NASA Administrator Dan Goldin Sees Bright Future for GA »

EDITORIAL. When NASA Administrator Daniel S. Goldin addressed the 1998 AOPA Expo in Palm Springs, California last Saturday, he captivated the packed audience of pilots and aircraft owners for an hour as he described NASA's vision of the future of personal air transportation over the next 10 to 25 years. AVweb's publisher Carl Marbach summarizes and comments upon Goldin's roadmap for the future of General Aviation. More

An Open Letter to Administrator Jane Garvey: The FAA's Top Lawyers Are Out of Control! »

EDITORIAL. A month-long investigation by AVweb has uncovered extremely disturbing evidence of misconduct bordering on abuse of power by at least three of the highest-ranking attorneys in the FAA. Specifically, AVweb has obtained an internal FAA staff report which reveals that these three top FAA lawyers continued to prosecute an enforcement action against an innocent aviation businessman for nearly a year after being informed that the FAA's own technical expert in Flight Standards had investigated the alleged violation and concluded that the complaint was entirely without merit and that no violation in fact occurred. In an open letter to Administrator Jane Garvey, AVweb editor Mike Busch presents the shocking details and suggests a solution to ensure such prosecutorial misbehavior doesn't happen again. More

FAA's Privacy Decision: Martha King Speaks Out »

INTERVIEW. Since AVweb came out strongly in opposition to the FAA's controversial decision to stop making airman mailing addresses available to industry and the public (see Mike Busch's editorial "Throwing Out the Baby with the Bathwater"), the silence from the alphabet groups and aviation press has been deafening. An industry leader who has had the courage to speak out on this issue is Martha King of King Schools. One of aviation's most respected flight instructors and business leaders, Martha discussed her views on this complex subject with AVweb editor-in-chief Mike Busch in this exclusive AVweb interview. She explains not only why the FAA decision is bad for aviation safety and inconsistent with the FAA's principal mission, but also discusses the extraordinary manner in which the FAA's top lawyers appear to have rammed this ill-conceived reversal of long-standing FAA policy down the throats of other high-level FAA policymakers (many of whom disagree strongly with it), not to mention the aviation industry and the airmen who are most adversely affected. More

FBO Ownership: A Day in the Life »

GUEST COMMENTARY. We pilots are often quick to criticize Fixed Base Operators anytime they're not Johnny-on-the-spot with the red carpet, fuel truck and rental car. But have you ever wondered how the world looks from the other side of the nozzle? AVweb readerMark Blaisdell (an FBO owner as well as a professional pilot) offers this glimpse of what a day in FBO hell feels like. More

Addicted to Drugs: The Civil Air Patrol and Operation Drop-In »

AVweb's Jeb Burnside and Doug Ritter, both with long-term backgrounds in the CAP, take an in-depth look at Civil Air Patrol's Operation Drop-In. As a result of this program, the reaction among non-CAP pilots to their bretheren in blue has degenerated from feelings of benign neglect and occasionally simple dislike to unconcealed hostility. Jeb and Doug examine why this is happening, what went wrong, and suggest a solution. They also examine the positive side of CAP: one flawed decision does not make for an evil organization. More

Why the Big Fuss Over FAA Ticketing? »

Airmen and alphabet groups alike are furious about the FAA's new "ticketing" program, and rightly so...the program is seriously flawed. But AVweb editor-in-chief Mike Busch believes that the original goals of the program are valid, and the FAA could easily fix the flaws without scrapping the program or eviscerating it. Let's hope the FAA is listening when it meets on this issue July 21st. More

A Bittersweet Father's Day: Barry Schiff's Retirement Flight »

GUEST COMMENTARY. Noted aviation writer and author Barry Schiff has turned 60, and in accordance with the FAA's age 60 rule, was forced out of the left seat at TWA after 34 years. Barry's son Paul gives us a poignant firsthand account of his very special Father's Day retirement flight. We've included photos and a copy of the unique approach chart produced by Jeppesen (where Paul works) to commemorate the occasion. More

Busted for a Handheld GPS! »

GUEST EDITORIAL. If you had any doubts about why the FAA's new Form 2150-7 "ticketing" procedure is a bad idea, consider the recent case of the Florida FAA inspector who tried to ground a Cessna 182 because the pilot couldn't produce a Form 337 for its yoke-mounted handheld GPS! FAA-designated Aviation Safety Counselor (and AVweb reader) Ron Levy lays out the sorry details in a letter to Administrator Garvey. Good grief! With incidents like this one, is it any wonder that users are up in arms about the FAA's new "frontier justice" program? More

FAA's Privacy Decision: Throwing Out the Baby with the Bath Water »

EDITORIAL. Undoubtedly, many pilots will applaud the FAA's new decision to stop making airman mailing address data available to the public. But AVweb's Editor-in-Chief Mike Busch contends that the Agency's sudden policy reversal is totally self-serving, terrible for aviation, and will actually make the privacy situation worse for individual airmen by depriving them of important remedies that they currently have. Here's his thought-provoking analysis of who this decision hurts most, who it helps, and why. More

Are the STC and Field Approval Processes Broken? »

SPECIAL REPORT. With the G.A. fleet getting older and manufacturer R&D nearly at a standstill, we depend on STCs and Field Approvals to update our aircraft with new technology. But, in the wake of recent FAA budget cutbacks and policy changes, it's starting to look as if these critical mechanisms don't work anymore. That's what happened to Bill Bainbridge (B&C Specialty Products), Bill Barton (Monarch Air Development), and other would-be innovators who are finding themselves stonewalled (or worse) by FAA field offices. More