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Neighbor Shoots Down Drone In Louisiana

Conflicts involving amateur-operated drones made the news again this week, one involving an irritated neighbor who disabled one with a gun. In Louisiana, Aaron Hernandez lost his $1,200 quadcopter Monday night while flying it around his father's house outside Baton Rouge.

AOPA Launches High School Aviation Initiative

AOPA has launched a new program, the High School Aviation Initiative, to encourage students to enter aviation careers. As part of this effort, the newly formed Aviation Education Leadership Alliance will hold its first gathering Nov. 9 in Lakeland, Florida, home of the Central Florida Aerospace Academy.

New This Week

AVweb's search of what's new in aviation found a few STC milestones reported by Plane Dynamix, Power Flow and Hartzell Propeller, and an announcement from Sonex Aircraft of scholarships established in memory of Jeremy Monnett and Mike Clark.

Disk Failure Found In BA 777 Engine

Inspections of older GE engines on airliners around the world could begin in the coming weeks as investigators learn more about the uncontained engine failure that started a fire on a British Airways jet one month ago in Las Vegas. In an update from the NTSB this week, investigators found that a disk in the high-pressure compressor (HPC) in the 777's left GE90 engine fractured during takeoff roll, propelling pieces into the engine case and cowling.

High-Res NASA Moon Photos Now Online

A trove of 8,400 NASA photos from the moon missions has been posted online in its "raw, high-resolution, and unprocessed form." Kipp Teague, of the Project Apollo Archive, an independent, non-NASA website, said he worked with NASA to obtain the public-domain Apollo mission imagery. Teague has collected images in a Flickr gallery from both the moon missions and from training operations on Earth. The collection includes original scans from the chest-mounted Hasselblad film cameras carried by the astronauts during their moon explorations.

The Weekender: Fall Foliage Flying

The Weekender has some scenic seasonal flying in the works, thanks to SocialFlight, which found a Fall Foliage Fun Day (both Saturday and Sunday) at Warren Ohio's 80OH, Sloas Field. The event will be at the Ernie Hall Aviation Museum, and on the grass runway enjoy a biplane ride in a 1929 Travel Air.

FAA: Drone Rules Ready By June 2016

The FAA, behind schedule in finalizing regulations for commercial use of unmanned aerial systems, will be ready by June 17, 2016, according to congressional testimony Wednesday by the agency's deputy administrator.

Drone Operator Fined $1.9 Million

The FAA on Tuesday announced its largest-ever civil penalty against a drone operator, proposing a fine of $1.9 million against SkyPan International, based in Chicago, for "careless or reckless" operations. The FAA says SkyPan conducted 65 unauthorized commercial drone flights to take aerial photographs in New York and Chicago between March 2012 and December 2014. About two-thirds of those flights took place in the "highly restricted New York Class B airspace," the FAA said.

FAA Expands Remote Control-Tower Testing

Fort Collins-Loveland Municipal Airport has been named as the first test facility for the FAA's new Virtual Air Traffic Control Tower technology, the agency announced last week. Currently, the field is non-towered. The new system, which will be up and running by next summer, is expected to help attract commercial operators to the airport. "The high-tech array will provide an enhanced level of air safety at a cost dramatically lower than the expense required for construction and staffing of traditional towers," according to the Colorado Division of Aeronautics.

Huerta Unveils New FAA Safety Strategy

The FAA has developed a new "compliance philosophy" to promote safety that "challenges the status quo," the FAA said in a news release on Tuesday. "The Compliance Philosophy is the latest step in the evolution of how we work with those we regulate," said Administrator Michael Huerta, at a Flight Safety Foundation event in Washington, D.C. "It focuses on the most fundamental goal: find problems in the National Airspace System before they result in an incident or accident, use the most appropriate tools to fix those problems, and monitor the situation to ensure that they stay fixed."

Rutan Wins Wright Trophy

Burt Rutan is the 2015 winner of the National Aeronautic Association's Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy. The trophy is awarded annually to a living American for "significant public service of enduring value to aviation in the United States."

Show Updates: NBAA, Redbird, AOPA, And Farewell To Chuck Aaron

NBAA's annual business-aviation convention is coming up next month, and retired US Airways Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger will be a featured speaker. Sullenberger will talk about aviation safety, leadership and training during the event, taking place Nov. 17 to 19 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Also coming up soon is Redbird's Migration, held in San Marcos, Texas, Nov. 3 to 4. This annual event brings together flight-training professionals and industry leaders to network and share information about flight-training techniques, new technology, and business operations. Also, AOPA has announced the dates and sites for next year's Fly-Ins, with four new sites.

Short Final

This past week I watched the Wings Over Wine Country Air Show practice from my hangar at KSTS. I was listening to the tower on my handheld. While I was listening, three different pilots wandered into the TFR, causing the rehearsals to be delayed. The fourth time it happened was when the Canadian Snowbirds had just started their routine. The tower notified them they would have to stop until the offender left the zone. ... One of the Snowbirds then asked the tower: "What's with all these pilots busting the TFR?" ... The tower responded: "Welcome to Sonoma County. They drive like that, too." -- Scott Peterson

Airline Captain Dies En Route

The captain of an American Airlines A320 died during a flight on Monday from Phoenix to Boston, according to an airline official. Few details have been released about the pilot, but officials said the death was due to an illness. The flight diverted to Syracuse, N.Y., and landed shortly after 7 a.m. An airline spokesperson told ABC News they were "incredibly saddened" and are focused on taking care of the family members and crew involved.

AVIC Building GA Industrial Bases In China

China's largest aviation company says it's building the first of 50 aviation "industrial bases" aimed at serving the country's general aviation market. The Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) Chairman Lin Zuoming told the Xinhua News Agency the 30-square-kilometer (11.5-square-mile) complex will include manufacturing, research and training facilities.

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