On The Fly...

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The Air Force spent $2.6 billion on 50 transport planes it can't use according to a report by the Defense Department's Office of Inspector General. The C-130Js don't meet operational requirements and can't be used in combat. Both Lockheed Martin and the Defense Department say the C-130J program is meeting all cost and contractual targets...

The FAA has withdrawn a potentially costly Airworthiness Directive on Cessna 400-series twins. The AD would have required a $75,000 modification to the wing spars but, after protests from AOPA and just about everyone who flies the planes, the agency agreed to look at other ways of tackling the spar problems...

A Swedish pilot has developed a folding guitar that he can take with him in the cockpit. Now, we're not quite sure why Fredrik Johansson needs his guitar in the cockpit (and we're frankly afraid to ask) but he spent $26,000 on three prototypes. The neck folds into the body and the strings roll up and he says it doesn't need to be tuned after reassembly...

What used to be encouraged as a friendly gesture has landed an All Nippon Airways pilot in hot water. The unidentified pilot allowed a total of 27 passengers into the cockpit on a flight from Kansai to Dublin. Since 9/11, virtually all airlines are required to lock their cockpit doors in flight...

Cessna is expecting to beat its jet sales projections for the year. The company got more orders than expected in the second quarter, prompting it to revise its predicted sales of bizjets from 175 to 180 for the year. However, revenues for the quarter dropped by $75 million because of generally weak sales...

A Taiwanese satellite is unraveling the mysteries of strange weather sometimes spotted in the high heavens. The lights were once dismissed as folklore but then space shuttle scientists started seeing them. They're believed to be caused by discharges of electricity from above thunderstorms.