Robert A. Wright, retired manager of the Federal Aviation Administration's General Aviation and Commerce Division, says there is not enough emphasis placed on risk management during general aviation pilot training. After analyzing a series of fatal accidents, Wright says he found that risk management played a primary role.
Pilot John Lawton was planning to crisscross the U.S.-Canadian border 90 times to celebrate his 90th birthday this week. He was to begin his journey in his Cessna 172 in Buffalo, N.Y., where he had his closest call as a pilot, and fly a series of figure-8 patterns around Niagara Falls. "Somehow, I got a wild idea that I needed to do something different for my birthday," said Lawton.
The Calif.-based company Classic Jet Tours organizes charter flights aboard vintage jets for aviation enthusiasts. Sean Burris, the 18-year-old founder, said the idea for the company was born during his childhood love of aviation. Passengers get the flight, plus the chance to explore the aircraft and meet the pilots.
AOPA joined a coalition of aviation industry groups to urge Congress not to close air traffic control contract towers in September. Congress transferred money in May to preserve the towers through the end of the 2013 fiscal year, but an additional $150 million is required to keep them open through the 2014 fiscal year.
A new Federal Aviation Administration report recommended taking a cooperative approach to reducing noise from helicopters flying over Los Angeles, rather than imposing new regulations. The report drew fire from lawmakers. "Voluntary measures in the past have provided little relief for residents, and I am skeptical that without a determined effort to oversee them by the FAA that they will do so now," said Democratic U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, a co-sponsor of legislation to regulate helicopter flights in Los Angeles County.