One-hundred octane low-lead avgas (100LL) is on its way out. Despite the fact that studies by the Environmental Protection Agency have failed to demonstrate a clearly higher risk attributable to lead emissions by piston-engine 100LL-burning aircraft, lead is poisonous in any concentration.
AIN’s editors offer their opinions, observations and thoughts on everything aviation.
Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), father of the original Pilot’s Bill of Rights (PBOR), is proposing some amendments and additions to his original law. According to a press release issued by the senator’s office at the end of June, “[T]he first Pilot’s Bill of Rights was a victory for the aviation community and made possible by the support of pilots and industry leaders across the nation.
The FAA mandate to equip with ADS-B OUT avionics is coming in fewer than 5.5 years, and many owners and operators are still waiting to upgrade their aircraft, either because they’re hoping prices will drop and technology will improve or they aren’t sure they’ll be keeping their aircraft beyond the deadline.
I’ve written periodically about FAA enforcement and what I consider to be abuses of the process, along with sanctions that are significantly disproportionate to the safety impact of the offenses charged.
When Business Jet Traveler interviewed entrepreneur Mark Cuban back in 2010, he explained how he purchased a Gulfstream V online. First, he looked at info about the jet on the manufacturer’s website and sent an e-mail to set up a demo flight for his pilot, who reported back that he loved the airplane. Then, recalled Cuban, “I sent another e-mail saying I wanted to buy it. I got the banking instructions, wired the money, and that was it.”
It is way too soon to speculate about what might have caused the Gulfstream IV runway excursion crash at Hanscom Field in Bedford, Mass. on May 31, but the NTSB preliminary report’s focus on the gust lock system raises some questions.
When it comes to song topics, love is number one, but travel may be a close second. In a gazillion tunes, it seems, someone is hopping on or off a train, boat or plane.
The annual Helicopter Association International Heli-Expo show is one of the most enjoyable shows that I attend each year. It’s not because the show is all about helicopters, but more about the unique nature of those who have dedicated their lives to the whirlybird industry. Helicopter people are not only intensely committed to all things rotary-winged but at the same time they’re a fun-loving bunch, and this is such a small segment of the aviation industry that there are few degrees of separation between all of the participants.
I have to admit that my interest in drones–or unmanned aircraft systems, as the FAA prefers to call them–has been re-energized by my students at Vaughn College of Aeronautics. Sure, like most aviation enthusiasts, I’m interested in anything that flies and have been a model airplane fan from childhood.
Some private fliers seem to want to remain “under the radar.” They like that they can avoid interaction with the general public by leaving and arriving via inconspicuous FBOs, and they travel on unmarked jets, sometimes with the protection of NBAA’s Block Aircraft Registration Request program. The less of an impression they make on the masses the better.
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