In Search Of Airborne Connection
It's been clear for a long time that the pilot population is in decline, but the reasons why and the ways to change the trajectory seem to be somewhat less clear.
Two books provide interesting glimpses of this remarkable airplane. Forty years ago, Paul Bertorelli got his own close-up look and has the scarred knuckles to prove it.
Dodging A Bullet
AVweb's Russ Niles describes what it was like to be waiting on the ramp for a Maverick flying car ride, only to watch it crash on final approach.
Flying Car Fatigue
We've got a mild case of it. Can someone just drag one of these to market without wearing us out with more concept cars?
Aerodiesels: Progress, If Not Thriving
By now, we expected to see greater market penetration.
Aero: Why It's Such a Player
If you want a role on the global aviation stage, Aero is a must-do show.
NORDO No More
So Bertorelli gets a radio in the Cub, and now he's a pattern pest.
FAA Budget Cuts: Go for the Paper Clips
Because it's not too likely we'll save money by closing towers or laying off controllers.
Col. Howell's Worthy Cause
Making a difference one teenager at a time.
Sun 'n Fun Wrap: Drifting
As all shows tend to, this one reflects the industry it serves. 2007 seems like another century.
Disruption, We Know Ye
Good new products always displace good old products. But there's more to it than that.
Pattern Manners to the Test
That's what all these closed towers will do. Are we up for it? We're betting yes.
AEA: Invasion of the Tiny Boxes
What's next, ADS-B in vending machines?
Towers: Talk to Your Neighbor
And try to inject some sanity into the conversation.
But Which Towers?
This isn't an ideological struggle about government and aviation, but a discussion about spending money we don't have.
Atrophy: The Natural State
Persistence may pay off, but all practice means is you might survive.
AOPA's New Direction
The association's problems are hardly unfixable. Here are our suggestions.
Knives on a Plane
The TSA says blades will be allowed. Why are we trying to hard to reverse that?
The Dow Soars, Airplanes Don't
Not so long ago, the stock market and aircraft sales were more than loosely linked. What happened?
AOPA: Fuller's Out, Who's In?
AOPA is at the crossroads. We're not looking for a new leader to pursue business as usual.
The Wrong Kind of Ditching
Normally, it's not a good thing to shear off the nosegear. But this time, it's the best thing that could have happened.
So Close the Towers, Already
Pulling the plug on some of them would be a relief from listening to hysterical screeching about sequestration.
Sometimes, Man Shouldn't Fly
Can't find your favorite chocks? Cancel the flight
Airline Mergers: Why Bother?
It may give the MBAs something to do, but there's no demonstrated benefit for customers.
Drones: More Questions Than Answers
There's a lot more going on in the world of UAVs than most of us know about. Maybe that's not a good thing.
Eclipse Hits the Road
With new production getting underway soon in Poland, Eclipse is finally pulling together the variables to make an airplane that ought to sell.
Scraping the Rust Off With Glass
If you're old school, maybe there's not much real difference between PFDs and steam gauges.
The TEL Scare That Wasn't
As 100LL is surely on its last legs, the company that makes tetraethyl lead says it's onboard to the bitter end.
LSA's Failure to Launch
Whatever the reason, cheap prices alone probably aren't enough to turn sales around.
Dreamliner Goes Political
Politics and aviation go together like a salad and a toss. Question is, will the Senate's hearings reveal much about the 787's battery woes.
Glider Incident No Threat To Freedom To Fly
An incident involving a glider and a nuclear power plant raised questions about the conduct of some local sheriffs but it won't have an impact on aviation in general.
A Ban Doomed To Fail?
It seems odd that based on one incident -- those two pilots who flew right past their destination while absorbed in a discussion and looking at their laptops -- the FAA wants to ban all airline pilots from ever using personal electronic devices while in the cockpit -- ever.
Guest Blog: Fixing Flight Training
Making flight training a respected profession instead of a stepping stone to better things is fundamental to fixing flight training.
The Dreamliner's Battery Fire
The 787-8 is bedeviled by bugs, but a lithium-ion battery fire this week is more than a bug.
Should We Have Published This Video?
It's the one with the skydiving Dornier Skyservant on a hair-on-fire descent and approach. We missed an opportunity to ah...moralize.
A Fatal Accident: Would You Do Better?
That's a natural question when reading accidents reports. A little self-delusion will get you through it.
What Kills Us?
Popular choices continue to be stalling into things like rocks, trees and buildings or, if that won't do, simply running into them with a perfectly functioning airplane.
Alternative Fuel Cooperation
Canada's National Research Council and the FAA are collaborating on finding a replacement fuel for 100LL. The rest of the flying world should be helping out.
LSAs for IFR? Why Not?
Many are certainly equipped for it. There are some legal gray areas, but also a plausible path for a pilot exercising common sense.
Toko-Ri: An All-Time Favorite Film
There's a reason why The Bridges at Toko-Ri ranks as one of the best.
Why add this level of complexity? Someone at Boeing may have said the same thing 50 years ago, but chances are, the answer will come when the B-52 delivers almost a century of service.
FCC to FAA: Let My People Text
But let's hope FCC chief Julius Genachowski doesn't have in mind chatting, too.
Bin Laden Mission: More Wild Helicopter Tales
Round two of why the super-secret helicopter really crashed.
Contract Towers Safer than FAA's?
That's what the DOT says. But the other issue--unexamined--is service and complaint resolution. We're skeptical.
Powerball Airplane Fantasies
What would you be flying if a couple of hundred million came your way?
Next? Death of the Approach Plates
After 70 years, it's time for a new look. Rising tablet acceptance will make it happen.
iPad Mini For the Cockpit
Would Steve Jobs have let this thing out of Cupertino?
Of Wind Skirts and Winglets
Virtually every truck on the road these days has wind skirts. Could active winglets become just as common on airplanes?
Carbon Taxation of Airplanes
The European Union tapped the brakes on this idea. But consider it a temporary reprieve.
Veteran's Day Flyby
Not much veteran-related news, so we made some up.
Election: Ready, Set...What?
Voters sent an uncertain message during last week's election. As a result, aviation's fortunes may be tied to larger political and taxation issues to a degree few of us have seen.
Winging the Weather
Does every briefing really have to be an undergrad course in meteorology? Can't you just, like, look outside?
Denzel Takes Flight
Just don't think of it as a movie having much to do with aviation.
NBAA: Corporate PR Challenges
Cessna had a potential new product on display at NBAA 2012 but we can't show it to you for reasons that seem inexplicable to us. Meanwhile, Hawker Beechcraft has its own PR challenge ahead.
NBAA: Anxious, But In a Good Way
Regardless of who wins, business aviation interests just want to get the election in the rearview mirror.
Saved by an iPad
If the panel goes dark in a jet, can an iPad bail out the crew. That's for sure. We know of at least two incidents where this happened.
Redbird's Training Evolution
Sims aren't new and neither are packaged training programs. What is new is the confluence of both in a cost-effective, customer-centric approach.
Hightower's EAA Departure: What's Next?
From where we sit, this isn't a huge surprise. We can see definite plusses.
Are Flying Clubs Really Worthwhile?
They can be. Clubs are at least one affordable way to give pilots access to airplanes and flying
Felix's Grand Adventure: Mach 1 Falls
And Red Bull oughta sell a can or two of energy drink while we're at it.
Didn't make it to AOPA Summit? You weren't alone but that doesn't mean it was a bad show.
Red Bull's Mach 1 Skydive
In theory, it should work. But can a skydiver fly head down where air molecules aren't even in the same zip code?
Discovery Channel's Plane Crash
If you had $4 million and an old 727, would you intentionally crash it in the desert? Damn right you would. It makes great TV.
AOPA: The Business
In raising the ire of companies like Sporty's, AOPA risks alienating the very people who support it. It needs to step back.
Johnny Can Read, But He Can't Land
Can simulators reduce the runway lose of control accidents? Some flightschools think so.
So Why Don't Airplane Windows Open?
And what's a guy gotta do to tell a joke around here?
Before Norfolk Island, There Was ALM980
These two ditching accidents, more successful than the other, share eerily similar details.
Getting Out The Vote
Does the pilot community have something to teach us about how democracy works?
Norfolk Island Ditching: Still Many Questions
And don't look for the answers in the ATSB's report.
And should we, as journalists, offer more forceful opinions on which designs looker safer than others.
Before trying to predict the future, it's instructive to recall the past.
No Time To Fly? No Surprise
It's not like any of us lead lives of leisure anymore. Plus just getting the airplane flight ready can be enough to put the idea off for another day.
Galloping Ghost: NTSB Nails It
A quick and competent probe revealed an airplane that was simply flying beyond its structural limits.
Armstrong's Final Step
Four decades hence, it may finally be possible to understand why Neil Armstrong talked so little about being the first man to walk on the moon.
Runway Chicken Revisited
If anyone can make the cure worse than the disease, that would be the FAA. Hear it now in live audio.
Why Flying Cars Endure
Mashing a car and an airplane together and expecting to have either perform well is a hopeless dream. Yet inventors persist in trying.
Curious About Curiosity
Great job NASA. But we wonder if a consortium of industry could have done for a fraction of the cost.
A Few Words About That Idaho Crash...
Yeah, it trashed a perfectly good Stinson. But the video did a great public service.
Runway Chicken at DCA
I suppose it's too much to expect the FAA to find the guy who owns this one--probably not a controller--tell him not to do it again and let's all have a beer.
Why Pistons Endure
Two reasons. We like them and we're just not going to see a small, cheap and efficient turbine.
