AIN Blogs

AIN’s editors offer their opinions, observations and thoughts on everything aviation.

January 7, 2014 - 10:28am
RC Super Cub

An FAA enforcement case against the operator of a commercial drone or unmanned aircraft system (UAS) may lead to a determination of whether the FAA has regulatory jurisdiction over model radio-control aircraft and whether the agency can prohibit the commercial operation of such aircraft. This is believed to be the first FAA enforcement action against the operator of a radio-controlled model aircraft.

December 17, 2013 - 12:45pm
Pipistrel Alpha

Today is the 110th anniversary of the first powered flight by Orville and Wilbur Wright at Kill Devil Hills in North Carolina. This anniversary is a good jumping-off point to reflect on how far aviation has come in the past 110 years.

December 17, 2013 - 1:25am

Incorrect data in aviation records is serious in the extreme. Aviation depends on data entry to record everything from student pilot training to air carrier compliance with airworthiness directives to scores of information on every aspect of defeating gravity safely. For that reason, air safety relies in large part on records, the accuracy of which is critical.

December 1, 2013 - 12:10am

I got to thinking about voluntary versus mandatory safety reporting programs after reading an article in a British newspaper about two UK pilots who allegedly fell asleep in the cockpit of an Airbus A330 shortly after takeoff. What caught my attention was the statement from the UK Civil Aviation Authority that enforcement action against the pilots is unlikely.

November 29, 2013 - 11:31am
The Wright brothers take off—only 66 years before Apollo 11.

Going, Going, Gone: Vanishing Americana, one of my favorite books, offers compelling evidence of how fast our world is being transformed. On page after page, we see products, services, vocations and styles that once seemed integral to daily life but have nearly or completely disappeared. Remember milkmen? Carbon paper? Phone booths? Drive-in movies? Vinyl records? All gone or mostly gone.

November 21, 2013 - 7:30am
Landmark Aviation's temporary signage goes up on the former Panorama Flight Support at New York Westchester County Airport

Apparently it is no longer enough to have just one FBO at an airport, as first Signature Flight Support and now Landmark Aviation have demonstrated at Westchester County Airport.

November 6, 2013 - 8:47pm
Cessna 172

Once again I was reminded that I never stop learning about flying. This time it was a fuel-injected Cessna Skyhawk, which stubbornly refused to start after I landed and taxied to the gas pump to fill it up before putting it away. It was a gorgeous day in Southern California, light winds, incredible visibility and a fun flight out of Santa Monica Airport.

November 1, 2013 - 8:48am
Illustration © allapen - Fotolia.com

Unless you hang your hat in Delaware or New Hampshire or live in one of the few countries that don’t assess sales tax, you probably hand money to the government almost every time you buy something. In many U.S. states, the levy on purchases runs 5 to 7 percent or more and, with local surtaxes, you can wind up paying as much as 15.5 percent on most purchases.

October 10, 2013 - 12:20am
View from a business jet

While the U.S. government is on a Congress-created enforced shutdown, the aviation industry might be tempted to wonder what the FAA actually accomplishes. What we are learning is that a lot of what the FAA does is process paperwork. And when the paperwork stops flowing, we can be forced to stop flying.

October 8, 2013 - 7:47am

Every decade or so, sometimes more often, someone or some organization proposes “privatizing” the U.S. air traffic control system. In 1985 it was the Air Transport Association (ATA), now renamed Airlines for America, which released a study calling for a self-supporting federal ATC corporation.

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