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Volume 26, Number 21a
May 20, 2019
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FAA Implements New Recreational Drone Restrictions
Kate O'Connor

The FAA published a notice in the Federal Register on Friday stating that it is implementing several changes for recreational drone fliers that were mandated by Congress in the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018. The notice (PDF) sets out eight statutory conditions recreational drone users must meet, including requiring recreational drone users to obtain prior authorization from the FAA before flying in controlled airspace around airports. This requirement replaces the previous condition that drone users notify the airport operator and the air traffic control tower before to flying within five miles of an airport.

The FAA has said it is currently only granting temporary airspace authorizations for certain “fixed sites” in controlled airspace, a list of which it will maintain online. In the future, the administration intends to provide authorizations for recreational drone flights in controlled airspace near airports through its Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) system. LAANC is only available to Part 107 drone pilots at present.

Another condition will require recreational drone pilots to pass an aeronautical knowledge and safety test. The test has not yet been developed. According to the FAA, it “is currently developing a training module and test in coordination with the drone community” designed to “ensure that recreational flyers have the basic aeronautical knowledge needed to fly safely.” The test will be separate from that required for drone pilots operating under Part 107.

A third condition requires that “the aircraft is operated in accordance with or within the programming of a community-based organization's set of safety guidelines that are developed in coordination with the FAA.” The FAA says it is working on creating criteria and a process for recognizing such “community-based aeromodelling organizations” (CBOs) so that it can work with them to establish those safety guidelines. In the interim, exceptions have been laid out for “operations conducted in accordance with existing safety guidelines of an aeromodelling organization” and using “existing basic safety guidelines” on the FAA website. The administration cautioned recreational drone users that they will need to be able to explain to an FAA inspector or law enforcement official which safety guidelines they are following if asked.

Other conditions include already familiar requirements such as flying strictly for recreational purposes, remaining at or below 400 feet AGL, flying only within visual line-of-sight, not interfering with other aircraft, and registering and marking the drone. Recreational drone users will also be required to comply with FAA airspace restrictions and prohibitions.

D-Day Squadron's Departure Prep For Normandy
Larry Anglisano

The D-Day Squadron is the American contingent participating in the Daks Over Normandy flyover crossing the English Channel to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day on June 6, 2019. The epic journey of a fleet of C-47s (military DC-3 aircraft) will honor the soldiers of the War.

Do What's Right (You Can't Go Wrong)
Russ Niles

The temptation was to assume that balladeer Billy Joel was enforcing his star quality when news hit mainstream media that the Piano Man was fighting to keep his ability to land a helicopter at his New York home. It seemed he was yet another spoiled celebrity bothering his neighbors with frivolously obnoxious use of a helicopter on bucolic Center Island in Oyster Bay in New York.

But it turns out that Joel, who commutes to a once-a-month concert he stages at Madison Square Garden in his helicopter, is as much a victim of another obnoxious neighbor as are others in one of the priciest areas of the city.

Using the helicopter cuts his travel time from more than two hours to less than 15 minutes and the noise is brief and is over before midnight. Just down the street, however, is an apparently obnoxious character named Clive Holmes, an investment guy who apparently blasts around the island a couple of times a day in a helicopter equipped with speakers and lights and “makes a heck of a lot of noise.”

As seems to be the impulse these days in helicopter-weary New York, fed-up residents wanted a total ban on helicopters landing on the island but it would appear a more common-sense limit of 15 flights per month will be set.

Oh, wouldn’t it be nice if we could all just get along? But pilots and aircraft operators are part of that process and not just those who fly for a living. Every time we flip on the mags we should be aware that not everyone shares our delight.

From the bright lights of the Big Apple to the usually dusty roads of rural South Dakota, the parallels are easy to draw at an aviation level.

Aerial application is a vital service for this breadbasket state and the pouring rain of the last few weeks has made a lot of places a boggy mess that airplanes cannot use. That meant Isaac Wilde, pilot, maintenance man and CEO of Wilde Air Service, had to fly miles away to one of Brookings County’s few airports to reload with the fertilizer his clients need at this time of year, costing them a lot more.

He proposed landing on paved roads adjacent to the fields he was serving and County Commissioners (probably with a nudge from their constituents) saw the wisdom. It will all be done safely with flaggers and insurance in place and as is common with aviation ventures, innovation and flexibility go a long way to solving a problem.

Aviation is seemingly always under attack from somewhere because we are at times necessarily noisy and intrusive. But we also work magic when called and are welcome to help when disaster strikes or people are in peril.