AirVenture Fall Out
Let the carping begin. But the fact is, AirVenture has grown into the world's major GA airshow and I have a hard time seeing why that isn't a good thing.
A strong year for innovation, if not crowds. The world is clearly looking eastward.
Cessna's SMA Diesel Play
The theory was once that if Cessna adopted diesel, so would the world. That's about to get a test.
AirVenture 2012: Two LSA Amphibs
Maybe the fun factor will inject some sales vitality into LSA sales.
AirVenture 2012: Cubs Shine, Avionics Buzz
A delightful Cub arrival and Bendix/King fleshes out its plans.
Beechcraft Execs Want Bonuses
Just as I thought American business ethics couldn't sink any lower, they do.
Lithium-ion For Airplanes: No Thanks
I like the idea. But get back to me a couple of years.
Ash Scattering Done Right
It takes a little more than tossing the remains out of an open window.
Jordan Gets His Wings
It's not every student who gets a chance to train in a vintage Cub. Here's the story of one who did.
Why So Few Partnerships?
If flying less expensively is a goal, they're the most potent way of achieving that.
Journalist James Fallows spent five years trying to sort out China, including its aviation development. The story is diverse and complex and resists a tidy conclusion.
FAA's LSA Crackdown
It's really a bureaucratic paper chase, but shouldn't the agency take a closer look at real safety issues?
The FAA Knowledge Test Under Review
Changes to the FAA knowledge test are under review, but the discussion should go beyond whether or not the questions are public.
Roush Accident Take Away
The one that bears repeating is that AirVenture's distractions can test the skills and discipline of the best of us.
What Now For Hawker Beechcraft?
Perhaps its assets are of interest to Cessna or Gulfstream. But even with debt shedded, if it survives on its own, it faces fierce competition that may make profits elusive.
How Do You Do a Go Around?
Do you shove the throttle to the firewall or finesse the power while you milk the flaps and gear?
Would You Survive a Crash?
That's unanswerable, of course. But sometimes survival turns on the slightest preparation and the belief that you will survive.
The Case For Commercial Spaceflight
It's a strong one. So why are Armstrong and Cernan badmouthing it?
Seven decades ago, two storied divisions stepped out of a thousand C-47s and into history.
Has NEXRAD Eliminated Thunderstorm Accidents?
Maybe. But the hazards are the same as they always were and the biggest one is probably hail.
FAA's Fuel ARC: Progress or Not?
It looks like it. Just don't expect anything to move at the speed of light. (Or cold 50W, for that matter.)
Biofuels Get the Axe
If the Navy and Air Force were hoping for green gas for their airplanes, it's looking doubtful.
Sometimes, the airlines are nothing if not entertaining.
Diesel vs. Mogas
The fuel price spread determines the winners and losers.
The F-22 Debacle
Why can't--and shouldn't--the Air Force just stop sending check to Lockheed Martin for non-performance?
Bin Laden Raid: Why Did the Blackhawk Crash?
We'll probably never know, but it's interesting to speculate.
Regulation as a Field Leveler
If it can't spark competition or innovation, it can at least spread the misery around.
Aero Vlog: Where's the U.S. Capital for Building Airplanes
Probably still chasing 20 percent returns in the cratered mortage bond market.
The Senate reels in AeroNav's effort to charge navigation users fees. Maybe now we'll get some real cost data. (And while their at it, how about nudging the FAA's unleaded fuel transition committee.)
Aero Friedrichshafen Impressions
A younger crowd, tonier exhibits and a serious attitude make this place highly engaging. (Czech girls in short skirts don't hurt.)
Resurrected Spitfires: The Find of the Century
Imagine looking into the cockpit of a Spit that may be in exactly the condition it left the factory 67 years ago. If the story pans out, we're bound to see these flying eventually.
Is the Flying Car Our Moonshot?
And if we don't perfect the idea, will the Chinese do it for us?
Cockpit Tech Convergence? Sort Of
As more apps appear, is the airplane just becoming a conveyance for flying around clever technology? Notes from AEA.
Sun 'n Fun At the Crossroads
Vendors we spoke to had a good show, albeit on less traffic. But what does it mean for the long term?
Sun 'n Fun: Redbird Flies
Redbird's sim program, empty golf carts and other ravings.
Sun 'n Fun Changes
Look for a more lively airshow and larger crowds from the local market.
Space Tourism: Big Market, Big Risks
And what happens in the wake of the first accident? We can only hope it won't be crushing regulation.
'United Front' Waters Down Advocacy
EAA, NBAA and AOPA are speaking as one on a number of issues. It would be better for us all if they kept their distance.
GA's Future: The European Perspective
Yes, there is one. But it's not likely to be based on anything remotely like a mass market.
Diamond: A New Twin Versus a Single
With new trick improvements, can this this thing take on the Cirrus head-on?
Diamond's Commercial/Military Turn
It now earns more money from military and government agency sales than from the general aviation side.
Efficiency as Creativity
That idea shapes Pipistrel aircraft and the airplanes reflect that.
Why Rotax Built an Eco-Engine
It sees where the world market is going on aircraft fuel efficiency and it would like to get there first.
Clearance Over Compliance
That may be the best way to describe what can happen when ATC requests something that taxes a pilot's skills.
You Make The Call
Can an ATC tower operator legally do this? Test your knowledge.
User Fees: AeroNav's Missed Opportunity
Rather than charge users more for its data, it ought to just exit the business.
User Fees: More Blather
Aviation's rite of spring puts us at the center of our own special interest. Will the country ever have a rational discussion of these things?
Of Spitfires and Martial Music
Or how to waste an entire afternoon on YouTube looking for something you didn't know you wanted.
Collings Bomber Tour Comes to Town
You really ought to see these airplanes while you still can.
Drone Tech Gets Creepy
With every stunning advance, there's risk of a dark side.
What's EAA Up To?
Will its base broadening appeal make it directly competitive with AOPA for members?
Gippsland's Airvan: What "Nice Flying" Really Means
If you fly one LSA after another, you sometimes forget what a good handling really is.
Aviation History: Which Events Would You Want to See?
If a genie popped out of the magic lantern and gave you three wishes to witness historical aviation events, which three would you pick?
Red Tails: Entertainment, Yes. Storytelling, No
Think of it as "Star Wars" meets "Flying Leathernecks."
LSA Weight Limits: Is Higher Better?
It's not clear that is. But including more legacy models under LSA won't help new sales.
Tale of Two Captains
One stepped off the sinking airplane dead last, the other made sure he was high and dry first.
Intentional Pucker Factor
Higher-risk training scenarios can pay off a better skill set. You won't have that if you don't practice it.
DOT Taps the Brakes on Airline Fees
Airlines will have to be more transparent in posting fares and give customers a break on change fees. It's about time.
Cirrus Safety: The Real Numbers
With the vaunted parachute system, why aren't Cirrus airplanes the safest rides going?
Cirrus Parachute: A Successful Failure?
It has definitely saved lives. But it doesn't seem to have given the Cirrus anything other than an average safety record.
Mystery Surrounds Air Force Decision, But It's Happened Before
The Air Force refuses to say why it picked the Embraer Super Tucano over the Hawker Beechcraft AT-6B for a light attack aircraft and enquiring minds want to know. There's also some history that puts it into perspective.
Would You Make This Flight?
Night, IMC over the mountains. Chew on it and give us your opinions.
Airline Pilots: Is Anybody Interested in Being One?
Evidently not that much. Would-be new hires are showing up lacking both skills and motivation.
2011 Year in Review
And what a year it was! These things may have happened. Or not.
Airline Travel: We just Expect Too Much
Yeah, right. That's why when gate agents beg people to check bags, they decline, bollixing up the whole system.
Can Glamorizing A Criminal Help Aviation?
Will the story of three-time airplane thief Colton Harris-Moore entice more people to fly? Hollywood has the answer.
AeroNav Gets to 'Splain Itself
Higher digital chart prices seem inevitable. All we'd like is an explanation on the budget so we can decide if the FAA's plans are legit.
Randy Babbitt's Indiscretion
If you can call DUI that. You tell us what to make of it.
Why Isn't Technology Fixing CFIT?
By all accounts it was a properly equipped aircraft flown by an experienced crew that plowed into a mountain in Arizona Nov. 18.
Security Through A First-Time Traveler's Eyes
A first-time traveler shows the rest of us how silly our security procedures are.
Skycatcher's Big Price Hike
Whatever the reason or effect, it ends the notion of a "cheap" LSA.
D.B. Cooper Redux
Did the guy make it or not? On the 40th anniversary of his caper, people are still asking.
Ramp Delays: I Got Educated
According to crews who were there, the ramp mess at O'Hare could and should have been avoided.
Ramp Delays: Educate Us
If you're in the airline biz, tell us why airlines can't avoid shutting people in airplanes stuck on ramps for hours.
The Bottomless Pit
That's what the modern cockpit's data appetite has become. Some owners are chafing at paying as much for data as for insurance.
The Boringness of Bones
It's easy to take our aviation infrastructure for granted, but we'd miss it if it were gone.
LOT's Gear-UP: Thank God!
With all that great video, maybe now we put to rest the notion that gear-up landings are risky.
This Veteran's Day, Thank an Airman
This Veterans Day, AVweb publisher Tim Cole invites you to chime in on the AVweb Insider blog and publicly thank an airman who defended freedom in the armed services. To kick things off, he has a special "thank you" for Capt. William L. Bacheler, author of the memoir "Brave, Splendid Fools."
Fun With Parachute Mode
But try it in a Diamond DA40, not a Cirrus.
