Tuesday, March 13, 2012

RunwayFinder Offline

I'm sad to report that RunwayFinder.com, one of my favorite flight planning websites, is now officially offline, a victim of a unjust lawsuit (which I wrote about previously), as now AeroNav's decision to charge high user fees for their digital products. Thank you Dave Parsons for providing such a great site for as long as you did. Undoubtedly you helped the pilot community immeasurably over the years.

Just a point on the AeroNav debacle. The has been written about at length by many in the industry. Some of the best articles I've seen are here, here and here. I still struggle to understand how an agency can be so shortsighted. The main point here, that seems to be getting missed, is about aviation safety. That's why these procedures exist. That's why they spend so much time and effort to make sure they are created properly and check them regularly to make sure they are still safe. The ultimate measure in safety is dissemination of information and ease of access to that information. That is what AeroNav should be focused on. (AeroNav, are you sure you can't figure out how to shave $5M off of your bureaucracy that I'm paying for??)

By the way, if you really want to get nervous about the cost of flying, read the FAA's new FAQ about their reauthorization.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Say something

Likely we have all seen "pilots" (as before, I put pilot in quotes as I do not believe people who do illegal maneuvering are deserving of the title) perform stunts who are:
1) not trained to do said maneuvers
2) in aircraft not certificated to perform said maneuvers
3) are not in a specified aerobatic box to perform maneuvers in a safe manner
4) endangering lives other than just their own

It is point 4 in this case that I'm am extremely upset to read about. I have talked about incidents before here and here, however in a recent case the "pilot" performing the stunt ended four lives other than his own, including two children. This is not a pilot, this individual was nothing else but a murderer.

The NTSB report goes on to say that the "pilot" "was known to perform ostentatious maneuvers in the accident airplane on previous occasions". The very sad takeaway is that "pilot's" colleagues have witnessed the "pilot" performing illegal maneuvers as well as endangering his, and possibly others', lives. They had the chance to talk with him (hopefully they did). They had the chance to report him to the FAA (unlikely they did). Perhaps if proper action had been taken those four other innocent lives would not have been lost due to one "person's" highly inflated ego.

If you see someone performing illegal maneuvering, get involved, say something. It may save a life.

Monday, March 5, 2012

EAA Desktop Dressing

If you've not come across them already, every month the EAA puts out a fantastic calendar wallpaper in a variety of resolutions for download. You can find them here: http://www.eaa.org/wallpaper/  Highly recommended! @EAAupdate

Posted By Craig Gomulka to BitAero at 3/05/2012 01:44:00 PM

High school "magnet programs" helps drive student interest in aviation

Re-posting an AOPA article highlighting a great way to get more people interested in aviation at a young age: a high school Aviation Sciences Magnet Program. More here: Houston, we have a pilot