Avidyne used the stage at Sun ’n’ Fun in Lakeland, Fla., last month to launch a suite of datalink services for general aviation. The new FlightCenter services announced at the show are intended to provide flight tracking and two-way text messaging to operators flying with Avidyne avionics.
News and issues concerning general aviation, specifically airplanes and helicopters powered by piston and alternative engines (i.e., non-turbine powered aircraft). Subjects include aircraft, engines, personnel, acquisitions, accidents, safety, security and training.
Thanks to the efforts of a Flexjet Learjet 31 crew, a former airline pilot and his three passengers were spared spending a cold February evening outdoors after their Bonanza A36’s engine quit over Mexico’s rugged Baja peninsula.
En route from Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, to Van Nuys, Calif., in mid-afternoon early this year, Learjet pilot Adam Fine and copilot Steiner Krogstad picked up an ELT distress signal on 121.5.
The prospect of marginally qualified pilots hurtling through the rarefied atmosphere of the flight levels in very light jets and promoting fear and loathing in the heavy-metal professionals–which is how some people view the imminent advent of the “Volksjet” era–has been a topic of lively debate of late, and no surprise to Eclipse Aviation founder, president and CEO Vern Raburn.
Beyond the merriment that the very light jet is coming to market, the insurance industry is preparing to drop the curtain in the final act.
It’s an unusual fact that, unlike just about any other marketable items, very light jets (VLJs), alcohol and tobacco share one unique characteristic. Even if you have the money, the seller can refuse to sell them to you if you’re not qualified. What’s more, those qualifications are all based on time, measured in years for would-be drinkers and smokers, and in left-seat hours for would-be VLJ pilots. Of course, this is as it should be.
Eurocontrol provided a short guide to RNP and Rnav concepts and terminology as a primer for delegates.
About a year ago, ARG/US took the wraps off its plans for developing a “virtual copilot.” Dubbed SPX, the program is intended, in the words of ARG/US executive v-p and system architect Mark Fischer, to “put another brain in the cockpit” of single-pilot aircraft, initially very light jets (VLJs) but eventually for wider application.
As the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) mounted a “national pilot alert” against the proposed permanent air defense identification zone (ADIZ) in the Washington, D.C. area, general aviation received another black eye when a 22-year-old commercial-rated pilot allegedly stole a Citation VII and took it on a 350-mile joyride from St. Augustine Airport in Florida to Gwinnett County-Briscoe Field (LZU) in Lawrenceville, Ga.
John and Martha King, co-chairmen and owners of San Diego, Calif.-based King Schools, are best known among owner-pilots for their folksy flight-training videos. But with more than 4,000 hours total flying time each, the husband-and-wife team has operated as a jet crew since 1987, when they bought a Cessna Citation after first receiving type ratings.
It was 25 years ago last month that New York Yankees team captain Thurman Munson was killed in the crash of his Cessna Citation I. The accident remains one of the most significant in general aviation, especially among those who fly their own turbine-powered aircraft for business, pleasure or both.