The Future of Flight?

cc image courtesy of cliff1066tm on flickr

A reporter from CNN learns how to fly a UAV at the Paris Airshow.

“Still, here we are, in a park near the airfield at Le Bourget, near Paris, and I’m about to get my hands on a real life drone.

Wandering around the air show, I’ve seen UAVs several meters across; huge gray aircraft only distinguishable from regular fighter jets by their lack of windows and the ‘no human occupant’ warning emblazoned on their paintwork, so I’m not quite sure what to expect.”

Read the entire story here.

Fair St. Louis Airshow

Marine Harrier ccimage courtesy of seattle4e on flickr

It’s baaaack! If there is one good reason to go to Fair St. Louis this weekend, it’s for the airshow. The star of the show from many years past has been the Harrier jump jet.

“The Marine AV-8 Harrier, an air show tradition, returns to Fair St. Louis, organizers announced today. The Harrier will be joined by a V-22 Osprey and a vintage World War II F4U Corsair as well as previously announced military and civilian aircraft.”

Read the entire article from the Post-Dispatch here.

You can find the schedule for the shows here.

Intoxicated Passengers a Big No-No

ccimage courtesy of The.Comedian on flickr

FAR Sec: 91.17(b)
Except in an emergency, no pilot of a civil aircraft may allow a person who appears to be intoxicated or who demonstrates by manner or physical indications that the individual is under the influence of drugs (except a medical patient under proper care) to be carried in that aircraft.

Here’s an excellent example of why this rule was conceived:

“Canada’s Transportation Safety Board says drunk passengers aboard a short charter flight off the country’s West Coast likely caused the crash of a float-equipped Cessna 185 in May of 2010. In its report the TSB postulates that a rear-seat passenger pushed the pilot’s seat forward with his or her feet and held him and the control column pinned to the panel until the Atleo Air Services aircraft dove at a 45-degree angle into ocean off Ahousat, an isolated community on the west coast of Vancouver Island. “It is likely that passenger interference caused the pilot to lose control of the aircraft whereupon it descended in a steep nose-down attitude until it struck the water,” the report says. “It is possible the passengers’ level of intoxication contributed to their inability to recognize the gravity of the situation and stop the interference in time for the pilot to regain control of the aircraft before impact.” The board also noted that the pilot could have refused the charter if he thought the passengers might be drunk enough to be a safety hazard.”

Read the entire article on AVweb here.

LightSquared on the Offensive

After finding that their proposed spectrum frequency disrupts GPS receivers, LightSquared has gone on the record saying that GPS manufacturers and current users should buy filters for their devices.

“Fixing this problem through the deployment of better filters in GPS devices will add some costs to the GPS industry, but those costs would only be a fraction of the $120 billion in benefits that would be created by LightSquared’s deployment of its LTE network,” the news release said. It says filters would add only 30 cents to the cost of a new GPS device but acknowledges that retrofitting would be substantially more costly.”

You can read the entire AVweb article here.

You can read a previous post regarding this issue here.

My sense is that this isn’t going to end well for the folks at LightSquared.

787 – Infrared Camera Video

The VFR flight to Bowling Green was scrubbed because of SIGMETs popping up late morning and early afternoon today. So in the meantime, I stumbled across this very cool video of the Boeing’s Dreamliner landing at the Paris Airshow. The camera flips back between the regular video and infrared. Hat Tip to FlightGlobal for capturing this for us.

Flight Training Scholarships

ccimage courtesy of MoneyBlogNewz

AOPA has announced two $5,000 flight training scholarships. Read about them here.

Applications for the scholarships are now being accepted online. The deadline for application is Aug. 19.

The scholarships are available to any AOPA member who is a U.S. citizen, is at least 16 years old, and holds a student pilot certificate but has not yet passed the FAA practical test. Complete eligibility requirements are available online.

I’d encourage any HAFC member who is still holding a student certificate to apply!

Class B Reconfiguration – Seattle

via AOPA

There’s a new proposal to make Seattle Class B airspace a little more confined to benefit GA aircraft. For the first time, it uses varying ceiling heights in the airspace. For one thing, it’s a lot boxier than the current Class B configuration. Here’s to hoping we could see this for St. Louis Class B as the decline in traffic to Lambert demands less overall airspace.

“If enacted, the design would make Seattle the first Class B airspace in the country to have more than one ceiling height: 10,000 feet msl for the core sectors, and 7,000 feet msl for perimeter sectors. Such a configuration would accomplish the goal of containing Seattle-Tacoma airport arrivals and departures within the Class B airspace while still availing as much airspace as possible for GA traffic operating outside Class B airspace.”

Read the whole article at AOPA’s site here.

Marine Week

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention all the aircraft visiting for Marine Week in St. Louis.

Here’s a video of the Marines laying siege to our local landmarks:

Thanks for your service, Marines!