Flight 447: Air France on the Hot Seat
Following the premature publication of 447's cockpit transcript, the airline will have some explaining to do with regard to how they train pilots.
More Greenwashing From Sir Richard?
It's worth reading claims about alternative jet fuels with a skeptical eye.
Altaire A Dated Concept
Piper is correct in reviewing and ultimately killing the Altaire project for a variety of reasons.
Another Successful Ditching
This one off the coast of Hawaii. There are reasons why most pilots survive water landings to fly again, even if the airplane doesn't.
Turkey Drop: As God Is My Witness...
Did Arthur Carlson retire to Yellville, Arkansas?
NBAA Notebook: The Politics Of Excess
Politics at the forefront while celebrity is still celebrated at NBAA.
Why Garmin's 796 Isn't An iPad Killer. And Vice Versa
Price Delta has a lot to do with it. But given the iPad's inherent compromises, Garmin will do just fine, thanks.
What Use Is An Electric Airplane?
Do electric airplanes have a future or are they just an intriguing curiosity? AVweb's Mary Grady argues the huge strides in performance prove they're ready for prime time.
Should TSA Be Privatized?
It's tempting to think that doing so would save money and get this bloated agency under control.
Medical Proposal Doesn't Go Far Enough
EAA and AOPA's idea to expand the driver's license medical provision to small four-place aircraft falls short. Abolition of the third-class medical should apply to all aircraft under 6,000 pounds.
How Do You Know When You're Too Old to Fly?
It's a tough question with no easy answer. A dose of honesty will help, along with consideration of how others might be impacted when you can't hack it anymore.
FAA Avgas Replacement Committee
Progress, yes. Transparency? No
Airshow Crashes: An Outsider View
How are non-aviation people affected by airshow crashes? We decided to ask.
Summer Safety Numbers: Can't We Do Better?
Maybe pilots need better ways to analyze and calculate risks.
Should The Reno Races Continue?
That will be up to the people of Reno, not the rest of us.
9/11 Anniversary Aftermath
It was as uneventful as we could have hope for. Still, some just don't get the message.
Cliff Robertson: Actor/Pilot
Robertson died over the weekend at the end of a long aviation and acting career. (And, coincidentally, a bird's-eye view of the 9/11 attack from his Baron.)
Prez Stifles EPA on Ozone. How About Lead?
Not likely, but it doesn't hurt to dream.
9/11: Yes to Commemoration, No To Commiseration
We're right to memorialize the victims. But it's also time to move forward.
Should Airline Pilots Fly More -- Or Less?
Maybe it's time to re-assess the best use of humans in the cockpit -- and maybe it's not to handle the controls.
Tackling Weather in LSAs
If you had the choice of buying weatherlink for your new (or old) LSA, would you use it? Or would it be better to just keep the hangar door closed when the weather gets gray?
Sukhoi's T-50: The End of U.S. Dominance?
That's less of a worry than getting into an arms race with the entire world.
Innovation, Cooperation, And Prognostication
The road to aviation's future is winding and unpredictable, and the slow way forward is not always the worst way.
EAA's Not So Young Eagles
Sure, we love inspiring kids. But the parents have the money.
Lycoming's View: Airworthiness by Design, Not Luck
Part 3: While an aviation spec autogas is technically possible, the market is too small to support broad sourcing.
Lycoming's View: Pump Gas is Not Mogas
Part 2: What Lycoming did to authorize automobile fuels for its engines.
Lycoming's View: Automobile Fuels For Aviation
Part 1: Airworthiness by Design. It doesn't happen by luck.
The Art, Science, and Politics Of Flight
The cumulative power of thousands of airplanes can affect even the most jaded worldview.
Aviation Gets Hosed Again
A Congressional snit over Essential Air Service could delay the FAA's reauthorization for a month.
Eclipse Jet: The Real Story
We know why Eclipse failed. Here's an insider's look at how.
OSH Notebook: More FAA Theatre
Would it be better if the entire agency stayed on furlough? Hey, just askin.'
Lot of campers this year, but a distinct absence of FAA blue shirts.
Avgas at AirVenture: Low Key?
We'll hear a little about it, but the FAA is still too secretive about its activities.
So Long, Shuttle — It's Been Great
Admit it: You probably didn't pay much attention to the Space Shuttle program. But now that's gone, you live in a non-space faring society. How's that sit with you?
A Fear Of Heights And Wingwalking
Even though he's a little afraid of heights, AVweb's Russ Niles didn't mind standing on top of a Stearman in flight.
The Power Of Engagement
The crowds at Oshkosh are the best in the world, because they are fans, not spectators. Hear Mike Goulian describe it.
The P-51 Bailout
The video tells the tale. Let's hear it for round canopies.
What's Wrong With Landing on a Closed Runway?
Nothing, really. Just don't screw it up and try not to hit anybody.
Inhofe's Pilot Bill of Rights
Somehow, we're less than thrilled.
A Summertime Take on LightSquared
While LightSquared isn't going to give up the fight for its piece of the radio spectrum easily, Mary Grady doesn't see a clear victory in the group's future and in her latest post to the AVweb Insider, she reminisces about similar scenarios that have played out in the past.
They Couldn't Jam GPS, Could They?
LightSquared's plan to offer 4G wireless broadband right next to the GPS portion of the radio spectrum isn't going away quietly and in his latest post to the AVweb Insider blog, Russ Niles says it may be time to think about how GPS will share the band with its new neighbor.
FAA on Fatigue: Still No Naps
But turn up the radio real loud and that might help.
Aviation Summer Camp
If it's good for kids, why not adults?
Stuck Mic Follies
What's said in the cockpit, doesn't always stay in the cockpit.
The Power of Paris
Can an air show in Paris rekindle the romance of flight?
Risk At Sea: Would You Do This?
When you're the skipper of a carrier, sometimes you might not have a choice.
B-17 Down: Not Many Left
Raising the question once again: Should we really be flying these old airplanes?
Aviation Biofuels: Continuing Self-Delusion
Biofuel promoters tend to be blind to market and technical realities.
BARR and the State of Privacy
Guest blog: Why should anyone have the right to see where I'm flying my airplane?
LOTOT and the Impossible Turn
Why don't we train this stuff?
Reducing Fatal Accidents: No Low-Hanging Fruit
Unfortunately, many pilots are just a crater looking for a grid reference.
Not so much intentional as failing to ask the right questions.
Dropping the Third Class Medical: Good Idea?
Yes. But it may not be a free ride.
Sky King, Where Are You?
Pilot prospects can find lots of information about flying -- but inspiration is harder to come by.
Brazil's Black Eye: Criminalizing Pilots
They just couldn't figure out a way not to do this.
California Avgas Suit
Is this relatively unknown environmental group trying to upstage EPA?
Why We Don't Care About Fatal Accidents
Crassness is part of it. But with no frame of reference, what's a high accident rate?
Can Fatal Accidents Be Reduced?
Maybe. But it'll take proposals with some teeth.
Flying For Fun
Could ultralights be the gateway drug for the next generation of pilots?
Pelton's Long-Term View Cut Short
When Jack Pelton 'retired' on Monday, the aviation industry lost a powerful advocate. It's probably temporary, though.
ATC Snooze Breaks Aren't Likely
The politics are just all wrong for this idea. And controllers haven't helped their own cause.
Cirrus Decision: No Good Deed
Although Cirrus won the appeal, a dissenting judge suggested by providing training, it actually increased its liability.
First Lady Airplane Fiasco
Mainstream media got this story so mangled, it's hard to tell just what happened.
Should the FAA Allow Controllers to Take Sleep Breaks?
Under the right circumstances, why not?
More Money = Less Snooze?
That's what the FAA seems to think in solving the sleeping controller problem.
A380 Video: A Lucky Break
Seeing what happened might explain why.
Sun 'n Fun Tiedown Tests
Why some airplanes survived and others didn't. (Luck has a lot to do with it.)
Rockaway Beach Landing: Distorted Reality
Note to self: Alaska and New York are different.
Flight 497: The Gift of Time and Airport Proximity
And neither the crew nor ATC wasted a second of it.
Sun 'n Fun 2011: Green Shoots
Let's banish the word recovery and just talk about what we liked.
The Show Will Go On
Sun 'n Fun will be open as usual Friday under sunny skies after hundreds of people spent the night cleaning up after Thursday's storm. Help them out by showing up.
Airliners As Interceptors: Bad Idea
It's basically rescue syndrome run amok. Better to let F-16 drivers do it.
Snoozing at DCA: Two Views
Too bad politics rather than safety may shape the response.
I'm Sorry Dave. I'm Afraid I Can't Do That
Remember that classic line from 2001? If you wondered if we would ever get there, we just about are.
LaHood's Speech: How I'd Have Written It
How about some more specifics, Mr. Secretary.
Potomac Airfield: Our Tahrir Square?
If only. But we don't do street protests, we do meetings and briefings.
Fuel Survey: Give Us Real Numbers
How can you decide what you want when you don't know what it costs?
Fire in Flight: Give It A Thought
As an accident cause, it's rare. But that's not the same as never.
Engine Design: No Talent
Is that why we are on the verge of a fuel crisis?
Should Wrecks Be Recovered?
Should airplane wrecks be recovered from their watery graves, or left in peace?
As Goes Cirrus, Cessna Too?
It's a fair question to which the answer is unknown.
China vs. the American Dream
Is China's acquistion of Cirrus Aircraft part of a long-term strategy or was it an impulse buy? And why are American investors ignoring aviation?
Pretend military lingo meets the definition.
The Persistence of Mystery
Why do we still wonder, 75 years later, about the fate of a lost pilot and her navigator?
