Photo © Scott Olson/Getty
When the FCC announced a proposal to allow cell phone use on board aircraft, the public was outraged. It would seem that nobody wants to sit next to passengers blabbing away on their cell phones.
I'm not sure what the chances are that this proposal will pass, but if there's truly no safety reason for the restriction to remain in place, than the restriction simply shouldn't exist.
The FCC claims that the restriction involving cell phone use on aircraft is outdated and the addition of new technology on aircraft would prevent any safety problems that arise from cell phone use. This means that it would be up to each air carrier to determine Read More...
Photo © John Raedle/Getty
If you're not sure what to expect from TSA this holiday season, you're not the only one.
This recently published article on the Seattle Times' website details the intricacies of modern-day airport security, including the many differences in security restrictions from airport to airport and person to person. It's always changing.
And these constant changes to the rules leave passengers wondering "who can bring what through security this time?" Then there's the new TSA pre-check program that allow some special travelers to go through the screening process with a new, separate set of rules.
Combine this with very recent and raw emotions stemming from the terrible incident at LAX, followed by a false report of a gunman just weeks later and people are overwhelmed, confused and maybe even a little Read More...
Photo © RT D'Onofrio/Plane Pieces, Inc.
Have you been on Etsy.com recently? If you haven't, you're missing out on some truly unique aviation finds. Did you know that you can get an iPhone dock made out of a piston from an WWII engine? Or a taxiway marker sign? Check out my 10 Fantastic Etsy Finds, which features 10 awesome aviation items that you'll enjoy for yourself or as a gift for an aviation friend. Etsy is great if you want unique, handcrafted items. It's also a god place to shop if you want to support small businesses and entrepreneurs. Plus, the sellers on Etsy just happen to make really cool things!
If you're still on the lookout for a holiday gift for the aviation nut in your life, check out my series of aviation gift ideas, which provides over 50 ideas for various types of avgeeks and covering all sorts of budget ranges.More Aviation Gift Ideas:
Top 12 Gift Ideas for the Aviation Enthusiast
Top 12 Gift Ideas for the Professional Pilot
Top 12 Gift Ideas for Flight Instructors
Top 12 Gift Ideas for Aircraft Owners
The FAA said in a statement today that it will relax the regulations on electronic devices for airline passengers. Beginning as soon as airlines can legally adapt to the new policy, airline passengers will be allowed to use their personal electronic devices such as iPads and cell phones during all stages of the flight.
Until recently, passengers were required to completely power off all cell phones and other electronic devices like e-readers and laptops during taxi, takeoff and land. The requirement has been in place due to a perceived safety hazard having to do with signal interference. But since most aircraft have installed new equipment on board for Wi-Fi capabilities, the FAA has come to the conclusion that those same aircraft are also safe enough to avoid signal interference from cell-phones.
Cell phones will still need to be in "airplane mode" and voice calls will not be allowed. The FCC, not the FAA, oversees voice communications over cellular networks, and they haven't yet changed the regulations restricting cell phone use in flight.
Photo © Dave Miller/Armchair Photography
They have their reasons, but here's one thing you should ask them: Do they really regret becoming a pilot? I hate to put words in other people's mouths, and I'm not a tired, underpaid regional airline pilot, but I would bet that even though the pay is low and they're overworked, they still think they have one of the best jobs in the world and they probably wouldn't want to do anything else!
I put together a list of reasons detailing why you should consider becoming a pilot, even if it's just for fun. Check it out and let me know what you think.
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Photo © Heinz Weber/Flickr
Cessna CEO Scott Ernest made waves last week at NBAA 2013 when he apparently said that the company's light sport aircraft, the Skycatcher, had a lot of problems and that there was no future for the Cessna 162 Skycatcher program.
His comments didn't sit right with at least one reporter in attendance from AvWeb, who said in a commentary on Avweb.com that the CEO's comments came across as "petulant and peevish." Others disagreed in the comments section of the article, saying that they appreciated his brutal honesty; after all, he's right.
Whether or not he was peevish or not, it would seem that he's right: The Skycatcher has had its share of trouble, and it's not proving to be the light sport aircraft that people had hoped. Everyone know of the aircraft's struggles, but some were apparently shocked at the bluntness of Ernest's claims, especially when the company still has 70-something Skycatchers in its inventory.
We're over a week into the government shutdown and while congress tries to negotiate, thousands of employees remain out of work. In the aviation industry, many are troubled by the long-term effects that the shutdown will have.
On Monday, about half of the 800,000 affected government employees were called back to work under a bill that the President signed that allows members of the military and military support staff to be paid.
Still, thousands of aviation and aerospace employees are out of work, including FAA inspectors, aircraft registration staff and NTSB officials. While Lockheed Martin and other military contractors were able to recall some furloughed employees, the effect of the government shutdown remains: Aircraft manufacturers and other operators are unable to sell or purchase new aircraft and the lack of inspections makes people question the welfare of air travel overall. And the already bleak ADS-B timeline is getting bleaker.
Read more about the government shutdown here.
We've all heard about FAA delays and NextGen problems, so the idea that the FAA may not be able to meet its own mandated deadline isn't necessarily a surprise to anyone.
But it's becoming more of a reality. A recent letter from the Office of Inspector General confirms that there are certainly delays. And it's bad enough that the FAA may not be able to stand by their Final Rule regarding the mandatory use of ADS-B by the year 2020.
It would seem that the FAA is having problems working out the details of ADS-B, including how and when TIS-B and FIS-B will be available and how these programs will operate together with currently installed equipment like satellite weather Read More...
Photo © FAA
I don't own an airplane, so I can't say how difficult or expensive it might be to outfit your aircraft with ADS-B. Which is why I'd love to hear your input! Are you already ADS-B equipped? Are you planning to be? Are you finding it to be a hassle or are you embracing the requirement?
Or maybe you're not doing anything at all. Because after all, the rule only applies to the airspace you currently need a transponder for. So all of you Read More...
Have you ever flown in an aircraft with a pilot that didn't give a good safety briefing?
For a seasoned pilot that has experience in multiple aircraft types, this is probably not a very big deal. For inexperienced pilots the lack of a briefing can be troubling. And if it's troubling for pilots, you can be sure it's even more troubling for non-pilots!
A good passenger safety briefing will set your passengers at ease and can even inspire passengers to learn more about flying. The lack of an adequate passenger briefing, on the other hand, will instill discomfort and insecurity among passengers. Some passengers are good at hiding their uncertainty about flying in a new airplane; others will show their anxiety physically. Regardless, you want every passenger to be completely comfortable in your airplane.
There are certain elements that make up a good passenger safety briefing. While your briefing will change based on the comfort level and experience of your passengers, make sure you don't skip over it entirely. Everyone will feel better if a professional safety briefing is given - and you'll be happy you briefed that airsick passenger on the location of the sick sack when they end up needing one.What elements are in your briefing? Do you have all of the elements the FAA requires and recommends for a professional passenger safety briefing?