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A bill has been introduced in the Senate that would allow more pilots to fly without a medical certificate, AOPA said on Tuesday. The measure mirrors a similar bill that was introduced in the House in December. The legislation being proposed would expand the third-class medical exemption, which now applies only to sport pilots, to noncommercial VFR flights in aircraft weighing up to 6,000 pounds with no more than six seats, AOPA said. Read More
A 26-year-old California man has been sentenced to 14 years in prison for pointing a laser at a police helicopter that was responding to a report of his previous attack on a medevac helicopter. Defense lawyers argued Sergio Patrick Rodriquez, of Clovis in central California, was just goofing around with his kids when he shined the laser at the aircraft. Read More
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The 777 that has been missing since Saturday may have changed course after communications were lost and flown for hundreds of miles to the west, across Malaysia and over the Strait of Mallacca, according to a Malaysian official who said "signals" had been detected, The New York Times reported on Tuesday. The Times said those reports were later contradicted by other officials, and it remains unclear if there was any deliberate diversion from the aircraft's expected flight path. Read More
After nearly 10 years at the NTSB, chairman Deborah Hersman is leaving to take a job as president of The National Safety Council, she announced on Tuesday. "It has been an honor to be associated with a noble mission that has at times inspired and evoked passion and at other times, been in the crosshairs of controversy, as real change doesn’t come without a cost," Hersman wrote in a blog post at the NTSB website. Hersman will depart April 25, and vice chairman Christopher Hart will serve as acting chairman. Read More
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Women in Aviation, International held its 25th annual conference last week in Florida, and drew a record crowd of more than 4,500, the group said on Monday. A variety of educational sessions were offered over the three-day event in Lake Buena Vista, and nearly $500,000 in scholarships was awarded to 86 WAI members. Recruiters from a variety of companies held job interviews, and 250 girls, ages 10 to 17, took part in Daughter Day on Saturday. Read More
Embry Riddle Aeronautical University is offering a free massive open online course, or MOOC, at its website starting April 7. The five-week course, "The Human Factor in Aviation," is only the second such course to be offered by the school. The course will explore how psychological or physiological elements, such as pilot fatigue or a mechanic’s complacency, can contribute to aviation accidents. Students who complete the MOOC will receive a certificate, but they do not receive college credit from ERAU. Read More
PBS science correspondent and aviation reporter Miles O'Brien lost most of his left arm recently after a freak accident while on assignment in the Philippines, but last week he was back at work and making plans to fly again. In an interview with Judy Woodruff, O'Brien said he has already spoken to doctors about the options for prosthetics. Read More
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