Be Careful Out There, Now
What the hell is this stupid phrase supposed to mean?
Pilot Fatigue: Bunk or Real?
ABC news says yes, Randy Babbitt isn't so sure.
Inhofe Incident: Did the FAA Cave?
If it did, it's only by degree. The underlying issue is just bad attitude.
If Your Airplane Flies Itself, Is It Still Fun To Fly?
The technology for autonomous aircraft is developing fast, driven mainly by the military, and it seems likely that within a few years we'll be sharing our civil airspace with remotely piloted drones. It also seems likely that the last fighter pilot has already been born. But what about the last GA pilot?
Another Fuel Committee: The Illusion of Progress?
So far, it sounds like just another re-statement of the problem. But there could be a faint ray of hope.
Kelly Should Skip This Mission
NASA and Mark Kelly say the safest thing for everyone is for Kelly to command the last flight of Space Shuttle Endeavor. We respectfully disagree.
LSAs Just Cost Too Much
Or so says the prevailing wisdom. Here's why it's wrong.
A Mixed Message On Met Towers
The FAA is suggesting that if the folks who are putting up met towers wouldn't mind, it would be nice if they would paint them so aviators have a better chance of seeing them.
FAA Advice on Icing: Incomplete At Best
Although we appreciate the reminder, for all the effort that went into this bulletin, the end product is disappointing.
Sport Aviation Expo 2011
Big sales numbers remain elusive, but there are a few bright spots. And what about Piper?
Recalling the Andes Crash
You remember for how the survivors sustained themselves, but the real story turns on the iron will of one man.
Aviation Biofuels: Real or Green Fantasy?
There's so much information, much of it rose-colored, that it's hard to tell.
Piper Exits the LSA Market
Obviously, its focus is on jets. No surprise.
Airbags For Airplanes
Shoulder harnesses and airbags for GA airplanes could save lives at minimal expense.
Should Governors Have Airplanes?
Yes, if they can make the case. Otherwise, they're ripe for abuse.
FlightPrep's enforcement of its patent on online flight planning has created a lot of discussion. AVweb had some questions we felt went unanswered. Here's FlightPrep's response.
The Bottom Line
Could a recognition that profit is not the only worthwhile measure of success help with the problem of retaining flight students?
Flight Plan Fumbles
Are VFR flight plans more trouble than they're worth? Here's why they can be.
What Now, FlightPrep?
FlightPrep isn't just taking on RunwayFinder in its patent enforcement lawsuit. It's taking on the whole aviation community.
Unexpected Pleasures: Cub Landings
At a turf field, it's a toss-up which is more fun: Sticking the landings yourself or watching your student fly them to perfection.
I Remember Stephen Baltz
He survived the Park Slope crash for only a day, but his name put a human face on an air disaster that changed the system.
The Chinese Take Continental
Isn't it terrible? Not really. Just business as usual in the global economy. Might as well get used to it.
The Best of Jobs, The Worst of Jobs
There's nothing better than flying for a living, unless it's not flying for a living -- that seems to be the consensus of the 90-plus commenters who had their say over the last week or so on the U.S. News Web site, which listed "Commercial Pilot" as one of the "50 Best Jobs for 2011."
AOPA: We're Just Asking
About salaries and expenses, that is. Here's why we think unvarnished questions (and answers) make for a stronger association.
Can Eclipse Make It?
After a struggle, the airplane is finally right and the new company got in for a song. If we've ever seen stars aligned, this deal is it.
Why Freedom of Information Isn't
For government agencies, including the FAA, the Freedom of Information Act cuts both ways. They sometimes use it to frustrate citizen attempts to peer inside policy decisions.
Airplanes as Sacred Cows
The F-35 is just that. But whether its cut or kept, it may be a historical watershed for manned aircraft development.
Friends of the Earth: The Upside
By forcing the leaded-fuel issue, it at least pushes the industry to get off the dime and move forward.
Plenty For Pilots To Be Thankful For
Aviators can add one more item to our list of things to be thankful for.
Guest Blog: Airport Protests Are the Wrong Approach
The Business Travel Coalition is urging groups planning airport security opt-out protests to reconsider, now that they have the attention of the government.
Boring, We Know Thy Name: GPS Navigation
At 500 feet, map reading proves a lot more interesting.
EPA Leaves GA Hanging On Avgas
EPA's first public airing of its thoughts on the future of aviation gasoline was disappointing to say the least.
TSA to Air Travelers: Drop Dead
The agency is digging in against a rising tide of blowback against scanners and pat downs.
NOTAMs: At Least Pretend You Care
Which is evidently more than can be said of Senator Inhofe.
Giving Back, Moving Forward
When called on to give, pilots step up in spades. But why wait for a call?
The Age of DIY Service Is Here
The things we always thought were free might not be for much longer.
Aspen: Driving a Stake Through Iron Gyros
The steam-gauge free legacy panel is just around the corner.
FedEx and UPS as Targets?
Maybe, but you would think they might crack the tape on boxes out of Yemen.
Blinded by the Sight
A near mid-air gets you thinking about things like this.
Glass Panel Redundancy
Are we at the point where we don't need iron gyros for backup? In the experimental world, it's already a reality.
A Wake Up Call on Airport Security
That's what Michael Roberts' refusal to submit to a full-body scan was. Let's hope the issue has enough legs to bring real change.
Cessna's High Performance Turboprop Single Has A Niche
The dream of creating instant jet pilots with VLJs is mostly over. Cessna's response is a single-engine turboprop to groom Mustang owner-pilots.
NBAA: Trying to Know the Unknowable
And that's whether the anemic recovery for business aircraft will pick up steam.
Me and My iPad
This thing ought to be the best cockpit gadget ever. So why isn't it?
Sweaty Palms Over California
Or was it Oregon? Either way, when the datalink weather goes away, so does the steely eyed confidence.
EMS Helo Regs May Help
The problem may be that they've been overused and proposed new rules may offer more balance.
Whatever Happened to Practice?
To actually land an airplane well, you need to actually practice at it.
For Those Left Behind
Participants in the Gordon Bennett Gas Balloon Race had all the latest tracking technology. Why can't we find Richard Abruzzo and Carol Rymer?
A Good Trainer Does All the Teaching
And the CFI should just shut up.
Aviation Recession? Blame Wonder Bread
This doughy old stuff is emblematic of the current crisis. High productivity, stagnant wages and declining disposable income.
Why So Few Women Pilots?
It's been 100 years since the first woman pilot got her license. Why are female "firsts" in aviation still news?
Rules to Ignore
Why some airport policies are more safety hindrance than help.
Talk to the Drone
The Air Force needs to stop grabbing airspace and start integrating its UAVs.
The Disaster That Is LASP
You may think this security boondoggle applies to just large aircraft, but you'd be wrong.
Inspiration Is Where You Find It
It's not that I need a motivational speech to take the Cub for a hop, but it is, nonetheless, nice to have an encouraging mechanic.
Clinging to Skills or to the Past?
If you find yourself decrying over reliance on cockpit technology, it might be time to ask.
Let's Ditch ELTs
There are much better alternatives to emergency locator transmitters. Why are they still the law?
The Limits of Simulator Training
Can pilots be trained in a simulator to handle every conceivable emergency situation or are we just kidding ourselves?
Up Against the Fence, Martha
What happened to John and Martha King isn't so unusual. Here's why pilots are uniquely vulnerable.
How the FAA Works Against Safety
If it had a lick of common sense, LED landing lights would be cheaper and widely available.
Superior's Chinese Connection
Arguing against it is like raging at gravity.
Ted Stevens Crash: A Nasty Reminder
It has always been riskier to fly in Alaska, and it probably always will be.
California Law Needs A Go-Around: Cessna
Cessna agrees that flight students need protection, but argues that California's new law will unnecessarily burden small flight schools with paperwork and added cost that might force them to close.
A Jet Blue FA Loses It
Hey pard, got room on that emergency slide for one more? And I'll take a Sam Adams.
The Risky Lure of Oshkosh
If you fly into OSH, bring your A-game. If you're not comfortable with it, land elsewhere.
Flight Students Need Protection
Student pilots have lost hundreds of millions of dollars to unscrupulous flight schools. California is trying stop it. What's wrong with that?
AirVenture 2010: OSH Mini-Blogs — Final Thoughts
We saw plenty, but next year, we're gonna see it all. Thoughts on avgas, Harriers and cluster balloons.
AirVenture 2010: More OSH Mini-Blogs
Minnie Pearl goes flying and ever wonder what it would be like to be Randy Babbitt?
AirVenture 2010: Avgas — Top 'Er Off with 100 Gallons of Muddled Message
The EPA says it doesn't have the authority to regulate avgas. The FAA says, oh yes you do. Can't these guys get their story straight?
AirVenture 2010: OSH Mini-Blogs
Bose marches along, Lycoming's tech creep and well, it's finally drying out.
AirVenture 2010: The Vision Thing
Long-time EAA President Tom Poberezny is skilled at conveying the passion that drives aviation innovation -- can his successor do the same?
AirVenture 2010: The Avgas Agenda
OSH has a way of kicking things in the butt. Let's hope that happens this year.
Diesel Déjà Vu: Lessons from Packard's Past
Diesel wasn't a slam dunk in 1928 and for some of the same reasons, it still isn't.
Barefoot Bandit: Just Misunderstood
After all, people are always stealing airplanes.
Pelton: Finally, Some Plain Speaking
For those on us on the fuel watch, it was like a blast of fresh, breathable air.
Pushing The Envelope
When a technological problem is at its worst, the pressure to innovate might produce a surprising solution.
