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1995 CESSNA CITATION ULTRA

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Top Letters and Comments, June 22, 2018

This week's letters brought comments from readers about Diamond's Christian Dries, things people say on CTAF, and the FAA's hunt for potentially noncompliant aircraft.

First PC-24 Lands on Unpaved Runway

Pilatus has announced the first successful landing of its PC-24 business jet on an unpaved runway as part of a post-certification test program which specifically emphasizes unpaved runway operations. The first two weeks of testing took place at Woodbridge Airfield near London.

Fatigue Crack Causes British Airways Engine Fire

The 2015 engine fire on a British Airways 777 was caused by a fatigue crack and the resultant uncontained engine fire, according to the NTSB final report issued on Wednesday. The crack was found in an area of one of the aircraft’s GE GE90-85BG11 engines that was not required to be inspected at the time.

ATC Privatization Comes Around Again

Six general aviation associations have issued a statement strongly opposing the inclusion of provisions to privatize air traffic control services in the government reorganization proposal unveiled by the White House on Thursday.

FAPA Holding Job Fair And Future Pilot Forum

Future and Active Pilot Advisors (FAPA) is holding a free pilot job fair and future pilot forum on Saturday, June 23, in Chicago. Topics to be covered in the forum include financing flight training, pathways for professional pilots and the outlook of the global pilot job market.

Hall Of Fame To Honor Four Aviators

The National Aviation Hall of Fame will induct four new members Sept. 28, at its 56th annual ceremony, in Washington, D.C., organizers have announced. The four will be honored with a ceremony and dinner to take place at the National Building Museum. The event is open to the public.

Airlines Refuse To Transport Immigrant Children

American Airlines has issued a statement asking the U.S. government to “refrain from using American for the purpose of transporting children who have been separated from their families due to the current immigration policy” on Wednesday. United and Frontier have taken similar positions.

Government Issues Directive To Keep Space Clean

The U.S. government issued a policy directive aimed at managing growing space traffic more safely and effectively, including tackling increasing orbital debris, on Monday. Space Policy Directive-3 (SPD-3) calls for “a new approach to space traffic management (STM) that addresses current and future operational risks.”

Helicopter Aerobatics To Return To Oshkosh

When Chuck Aaron retired from the airshow circuit in 2017, he decreased by half the number of U.S. pilots certified to fly aerobatics in a helicopter. This summer, his old job at Red Bull has been filled by a newly trained pilot, Aaron Fitzgerald, who will make his Oshkosh debut in July, flying the Airbus B0-105C.

Short Final: A Gentleman And A Scholar

I was flying over central Kansas when I overheard Center clear a jet pilot “direct destination.” The pilot, grateful, confirmed the clearance and added the compliment, “You’re a gentleman and a scholar.”

Bell, Safran Team On Hybrid Engines

Bell and Safran have agreed to work together to develop hybrid-electric power systems for Bell’s eVTOL aircraft concept, the two companies announced on Tuesday. Bell will lead the design, development and production of VTOL systems, and Safran will work on “a disruptive propulsion system,” according to the companies’ news release.

Study: Full-Stall Training Pays Off

Researchers at the University of Toronto have developed new simulations that they believe will help pilots to better recover when faced with an aerodynamic stall. “Part of the challenge is that pilots are often trained on simulations that take an aircraft right up to the point of aerodynamic stall but not past it,” said Peter Grant, a professor at the university’s Institute for Aerospace Studies.

Short Final: Mirage

I was inbound for landing at Reid-Hillview airport and had a traffic alert off to my left, 300 feet higher and faster. About a minute after the traffic alert the tower told me I had traffic above and to the left of me. I replied that I did not have traffic in sight.

GPS Interference Concerns Revived

An attempt to launch a high-speed cellular network that raised alarm over GPS interference was squelched by federal regulators back in 2012, but now the same company is proposing a new network, and GA advocacy groups have banded together to oppose it. Ligado Networks, formerly known as LightSquared, claims its technology has improved, and will disrupt GPS signals only within 500 feet of its transmission towers.

Privatization Fight Continues

To no one’s surprise, those in favor of splitting air traffic control from the FAA are busy planning their next move. After a last-minute grassroots lobbying effort blocked an amendment snuck into the FAA reauthorization bill passed last month that would have laid the legal groundwork for such a move, the CEO of one of the U.S.’s largest airlines was musing about the next steps in front of a friendly audience at the Economic Club of Washington earlier this month.

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