Sometimes we are also unnecessarily noisy and intrusive and we can all help buff up GA’s image with some courtesy that we would expect from others if it were jet skis, loud music or garish lighting that was bugging us.

So, as we enjoy the summer flying season, resist the temptation to buzz the beach or do a dozen touch-and-goes at daybreak.

With apologies to Billy Joel, you may have the right but you may be wrong.

Four Americans, Canadian Pilot Die In Honduras Crash
Russ Niles

Four Americans and their Canadian pilot were killed in the crash of a Cherokee Six on the shore of Roatan Island in Honduras Saturday. The U.S. citizens, who have been described as tourists in various media reports, have not been identified but the pilot was Patrick Forseth, a British Columbia resident who sometimes went by the first name of Danny. The aircraft ended up in shallow water just after taking off from Roatan for Trujillo. One passenger survived the crash but later died in a local hospital from internal injuries according to local authorities.

The aircraft had just dropped off Toronto resident John Enman and his wife on the island and it crashed about 10 minutes later. "It just rocks you to the core," he said. "You know, just shocks you just to think that 10 minutes later, he's in the water dead." Enman said Forseth told him he was delayed on the flight to the island because a broken wire from the ignition to the battery had to be repaired. He assured the Toronto couple the aircraft was safe.

D-Day Squadron Heads North
Russ Niles

One of the most ambitious warbird adventures ever undertaken was scheduled to lift off from Oxford, Connecticut, Sunday as 15 Douglas DC-3 variants head to Europe to reenact the D-Day invasion. After 18 months of planning, the aircraft will launch early on Sunday for Goose Bay on Canada’s northeast coast. Goose Bay was a vital staging base for the ferrying of aircraft during the Second World War and the stop there is being coordinated with the cooperation of the Royal Canadian Air Force. After “Goose” the flotilla will head through Greenland, Iceland and Scotland before rejoining at historic Duxford in southern England to prepare for the reenactment.

Among the aircraft taking part is That’s All Brother, the aircraft that led the invasion and was rescued from the scrapyard at Basler Aerospace in Oshkosh to be rebuilt for the anniversary. The aircraft will fly over the beaches of Normandy and some will drop skydivers using modern adaptations of the round canopy parachutes that filled the skies on that fateful day. Many of the aircraft will take part in a reenactment of the Berlin Airlift after the D-Day activities and all plan to be back at AirVenture 2019 in Oshkosh in late July.

Big Transactions For Canadian Airlines
Russ Niles

The Canadian airline market is being redrawn with a couple of high-profile transactions involving the country’s two main carriers, both of which have hundreds of flights to the U.S. each week. Early in the week, Toronto-based equity corporation Onex offered $31 a share for WestJet, Canada’s number-two airline, in a deal worth about $5 billion. WestJet shares had traded just above $18 before the offer and the deal was approved by the board of directors. Shareholders are expected to approve the sale, which gives them a 67% premium on their holdings. Onex is no stranger to aerospace. It owns Spirit Aerosystems, which makes fuselages and wings for Boeing airliners in Wichita and Kansas City. Two days after the WestJet deal was announced, Air Canada made its move.

The Canadian flag carrier, which has faced increasing pressure from WestJet on domestic routes and some international flights in recent years, is in talks to buy Air Transat, a predominantly leisure-market carrier based in Montreal. Air Canada has offered $520 million for Air Transat in a bid to shore up its Caribbean and European vacation offerings. The two have cooperated in the past and Air Transat is now operating several scheduled flights for Air Canada to help cover gaps left by the grounding of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. The two have until mid-June to seal a deal before Air Transat can talk to other would-be suitors, which may include Onex.

Aerial Artists Thought Creation Was Temporary
Russ Niles

It’s long been known that testosterone and jet fuel are a potent combination and in the right circumstances that’s a good thing. But an investigation by the Navy into the infamous “sky penis” incident over central Washington in 2017 didn’t really reveal anything fresh on that hypothesis and likely added more ammunition for O-Club humor on the already-legendary tale. The Navy Times got hold of the investigation report last week and it pretty much confirmed what most of us already suspected: Give a couple of the Navy’s best and brightest a Mach 2 jet full of fuel and 90 minutes to burn it and they might not always get best value for Uncle Sam’s dollar. And if there’s a lesson to be learned by pilots it’s to always pay close attention to the weather briefing even if it's CAVU for a thousand miles.

