Kitplane company Sonex Aircraft announced that its JSX-2 SubSonex Personal Jet flew on July 10. The initial goal of the flight-test program was to evaluate the single-engine jet’s systems, flight controls, gear and overall aircraft geometry, and handling through moderately high speeds. A second flight checked the function of the retractable landing gear and explored higher speeds.
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.
The California Highway Patrol (CHP) chose Mahindra Aerospace’s GippsAero GA8 Airvan in a competitive bidding process for an airborne surveillance aircraft. The CHP currently flies 26 aircraft, including some Cessna 206s that have logged more than 10,000 hours. According to Gary Standel, president of West Coast Aircraft Sales (WCAS), the CHP selected the GA8 because “we were the lowest-cost bidder able to be fully compliant with bid requirements.” WCAS specializes in ISR-configured solutions and is the western U.S. Airvan distributor. Paravion Technology of Ft.
Aviation alphabet groups slammed USA Today’s “sensationalistic” story published yesterday about general aviation safety. The story, “Unfit for Flight,” “fails to acknowledge the significant progress general aviation manufacturers have made to improve safety,” noted GAMA president and CEO Pete Bunce. “The reality is that the number of fatal accidents in general aviation aircraft has declined substantially in recent years. In fact, the goal of one fatal accident per 100,000 hours flown by 2018 now appears increasingly likely.”
The Colorado Aviation Business Association, Colorado Pilots Association and other state and national aviation groups are working to obtain 3,000 signatures from Colorado residents to support its Colorado Aviation License Plate project. The project is designed to help raise awareness about the importance of aviation and the economic impact it has in the state of Colorado. The groups said the signatures will aid in the introduction of an aviation license plate bill during the next legislative session.
General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) president and CEO Pete Bunce briefed members of the U.S. House General Aviation Caucus today on two issues the group considers important to the future of general aviation: the Part 23 certification rewrite and reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank. Caucus co-chairs Sam Graves (R-Mo.) and John Barrow (D-Ga.) invited Bunce to participate as part of a series of briefings the caucus is holding with key government and industry leaders to raise awareness of general aviation issues.
The FAA has launched an Aviation Safety Information Analysis and Sharing (ASIAS) program for the general aviation community, bringing to the sector a system many operators–from Parts 121 and 135 to GA pilots–are already using. The agency announced the one-year demonstration project on March 28.
After a meeting April 30 between AOPA president Mark Baker and the head of Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the association is urging members report any encounters they have with CBP or other law enforcement officers.
AOPA has already received more than 50 reports from members being questioned and sometimes searched by CBP agents or local law enforcement officers acting on the federal agency’s requests. In some cases, the officers approached pilots with drawn weapons or dogs to inspect the aircraft.
Until recently, the sharing economy enabled by modern technology has been limited to industries less regulated than aviation such as taxicabs (Uber, Lyft, Sidecar), hotels (Airbnb) and cars (RelayRides). But now the sharing economy is coming to general aviation, in the form of new ways to rent airplanes (OpenAirplane) and systems for sharing expenses and empty seats in Part 91 non-commercial aircraft (AirPooler and Flytenow).
GAMA praised the U.S. House Appropriations Committee’s “continued strong support” for reform of the Part 23 aircraft certification process and the transition away from leaded avgas. “We are especially pleased by the committee’s emphasis on improving the certification process at the FAA,” said GAMA president and CEO Pete Bunce.
All 50 U.S. states have officially recognized the importance of aviation, and general aviation in particular, the Alliance for Aviation Across America announced. Except for Montana, which issued a letter, all have issued statewide proclamation through either the governor’s office or the state legislature. Most recently, the California Senate and Assembly issued proclamations of California Aviation Awareness Day. Just five years ago, virtually no states had issued statewide proclamations; now many states have begun issuing these proclamations annually.