Fuel Fight: It's About Time
Here's why we're not ready to join hands and sing campfire songs about finding a 100LL replacement.
Avgas Search: Damage Control
The alphabets get busy saying: we're busy.
Cirrus' New Turbo: Baffling
Cirrus owners are normally gleeful about new models. Not this time.
FCC ELT Rule A Bad Joke?
There should be some furious backtracking on an FCC proposed rule that would ban the use of 121.5 ELTs.
Fuel Crisis: What We Really Need ...
...are the same sophisticated engines cars have.
Pilot Experience? What Pilot Experience?
Airline pilots should actually fly aircraft that are new to them before they take paying passengers.
Self-Delusion Saves Lives
We're told that lying to ourselves and overestimating our abilities is a sure path to failure. Tell that to Gene Kranz, who worked against impossible odds to save Apollo 13.
How Can An Airshow Be Boring?
Lack of organization and a glacial pace can kill it. And don't forget the Porta-Potties. A tale from Tulsa.
Your Accident: Film at 11!
You think you had a bad day? How 'bout the Stearman pilot at DCA.
For Lycoming, 100 Is the Magic Number
Octane, that is. Anything less promises to shrink the industry.
DC-3 Reunion Too Important To Screw Up
A nasty public spat between EAA and The Last Time threatens to diminish a celebration of the DC-3. Someone has to be big enough to save this event.
Ghost of Merlins Past
Adept Airmotive's new V-6 line bears passing resemblance to the iconic Rolls Royce V-12.
ADS-B Rule: Big Bucks, Paltry Benefit
The FAA's new rule on ADS-B hamstrings what little benefit there might have been for GA. You'll have to buy what's really an expensive new transponder, and, oh, you'll have to keep your current transponder, too.
Survival by Random Chance
Except sometimes chance isn't random. And a simple tool or two could make all the difference.
UAL 27: A Cheap Inflight Fire Lesson
When smoke and flames erupt, getting on the ground can take an eternity.
Butting In: Should You When Another Pilot Goes Awry?
Every airport has one or two self-absorbed morons intent on doing themselves in. Do we have a responsibility to stop them?
Alternate Fuels: Give Us Your Views
Now that we've had our say, we would like to hear from you.
TCM Buys a Diesel: Does This Make Sense?
It's not without risk, but Continental wants advance rapidly and a fully baked design allows them to.
AAL2's Kennedy Emergency: A Useful Lesson
One, be prepared. Two, be assertive sooner.
Trumped-Up JFK Emergency?
You can't go declaring an emergency just because you don't want a crosswind landing. Sez who?
Newsflash: A Powerful Radio Won't Shoo Away Traffic
But some pilots seem to think that's the way it works at little uncontrolled airports.
Oil Slicks and Avgas
If the looming mess in the Gulf gets worse, we could be seeing a major oil policy sea change. It's hard to put a smiley face on it.
Paying The Price For ADS-B
If you're thinking of equipping for ADS-B, think it through first.
Lycoming's IE2: Perfect Timing?
That could very well be the case now that the EPA is hardening its stand on leaded fuel.
Sanity In Aircraft Sales
Maybe it would work better if we made what we could sell rather than trying to sell everything we make.
Jeff Skiles: How to Handle Fame? Ignore It
That's how Flight 1549's First Officer has navigated the media onslaught.
Eclipse: Shoulda Worked, Still Can
The new company is making all the right moves.
Better To Treat Depressed Pilots
New drugs mean clinically depressed pilots can fly safely; a new FAA rule will let some do it legally.
When Following the TFR to the Letter Isn't Enough
We pilots do our best to color inside the boxes when it comes to TFRs and NOTAMs. But it's kinda hard to play by the rules when the cluster of government agencies don't bother posting a all critical details and have no clue what to do with a well-meaning pilot who blunders unwittingly into the abyss they just created.
Aviation Reporting: Bad to the Bone
There are plenty of examples of bad aviation reporting in the mainstream media, but this week I ran into one of the worst mish-mashes I've seen.
Setting the Standard in Washington
After two strikes, President Obama needs to broaden the search for a new TSA chief.
Aviation Reporting: Good and Bad
If you don't understand it yourself, you can't write about it.
A Miraculous Rescue
Kudos to CAP. But reading between the lines, we'll take preparation over this kind of luck.
Drone Wars: Exciting, But Creepy
And it's not just the military, either. Think of a FedEx freighter with robots instead of pilots.
EFIS Safety Study: Hardly a Surprise
Could it be that glass is really no better than steam gauges?
Slap a little yellow paint on some fabric and people slobber all over your airplane. Don't ask me to explain it.
TSA Takes Military Turn
Does military intelligence translate to transportations security? We'll see.
JFK, Fear and Risk
Can the JFK kid-controller fiasco teach us anything about risk management? Yes, if we're listening.
Kid in the Tower: Cute, Very Cute
You might wanna run this by some adults before you try it again.
Fat Fliers: What Should Airlines Do?
They should start by re-seating or tossing passengers who require a third of a neighboring seat.
Airport Management: Suffering Fools
That seems to be how the game works at many airports, including mine.
Maybe Pogo Was Right
Or how we really can be our own worst enemy.
Austin: It's a Test, Really
Are readers getting tired of over-hyped terrorism stories? We may be about to find out.
Is Lead in Fuel Morally Bad?
If it is, show me why.
Snow Day Cyber-Hangar-Flying Options
With one-third of the U.S. population shoveling snow this week, we explore virtual ways to spend some hangar-flying time online.
Going Postal In The Security Line
I wanted to. But I restrained myself.
Flying G100UL: Yeah, It Works
Now lets see if we can keep the bureaucracy from killing it.
Unity Results in User Fee Victory
User fees died because GA outflanked the airlines and the bureaucracy.
Do Stunts Help or Hurt?
There's no question that flying for 65 days in a 172 is a stunt.
Should We Stay, Or Should We Go?
When disaster strikes, what is the role for general aviation pilots?
iHype: iPad = Perfect EFB?
Could be. It looks to be the right size and the price is reasonable.
Sport Expo: Closing Thoughts
Although modest, this show tops my list of fun ones to attend.
Airlift Reality Check
We learned 62 years ago that big airplanes ace little ones.
Haiti: Airplanes to the Rescue
Here's how to help directly.
All Sully, All The Time
TLC's new documentary, Brace for Impact, is worth a look.
Films You Gotta Watch
Wartime training films: When the government did things right.
Aviation Security: A Nation of Boobs
Unfortunately, that's what DHS make us look like.
Being Able To Act Makes All The Difference
Jasper Schuringa saw a problem and wasn't afraid to act. The almost 300 people on Northwest Flight 253 may owe him their lives.
CFI vs. Pilot
It should be customer/vendor, not teacher/student.
Dear Idiots: Cirrus Stall Revisited
Readers take issue with our view of the world.
The Pilot Experience Conundrum
If nothing else, we are shockingly predictable in our reaction to a 1500-hour requirement.
The Last Huey
After five decades of service, the venerable UH-1 slips into history.
In Their Own Voices: B-17s in IFR
With fewer than 300 hours, wartime pilots did it because they had no choice.
G100UL: This Is Gonna Be Interesting
If this fuel pans out, why didn't anybody think of it before?
TSA Lockout: Can't Anyone Think Anymore?
We all the know the answer. We can only hope fear mongering will fall out of fashion.
Harry Hurt: Another Great Lost
You might not know the name, but you'll know his work.
Ed Stimpson A Modest Giant In GA
Industry mourns one of the good guys in GA.
Let The Captain Take Charge On The Ramp
If they did, we wouldn't need passenger rights groups.
Ditching: Getting Out
There's a method to it. But at night, it takes discipline and determination.
Hey, Women — Where Are You?
Women make up only 6 percent of the pilot population in the U.S. Mary Grady explores the reasons why.
Another Jet Ditching: Westwind in Oceana
What would you do in the same dire straits?
Saint Sully: How About Some Credit for Airbus?
In his new book, William Langewiesche argues that fly by wire pulled its weight before splashdown.
Amelia vs. The Spirit: No Contest
Modern film makers can't sell dramatic detail as well as older films could.
AOPA Snips and Bits
Random observations, leading with: Should it be called "Summit"?
Airplane as Pig Sty
Anyone who has ever flown a long cross-country in an airplane knows that the cabin turns into a disorganized mess of charts, water bottles, headsets and snack sacks. Why is that? Give us a good reason and we'll send you a hat.
Flight 60 vs. Flight 188 — The Art of Failure
Those poor sods over at Delta who landed their B767 (with 193 aboard) on (active) taxiway M at ATL after being cleared to land on runway 27R in the pre-dawn of October 19 sure had one thing going for them -- what the pilots at Northwest were about to do on October 21 to trump them. But did they?
Flight 188 NORDO: Admirable Restraint
Why it made sense for the F-16s to stay on the ground. (If they did.)
Arguing? You’re Kidding, Right?
Here's why it may be better if Northwest 188's crew was actually asleep.
VLJ? What VLJ?
For the bizjet industry, that term can't fade into obscurity fast enough.
[MORGUE] Safety Is No Place For a Turf War
NBAA: Somber, Resigned
A turnaround will come. But not next week or maybe even next year.
Media Frenzy, GA Opportunity?
The "balloon boy" story revealed some weird ideas out there about aviation, maybe the new "Amelia" film will provide a positive spin.
Balloon Boy's Media Frenzy
Why cover it? Because it's news if DIA is about to get shutdown by a wayward science project.
Safety Is No Place For a Turf War
More on VLJ Price Fantasies
What shoots down the next big game changer isn't technology, it's economics.
