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Over 15,000 pilots now have medical certification to fly through the FAA’s new BasicMed rule, which went into effect on May 1 of this year. The FAA estimates that at the end of 2016 there were roughly 162,000 active private pilots. Data isn’t yet available to assess the breakdown between pilots who have received BasicMed certification because they believed themselves unable to receive Third Class medical certification and pilots who sought BasicMed certification out of convenience, but the program is undeniably popular, winning over a significant portion of the pilot population in only three months. Read More
Authorities late Saturday evening reported that two people were dead after a helicopter crashed just a few miles from the violent demonstrations occurring in Charlottesville, Virginia. Initial reports said the helo was operated by the Virginia State Police and that it was being flown in conjunction with demonstrations and Charlottesville. However, that information has yet to be confirmed. Read More
Continental 'Factory new CM Magnetos at 
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All flying units of the U.S. Marines will take a 24-hour operational pause over the next 10 days "to focus on the fundamentals of safe flight operations, standardization, and combat readiness.” Because the days off will be scattered among all the units over that time period, the Marines say there will be no operational impact. Read More
The City of Santa Monica has approved a contract for shortening of the runway at SMO from 4,973 feet to 3,500 feet. After years of attempts to close the airport entirely, the City of Santa Monica entered into an agreement with the FAA that would permit the city to shorten the runway immediately and to close the airport in 2028. Read More
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Could the future of personal aviation be a DeLorean? Paul DeLorean, nephew of the Back to the Future stainless steel car creator in the 1980s, is proposing a dual ducted-fan VTOL aircraft to compete with a host of variations on the same theme and with similar boasts about performance and environmental friendliness. Read More
After initial trials with the Beechcraft AT-6 Wolverine, the Sierra Nevada/Embraer A-29 Super Tucano, the Textron Scorpion jet and the L-3/Air Tractor AT-802L Longsword at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico, Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson told reporters that combat trials were a likely next step in the OA-X light attack demonstration program. Wilson did say that combat trials were predicated on combat commanders approving the aircraft for use in an operational setting, but that’s probably a low bar for the AT-6 and A-29, both of which the Air Force has deemed “tier one” competitors for having met all the Air Force’s initial specifications. Read More
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The State of Connecticut has stepped into the simmering controversy over who was actually the first to take a controlled, powered flight by honoring a native son who some believe beat the Wright brothers by two years. Gustave Whitehead will be honored by state officials in Bridgeport Aug. 14 on the 116th anniversary of what some believe was a half-mile flight at 50 feet in nearby Fairfield. Read More
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With more companies writing aviation insurance, it’s a buyer’s market. Premiums are at historic lows and a wide range of coverage is available. Read More
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Uber was making the rounds at AirVenture last month. To call their plans for on-demand air taxi ambitious would be criminal understatement. Read More
AVweb's Geoff Rapoport spoke with founder Xylon Saltzman about one-G Simulation's first foray into virtual reality with their simulator for the Robinson R44. Read More
Uber showed up at AirVenture this year, but it wasn't toting hardware. Instead, the company as touting its new Uber Elevate proposal that will do for on-demand air taxi what its networking service has done for ride sharing and on-demand transportation. In this podcast, Wyatt Smith and Nikhil Goel explain the details. Read More

I landed at KCMA, Camarillo, CA, on a windy day and checked in with ground ... Ground: “18 Sierra Romeo, taxi to the ramp via Foxtrot, caution, tumbleweed all quadrants, not my control.” ... He wasn't kidding either; huge tumbleweed balls were passing over the taxiways and runway heading downwind like a scene from an old Western movie ... Stephen Silverman Read More
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