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The FAA’s processes combined with financial constraints have created a bottleneck that has held up roughly 1,000 certifications, industry representatives told a House aviation subcommittee last month — and it could get worse, they said. “In the past year alone, the certification office lost resources due to the sequester, instituted a hiring freeze, and had staff furloughed for more than two weeks due to the government shutdown,” vice president of civil aviation at the Aerospace Industries Association, Ali Bahrami, said. Bahrami warned too that the industry “continues to grow,” and existing budget challenges make the FAA’s ability to keep up with the industry, “not in the realm of possibilities.” There may be regulatory changes coming that will help, but the financial challenges remain. Read More
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Three of the major players in the tablet navigation business say the new iPad products are fully compatible and are noticeably faster at getting information to the pilot. "ForeFlight Mobile version 5.4.4 (already available for download from the App Store) is fully compatible with the iPad Air," said ForeFlight CEO Tyson Weihs. "The air screams - the best evidence of this is the speed with which ADS-B in-flight weather from Stratus loads on the Airs." Hilton Goldstein, of Hilton Software, was similarly enthusiastic about the iPad Air for WingX. Read More
A British company has designed and flown a new airplane, the e-Go, powered by a Rotron wankel rotary engine. The design fits into the Single Seat De-Regulated class, established by the UK in 2007, which is similar to the U.S. ultralight class. The e-Go flew for the first time last week, completing several test flights and a demo flight for supporters and the press. With a top speed of 135 knots, the airplane is too fast to qualify as an ultralight in the U.S., but the developers are taking deposits for copies in the UK. It sells for about $80,000. They also plan to develop an experimental kit version and an LSA for the U.S. market. "We set out to design a fun flying machine," company founder Tony Bishop told the BBC. "It's lighter and faster and more fun to fly, we think, than anything that's out there." Read More
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Lighthawk, a nonprofit group based in Wyoming that works to use volunteer airplanes and pilots to promote environmental conservation around the world, recently was awarded a grant from AOPA to help expand outreach efforts. The group was one of 10 recipients of $10,000 grants in AOPA's first "Giving Back" awards, which were announced at AOPA Summit. "This program is our way of supporting those groups that are making a difference through charitable programs that rely on general aviation," said Stephanie Kenyon, vice president of strategic philanthropy for the AOPA Foundation. Read More
Lighthawk, a non-profit group based in Wyoming, recently won a grant from the AOPA Foundation to help them expand their outreach efforts across the country. At AOPA Summit in Fort Worth, Texas, Lighthawk outreach manager Greg Bedinger and program officer Ryan Boggs spoke with AVweb's Mary Grady to explain how general aviation pilots can help in their efforts to protect endangered species. Read More
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A 61-year-old man flying Tuesday as passenger in a Robinson R44 tour helicopter near Newport Beach, California, appears to have opened the door and jumped out while roughly 500 feet above the ocean, according to local police. The man was recovered from the water and later pronounced dead at an area hospital. First reports state that the man paid $310 in advance for a 30-minute coastal tour for two, but arrived alone. During the flight the man opened the helicopter’s door and jumped out while the pilot attempted to restrain him, the pilot’s father told the Los Angeles Times. Details offered by the deceased man’s brother may offer some explanation. Read More
Yves Rossy flew his unique jet-powered wingsuit above Mount Fuji nine times last week, as part of a celebration of the mountain's official designation as a World Heritage Site. Each of the flights lasts about 10 minutes. When the fuel is exhausted, Rossy deploys a parachute for landing. It was Rossy's first flight in Asia. "It's a fantastic privilege to be a little mosquito flying in front of that big mountain," Rossy told reporters on Wednesday. "It's really impressive. It's a perfect form, a huge mountain, a huge volcano, a presence that you can feel on the ground and also in the air." Read More
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What You Missed in AVwebBiz This Week

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Just in case you're not taking advantage of AVwebBiz, here are a couple of the stories you missed this week.

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A final rule affecting how airline pilots are trained went into effect on Tuesday, the FAA announced. The rule, which stems mainly from investigations following the Colgan Air crash in 2009, has long been in the works, and recently was delayed by the federal government's shutdown over funding disputes. The rule, which the FAA said will cost the industry up to $354 million to implement, requires new ground, simulator, and flight training to change how pilots address and recover from stalls. "The rule marks a major step toward addressing the greatest known risk areas in pilot training," said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. "I'm also calling on the commercial aviation industry to continue to move forward with voluntary initiatives to make air carrier training programs as robust as possible." Read More
The Santa Monica Airport belongs to the city, officials said in a lawsuit filed last week, challenging the FAA's claim that the field must be operated "in perpetuity." The city reportedly would like to close the busy airport, which is surrounded by residential neighborhoods, and the recent fatal crash there has intensified opponents' complaints about safety concerns. The suit says the 1948 agreement between the city and federal authorities was unconstitutional, and asks the court to name the city as owner of the airport's 227 acres. The airport is home to several flight schools and nearly 300 aircraft, and is a popular destination for business jets. Read More
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Scott Thomason of Greer, SC bring a little family fun to our latest "POTW." Click through for more reader-submitted photos. (1914-1915) Read More
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Meet the AVweb Team

AVweb is the world's premier independent aviation news resource, online since 1995. Our reporting, features, and newsletters are brought to you by:

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That's what is looks like as TSA introduces its new TSA Pre program. Here's a firsthand impression of its merits. Read More
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Game theory is gaining favor as a means of training in all sorts of disciplines, and now Redbird wants to try it with aviation. At the company's third annual Migration training conference in San Marcos, Texas on Tuesday, Redbird's Jeff Van West explained the new program. It's currently in the experimental and testing phase but could be ready for a more complete rollout in three years or so. Read More
AVweb's Tim Cole recently completed a trip to China and the China General Aviation Congress at Xi'an. Here are some closing observations. Read More
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