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Representatives in the house Wednesday introduced legislation that would expand the use of a driver’s license as an acceptable qualifying medical standard for pilots flying light certificated GA aircraft. The General Aviation Pilot Protection Act would set the driver’s license as the medical requirement for noncommercial VFR flights in aircraft with no more than six seats and weighing 6,000 pounds, or less. As written the proposal would cover most (nearly all) single-engine aircraft, and also some twins — the Beech Baron 55 and 58, and Cessna 310, for example. But there are other conditions. Read More
Question of the Week

Each week, we poll the savviest aviators on the World Wide Web (that's you) on a topic of interest to the flying community.

Visit AVweb.com to participate in our current poll.

Click here to view the results of past polls.

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The pilot in the left seat of Asiana Flight 214 that crashed in San Francisco in July told the NTSB he didn't feel comfortable flying a visual approach on that cloudless, calm day, nor did he feel well enough trained to operate the Boeing 777's automatic flight systems. The NTSB held a public hearing Wednesday on its investigation of the landing accident, which resulted in three deaths and 182 injuries. Read More
The Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA) Wednesday joined the NTSB, AOPA, EAA, the National Air Transport Association and others in requesting that the FAA reconsider proposed rulemaking regarding ECi cylinders used in Continental engines. ARSA wrote in electronic comments submitted to the FAA that the agency “disregarded the most basic requirements for promulgating a regulation,” by failing to comply with its own internal guidance policies. And “As a matter of law, the FAA cannot establish that the cylinders should be subject to this regulatory action.” The group’s comments did not stop there and accused the FAA of acting in a threatening manner. Read More
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In preparation for a planned round-the-world flight in 2015, the builders of Solar Impulse, the world's largest solar-powered electric airplane, will conduct a 72-hour simulation next week, during which pilot Bertrand Piccard will experiment with using self-hypnosis as a means to fight fatigue. "I hope it will work," he said. During the 2015 flight, a solo pilot will need to stay airborne for up to five days and nights nonstop, to cross the Pacific Ocean. The simulator cockpit is identical to the real one, with a size of just 9 feet x 5 feet x 3 feet. Read More
At least two snowy owls were shot and killed by airport employees in New York last week, after owls reportedly struck five airplanes in the New York/New Jersey region. News of the killings brought swift protests from local birdwatchers. The New York agency that manages the airports now says they will instead work with the state's environmental agency to capture and relocate the birds. The large white owls, which can have a wingspan up to 4.5 feet, have been unusually abundant in the northern U.S. this winter. They are protected under federal law, but airports can get permission to kill them if they pose a hazard. The owls also have caused problems at Boston's Logan Airport, where the Audubon Society has been working to trap and relocate the birds. Read More
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Last year, the showcase military teams were grounded by federal budget problems, but for the 2014 airshow season, both the USAF Thunderbirds and the Navy's Blue Angels are back in full force. The Thunderbirds released their full schedule last week at the International Council of Air Shows annual conference, and the Blue Angels also announced an updated and revised schedule. The Thunderbirds will start their year on Jan. 1, with a flyover at the Tournament of Roses parade in Pasadena, Calif. After that, they will fly at 34 airshows around the country, from February through November, including a first-ever appearance at EAA AirVenture. Read More
Next week, the 110th anniversary of the Wright brothers' successful powered flight at Kitty Hawk, N.C., will be celebrated with several events at the Wright Brothers National Memorial. The First Flight Society is hosting a public ceremony on Tuesday, from 8:30 a.m. until noon, with a band concert, a flyover of military and civilian aircraft, and various speeches and tributes. The Society also is hosting a dinner on Monday night and a luncheon on Tuesday, which are open to the public, but reservations are required. Read More
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What You Missed in AVwebBiz This Week

Are you subscribed to our weekly newsletter devoted to business aviation? Delivered mid-week on Wednesday mornings, AVwebBiz focuses on the companies, products, and industry leaders that make headlines in bizav world.

Add it to your AVweb subscription by visiting the AVweb profile center and clicking on "Update E-mail Subscriptions."

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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"Education of the many would have far greater public health impact than regulation of the few," the Civil Aviation Medical Association, which represents FAA aviation medical examiners, said in a recent letter to the FAA, regarding its proposed sleep-apnea policy. The letter, posted online Tuesday by EAA, objects to the FAA's proposal that AMEs should send pilot applicants to a sleep specialist if they exceed a certain body-mass index. "No scientific body or evidence has demonstrated that undiagnosed obesity or OSA (obstructive sleep apnea) has compromised aviation safety," wrote Dr. Mark Eidson, CAMA president. Read More
As air travelers brace for the annual holiday ordeal that awaits many of them, Canadian budget carrier WestJet had a holiday miracle in store for passengers on two of its flights earlier this week. The airline began by creating present-shaped check-in kiosks at Toronto and Hamilton, Ontario airports for two flights bound for its hub of Calgary, Alberta. Read More
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John Longo of Murfreesboro, NC leads off a terrific selection of images. Click through for more reader-submitted photos. 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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AVweb 
Insider
The only question that matters is: what's this stuff gonna cost? Here are some bluesky guesses. Read More
Christmas Came Early This Year || Click Here 
to Learn How to Get Up to $400 Off
If you do your own airplane maintenance, that work will include checking spark plugs. Tempest says checks should include resistance measurements and they've developed a little gadget to do that. Read More
David Clark DC PRO-X
AVweb visits Hawker Pacific in Shaghai. Read More