Flight-test operations have begun at the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) test site, which last week became the fourth operational site of six authorized in the U.S. by the FAA. The agency granted the university a two-year certificate of authorization (COA) to fly the 85-pound American Aerospace Advisors’ Recon System-16, based on the Arcturus T-16XL fixed-wing aircraft.
Helicopters again played a critical role in providing safe evacuations and critical rescues before and after twin hurricanes that pounded the U.S. Gulf Coast between September 1 and September 13. But unlike when Hurricane Katrina laid waste to New Orleans and parts of coastal Mississippi and Alabama in 2005, this time authorities were ready, with detailed plans in place for Gustav and Ike.
The aviation industry took a hit last month from Hurricanes Gustav and Ike. The back-to-back storms affected more than a dozen airports along the Gulf Coast, resulting in temporary flight restrictions, numerous airport closures and short-term loss of ATC services.
Houston-based Universal Weather & Aviation (Booth No. 219) is recovering from infrastructure damage from Hurricane Ike, which pummeled the Texas Gulf Coast on September 13. Despite the loss of commercial power, the facility remained open throughout the storm, which passed almost directly over Universal’s Houston headquarters.