FAA Selects New Unmanned Aircraft Executives


unnamed (50).jpg The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has selected Marke “Hoot” Gibson and Earl Lawrence for two executive-level positions that will guide the agency’s approach to safe, timely and efficient integration of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into U.S. airspace.

Gibson (pictured on the left with SAJ Publisher, Kim Stevens at EAA AirVenture 2015), will become the Senior Advisor on UAS Integration, a position established to focus on external outreach and education, inter-agency initiatives and an enterprise-level approach to FAA management of UAS integration efforts. He will report directly to the FAA Deputy Administrator.

Gibson previously served as Executive Director of the NextGen Institute, which provides professional services to the UAS Joint Program Development Office. He has also owned his own aviation consulting firm, and held numerous senior command and staff positions during a 33-year U.S. Air Force career.

Think Global Flight Completes World Flight


Fukushima, Japan greeted by participanting students at Alpha Aviationedit.jpg Captain Judy Rice and the Think Global Flight crew have returned from their 2-month around the world flight of adventure, educating and inspiring more than 20,000 students.

The flight departed on June 13 from Burbank, California visiting a total of 25 countries in their donated Citation Mustang. Captain Judy met with thousands of students and media during their scheduled stops along the route.

Among those expressing their support are Astronaut Dr. Buzz Aldrin and Voyager pilot Dick Rutan. Buzz Aldrin joined the Crew on most of their journey. Dr. Aldrin shared his support, saying “Back when I was privileged to be a part of the Apollo program, no one had ever heard of S.T.E.A.M. This is the precise focus of Think Global Flight and why I strongly support Captain Judy and the flight. I witnessed the differences Captain Judy created on this historic flight.”

$2 million donation from Schweitzer, SEL fuels Pullman-Moscow airport expansion

Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories is donating $1 million to help fund the Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport Runway Realignment expansion. SEL Founder Ed Schweitzer and his wife Beatriz will also donate $1 million to the project.

The two contributions provide approximately one quarter of the local matching funds required by the FAA for the expansion project.

“The Schweitzer and SEL donations put us over the top for the local match,” said Tony Bean, executive director of Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport. “These gifts will help us give the region a competitive advantage for maintaining the quality of life enjoyed on the Palouse as well as attracting and retaining companies, jobs, students, faculty, and families.”

The runway realignment project will enable the airport to meet the industry’s evolving safety standards, while providing the opportunity for more flights and potential destinations out of Pullman-Moscow. It will also reduce the number of weather related flight cancellations.

FAA releases B4UFLY App Beta Test for UAS Users


iPhone-6-1.jpg The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)released last week the beta version of a new smartphone application called “B4UFLY” for testing by up to 1,000 unmanned aircraft users.

The B4UFLY app, aimed primarily at model aircraft enthusiasts, is designed to give users information about restrictions or requirements in effect at their current or planned flight location. The FAA expects the beta test will yield valuable data on how well B4UFLY functions, as well as uncovering any software bugs.

FAA Administrator Michael Huerta first announced the initiative in May, asking for volunteers to test the app. The FAA has notified those who previously signed up and will be pushing the app to them directly in the coming days.

Many unmanned aircraft users today have little or no aviation experience, and some of them are flying where they could endanger manned aircraft. B4UFLY will give these flyers the tools and knowledge they need to operate safely.

Key features of the B4UFLY app include:

Zenith Open Hangar Day: a great Fly-In, September 19

zenith hangar event 2.jpg What started as an informal gathering of like minds has turned into one of the largest marque fly-ins, offering formal training and seminars, contests, and fun flying for owners and builders of Zenith aircraft.

On Friday, September 18, those who fly (KMYJ) or drive in to the Zenith factory (1881 Airport Rd, Mexico, Missouri 65265) will be welcomed to engine and avionics workshops and seminars, the ever-popular STOL competition (sponsored by Kitplanes Magazine) – and the Zenith banquet, featuring some special guests and door prizes.

Saturday, September 19, from 8a.m. to 3p.m., will host Zenith flyers, owners, builders, and enthusiasts, with more workshops, fun and informal hangar flying, BBQ lunch, and more.

Sebastien Heintz, President of Zenith Aircraft, says, “We love it when our builders and fliers visit, and at our seminars and gatherings, we have a good chance to learn, share, and have fun. Open Hangar Day, which we have celebrated every year since we opened this factory in 1992, is our biggest event, a great place to meet other builders and pilots, learn and have fun.”

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