EFIS As Lifesavers?
Pardon me, but I'm not buying it.
GA in New York: Let's Not Roll Over
You want to ease congestion? Lose a whole bunch of regional jets.
Airlines as FAA Customers?
Not on my watch, says Randy Babbitt. Here's why he's got it exactly right.
USA Today Blows It On Airport Funding
"USA Today" writer Thomas Frank apparently thinks airport funding should go to the 139 "well-known" airports that handle commercial traffic. Let's hope he doesn't have a heart attack somewhere else.
Being first to break a story isn't always the best way to be first in service to your audience.
The Victor Dustup
Yes, probably an accident. But not exactly a bolt from the blue, either.
The VLJ Price Fantasy
Low ball prices haven't worked yet. And they probably never will.
NTSB's Hudson Recommendations: Mixed
The board's suggestions won't fix the problem, however, because there is no problem to fix.
Batteries Should Go By Ship, Not Airplane
ALPA is right. These things are too dangerous to fly.
No LSA For Diamond
That's because the venerable DA20 may just run LSAs into the ground on long-term training costs.
The Past Creates The Future
Let's not demolish the Langley Full Scale Wind Tunnel.
NTSB's Snit Fit
Frankly, we expect more measured responses from this agency.
Hudson Midair: Let The Howling Begin
Butin the midst of it all, there's one sane voice: New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Sometimes Only A Business Jet Will Do
Business owners will tell you that sometimes the only way to get things done is to travel by private aircraft. The State Department now understands that after Bill Clinton's successful rescue of two American journalists in North Korea via a business jet.
AirVenture: The Day After
Soft economy or not, OSH rocked this year.
A380 At OSH: Yeah, It Was a Hard Landing
But is it fair to say that? Here's why we think it is.
What Now, Terrafugia?
Terrafugia's first try at a roadable aircraft wasn't terribly successful but the bright young minds behind the project are giving it another well-funded try.
Why Seeing Stars Can Be More Cool Than GPS
Why bother knowing about celestial navigation? No reason, except that it's part of being a better pilot all around.
A Few Words About Apollo 11
It may have been 40 years, but the thrill still isn't gone.
The U.S. Might Not Lead In Electric Flight
The race for a viable electric airplane might go faster if the three main U.S. proponents worked together instead of competing.
Remembering the JFK Jr. Crash
Awful as it was, AOPA's efforts explained the tragedy in terms reporters and the general public could understand.
United Breaks Policy And Faith With Employees
United Airlines hung its employees out to dry in the overblown case of Dave Carroll's broken guitar. Even Carroll is squirming at United's offer.
Global Warming And Airplanes
Why no one wants to talk about it, much less do anything about it.
Something You Should See
When a news release about a tiny wing-flapping drone came across our desks, we didn't give it the time of day. Maybe we should have.
Greener Airplanes, Bluer Skies
When we talk about airplanes getting greener, it's not just emissions that make the difference.
Tip of the Hat to Tampa
How often to you complain to the airport authority and actually get a callback? At Tampa, you do.
Aviation and the $6 Hot Dog
This is the year that food vendors at OSH and other shows need to rollback prices.
Lancair Knows News
Lancair has it right when it comes to media relations. It's handling of a gear-up landing in the Evolution Turbine is a model for other companies on how to deal with uncomfortable news.
Amphib LSAs: It Doesn't Get Any Better
But don't take our word for it. Go get a demo flight. If it doesn't peg your fun meter, you don't have a pulse.
Colgan Fallout: What's With The Secrecy?
Seems to us if the government is holding a hearing on air safety, they shouldn't be doing it behind closed doors.
Why Speculating on Crashes Is a Good Thing
It clarifies your thinking, and you might even learn something.
GA A Soft Target for Security?
Pilot David Perry and his passengers were detained, searched and interrogated at gunpoint last month in Long Beach, Calif., and the Customs and Border Protection Agency won't say why. Is this what general aviation security will look like in the future?
Air France: This One's Gonna Be Tough
Professional-grade speculation gets lots of mileage out of Airbus's complex fly by wire. Is that just a whipping boy?
Good Gov, Bad Gov
You have to cheer when the FAA spanks a local anti-aviation city council. That's good use of tax dollars if you ask us.
Is Stall Training Broken?
And if it is, are glass cockpits making it worse?
Colgan: No Experience, No Judgment
If the Colgan crash in Buffalo showed us anything, it might be that learning to fly in a sunny climate can be bad for your and your passengers health.
Why Did The Feds Seize Claude's Skyraider?
For the past six months Claude Hendrickson, of Bessemer, Ala., has been the happy owner of a vintage Douglas AD-4N Skyraider but the beautiful aircraft has been seized by ICE. Inquiring minds want to know why.
Was Buffalo Disaster A Glimpse Of The Future?
The NTSB hearing into the crash of a Colgan Air Dash-8 Q400 in Buffalo in February raised serious questions about the process of staffing the cockpits of regional airliners.
The Power of GPS Confidence
We talk a bunch about GPS and position awareness, but there's another aspect we don't talk about as much. Call it "position confidence." Doubt in the cockpit can cause confusion and delay. Remove the doubt and you may find yourself dealing with ATC in a whole new way.
Sean Tucker's Fuel Exhaustion Adventure
For the wise guys among us, Sean Tucker's fuel exhaustion event is a gentle reminder that self-confidence doesn't support combustion.
Is Sun 'n Fun, Like, Over?
The current recession shaved the top off attendance at Sun 'n Fun. But don't sweat it, this show's not going anywhere except back to Lakeland next April.
FAA's Turn Toward Secrecy
Wait a minute ... isn't the FAA supposed to assure public safety in aviation? So why did it bury the White House photo op notification?
New York to White House: Are You %$#&*^& Nuts?
On a scale of 1 to 10 for stupidity, the White House decision to buzz New York with Air Force One for a photo op is a 13. Not telling anyone about it ahead of time borders on evil.
Marc and Paul's Sportsman Pre-Sun 'n Fun Video Blog (Part 5)
The guys finally make it out of Winnemuca after two days of snow and ice and cross the Sierras back into the Golden State.
Marc and Paul's Sportsman Pre-Sun 'n Fun Video Blog (Part 4)
Marc and Paul runnamucca in Winnemucca! That's in Nevada, by the way and home of the friendliest FBO on the planet. Good thing, 'cuz the boys have been snowed in there for two days. Here's the dramatic details in the final installment of the Sportsman Pre-Sun 'n Fun vid blog.
OSH Tower Waste Is Tragic
The old air traffic control tower at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh was pulverized and hauled to the dump last week. AVweb's Russ Niles thinks that's a tragic waste.
Marc and Paul's Sportsman Pre-Sun 'n Fun Video Blog (Part 2)
Marc Cook and Paul Bertorelli continue their Sportsman odyssey with a look at this unique aircraft.
Marc and Paul's Sportsman Pre-Sun 'n Fun Video Blog (Part 1)
Gearing up for the Sun 'n Fun extravaganza in Lakeland, Kitplanes editor Marc Cook and AVweb editorial director Paul Bertorelli are motoring around the west in Cook's Glastar Sportsman visiting companies prior to the show. Here's their first video blog report.
Aviation News: Dog Bites Man
Was the stolen Cessna 172 story just media sensationalism? Maybe so. But readers still want to read about it.
Enola Gay: History's Surprises
Front and center at the National Air and Space Museum's Udvar-Hazy Center is the Enola Gay, the legendary B-29 that flew into history in August, 1945. The pilot's seat looks as it did in 1945, except for one important detail.
Stolen 172: Foot, Meet Mouth
Oh great idea! Let's leave the keys in airplanes on the flight line. That'll really impress everyone.
There was tough talk from a tough competitor at the Aircraft Electronics Association meeting in Dallas as Cessna's Jack Pelton doled out some strong medicine for an industry facing tough challenges.
TCM Tackles the Fuel Problem
For nearly three decades we've been writing stories about the difficult struggle to find an octane enhancer as good as lead, and now here comes TCM to say, well, never mind. It reminds me of that classic headline about World War I: "Archduke Found Alive; War a Mistake."
Is Babbitt Good For GA?
Randy Babbitt will have his plate full instantly (assuming he is confirmed as FAA administrator), but the main question is the way he'll lean on key issues, based on President Barack Obama's public posture on GA.
The Air Force's Dud Airplane Names
In a stunning lack of imagination, the Air Force will name the F-35 the Lightning II. Geez, guys, have a naming contest or something.
Our Future Starts Now
Non-profit aviation organizations are struggling as much or more as the rest of us during this downturn and if you can spare anything to help them out you'll help ensure they're there when this passes.
Note To the Air Force: Butt Out
Why do otherwise sober-sided military services make stupid decisions like forcing the CAF to give back its Twin Mustang? Childishness comes to mind.
Swift Fuel: Is It for Real?
Swift Fuel, a bio-based replacement for 100LL, sounds too good to be true. But if the stars align, it just might succeed.
When Trained Pilots Make Dumb Mistakes
Sometimes we have trouble understanding how and why this happens. Here's why we shouldn't.
Awful Media Coverage of Crashes
Falling out of the sky! Deadly icing! Dangerous stalls! Oh, the humanity! (And why it's not really that bad.)
Dear Mr. President: Give Us a Break, Willya?
Yeah, we know: Some companies abused bizjets. Can we get over it now and move on?
Looking Past Eclipse
Eclipse Aviation's rapid descent into oblivion didn't do aviation in general any favors but there are lessons to be learned from it tedious demise.
