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As of Sept. 1, over 40,000 U.S.-registered aircraft have been equipped to comply with the 2020 ADS-B Out mandate, says the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA). The FAA estimates that 100,000 to 160,000 general aviation aircraft will need to comply with the mandate—or cease operations in ADS-B Out airspace. ADS-B Out capability will be required for flight within 30 nautical miles of any Class B airport, within the lateral confines of any Class C airspace, above 10,000 feet and over the Gulf of Mexico above 3,000 feet starting on Jan. 1, 2020.

“We’re now just over two years out from the FAA compliance deadline,” said GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce. “As we move forward, knowing that date will not change, it is essential that those operators who haven’t yet, make a plan for equipage to avoid having their aircraft grounded and losing its residual value.” Today is the last day to register for a $500 rebate from the FAA to assist general aviation aircraft owners with the cost of equipping their aircraft with ADS-B Out systems.

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image: NATCA

Bruce Landsberg, who worked as a safety advocate at the AOPA Air Safety Institute for many years, has been nominated to be a member and vice chairman of the NTSB, the White House announced on Friday. Landsberg, who lives in South Carolina, served as executive director and then president of the ASI, from 1992 to 2014. Landsberg’s depth of experience, along with the recent appointment of Robert Sumwalt, who worked as a pilot for 32 years, as chairman of the NTSB, suggests that the board will have a strong presence on aviation safety issues. NATCA issued a news release on Tuesday applauding the choice, noting that Landsberg’s work at the ASI “raised the bar for pilot safety.”

"If all goes as planned, Senate confirmation will take place this fall and I'll be sworn in and start around the first of the year," Landsberg told AVweb in an email on Tuesday. "It's both exciting and humbling to join this group, although I have worked with them for almost three decades. The mission hasn't changed, just the organization, to help pilots and the traveling public get where they're going - safely!"

Landsberg is nominated to serve as a member for a five-year term, the White House said, and also will be designated vice chairman for a term of two years. In its news release, NATCA said, “[Landsberg] created the AOPA Air Safety Institute’s Flight Assist Commendation Awards, which honor air traffic controllers who displayed exceptional professionalism and dedication to safety to help general aviation pilots who needed their help. Bruce has used these types of flight assists over the years as teaching opportunities to educate other pilots to further the cause of aviation safety.” Landsberg spoke with AVweb in 2013 in a podcast interview about his work at the ASI.


United Airlines will say goodbye to the Boeing 747 Nov. 7 with a special flight to Hawaii that commemorates its first use of the airliner in commercial service. The flight sold out within hours on Tuesday. The last scheduled United 747 revenue flight will be from Seoul to SFO on Oct. 29. United's first aircraft went into revenue service on July 23, 1970, with a flight from San Francisco to Honolulu. United now uses 777s on that route. The Nov. 7 flight will feature flight attendants in period uniforms, food, drinks and entertainment from the era. It will be designated Flight 747 and temporarily named Friend Ship in honor of the first United Jumbo Jet. It will depart at 11 a.m. after speeches, drinks and appies. It’s scheduled to land at 2:45 p.m.

First-class customers will be entered in a draw to occupy one of the few seats available on the upper deck, which was originally an opulent lounge with a full-service bar on the early aircraft. Most of those seats will be unavailable because United will let everyone on board spend at least a few minutes in what was once the most expensive airline seat available. Ironically, some airlines, including EVA Air, which recently flew its last 747 flight, crammed economy seats on the upper deck both to help make the aircraft pay and to spare its most lucrative customers the inconvenience of climbing a set of stairs to get to their seats.

An earlier version of this story said United was the launch customer. Both Pan Am and Continental flew it before United. Sorry for the error.

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Pratt & Whitney has completed testing on a proof of concept adaptive bypass variant of the F135 fighter engine. The adaptive three-stream fan test was completed as part of the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory's Adaptive Engine Technology Development (AETD) program at Arnold Air Force Base in Tullahoma, Tennessee. Modern jet engines utilize two flow streams: one through the combustion section of the engine and a one that bypasses the combustion section around the outside of the engine. By changing the ratio of air going through the combustion section to air going around the outside of the engine, the bypass ratio, engine designers are able to trade off maximum thrust and fuel efficiency. The Air Force wants its next-generation fighter engine to be able to adjust the bypass ratio in flight by adjusting a third flow stream, providing 25% better fuel consumption in cruise and 10% higher peak thrust compared to current fighter engine technology.

"Preliminary data from the test indicates our three-stream fan has met or exceeded expectations with respect to performance as well as the integrity of the turbofan machinery and fan module," said Matthew Bromberg, president of Pratt & Whitney Military Engines. "This is an important milestone on the path toward the advancement and maturation of a next-generation adaptive engine which will enable the warfighter to stay well ahead of future and emerging threats." Production versions of the F135 engine, also made by Pratt & Whitney, are used to power all three variants of the F-35 Lightning II. The company reports that they plan to conduct additional testing later this year on a high-efficiency engine core also developed under the AETD program.

BREAKTHROUGH! - Cubcrafters

More than 110 chapters of Women in Aviation International (WAI) are gearing up for Girls in Aviation Day to be held Saturday, Sept. 23. “Girls in Aviation Day has been embraced by the entire aviation community including pilots, airlines, aviation museums, FBOs, flight schools, colleges and universities, government officials and aviation businesses,” says WAI President Dr. Peggy Chabrian. “This community effort speaks highly to the commitment we all feel to share our passion for aviation and create a diverse future aviation workforce.”

