On The Fly...

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The FAA has issued an Airworthiness Directive (AD) on most modern Piper aircraft requiring modifications to the control-wheel assembly -- Piper had previously addressed the problem. A crash that occurred last year was attributed to the control wheel retaining screw backing out and the wheel coming free. The pilot subsequently lost control...

A vertical takeoff and landing drone that weighs just 8.6 grams will be shown off at the Emerging Technology Fair, part of the Future Creation Fair, in Tokyo from Aug. 27. The Epson Seiko FR-IIhas an endurance of just three minutes but a longer-range version could be used in the future for search and rescue...

Kelleys Island, Ohio, Mayor Robert Quinn has lost his pilot certificate for 60 days after a passenger on the float plane he was operating walked into the spinning prop. Quinn was found negligent for leaving the plane while it was running. Passenger Bradley Underwood suffered a broken collarbone and lacerations when he accidentally walked into the prop while the plane was being unloaded...

Thirty-one passengers and two crew members were hurt when a TAP Air Portugal airliner dived to avoid a twin-engine Beechcraft over the Azores on Friday. The A310 was on approach to the mid-Atlantic islands when ground and cockpit collision alarms went off. The passengers and crew were thrown against the ceiling of the aircraft but none are reported to have serious injuries...

The U.S. Post Office has found about half the missing mail from a plane that crashed near Big Baldy Mountain in Montana Aug. 17. The crash killed pilot Larry Baier and passenger Scott Kiral. The Alpine Express aircraft was carrying 2,655 pounds of mail from Billings to Kalispell when it went down...

A Hollywood stunt pilot is making final preparations to grab some stardust for NASA. As AVweb reported May 3, Cliff Fleming will use a hook hanging from his helicopter to snag the parachute of a NASA capsule carrying minute amounts of matter collected from space. The grab will be made Sept. 8.