Bob Hoover, whose extraordinary aviation life included flying in World War II, test-flying for the Air Force and performing a unique airshow act demonstrating the laws of aerodynamics with a twin Shrike Commander, died this morning at age 94. Hoover was widely regarded as "the greatest stick-and-rudder man who ever lived," as Jimmy Doolittle described him. During his long career, he won a long list of awards and honors, including the National Aeronautic Association's Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy, the Living Legends of Aviation Freedom of Flight Award, the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum Trophy, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the French Croix de Guerre and many more. Continue reading "Legendary Bob Hoover Dies At 94"
The FAA administrator comes to EAA AirVenture just about every summer, and as a rule the main thrust of the current officeholder's speech is pretty predictable--whoever is in the job will talk about how great GA is and how much they support it, but how hard and slow it is to change any of the rules and regs that frustrate pilots and aircraft owners. This year, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta had the lucky opportunity to tout actual progress the agency has recently made toward giving GA something they dearly want — third-class medical reform — and even more. “We’re committed to making general aviation safer and more efficient and we’re making a lot of progress,” Administrator Michael Huerta told the Oshkosh crowd today. “Collaboration between the FAA and industry is allowing the GA community to benefit from upgraded technology, lower costs, and higher levels of safety.” Continue reading "Huerta Stresses Safety At AirVenture"
Richard Hogan's Commuter Craft Innovator, which attracted crowds recently at the Sport Aviation Sport Aviation Expo in Sebring, is on display at Sun 'n Fun this week and continues to attract the curious. The experimental canard airplane, which has been in development for a few years, first flew last September and now has about 30 hours on it, Hogan said. It has a 60-inch-wide cockpit, a twin tail with a boom, and a three-surface design that Hogan says is stall-proof and spin resistant. All of those qualities appeal to new pilots, Hogan said. The company is working on a builder-assist center in Cartersville, Georgia, where buyers will be able to take delivery of their kit. Hogan said he hopes to start deliveries in the second half of 2017. Continue reading "Commuter Craft Now Taking Deposits"
The Copperstate Fly-In, which has moved to several airports around Arizona over more than 40 years, will be held at a new site this October, organizers have announced. The event will be held at Falcon Field, in Mesa, Friday and Saturday, Oct. 28 and 29. The facilities available at Falcon Field will help the fly-in to expand its offerings, organizers said. "We're optimistic we'll have more people through the gate and more exhibitors," fly-in president Steve Bass told the local East Valley Tribune. The site is also convenient to the major metropolitan Phoenix area, which is the main source of visitors to the fly-in. The event usually attracts about 500 aircraft and up to 7,000 visitors. Continue reading "Copperstate Fly-In Changes Venue"
The FAA said on Wednesday it is starting a rulemaking project that will explore whether to allow private pilots, in certain instances, to use a driver's license instead of an FAA medical certificate. The FAA added that it is "still considering" a petition from AOPA and EAA that was submitted in March 2012, asking the FAA to allow recreational pilots to skip the FAA medical. "The FAA is considering whether it can provide any relief to the medical requirement, while maintaining safety, prior to completion of the rule," according to Wednesday's announcement. EAA and AOPA were quick to welcome the news on Wednesday afternoon.
Van's Aircraft has released two service bulletins that advise owners of a variety of its aircraft to inspect for cracks in specific areas before their next flight. The first bulletin (PDF), which came out on Friday, applies to RV-6, -7, and -8 aircraft and advises owners to inspect a portion of the horizontal stabilizer forward spar for cracks on a flange. "There are no known accidents related to these cracks," Paul Dye, editor of Kitplanes, told AVweb on Tuesday. "Van's discovered them on their demo fleet airplanes, which probably have more time in service than any other RV's out there. If no cracks are found, the aircraft can be flown indefinitely, with an annual check of the spot for cracks at each condition inspection." If cracks are found, a $15 mod kit from Van's can be used to upgrade the spar.
The second bulletin (PDF), posted Monday, advises owners of RV-3, -4, -6, -7, and -8 aircraft to inspect the elevator spars where the hinge points attach. "Last year, a couple of people reported cracks at the the edge of a doubler plate," said Dye. "The inspection takes almost no time … and because this got wide attention on www.Vansairforce.net when first discovered, many, many airplanes were inspected. Only a couple reported cracks. Yet Van developed a doubler plate that can be used if cracks are found." The service bulletins are not mandatory, and Dye said he inspected his own airplanes in under 10 minutes and found nothing of concern. Ken Scott of Van's told AVweb on Wednesday that repairs, if needed, should take a few hours at most. "The maximum anybody will spend for parts is $51," he said. The SBs affect up to 5,500 aircraft, Scott said, though he added he has no way to know how many of those are still in active service.