Posts with the tag ‘general aviation’


NASCAR Crash Points Out Disparity In Aviation Safety Standards

September 17, 2017

It is an odd situation that a man who successfully competed in race car driving, ostensibly a dangerous sport, should die in an airplane crash. On Saturday, NASCAR racing legend Ted Christopher, 59, was killed along with pilot Charles Dundas while flying through Connecticut en route to a race in Long Island, New York. The men were flying in a Mooney M20. A few factors, however, should make this news less than surprising. Over the past few months, Connecticut has been the scene of nine general aviation plane crashes, four of them fatal. The troubling statistics prompted Connecticut’s senator Richard Blumenthal to send a letter… Read More…


Icon Suggests Pilot Erred In A5 Plane Crash

May 18, 2017

Investigators don’t know what caused the fatal plane crash last week of the new and highly-anticipated light-sport Icon A5, but in a statement on the company website, Icon’s director of flight, Shane Sullivan suggests pilot error was an issue. “We’re unsure why the plane flew into such a narrow canyon that had no outlet,” Sullivan wrote.  Such speculation by an interested party during the investigation is highly unusual and frowned upon by the National Transportation Safety Board. On May 8, aeronautical engineer and chief test pilot Jon Karkow was piloting the two seat amphibious A5 with Icon’s new director of engineering, Cagri Sever on board as a passenger…. Read More…


Icon Aircraft to Throttle Back on Harsh Purchase Terms for A5

May 6, 2016

This post has been updated to correct an impression that the manufacturer made a presentation to Sun ‘n Fun. I fact it was a discussion with pilots at an exhibit of the aircraft. Kirk Hawkins, chief executive of Icon Aircraft wants to disrupt aviation with his company’s new versatile, light sport A5 amphibious aircraft. Nearly a decade in the making, this little plane has a big price tag and even bigger mission. Hawkins wants it to change the way individuals think of flying and on a larger scale, to set the extremely litigious general aviation industry on a different course. But if there are to be… Read More…


Nick Tramontano; An Aviator’s Legacy of Kindness

February 12, 2016

Consider this quote from Irish aviation executive Willie Walsh talking about the boss of a competing airline, Virgin’s Richard Branson. “I don’t like him, I don’t admire him, I don’t buy his bullshit.” Or consider Michael O’Leary of Ireland’s Ryanair, “I don’t give a shit if no one likes me. I’m not a cloud bunny or an aerosexual. I don’t like aeroplanes. I never wanted to be a pilot like those other platoons of goons who populate the airline industry.” The world of aviation is full of arrogant, combative individuals who may be providing a service to a world growing ever more reliant on air travel…. Read More…


Aviation Year in Review Has a Star Wars Sci-Fi Feel

December 29, 2015

Star Wars dominated the end-of-the-year entertainment news. Harrison Ford, the ageless superstar most associated with the ageless film franchise also arrives on my list of top aviation news stories as I wrap up the year with a look back at 2015. It was March (and the movie was already in the can) when Ford, a pilot for nearly a quarter century, lost the engine on his Ryan Aeronautical ST3KR, shortly after takeoff from Santa Monica Airport. He crash landed on a golf course about 800 feet from the airfield. The NTSB determined a carburetor malfunction allowed too much fuel to flow into the engine causing… Read More…


Drive in the Country or Tumble Through the Sky; Acrobatic Pilot Rob Holland’s Flying Lessons

May 15, 2015

I made the one hour drive on the beautiful back roads of New England, rounding the curves and ascending the hills. Distracted by spring in full bloom, I struggled to concentrate on the road ahead. By the time I arrived at Westfield Municipal Airport and introduced myself to acrobatic pilot Rob Holland I was exhausted and we had yet to fly. That’s what sustained focus will do to you. I’d been invited to go up with Rob during a practice session for this weekend’s Great New England Air Show in Western Massachusetts and to write about the experience for a chain of Connecticut newspapers. We… Read More…


Federal Investigators Find Oversight Lacking in Air Ambulances

April 15, 2015

The attention of the flying public may be riveted to events like Malaysia 370 and Germanwings Flight 9525 but when it comes to hazards, helicopter ambulances are second only to combat flying. In other words, orders of magnitude riskier than traveling in an airliner. The fine levied against America’s largest operator of emergency medical helicopters exposes once again the gap between what the air ambulance industry promises and what it delivers. On Monday the Federal Aviation Administration fined Air Methods of Colorado one and a half million dollars. Air Methods, which refers to is itself as “Defenders of Tomorrow” may have been just a little too… Read More…


Global Girl & Girlfriend of Sex Offender Epstein Same Person Flight School Says

January 26, 2015

The Facebook page of Global Girl See previous post on this subject here. The owner of the flight school where popular online aviatrix Nadia Marcinko received her private and commercial pilots licenses says Marcinko also used the name Nada Marcinkova while attending the school in Palm Beach, Florida, linking the Gulfstream Girl / turned-Global Girl to the Jeffrey Epstein sex scandal. Police in Palm Beach claim that the New York billionaire and convicted sex-offender identified Marcinkova as his friend to some of the teenagers he paid to have sex with him at his Palm Beach mansion in 2005 and 2006. After a long investigation, the police in Palm… Read More…


Does Black Friday Sale on Lasers Threaten Air Travel?

December 16, 2014

This post has been updated to include comment from the U.S. FDA and from Patrick Murphy of laserpointersafety.com.  One of the largest sellers of high powered laser pointers has done an about face, discontinuing sales of devices that are styled to look like Star Wars light saber toys but are strong enough to blind in seconds. Wicked Lasers issued a press release explaining its decision and attributed it to the sale of the company to a “government-backed optoelectronics manufacturer” in China.  Wicked Laser got cross-wise with the Food and Drug Administration several years ago because it did not comply with all of the rules governing the… Read More…


Malaysian Artist’s Mixed Media View of Aviation

November 18, 2014

Masnoor in his studio in April 2014 One night in Spain, I took a walk down to the edge of the Mediterranean where a brilliant white moon seemed to turn the water into a sea of graphite. I had no camera and so I challenged myself to recreate the scene with words. In his 2012 trip across the Atlantic in a Pilatus PC 12, Malaysian painter Masnoor Ramli Mahmud was asked to do the opposite, tell the story of trans-oceanic flight in pictures.  The result is the one-man show, PATHFINDER#PC12, which will open in Kuala Lumpur on November 27th. Riza Johari while at ABC News… Read More…


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