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General Aviation News

Thu, Feb 22, 2024

GAMA Sees 3.6% Rise in Aircraft Shipments

2023 Report Paints Picture of Healthy Enough Industry Cooling Off from 2021 High

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) showed that business is doing all right, with all aircraft segments seeing a modest 3.6% increase in shipments over 2022. Overall, the biggest winners were surprisingly piston aircraft, at an 11.8% increase over 2022 shipments. The runners-up were turbine helicopters and turboprop fixed-wing aircraft, training at 10.4% and 9.6% increases respectively. Overall, a 3.6% industry-wide increase isn't quite bad, but not really impressive after the eye-popping bull run seen in the post-pandemic years. Last year, 2022 was reported to boast a 6% increase over the previous year, and 2021 an even better 10.2% increase over the see-saw year of 2020.

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Thu, Feb 22, 2024

Congressman Donalds Calls to Modernize ATC At Page Field

Fort Myers Airport Looking a Little Ragged, Say Locals

Fort Myers airport tower "needs to be modernized and rebuilt" according to a letter to the FAA from Southwest Florida Representative Byron Donalds. “The antiquated Air Traffic Control Tower at Page Field is of great concern to several aviation companies, aircraft owners, aviation flight academies, and individuals that live in the Southwest Florida community… My office has heard of several instances of unprofessional Tower controller actions," said Donalds.

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Thu, Feb 22, 2024

Flying Cloud Airport Sees Bonanza

Twin Cities Fields Find Double-Digit Rise in Activity

Airports ringing the Minneapolis Twin Cities have been seeing a continued surge in activity, with Flying Cloud Airport seeing a 12% bump while nearby relievers gain more than 8% in flights. The Metropolitan Airport Commission overseeing the regional operations said that the region is seeing increased activity across the board - individual aircraft operations jumped up to 370,500 over last year's 242,100. The ring of reliever airports surrounding their primary airport, Minnesota Saint Paul, have been carrying a greater load as that hub alone saw nearly 324,000 operations in 2023.

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Thu, Feb 22, 2024

Sustainability Focus at AERO Friedrichshafen

German Exhibition Emphasizes Eco-Friendly Theme

The big European aviation exhibition is once again on for this spring, with AERO Friedrichshafen running from April 17th to the 20th. This year will place a focus on the "future of aviation", allowing exhibitors to show off the latest and greatest in sustainable fuels, propulsion systems, aerodynamic advancements, and innovations that "lead aviation into the future." The capstone of the exhibition will take place on Saturday, the final day of the show, when a bevy of electric aircraft will take to the air.

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Thu, Feb 22, 2024

AMO Flight Engineer Recognized for Half Century of Service

U.S. Customs & Border Protection Engineer Racks up 50 Years, 23,000 Flight Hours in P-3

Paul J. Waeghe, Junior will be retiring this year after 48 years and 23,000 hours as a P-3 flight engineer. Waeghe has spent the bulk of his life in federal service of one stripe or another, entering the US Navy in 1973. He operated in a P-3 training patrol squadron, working his way upwards in units operating the same platform. Eventually, he found himself a flight engineer instructor and evaluator, even overseeing a Naval executive detachment that oversaw travel for the admiralty.

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Thu, Feb 22, 2024

NTSB Prelim: Beechcraft BE58

Airplane Suffered Substantial Damage From Hail To The Leading Edges Of Both Wings, The Vertical, And Horizontal Stabilizers

On January 26, 2024, about 1755 central standard time, a Beechcraft BE58, N811CW, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near DeRidder, Louisiana. The pilot and passenger were not injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The pilot reported that the airplane was in cruise flight at 11,000 ft mean sea level (msl), near DeRidder, Louisiana, when he asked for and received a new heading from Air Traffic Control (ATC) to avoid weather ahead.

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Wed, Feb 21, 2024

United States Parachute Association Issues Clarion Call

Group Aims to Strike "Air Tour and Sport Parachuting Safety Act" from FAA Reauth

The United States Parachute Association is asking members to act on proposed Congressional action on the upcoming FAA Reauthorization, specifically the section titled the "Air Tour and Sport Parachuting Safety Act". They aren't the only ones. Earlier this month a bevy of general aviation manufacturers and interest groups signed a letter opposing a section of the FAA Reauthorization bill, warning of the dangers it poses to small aviation businesses across the country. With the FAA's current Authorization ending on March 8th, the House and Senate will soon convene a Conference Committee to reconcile both their respective drafts of the renewal bill. As such, the Parachute Association, EAA, and others urge aviators as a whole to make their voices heard and draw attention to their “deep concerns” regarding the Air Tour and Sport Parachuting Safety Act.

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Wed, Feb 21, 2024

NTSB Prelim: Piper PA-24

Airplane Departed From Runway 36, And Subsequently Began A Turn Back Toward The Runway

On January 31, 2024, about 1325 central standard time, a Piper PA-24-180, N5520P, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident at Weedon Field Airport (EUF), Eufaula, Alabama. The commercial pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. According to the airport manager, she saw the pilot on the day of the accident on the ramp and they spoke briefly. She subsequently observed the airplane taxiing for departure but did not observe it takeoff. On February 1, 2024, a pilot who was taxiing for departure reported that he observed a crashed airplane at the end of runway 36. The wreckage was located about 300 feet from the departure end of runway.

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Tue, Feb 20, 2024

FAA Halts Expansion at Lakewood Airport, Due To Sport-Aviation Bias

Expansion plans at New Jersey Airport Halted Over Skydiving Operations

The FAA has stepped in to pause expansion plans at Lakewood Municipal Airport thanks to the township's distaste for skydiving operations. Lakewood Airport management doesn't like any of their new expansion being earmarked for parachuting, skydiving, and the like, but the airport's receipt of federal dollars in the past means they have to allow a wide range of aeronautical use. Until the FAA gets confirmation that ISkyDive America, a regional skydiving company from Michigan, will retain its footing there. “I don’t understand why tens of millions of dollars in development is on the hook for someone who wants to drop parachutes,” said Mayor Ray Coles. “They had said that until we figure out what to do for this parachute group they will not approve our development plans for the area around the airport.”

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Tue, Feb 20, 2024

'But, It Ain't Broke...' General Aviation Takes Aim at Senate's Section 315

'Air Tour and Sport Parachuting Safety' Act an Economic Gut Punch, Say Stakeholders

A group of GA-related stakeholders addressed proposed Senate regulations that would have "significant and insurmountable" impacts on small operators around the country. The group includes a wide variety of big industry names related to general aviation, parachuting, and warbird operations, each throwing their weight behind a letter urging lawmakers to reconsider regs surrounding parachute use and air tours. "We write to highlight our concerns that, as currently drafted, Section 315 entitled Air Tour and Sport Parachuting Safety of the Senate’s FAA Reauthorization Act of 2023 (S. 1939) will, if enacted, have significant and insurmountable direct impacts on thousands of small general aviation businesses and the airports at which they operate," the letter reads.

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