It was one of those sapphire days over the desert heartland of Washington State November 16, 2017, when a pilot and backseater, both lieutenants, in an EA-18G Growler from Electronic Attack Squadron 130 at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island hopped over the Cascades for a routine training flight in one of the military areas that dominate the airspace in that relatively sparsely populated area. A massive high pressure system had utterly stagnated the air and the conditions were perfect for voluminous contrails. As they flew over the rocks and trees, the crew members couldn’t help but notice that they were at the controls of a high-powered stylus against an unlimited canvas of blue and the rest is the stuff of t-shirts, shot glasses and internet lore. Transcripts from the cockpit communications show concern for the anatomical accuracy of their creation but little cognizance of the impression they were making on the thousands of people who live in the small towns and on the farms that dot the area.

“Draw a giant penis,” the Electronics Weapons Office (EWO) said. “That would be awesome.”

“What did you do on your flight?” the pilot joked. “Oh, we turned dinosaurs into sky penises.”

“You should totally try to draw a penis,” the EWO advised.

What the young officers didn’t count on was the length of time their creation would loom over the good folks of north central Washington and they even tried unsuccessfully to scrub it from the sky with a high speed pass. It was a young mother in Okanogon, Washington, who finally sent pictures to a local TV station saying she was afraid she’d have to explain the image to her young children. Others howled in cyber laughter and the images from the ground quickly went viral.

Within a few hours the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations had received the illustrated report on the incident as the internet and mainstream media lit up. The report did not include the punishment handed the contrite officers, who received glowing reports from their superiors about their non-artistic efforts on behalf of the Navy. At the time, it was recommended the two lieutenants get “non-punitive letters of instruction” and there was also no doubt some quality time with their CO. One senior officer told the inquiry the incident “was a really bad decision by some really good guys in a really good squadron.”

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Top Letters And Comments, May 17, 2019

A Hanger By Any Other Name

Paul has encapsulated the private aviation hangar, found almost anywhere in the world, perfectly. Indeed, his descriptions surpass that which pictures could provide. It took me back, from the elderly cylinders to cans of paint and solvents, long-forgotten magnetos, maybe a bent prop in a corner, a box of rusty spark plugs, and the ubiquitous radios long since replaced by modern equipment.

Many thanks indeed.

Roger Lishman

Great hangar story by Paul Berge. Very enjoyable and anybody who has had a hangar for a long time can relate to this. Thank you.


Electric Aircraft

I saw a recent video of your coverage of a beautiful electric powered aircraft at a German aircraft convention. While most of us appreciate new technology that makes sense and makes improvements to flight, the electric power topic is somewhat baffling. I have some questions/comments, and maybe these things can be addressed for future discussions.

1. In flight aircraft fires are one of the most deadly potential scenarios a pilot has to deal with.

2. Tesla has been having problems with vehicles on the GROUND experiencing fires. How can we have confidence in electric powered aircraft, knowing these realities will create a catastrophic situation should a fire happen during flight?

3. The standard, horizontally opposed piston or Radial aircraft engine is tested, refined, efficient and reliable? Why would the industry move away from that?


Jeff Leverence

John Wayne Airport to Get Improved GA Facilities

Please note that every one of the proposals the County is considering for the "Improved GA Facilities" at KSNA involves fewer parking spaces, hangars, covered tie-downs, and open tie-downs for local GA airplanes. The Improved GA Facilities they're talking about are improved for the FBOs and charter operators both locally-based and itinerant, and are a bad deal for local pilots of small airplanes currently parked at the airport.

At one time, there were over a dozen airports in Orange County, but over the years, we have been whittled down to now only two: SNA and Fullerton (KFUL). For pilots who live in the southern part of the county especially, the drive to Fullerton or other area airports is a really long way to go in our famously lousy traffic on the freeways, and SNA is the most convenient place. The wait list for a hangar at SNA is now measured in decades, and you pretty much have to wait for somebody to die to get one. At Fullerton, the hangars are now full, and there is no room to put more in, so the wait list there is about to start growing.

It seems over the years that the "little guy" has been systematically chased out of the airport, and this program is no exception.

Michael Jesch

Boeing 737 MAX

Are you kidding me! The roller coaster technique to save a plane load of passengers from death in a modern-day airliner all because of Boeing and the FAA's failures. Give me a break. How about the protest technique...where passengers refuse to fly on Boeing's 737 Max aircraft.