ADM, Chaos Theory, and Why There Will Always Be Crashes
The final details of why Flight 3407 crashed outside of Buffalo will be a while in coming, but whether icing or error is singled out as the final cause, crashes like this will always be part of travel by air. At least every once in a while.
Handing Out Stimulus Money? Let's Save Datalink WX
Sirius XM's bankruptcy would crater datalink weather. Why not have the government buy it with stimulus cash instead of chasing ADS-B?
3407 in Buffalo: FAA Better Pray It's Not Icing
If icing turns out to be the cause, the tragic crash of Flight 3407 in Buffalo may cast harsh light on FAA footdragging in requiring better ice protection and procedures for Part 25 turboprops.
Pelton Gets to the Point
While the world waits for a miracle from the trillions of dollars government is pouring into economic stimulus, Cessna's Jack Pelton is urging the industry to get busy and get flying.
Sullenberger and Haynes: Cut From the Same Cloth
Sullenberger and Haynes: Cut From the Same Cloth
Watching Chesley Sullenberger's interview with Katie Couric made us think, "hey, we know this guy." But no, we were channeling Al Haynes.
Flight 1549: You Were Expecting Maybe Shrieks of Panic?
You want to hear how first class ATC coordination is done? Listen to New York TRACON's handling of USAir Flight 1549.
Cirrus: Taking the Chill Out of Icing
With its new certified into known ice package, Cirrus has kicked up weather flying to a new level.
BizAv, Meet Darwin
Business aviation isn't just coping with the suddenly rotten economy, it's fighting the perception that it's irrelevant and wasteful in these circumstances. Those who adapt to the new realities will survive, even thrive.
Light Sport in Sebring: Bucking the Tide
Sebring's Sport Aircraft Expo continues to show this market segment has legs. Attendance was good and exhibitors sold some airplanes.
Airmanship to Live For: Flight 1549
USAirways Flight 1549 was a textbook ditching with the best outcome imaginable. Here's why we'll learn plenty from it.
Aviation United? We Can Hope
Virtually all aviation industry groups are in on a lobbying effort to get the government to allocate money for aviation projects. Why isn't it like this all the time?
Cultural Collision: Why Brazil Blew The Legacy Probe
Brazil stumped the rest of the world with its wrong-headed conclusion about the Legacy/GOL accident. Here's why.
Diamond: Doing the Right Thing?
For some Twin Star owners, the Diamond/Thielert front has been a little too quiet this fall. But Diamond now has solutions for beached DA42 owners, or soon will have.
Numbskulls in Detroit: Part Deux
Let the games begin: Bailout money, yes; corporate aircraft, no.
Do You Buy a Position or Assume It?
A reader recently wrote AVweb complaining that Eclipse hasn't refunded his EA400 deposit. Are you guys paying attention out there?
Reasons to Love a Parade
Dances with airplanes. (Yes, there are pictures.)
Should Pieper Retain Eclipse?
As Eclipse Aviation's biggest investor, CEO Roel Pieper has the most to lose in the company's collapse. Does that mean he's the right person to try and save it?
GA Isn't Always the Right Answer, But These Days It Looks Wrong Even When It's Right
We like to point out how great it is to travel by light aircraft. But IFR editor Jeff Van West says we're just doing all of GA a disservice when we stretch this point too far.
Want an Airplane Partner? Here's Help Finding One
Building an airplane partnership has always been hit or miss--mostly miss. The newly formed Aircraft Partnership Association wants to use the Web to change that. Here's how it works.
Recessionary Paradox: GA Innovates As It Shrinks
Arguing that GA is dying is like saying a fat man on a diet is committing suicide.
I'll Miss Jerry Smith
Garmin's Jerry Smith was recently killed in the crash of his Cardinal. He knew everyone in the GA business and everyone knew him. We'll miss him.
Hard (But Friendly) Times For Aviation
As the economic problems trickle into aviation, the atmosphere couldn't be friendlier at AOPA Expo 2008.
TSA's Dangerous New Proposal
Slowly but surely, the TSA is chipping away at the freedom of movement general aviation flying represents. And that's why you need to comment on its latest proposal. Jeb Burnside explains.
Viral Video Is Just What The Creators Ordered
You've probably already seen it by now and made up your own mind but is the YouTube video of a Red Bull-type race plane losing a wing and then miraculously landing the real deal? Our Editor-in-Chief doesn't think so.
Recession? What Recession? Airplane Sales Tell the Tale
Aircraft sales are the canary in the mineshaft when it comes to leading economic indicators. Thus far, brokers say they haven't seen a major downturn.
Unbundling: The Sensible Way to Price Airline Fares?
Air Canada unbundled its airfare structure in 2004. Could the same solution keep U.S. passengers from getting steamed when charged to check a bag?
Fresh Blood for Aviation, One Waiter at a Time
A chance meeting in a chain restaurant may have launched a career in aviation for a young Orlando man, but it should be easier than this.
If Oil Is Cheaper, Why Isn't Avgas Cheaper, Too?
If oil prices are falling, why isn't avgas cheaper? It may be. You just haven't seen it yet.
Higher Horsepower Engines for Older Airframes
You don't have to break the bank to install a higher horsepower engine in an older airframe.
Why Falling Oil Prices Aren't Good News
In the current economic gloom, oil prices are in retreat. That's a good thing, right? No, it's not. And here's why.
BizBlog: Making Believers of Light Jet Buyers
AAI Acquisitions showed up at NBAA to flog the A700. But is just showing up enough?
BizBlog: A Collective Holding of Breath
At NBAA, the gathering credit crisis is topic number one. Gloomy is the wrong word, but spooked comes to mind.
There Are Affordable Airplanes: The Katana Is One
In a market swooning over new models costing well north of a half million bucks, Diamond's Katana bought used stands out as an affordable way to stay in the air for a little more than pocket change's worth of fuel.
FSS Under Lockmart: Stop Whining and Lobby For Some Better Tools
Don't like the brave new world of Lockheed-Martin's Flight Service? Too bad. It's here to stay and after three years of working at it they've clawed their way back up to the level of adequate. Some of what we once had with locally knowledgeable briefers is gone forever, but at least one gem of bygone days could be brought back with the right software and some willing users.
Fresh Hell for Eclipse: A Poster Child for FAA Mismanagement
In 2006, the FAA wasn't moving quickly enough to certify Eclipse's EA500, so the company pressured the agency from the top to move faster. Here's why that will ultimately slow certification projects for everyone.
Why Don't You Have an Engine Monitor?
Why Don't You Have an Engine Monitor: In the era of $6 and higher gas, there's no reason not to have one of these devices. It will help with leaning and provide all-important engine maintenance cues.
Read all about monitors in this article from Light Plane Maintenance.
Thielert's Recovery: Call Us Skeptical
Thielert's insolvency master says it has found investors for the troubled diesel engine maker. We just don't see how they find value in the company.
Eclipse's Difficult Future: Why Success May Be Elusive
As Eclipse seeks its next round of funding, the challenges it faces or more difficult than ever. In this blog, Paul Bertorelli offers penetrating analysis of the company's chances.
Piper Matrix: A Surprise Top Seller
When Piper announced the Matrix--a stripped down version of its Mirage--Aviation Consumer thought the thing would be a sales loser. Here's why the reverse has been true.
Florida, Hurricanes and Airplanes: A Second Look
Flying an airplane out of the path of an approaching hurricane involves some tricky decisionmaking.
Florida, Airplanes and Hurricanes
Why don't more owners move their airplanes out of a hurricane's path? One reason is that insurance companies don't expect them to. Paul Bertorelli argues that this is short sighted because it encourages victimhood and costs us all money.
It's Not Business As Usual In Russia
All of a sudden Russia and the U.S. are toe-to-toe again, and it's probably not going to be the last time. What does that mean for GA?
Don't Count on the Industry to Invent Cheap Flying; It's Not Gonna Happen
Flying and cheap shouldn't be used in the same sentence. Why can't we learn that lesson?
What Does Affordable Flying Mean to You?
At AirVenture Oshkosh, EAA has made a laudable effort during these financially challenging times to demonstrate that the point of entry for purchasing and building an airplane can be as low as buying a car but the organization seems to be missing the point that the first check, the one to buy the aircraft, is probably the smallest check they'll ever write for an aviation purchase. It is the cost of maintaining and actually flying their craft that adds up.
Show Attendance: Up, Down or No Change?
If there are fewer people at OSH this year, it's not obvious. Airplane people are a resilient lot, it seems.
Vern Raburn: Never Saw It Coming?
Vern Raburn was shown the door at the company he created. Why did things go so horribly wrong?
Avidyne's Not to Be Outdone
GA's next big thing is synthetic vision. Now that we have that out of the way, how about an HUD?
The New Kitbuilt Rules: Endangering the Freedom of the Many for the Excesses of the Few
The FAA tried to clarify confusion over the oft-discussed 51 percent rule in the kitbuilt community. Here's why they made things worse.
GA Has Its Own Version of the Airline Mess…
Paul Bertorelli opines on why GA is asleep at the switch when it comes to doing something about the escalating price of oil.
Raise the #@!$% Fares: Part II
The airlines want you become a junior lobbyist and urge Congress to crack down on oil speculators. What they should be doing is asking you to demand a consistent, practical national energy policy.
A Codeshare Agreement To Watch
In what may be the first codeshare agreement of its kind, low-cost carriers Southwest and Canada's Westjet have given each other access to their networks. The legacy carriers should be worried, especially if this kind of thinking spreads.
Hal Shevers Told the FAA to Rent Airplanes Somewhere Else: Here's Why
It's hard enough for a flightschool to make money without the FAA coming along to muck things up by causing chaos on the ramp and tearing up the airplanes.
