Volume 27, Number 46a, November 9, 2020
New 5G Plan Could Jam Radar Altimeters
The Radio Technical Committee for Aeronautics (RTCA) is warning that a plan to allow 5G cell signals in radio spectrum adjacent to the frequencies used by radio altimeters could threaten flight safety. The private, not-for-profit organization has submitted a technical study to the Federal Communications Commission saying that 5G signals,[…]   Read this article
Can A Computer Think Like A Pilot? It’s A Trivial Question
In the game of life and evolution there are three players at the table: human beings, nature and machines. I am firmly on the side of nature. But nature, I suspect, is on the side of the machines. –George Dyson, historian The other night I was watching an amusing program[…]   Read this article
AVweb VODCAST: Why Electric Airplane Designers Are Turning To Hybrid Drives
Although some are in denial about it, the love affair with batteries for electric airplanes is, for the short term, on hold. To meet minimum performance, designers are increasingly looking at hybrid drives that may incorporate battery systems. In this AVweb VODCAST, Embry-Riddle’s Dr. Pat Anderson explains why this is[…] Read this article

Electric Wingsuit Tested
Electric propulsion is getting into all facets of aviation and now an Austrian skydiver has flown an electrically boosted wingsuit. Peter Salzmann teamed up with BMW to create a chest-mounted thruster unit with two ducted fans that allowed him to climb briskly on a flight over the Alps. The boost[…] Read this article

FAA Extends TFR Over Biden Residence
With vote counting ongoing in the U.S. election, the FAA has extended a temporary flight restriction (TFR) over Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s residence in Wilmington, Delaware, through Nov. 11. The TFR was initially put in place over the area for “special security reasons” on Nov. 4 with an end[…] Read this article

Transplant Heart Survives Helicopter Crash
A pilot was slightly injured but a life was also saved in the aftermath of the crash of a helicopter on a rooftop hospital helipad on Friday. The Agusta A109S was carrying a human heart for transplant when it encountered trouble on landing at Keck Hospital of the University of[…] Read this article

Branson To Go To Space By March
Sir Richard Branson hopes to become the second billionaire to go to space in early 2021 to kick off his space tourism business. Branson, the owner of Virgin Galactic, will be on the first flight after the operation is certified by the FAA to take “space tourists” to the edge[…] Read this article

China GA Growing Slowly
China has taken stock of its general aviation industry and participation and is now reporting that there are 509 “general aviation enterprises” open and 2913 non-airline and non-military aircraft flying in the country. “China has listed the general aviation industry as one of the strategic emerging industries and taken measures[…] Read this article

Top Letters And Comments, November 6, 2020
Can A Computer Think Like A Pilot? It’s A Trivial Question Long-suffering readers of this space are familiar with one of many YARSisms: “The very best implementation of a flawed concept is, itself, fatally flawed.” In my experience, most flawed concepts have their nexus in flawed premises. In the case[…] Read this article