Jerry Harrington

At the start of my pilot education in 1971 our Beagle Pup had a simple spring-loaded stall-warning flap on the front edge of both ails alerting the pilot to take immediate action to prevent stall.

Boeings fatal decision seems to be seen to the tendency towards autonomous flying planes, like today’s cars like Tesla and others. Unless MCAS is safely safe and fails are to be excluded and the sensors be controlled at any speed and time, any plane builder should stop installing it.

The other point is how Boeing was handling the disaster in responsible manner is so catastrophic that I have lost any confidence in that company forever. Boeings attitude is the MAIN PROBLEM.

Peter W. Rohr

Lots of news is going around about the MAX 737 these days. Does anyone expect its problems reach the history of accidents of the airbus A 320? No, I for one hate to see anyone hurt or to be in an aviation accident, and yes Boeing has a lot of "splaining" to do. I hope this happens soon. BTW, I had 2 flights on a SouthWest 737 MAX A/C. Absolutely loved it. Right after that, had two flights on a A320...never again.

Martin Winger

Retiring Honeywell’s Convair 580

While flying for United Airlines as a Convair 340 registered N73102, the airplane made a forced landing near my home in Saugus, California December 30, 1964 with both engines stopping due to fuel exhaustion. See for the story and some photos of the forced landing. After the excellent "dead stick" landing by Captain William Wade, United Airlines mechanics repaired the airplane and flew it out of the field for full repairs.

If anyone has an image of the takeoff from the field, I'd very much like to add it to my homepage.

Larry Westin

Industry Round-up, May 17, 2019
AVweb Staff

AVweb’s weekly news roundup found reports on an STC for a King Air autothrottle, FAA-PMA approval for Nicrocraft Cirrus SR22 heat exchanger and muffler, discounts for certain FlightSimExpo attendees and a simulator sponsorship for US Aviation Academy. It also uncovered announcements of a new owner for Ft. Langley Air, a sales director appointment at DAES, a partnership to build sustainable landing spots and new flight playback software at Ryanair.

Innovative Solutions & Support Inc. has received an FAA Supplemental Type Certification (STC) to retrofit its patented ThrustSense Autothrottle in King Air models. According to the company, ThrustSense computes thrust, holds selected speed/torque and implements appropriate limit protection. Wall Colmonoy Aerobraze Oklahoma City has announced FAA-PMA approval for its Nicrocraft Cirrus SR22 heat exchanger and muffler. Both are constructed of heat resistant 321 stainless steel with Inconel alloy baffles.

FlightSimExpo and Gelim Aviation have teamed up to offer discounts of up to 75% for students at local Orlando flight schools and Central Florida high schools interested in attending FlightSimExpo 2019. The event will take place at Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida, on June 7-9. US Aviation Academy has announced that is has been awarded FAA Level C certification and sponsorship for its King Air C-90 full motion, full flight simulator. The Texas-based academy has been operating the simulator under FAA sponsorship by the manufacturer.

British Columbia-based Ft. Langley Air has announced that it is now owned by Scott McIntosh. The company, which offers floatplane instruction and custom charter services, has also added two Cessna 180 float planes and two DHC-2 Beavers to its fleet. Marc Medeiros has joined DAES Group as their new Sales Director Aviation Equipment Americas. Medeiros has worked in senior business development and sales roles at companies including Rockwell Collins, Mid-Continent Avionics, and Zodiac Services.

Transcend Air Corporation and Lily Helipads have formed a partnership to build sustainable, zero-emission, barge-based landing spots for aircraft such as Transcend’s Vy 400 VTOL concept. The companies intend to locate the solar-powered "vertipads" on the water adjacent to city centers. Ryanair has signed a six-year agreement with France-based software company CEFA Aviation to implement CEFA’s Aviation Mobile Services (AMS). The cloud-based CEFA AMS will allow Ryanair pilots view real-world flight recorder data-based re-creations of their flights.

Picture of the Week, May 16, 2019
Done for the day. Photo by Cody Timmons.

See all submissions

Brainteasers Quiz #255: The Wind Is Your Friend

Even when tilting at windmilling propellers, pilots must understand the many ways seemingly innocuous air moves and scoffs at the best laid flight plans of those who wish to ace this quiz.

Click here to take the quiz.

Short Final: Falling People

A few months ago, I was with Atlanta Center when I heard the controller and a pilot doing parachute jumping operations. Once the pilot announced the jumpers were away I heard the controller come on and say, “Attention all aircraft. Look out for falling people.”

J. P. Engelbrecht
Evansville, IN
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