Earth to Airlines: Raise the #@!$% Fares
Passengers have figured out that airfares must rise. Why can't the airlines do the same?
ICON: A Jetski With Wings (Can You Tow It With A Prius?)
Can glamor and a "can-do" attitude create a practical, saleable and functional aircraft for under $140,000? Marc Cook, the editor of our sister publication Kitplanes, says he'll believe it when he sees the much-vaunted ICON fly.
Aviation Regulators Need To Embrace Technology
Live-saving aviation technologies are available--if only the road from tech to flight deck wasn't so long and slow.
Forget Gas Prices, Stupidity Is Killing GA
Asinine GA airport security procedures are enough to make anyone go on a holy tear. Here's our swing at that ball.
Will Apple Kill Garmin?
Garmin gets serious competition from Apple with the new iPhone. But will customers really flock to a navigation-capable cellphone?
Recalling the Big One: Not WW II, The Great Leaning War
Here's an amazing number: Merely by operating engines lean of peak, aircraft owners are saving themselves more than $30 million a year. That's a big number. Will Lycoming ever embrace the idea?
Thielert's Flawed Economics (And Why the Company Knows It)
Our analysis of Thielert's new diesel engine pricing shows that the diesels now cost more than twice as much as a turbine engine to maintain. We don't see how this can work.
Thielert: How To Kill A Company (Maybe Two)
If Thielert thinks it will dig itself out from bankruptcy with its stratospheric new parts prices and no warranties, it's likely in for a rude shock.
Cirrus Goes With Garmin…But This Time, It’s Different
It was probably inevitable that Cirrus would eventually offer the SR22 with the Garmin G1000. But they've designed a version of it that offers exceptional integration and ease of use.
EBACE Notes, Gripes and Accolades
After three tries, I have the power converter that works with my computer, I've figured out the shower and the lights in the hotel room (let me know your experiences with that) and have been utterly smitten with the beauty of the surroundings and the puzzled and bemused helpfulness of the people. And in one day I've seen graphically the imperative of following the global shift in this industry. Now, if I could only get my cell phone to work ... .
Wanted: Aerodiesel from Honda
If the Germans have had their chance with aerodiesels in the Thielert Centurion engines, maybe it's time for Honda to take a swing at it.
Maybe It's Not About the Airplane
Maybe the VLJ is not the critical asset to make air taxi services work. Take a modern turboprop like a Caravan or a TBM or Pilatus, and park it next to the last-century light twins that used to form the bulk of the air-taxi fleet, and there's no comparison. The leap from these modern turboprops to the new VLJs is a much smaller one -- in overall performance, point-to-point, some of them are virtually even.
There Are Glimmers Of Hope In This Air Taxi Thing
I can't ever remember DayJet saying they were going to set the aviation world on its ear. All I remember is them saying they thought this air taxi thing with a cheap little jet might work. And it still might.
Thielert: How Big a Mess and Can Anyone Fix It?
Thielert is now insolvent. But can anyone fix its underlying problems? What if the engines themselves just aren't economically viable?
Class Warfare in the Skies
Something that's always struck me as odd about this whole user fee thing is that it's one of those rare political issues where the proletariats have come to the rescue of the bourgeoisie.
Thielert's Board is Steamed, and Here's Why That's Not Good
It's quite possible that Thielert could find itself in receivership. If it does, this will complicate life for owners of Thielert diesels, for Diamond Aircraft and for Cessna. It's hard to imagine how a bankruptcy won't momentarily interrupt deliveries of new engines and partswhich haven't been all that great to begin with, say Diamond and owners we have interviewed. There's obviously a large enough installed base to constitute a business worth reviving but it's hardly a lead pipe cinch toward profitability.
When AVweb's There, We're Right There
AVweb Video Editor Glenn Pew wanted to capture what it's like to fly the inverted ribbon cut, a signature element of Patty's popular airshow. After strapping the camera in place, Glenn helped set up the ribbon alongside the runway and he stood by as Patty made the low altitude pass.
Volunteer-Built Zenith 701 Headed for Missions ...
When I saw the request posted by Jim Hoak on the Matronics Zenith email list, calling for builders to assist volunteers in an unusual and worthy project, the metal bug bit again. The volunteers planned to build a Zenith 701 during the six days of Sun 'n Fun, built from a kit purchased by one of the workshop members. When the aircraft is completed (and dubbed Angel 1), it will be donated to a missionary organization.
Celier Aviation Xenon Shines in Chopper Town
It's taxicab yellow and bulbous on the bottom, but when Mike Bantum fires up the turbocharged intercooled Rotax 912 on the Celier Xenon gyroplane, heads turn to watch the twin-tailed gyroplane pre-rotate its extruded rotorblades and then roll just a hundred feet or so as it seems to hop into the air.
LightSPEED Aviation Announces Improvements to Zulu ANR Headset
A lot of buzz has surrounded LightSPEED Aviation's newest ANR headset, the Zulu, introduced at AirVenture 2007, with the first sets shipping in September 2007. Featuring Bluetooth connectivity between the headset and your cellphone, MP3 player or other compatible devices, LightSPEED has integrated current (and convenient) technology with the headset's aviation-specific features.
New Insight Engine Monitor and So Much More
A buddy intercepted me on the flight line, and said there was this new engine monitor on display that you could use to balance your prop. After I got my brain to accept this concept, I went to find out myself, and ended up at the Insight Instrument Corporation booth.
New EFISes Star at Sun 'n Fun
Several new EFIS models and upgrades have been introduced at the Sun 'n Fun Fly-In.
Andair Announces New Throttle Quadrant
Following on an impressive line of fuel system components manufactured from high quality materials and methods, Andy Phillips of Andair is proudly displaying his new throttle quadrant system at this year's Sun 'n Fun.
E-Mag Adds Evolved Magnetos to Lineup
E-Mag Electronic Ignition of Azle, Texas, had plenty of new goodies at their Sun 'n Fun booth this year. The prototype of the new six-cylinder electronic magneto was on display, along with software that allows the pilot to precisely set the E-Mag ignition timing parameters while in flight.
Trio Avionics’ EZ Pilot: Built for Safety
It is not that other autopilots are unsafe, but the EZ Pilot products, an autopilot and an altitude select/hold servo (two independent units) are both designed with key safety features that are not typically seen on autopilots.
Kitplanes Mag Reports from Sun 'n Fun
Tuesday's weather and mood were considerably better, with good foot traffic on the grounds and plenty of activity in the four big hangars housing the indoor exhibits. The overall mood is that homebuilts are far from endangered.
Aspen's Evolution EFIS: So Simple a Caveman Could Operate It
On the surface, the Evolution might look like just another glass display, but the potential game changer for the market is the price/capability ratio.
If You Can't Handle Migs, Don't Fly in Mig Alley (Applies Also to F-16s)
I'm trying to be sympathetic here, but as a former F-16 and now airline pilot friend of mine says, if you play in the sandbox, expect to get sand in your shoes. The rules of operating inside active MOAs are clearly stated in the Aeronautical Information Manual. I won't quote it chapter and verse here, but the upshot is you're permitted to use the airspace, but you do so at your own risk, unless you're under IFR.
Our Wasteful Training Habits
We're wasting fuel in the name of safety and it's time we started sharpening our flying habits to save money and the environment.
A Bad Rap for GA?
On March 15 at Aspen-Pitkin County Airport, frustrated airline passengers were told via the PA system that the reason they were delayed was that there were too many private aircraft getting in the way of airliners. Of course it was much more complicated than that but the message was heard by hundreds of people just looking for someone to blame for their inconvenience.
Are Diesels Really More Economical?
As avgas approaches a $5 average, will the economy of diesels sway the market? To answer this question, I spent the last couple of weeks exhaustively researching the diesel vs. gas economy question. The final report will appear in the April issue of The Aviation Consumer.
The Courts and Aircraft Certification
A Seattle lawyer says his goal in a suit concerning the crash of a Cessna Grand Caravan is to have the aircraft decertified for flight into known icing. AVweb's Editor-in-Chief says it's none of the court's business and urges the aviation community to keep an eye on the case.
The Collier is for people and technologies that have been proven as game changers in aviation. That's not to say there shouldn't be an award for the hopeful and optimistic projects out there that might just make it. But the Collier shouldn't be it.
Experimental "51%" Solutions — Is Primary Category the Answer?
Could, as the Aviation Rulemaking Committee suggests, Primary Category be the bridge between super-fast-build Experimentals and the turnkey (but noncertified) aircraft the market seems to demand? Is the so-far good record of LSA enough to make it viable?
The Bio-Fuel Delusion
I'd wager that no reasonable man (or woman) believes that planting and mowing hectares of palm trees will yield enough bio-fuel to make a measurable dent in the Jet A market ... .
Lost in Space
In 1969, we flung three guys into space and two of them landed on the moon and came back home with a suitcase full of moon rocks. With the exception of subsequent Apollo missions, no one has done it since. And 39 years later, no one's even close.
Adam Aircraft: If Only They'd Listened...
With a crashing thunderstorm as a backdrop and the National Geographic light that rainbows and sun slanting through the deluge creates, the A700 tracked smartly through Aeroshell Square on its way to the Adam exhibit. Not only was it the first VLJ to fly to Oshkosh, it was great to look at and had features (like a potty) that the others didn't. Sure, it was just a shell at that time but you could see it was going places. From the time it arrived, the Adam exhibit was always the most crowded and the buzz from an otherwise lackluster show was all about the A700. In sports and politics, they call that momentum.