Despite last summer's soaring avgas prices, airplane
manufacturer layoffs, and looming increases in government
regulation, 2008 was a landmark year for General Aviation.
Especially prominent were Cirrus Design, with the success of its
Vision SJ50, and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, as it
paid tribute to retiring president Phil Boyer and welcomed Craig
Fuller to the helm.
Another chapter was added to the sad tale of a 2004 plane crash
at a charity balloon rally in Wisconsin, as the husband of the
woman lost in the crash agreed to support a plea deal, reducing the
amount of time the pilot may spend in prison...
Alaska Governor Sarah Palin unveiled details of a new aviation safety
initiative, a critical component of the Federal
Aviation Administration's plan to invest over $400 million dollars
in the installation, operation and maintenance of the ground
stations as part of its "Capstone" aviation safety program...
Miscreants struck a tiny airfield near Blythe,
GA as shotgun pellets struck three planes on the
field, and a swastika, Confederate battle flag, a "peace" sign, and
"KKK" were spray-painted on the clubhouse used by the local chapter
of the Experimental Aircraft Association...
Silver State Helicopters, a nationwide flight school operation
known for fanciful claims about employment opportunities in the
helicopter industry and a significant accident record, ordered its doors shut...
As the Senate continued to drag its feet in passing its version
of a long-term FAA reauthorization bill, the US House of
Representatives passed yet another extension on aviation taxes and
the FAA's budget, keeping the agency in business until June
Two times in seven days, news of small aircraft entering
restricted airspace over Washington, DC made headlines. F-16s
intercepted a Cessna and a twin-engine Beechcraft after apparently
violating restricted airspace around the nation's capital...
After bullet holes were found in the fuselages of two aircraft
based at the busy Tamiami Executive Airport, the FAA advised pilots
to make steep approaches into the airport and to make haste when
climbing out on takeoff to avoid being hit by gunfire…