When the national threat level was raised to code orange (high) on December 21, most people in general aviation took it in stride. With New Year’s celebrations just days off, new TFRs were issued for New York City and Las Vegas, followed by one for downtown Chicago, and waivers were suspended for sports stadium overflights and the Washington, D.C. air defense identification zone.
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 general aviation industry continued a strong recovery through third-quarter deliveries and billings, according to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. New aircraft billings were up 19.7 percent, to $8.1 billion, in the first nine months of this year, while total deliveries of new GA airplanes increased 7.7 percent, to 1,928.
The new weekly 30-minute program Wings to Adventure, premiering on The Outdoor Channel in July, will touch briefly on very light jets and other business jets.
Europe’s controlled airspace is to be expanded to absorb air transport growth, leaving the general aviation community with the prospect of paying air traffic management fees and having to adjust to a more complex operating environment.
Embraer is preparing to mark the centennial next year of the first flight of Alberto Santos-Dumont’s 14 Bis biplane with a display at its Le Bourget static exhibition of the first of three 14 Bis replicas built in Brazil. The first replica is next to Embraer’s Legacy business jet and will remain throughout the Paris Air Show.
Here at the Paris air show on the static display, visitors can see a rebuilt Dassault Flamant (Flamingo) MD-312 light military transport. Its recent history is that of enthusiasts investing time and money. But the near future is even more exciting, as the Flamant is to fly across the Atlantic to the Air Venture show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, next month. Tail number F-AZVG is exhibited next to the Embraer 195.
To prioritize and promote unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in the United Kingdom, the Society of British Aerospace Companies (SBAC) and the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Systems Association (UAVS) have signed a memorandum of understanding that will see resources focused on accelerating the implementation of UAV systems and making UK industry globally competitive.
Vulcanair’s display of its P68C Jet could confuse visitors until they realize that the installation of 227-hp SMA diesel engines enables the popular twin to use jet fuel. Shortages of avgas are directly affecting demand for aircraft fitted with standard piston engines. Indeed in the Middle East, where avgas is not refined, availability is so limited that sales of the standard P68 in the region are unknown.
Fighting fires from the air used to be an ad hoc business, as unpredictable as the odds of getting a return on your equipment investment. Even during a hot summer, aircraft operators in southern Europe might have their Bambi buckets gathering dust in the corner of a hangar on the off-chance a camping stove should topple over somewhere.
For several years large dark clouds have swept across the skies of light aviation in France. Last year less than 30 small piston airplanes were delivered here, compared with annual rates of 400 to 500 at the start of the 1970s.
Membership in the French Aeronautical Association (FFA), which includes 540 flying clubs across the country, has also declined, dropping by more than 3 percent over the last five years.