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October 02, 2023

Airborne 10.02.23: RotorX In Trouble, AOPA's McSpadden Goes West, UAL Hiring

 Also: Daher Owner Convention, SAF Prices Likely to Remain High, NTSB Hiring, OR CAP Aid

 
 
A couple of years ago, new ownership bought the Rotorway helicopter kit operation and rebranded it as Rotor X. Over the course of many months, we received numerous complaints about Rotor X, with reports of dozens of customers who claim to have bought helicopter kits or sub kits not gotten what they paid for. Some have paid in full, with amounts exceeding well in excess of $100,000, and received little or nothing (so far) in return. AOPA has issued a statement that notes, "We are deeply saddened to report that Richard McSpadden, AOPA Senior Vice President, died in an aircraft accident outside Lake Placid, New York, on Sunday afternoon. The Car

FAA to Recognize Axe eVTOL as LSA

… So States Skyfly

The Federal Aviation Administration is set to recognize the Axe eVTOL as a Light Sports Aircraft (LSA) under the agency’s newly-proposed MOSAIC certification scheme. Under the FAA’s extant certification model, only single-engine aircraft may be classified as LSAs. It is expected, however, that the agency’s cognizance of the high-probability of a near-future proliferation of electric aircraft will compel the FAA to reform regulations in a manner commensurate with the LSA category being broadened to include multi-engine aircraft.  

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Cessna 177 Takeoff Accident Claims Life of AOPA VP McSpadden

Airplane Reportedly Turned Back To The Airport After Takeoff Emergency

ANN has learned and verified that an accident took the life of a Senior AOPA official with an extensive aviation and aviation safety background. AOPA has issued a statement that notes, "We are deeply saddened to report that Richard McSpadden, AOPA Senior Vice President, died in an aircraft accident outside Lake Placid, New York, on Sunday afternoon. The Cardinal 177 in which Richard was in the right seat experienced an emergency after takeoff. The airplane attempted to return to the airport but failed to make the runway..."

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New HALO Formation Skydiving World-Record Set

Feat Supports Children of Fallen U.S. Servicemen

The Alpha 5 Project has successfully set a new world-record for highest High-Altitude, Low-Opening (HALO) formation skydive. The five jumpers by whom the record-setting skydive was made departed the New Mexico Military Institute’s (NMMI) Stapp Parade Ground, ascending via the largest lighter-than-air balloon yet manufactured in the U.S. Reaching FL380, the jumpers exited the balloon and linked arms in a five-person formation before separating and landing roughly 12-nautical-miles east/southeast of the launch site.

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United Airlines Pilots Ratify New Labor Contract

Fighting the Good Fight

The United Airlines Master Executive Council (MEC), as represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), reported 82-percent of the Chicago-based air-carrier’s pilots had voted in favor of a new comprehensive working agreement surpassing the value of the aviators’ current contract by upwards of $10-billion. All told, 97-percent of eligible United pilots participated in the ballot.

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EAA Comments on LODA NPRM

Righting Past Wrongs

The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) and Warbirds of America have filed joint comments germane to an FAA Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) codifying new rules for flight-training in experimental, limited, and primary-category aircraft. The NPRM upon which the EAA and Warbirds of America have commented confirms additional FAA authorization is required only in instances in which an experimental aircraft is utilized in a commercial flight training operation—the selfsame policy in effect prior to June 2021.

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Airborne 09.25.23: OSIRIS-REx Returns!, AF Pilot Shortage, NAA Record

Also: FlexJet Goes Starlink, NASA Astro Heads Home, EAA AeroEducate, De Havilland Project

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification and Security – Regolith Explorer) team has completed a truly historic event... against incredible odds. A well-traveled capsule of rocks and dust collected from asteroid Bennu is now on Earth. It landed at 8:52 a.m. MDT (10:52 a.m. EDT) on Sunday, in a targeted area of DoD’s Utah Test and Training Range near Salt Lake City. The Air Force will fall approximately 120-aviators short of its fiscal-year 2023 pilot recruitment and training goals. The service ascri

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Textron Aviation GSO Service Center Celebrates 30-Years

Reelin’ In the Years …

Textron Aviation, the Wichita, Kansas-based parent company of Cessna, Beechcraft, Hawker, Bell Helicopter, Lycoming Engines, and Pipistrel, celebrated the 30th anniversary of the company’s factory-owned service center on Greensboro, North Carolina’s Piedmont Triad International Airport (GSO).

