Pilots seeking to improve their manual flying skills should consider trying gliders, according to Captain Sarah Kelman. The former women’s world gliding champion and EasyJet safety officer told the Royal Aeronautical Society’s recent International Flight Crew Training Conference in London that flying gliders is beneficial to upset prevention and recovery training.
If you fly in a helicopter, NASA is interested in saving your posterior.
For many years, a small company named Lam Aviation has showcased its variable-geometry wing design at EAA AirVenture. Company founder Lawrence Lam (who passed away in 2010) even designed and built his own low-wing, retractable gear, single-engine airplane–the Wanderer–to demonstrate the concept and flew that airplane to Oshkosh three times.
GreenWing International is preparing to market the eSpyder electric airplane in the U.S., first as an amateur-built kit then as a factory-built light sport aircraft (LSA). U.S. production of the eSpyder is expected to begin later this year. The eSpyder was certified in Germany in February and is based on the Flightstar Spyder ultralight airframe.
The FAA has issued an Airworthiness Directive (AD) for Twin Commander 690s, 690As and 690Bs requiring inspection for cracking of the outer fuselage attachments, the lower wing main spar, the vertical channels, the upper picture window channels, aft cabin pressure web, external wing to fuselage fillets and fasteners. It requires modification of the structure with reinforced parts. According to the AD, the condition, if not corrected, could result in structural failure of the airplane.
Basic manual and cognitive flying skills decline because of a lack of practice actually flying the aircraft, according to 80 percent of 151 respondents to a European Aviation Safety Agency survey about cockpit automation. That same number also believe pilots’ feel for the airplane can deteriorate significantly when they don’t hand fly the aircraft often enough.
Last week, the FAA issued a two-year renewal for Exemption 7897, more commonly known as “NBAA’s small aircraft exemption,” which permits NBAA members operating small aircraft “to take advantage of flexibility usually available only to operators of larger, turbine-powered airplanes,” the association said.
Gardner Aviation Services is offering a general aviation fixed-wing and rotorcraft product support catalog that features avionics, instruments and pilot supplies, including the latest in digital displays, communications and ADS-B technologies. The new catalog serves as a buyer’s guide for selecting equipment designed for both fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft. Product photos and descriptions identify hundreds of items and their function.
Leading Edge Composites (Booth No. N4535) announced the expansion of its aircraft cabinetry capabilities, “combining the industry experience and success of our formidable composite parts production with innovative cabinet design and finishing service.”
According to director of new product development Paul Norris, expansion at the company’s Oxford, Pa. facilities allows owners, operators and completion centers working with both rotor- and fixed-wing aircraft to enjoy the benefits of working with an integrated design, engineering, production and finishing facility.
Eighteen of 21 people aboard a tourist balloon ride died in Luxor, Egypt, on February 26 when the aircraft’s gas chamber exploded, sending the balloon falling nearly 1,000 feet to the ground. The crash is believed to have been the deadliest balloon accident in the world over the past 20 years. The local governor of Luxor province banned any further balloon flights until further notice.
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