Aviation News

Alaskan Bush Pilots

2008 General Aviation Technology Challenge

General Aviation Technology Challenge
NASA and CAFE have partnered to create a new PAV Challenge for 2008. It will be a "Pentaviathon" to advance five vital General Aviation Technologies: noise reduction, fuel efficiency, speed, safety and ease of use. NASA has named the $300,000 flight competition "The General Aviation Technology Challenge". Registration for the competition officially opened on December 23, 2007. It will be conducted at CAFE's Flight Test Center in Santa Rosa, California from August 2-10, 2008.

Airbus A380 Test Flights

These are minimum airborne speed test flights for the Airbus A380. Check out the crazy sparks!

Aging and Flying

Libby Culpepper, a graduate student at the Wichita State University Human Factors Laboratory, is conducting a study of the effects of age-related changes in vision, audition, motor control, and cognition in pilots. She is collecting data for this study via an on-line survey.

Here's the link: http://pilotsurvey.notlong.com/

The survey is anonymous and takes 20-30 minutes to complete. The researcher is interested in collecting data from all kinds of pilots -- young, old, male, female, commercial, private, fixed wing, rotorcraft -- you name it: If you fly any kind of aircraft, you're eligible to participate.

If you're not a pilot but would still like to participate, you can be part of the comparison group by clicking on the link above and filling in the survey as a non-pilot.

By participating in this study, you will have the option to enter in a prize drawing for a Sporty’s Pilot Shop gift certificate or cash.

If you need more information, please contact Libby Culpepper at alculpepper@wichita.edu.

Help find Steve Fossett

The millionaire aviator has been missing since September 3rd after departing alone in a single-engine Bellanca aircraft from an airstrip 80 miles southeast of Reno, Nevada.

Using satellite imagery drawn from multiple organizations and Amazon's Mechanical Turk (a crowdsourcing platform), individuals around the world are helping to scour images for Fossett's plane.

Mechanical Turk is a web service that allows for the rapid assembly of a large human workforce to tackle tasks that are better suited for people than computers. In this case, the job is to look for a 30x20 pixel airplane in over 12 thousand satellite photos. A digital needle in the haystack.

The digital search is similar to one conducted for a well known computer scientist Jim Gray who was lost at sea earlier this year.

You can join the hunt here.

Dreams of Flight contest

AirShowBuzz.com has launched a new contest and is calling on all aviation enthusiasts and pilots to enter videos, photos and stories that pertain to the theme of Dreams of Flight.

Winners will take home a Toyota FJ Cruiser and other cool prizes.

Check it out here!

FAA Administrator Marion Blakey on User Fees

The best paper airplane designs.

Little Nicky paper plane design

Just read a fun article about the world's best paper airplane designs. It contains great diagrams and tips from paper-plane experts. There is also an interactive guide to making your own plane.

I've found this book to be another fun resource:
The Gliding Flight: 20 Excellent Fold and fly Paper Airplanes

Fight against aviation user fees continues.

Aviation user fees won't be part of a House plan for funding the Federal Aviation Administration, Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman James Oberstar said.

Existing taxes can cover the FAA's budget and airport projects for the next five years, Oberstar said in an interview. President Bush had proposed a fee that would pay for more than half of the FAA's $14.1 billion budget.

"None of what the administration was proposing" will be included, Oberstar, a Minnesota Democrat, said in Washington. "We're plotting a path to achieving it without the administration's fees."

Small-plane owners opposed fees based on air-space use, fearing higher costs.

Airlines and passengers pay two-thirds of costs now through taxes on passenger tickets, fuel, cargo and frequent-flier miles.

Even without fees, airlines hope Congress will require corporate-jet users to pay more, said David Castelveter, spokesman for the Washington-based Air Transport Association.

"We're tired of subsidizing corporate aviation," he said.

Oberstar said House lawmakers are still drafting an FAA proposal that will be ready for an aviation subcommittee vote later this month.

A Senate panel passed its version of the plan May 16.

It includes a small-scale version of Bush's fee that, at $25 a flight, would collect $400 million a year.

Bush didn't specify the amount of his fee.

Cessna's proof of concept Light Sport Aircraft