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Airborne 09.25.23: OSIRIS-REx Returns!, AF Pilot Shortage, NAA Record

Also: FlexJet Goes Starlink, NASA Astro Heads Home, EAA AeroEducate, De Havilland Project

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification and Security – Regolith Explorer) team has completed a truly historic event... against incredible odds. A well-traveled capsule of rocks and dust collected from asteroid Bennu is now on Earth. It landed at 8:52 a.m. MDT (10:52 a.m. EDT) on Sunday, in a targeted area of DoD’s Utah Test and Training Range near Salt Lake City. The Air Force will fall approximately 120-aviators short of its fiscal-year 2023 pilot recruitment and training goals. The service ascri

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Sherwin-Williams Introduces Fill Bond Flex Aerospace Filler

New Solution for Restoring Composite Aircraft Surfaces

Sherwin-Williams Aerospace Coatings has introduced Fill Bond Flex Aerospace Filler (FBF100), a new and convenient method for filling seams, rivets, and small spot repair areas on aircraft prior to painting. The high-quality, two-component polyester filler kit is designed to block and permanently conceal surface imperfections on the exterior surfaces of composite aircraft. The lightweight filler provides strong adhesion, resistance to shrinkage, easy sanding, and outstanding stain-resistance.

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NTSB Prelim: Air Tractor Inc AT-502B

Witnesses Observed The Top Of The Vertical Stabilizer Sheared Off By The Powerlines

On September 19, 2023, about 1232 central daylight time, an Air Tractor AT-502B airplane, N502NB, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near New Rockford, North Dakota. The pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 137 aerial application flight. Four witnesses reported the airplane flew underneath powerlines while spraying a field of sunflowers. The witnesses observed the top of the vertical stabilizer sheared off by the powerlines, and the airplane continued to fly straight ahead westbound.

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Classic Aero-TV: Pure Aerial Precision - The Snowbirds at AirVenture 2016

From 2016 (YouTube Version): The Canadian Forces Snowbirds Can Best Be Described As ‘Elegant’…

EAA AirVenture 2016 was a great show and, in no small part, it was because of the participation of the 431 Air Demonstration Squadron from Canada - better known as the Canadian Forces Snowbirds. Their appearance at AirVenture was a special treat, and that’s what this video is all about. There’s something about their performances that seems to stand out as being more than a presentation of military prowess; it also seems to be a demonstration of elegance. Maybe it’s because they fly jet train

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ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (10.02.23)

Aero Linx: The Vertical Flight Society

The Vertical Flight Society — founded in 1943 as the American Helicopter Society, Inc. — is the world's only international technical society for engineers, scientists and others working to advance vertical flight technology.

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ANN's Daily Aero-Term (10.02.23): Hazardous Weather Information

Hazardous Weather Information Summary of significant meteorological information (SIGMET/WS), convective significant meteorological information (convective SIGMET/WST), urgent pilot weather reports (urgent PIREP/UUA), center weather advisories (CWA), airmen's meteorological information (AIRMET/WA), graphical airmen's meteorological information (G-AIRMET) and any other weather such as isolated thunderstorms that are rapidly developing and increasing in intensity, or low ceilings and visibilities that are becoming widespread which is considered significant and are not included in a current hazardous weather advisory. 

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Aero-News: Quote of the Day (10.02.23)

"But for now… Rotor X appears to be in very serious trouble… They do not have the capability of fulfilling the orders that they have received a great deal of money for, possibly numbering in the millions, and despite that, the company is attempting to sell helicopters right up to this day. It's very clear that they cannot fulfill anything that they sell for the foreseeable future. For that reason, the Aero-News Network advises the utmost caution in dealing with this company, even though our flight tests in earlier generations of the Rotorway designs have shown a consistently maturing design, (in some cases due to ingenious aftermarket retrofits created by the overly inventive Rotorway support community)... so our concerns are based about their business and not

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