Delta Air Lines will host more than 120 girls at the National Flight Academy in Pensacola, Florida, where they’ll meet current employees, learn about the fundamentals of flight, navigate a drone obstacle course, experience the inside of an air traffic control tower and fly a simulator. Former F/A-18 pilot and Blue Angel, U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Corrie Mays. will close out the event. “We have no doubt that lives will be changed on Saturday,” adds Dr. Chabrian. “Girls worldwide are in for an experience that just may steer the course of their lives toward aviation – all done in a supportive, exciting and fun-filled environment.”

For more information on local Girls in Aviation Day events, visit

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Anyone who knows anything about aviation also knows at least two things about regulations: They’re written in blood and despite the belief that the FAA devises rules on a whim, the so-called tombstone mentality lives on. The bodies come before the rules, usually, and sometimes it takes a while.

But unless we’re reminded of it from time to time, most of us don’t recall or never knew how much carnage it took to reach the current level of airline safety in which accidents aren’t quite unheard of, but have become rare. Here’s a reminder.

My longtime colleague and freelance writer Paul Berge has written a concise and amusing history describing how we went from a universe plagued by accidents and collisions to the safest mode of transportation in the known universe, including trains, buses and pipelines. The piece appeared in a recent issue of our sister publication, IFR magazine.

As depressing as it is to understand how many accidents it took to reform airline safety, it’s just as delusional to imagine the current system could have sprung from the industry fully formed from the outset. When practical air transportation came into its own in the late 1920s and through the decade of the 1930s, the industry was writing rules on the fly, so to speak. The CAA didn’t even exist, much less the more all-encompassing FAA. The Commerce Department sat on the aviation sidelines, concerning itself mostly with air route designation and eventually charting.

The CAA didn’t appear until the eve of World War II, in 1940. People who like to complain about government interference in everything tend to forget that the first air traffic control system was built and operated by the airlines and the government largely neglected oversight until what might be thought of as the Years of the Accidents. Big, gory crashes that made for banner headlines in newspapers, prompting politicians to assure a nervous public that regulation would fix the problem. It often did, too, or at least helped.

Consider one of the bloodiest years of all that you probably don’t even know about: 1958. Within months of each other, two military aircraft collided over Los Angeles, killing 50; an Air Force F-100 speared a DC-7 near Las Vegas, killing 49 more; a T-33 collided with a Viscount over Maryland, adding 61 more souls to the body count.

Can you imagine if such a thing happened in 2017? No, you probably can’t, such is the safety of the modern NAS. And if three such midairs did occur, the fatalities on just one airplane would far exceed the total for all of 1958. Improvements in air traffic control, reporting requirements, training and aircraft technology began to reshape the system. Yet the tragedies kept coming, including the much-publicized Park Slope accident over New York in 1960. As I related in this blog in 2010, that accident had far-reaching regulatory impact that reverberates yet today. It’s the first air crash I remember in vivid detail because the sole survivor—an eleven-year-old from Chicago named Stephen Baltz—was my age at the time. Pictures published after the fact revealed an uncanny resemblance between the two of us. The crash occurred at a time when airports had kiosks selling life insurance to departing passengers, such was the fatalistic sentiment toward air travel. Not that it wasn’t justified. Today, the idea is risible.

Berge’s essay shows how history has a way of coming full circle. He quotes a certain Edgar Gorrel, then of the Air Transport Association. When asked of GA’s place in the then-emerging privately controlled air traffic system, Gorrel said, “Private flying is today a menace.” Even the most nave among us probably can’t believe that sentiment has changed in the 80 years hence.

While I’m touting my friend Berge’s writing talents, let me flog his new novel, just out. It’s called That’s Life, I Guess and is the continuation of the story of barnstorming pilot Jake Hollow, who Berge introduced in his best-selling first novel, Bootleg Skies. Well, so maybe it wasn’t a best seller, but it was a great story by a talented writer. While you're at it, order his Private Pilot Manual, a must-have addition to every aviation library.

Correction: Paul informs me he has a new web site and you can find the new book there. Ignore the previous reference.


Steve Hinton Jr. set a record for the fastest speed recorded by a piston-powered aircraft over four 3-kilometer runs in early September and he spoke with AVweb's Russ Niles at the National Championship Air Races about how that kind of flying compares to pylon racing at Reno.

Picture of the Week <="229640">
Gallery: Reno Pits

We didn't have enough submissions for a Photo of the Week so we had some spare images from the National Championship Air Races in Reno to substitute. Such a cool place.


When it looked like his airport might be hit by Hurricane Irma, Sebring Airport Executive Director Mike Willingham said he and his staff put into action a long-established emergency plan that he credits with preventing injuries and speeding recovery efforts. To be sure, there is plenty of damage, but Sebring will be ready to host the Sport Aviation Expo in January.


Danny Clisham has been calling the World Championship Air Races in Reno for more than 35 years and he's as excited about them now as he was when he started. Clisham says a new generation of race pilots will continue the tradition of using the latest technology to squeeze ever more speed out of machines that were conceived decades before they were born. He spoke with AVweb's Russ Niles at Reno.


Fostering a good pilot/examiner relationship is essential to overcoming test-day jitters, and knowing a little about aerodynamics, FARs and weather forecasts will help you ace any checkride and this quiz.

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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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