The problematic use of “drones” to prosecute the U.S. war on terror is very much in the news again. On February 7, during a hearing that was repeatedly interrupted by protesters, senators questioned John Brennan, President Obama’s CIA director-designate, about the administration’s heavy reliance on “targeted killings” by unmanned aircraft.
AIN’s editors offer their opinions, observations and thoughts on everything aviation.
“No traditional business jet will take you closer to the speed of sound,” promises Gulfstream in an announcement about its recently certified G650, which boasts a maximum velocity of Mach 0.925.
Missouri senator Claire McCaskill (Democrat) hit the nail on the head when she wrote to the FAA about easing rules on the use of portable electronic devices (PEDs) in aircraft. Her letter seeks to have the FAA reconsider restrictions on PEDs, citing as one example the fact that many airline pilots are now using switched-on iPads during taxi, takeoff and landing without any problems.
Imagine seeing this headline: “Major Airline Uses Student Pilots on Passenger Flights.” There would be universal outrage and condemnation if an airline tried to put students in the cockpit on passenger-carrying flights–even if “just” to handle the radios or practice touching some of the controls in cruise flight.
When John Adams proclaimed, “I believe in a government of laws, not of men,” he couldn’t have imagined just how many laws—or how much legal mumbo-jumbo—his descendants would have to endure. In his day, after all, people didn’t do things like put an empty sheet at the end of the Constitution labeled, “This page intentionally left blank.”
Washington, D.C., seems to be a city that is in perpetual crisis. Now the U.S. government is in conniptions over the “fiscal cliff.” Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke coined that metaphor to describe the tax increases and automatic spending cuts that kick in on January 2 unless Democrats and Republicans somehow tame the $16 trillion national debt.
All these nightly news reports of the oversight failures in the pharmaceutical industry that allowed a so-called compounding pharmacy located just 20 miles down the road from where I live in Massachusetts to wreak havoc with tens of thousands of lives (including those who developed fungal meningitis from contaminated injections and those who are just frantically worrying about getting it) got me thinking about government oversight of the aviat
If a picture is worth a thousand words, what is the value of being able to walk through a finished aircraft long before the first seat is installed or the first carpet?
At this year’s NBAA convention in Orlando, new cabin technology was holding court, eliciting a chuckle from a day-one visitor who remarked, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, “This stuff will probably be outdated by the time the show ends.”
Virtually every industry and profession in America enjoys the backing of an association and its lobbyists. And it doesn’t matter whether those lobbyists represent funeral directors, textile manufacturers, dairy farmers or dental consultants.
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