larkins. "Our professional owner-services team offers easy fleet access, on-site concierge services, professional aircraft management, a safety pilot, and streamlined scheduling." More

FAA Drone Recommendations Released »

All drones weighing more than 250 grams about a half pound should be registered, according to the recommendations from an FAA task force, released today. The task force, comprising 25 industry representatives from ALPA and AOPA to Google and Wal-Mart, reached "unanimous consensus," said Earl Lawrence, director of the FAA's UAS integration office, in a conference call with reporters. "There were no dissenting opinions" filed to the final recommendations, he said. More

Short Final »

NY Center: "Jetsetter 123, got time for a quick question?" ... JS123: "Sure." ... NYC: "What's the service ceiling on that bird?" ... JS123: "FL 510." ... [A moment of silence followed.] ... Then someone asked: "Does that thing come with astronaut wings?" ... XY456: "Hey Center, what type of aircraft were you talking to?" ... NYC: "He's a G6." ... Some other regional jet driver then chimed in: "Man, I can't even afford a Pontiac G6." ... NYC had to apologize to Air Canada: "Sorry, guys. I was laughing so hard I missed you checking in." -- Jeremy King More

TSA Agents Want More Money »

Just in time for the busy holiday travel season, Transportation Security Administration agents say they're having a hard time getting into the spirit thanks to their contract negotiations with the agency. More

Drone Registration Recommendations Submitted »

Drones weighing as little as 8 ounces will have to be registered with the FAA if the agency accepts recommendations of a 26-member panel struck last month to design a registration scheme. More

Seven Killed In New Zealand Helicopter Crash »

Four British tourists and two from Australia were killed when the sightseeing helicopter they were on crashed in a crevasse on Fox Glacier on New Zealand's south island on Saturday. The pilot of the helicopter, a New Zealander, was also killed. More

Gyrocopter Pilot Pleads Guilty To Flying Without License »

The former postal carrier who landed his gyrocopter at the U.S. Capitol in April struck a bargain with federal prosecutors, pleading guilty on Friday to flying without a pilot's certificate. Doug Hughes, 62, will be sentenced in April next year. More

Bombardier Gets More Canadian Cash »

Quebec's pension plan has paid $1.5 billion for a 30 percent stake in Bombardier's train manufacturing business but the company will use some of the money to fund full certification of its CSeries airliner. More