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April 20, 2024

Drone Pilot is Marine Corps' Top 'Aviator of the Year'

Major Shane Gentry USMC First Drone Pilot Named Aviator of the Year

Major Shane Gentry, a third-generation Marine and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) pilot, was recently named the 2024 Marine Aviator of the Year, a distinguished accolade traditionally reserved for pilots of manned aircraft. This historic recognition marks the first time a drone pilot has been honored with the prestigious Alfred A. Cunningham Award, an annual recognition given by the Marine Corps Aviation Association. At the helm of MQ-9A MUX/MALE drones, Major Gentry has significantly advanced the capabilities of Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron 3, demonstrating the growing strategic importance of UAVs in modern military operations.

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NASA Mars Sample Return Project Gets Renewed Approach

Mars Sample Return Program To Be More Feasible and Timely

NASA's Mars Sample Return program is set to greatly enhance our understanding of Mars, the solar system, and potentially life itself. NASA Administrator Bill Nelson has outlined a renewed approach to make this mission more feasible financially and time wise, addressing the high costs and long timelines initially projected.

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FAA Grants New York Power Authority Waiver on Drones Beyond Visual Line of Sight

FAA Grants New York Power Authority Outasight Waiver for Drones

The FAA has recently granted the New York Power Authority (NYPA) a significant waiver that permits the operation of unmanned aircraft systems beyond the pilot's visual line of sight. This landmark approval, announced on April 11, 2024, allows NYPA to operate drones within a one-mile radius in unrestricted Class G airspace without prior approval, enhancing their ability to inspect and monitor statewide infrastructure.

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Aura Aero Provides Update on 19-Seat Sustainable Commuter

EASA Looking to the Future with Green Regional Aircraft

Aura Aero's Electric Regional Aircraft program issued an update in its quest to create an affordable, sustainable 19-seat commuter plane under the EASA CS-23 category, stating that they have launched a call for first work packages under it. Aura Aero is now issuing the first calls for tender for packages under Fuselage Design, Airframe Engineering Services, Turbogenerator, and Primary Flight Control System Actuators/Inceptors. Under the current schedule, the first parts of the flight test aircraft should be manufactured as soon as early 2025.

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Uncle Sam Recovers $2 Million In Brown Field Accident That Totaled MV-22

U.S. Solicitor Settles for $2.02 Million in SDM Ground Collision

The United States has successfully settled for $2,020,000 in damages from various parties following an aircraft collision that occurred on May 30, 2020, at Brown Field Municipal Airport in San Diego. This legal resolution marks the end of a significant legal battle that started in 2023, involving the U.S. Department of the Navy, which claimed extensive damages due to negligence and breach of restrictive covenants. The incident involved two aircraft: a parked MV-22 Osprey, owned by the United States Marine Corps, and a taxiing De Havilland DHC-6-100 Twin Otter, owned by Kapowsin Air Sports but leased and operated by Tac Air Ops, LLC, and Tac Air California, Inc.

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Eve Air Partners With AirX for 50 Advanced Electric eVTOL Aircraft

Eve Air Mobility Teams With AirX For 50 eVTOLs

Eve Air Mobility has recently announced a promising collaboration with AirX Inc., Japan's premier public helicopter charter service, by signing a letter of intent to provide up to 50 of its advanced electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. This partnership is set to drive the next generation of urban air mobility (UAM) in Japan, offering an innovative solution to the congested urban environments in the Asia-Pacific region.

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Duke U. Professor Dies in Flight, Passenger Makes Emergency Landing

Duke U. Prof Dies in Flight, Passenger Lands

Joseph Izatt, a distinguished Duke University professor, tragically passed away following a midair medical crisis while piloting a single-engine airplane. This incident occurred over North Carolina on April 7, 2024. Izatt was not only piloting the aircraft but also suffered the emergency that led to his untimely death. During the flight, a passenger heroically took control of the plane and managed a successful emergency landing at Raleigh-Durham International Airport. The specifics of what caused Izatt's medical emergency remain unclear.

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Japan Coast Guard Expands Airbus H225 Fleet to 18

Japan Coast Guard Adds 3 New H225 Super Pumas

The Japan Coast Guard has recently expanded its fleet by adding three new H225 helicopters, raising its total number of these aircraft to 18. This acquisition marks another step in the JCG's long-standing relationship with Airbus Helicopters, reflecting their trust and satisfaction with the Super Puma family, which has been in service with them for three decades. These additional helicopters will play a crucial role in enhancing the JCG's operational capabilities across a range of missions, including maritime law enforcement, coastal and island protection, and disaster relief efforts.

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Classic Aero-TV: Profiles in Aviation – Ed McKeown’s Rearwin Cloudster

From 2009 (YouTube Version): Ed McKeown Introduces His Award-Winning Rearwin Restoration

Inspired by the world’s newfound aviation intrigue, Raymond Andrew Rearwin, along with his sons Royce and Ken, started Rearwin Airplanes in 1928.  Bursting into the industry scene during the “Golden Age of Aviation,” the company designed and built more than 400 aircraft before closing in 1946. Among the instrument trainers and gliders, Rearwin Airplanes debuted the Rearwin Cloudster in 1939; featuring strut-braced high-wings, the aircraft included an enclosed cabin and fixed, tailskid undercarriage. Though the Cloudster’s commercial succe

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NTSB Final Report: Alexander Schleicher GMBH & CO ASW 27-18

Prior To The Accident Flight, (Pilot) Had Not Flown In Over 90 Days

Analysis: The pilot of the glider reported that prior to the accident flight, he had not flown in over 90 days. The purpose of the accident flight was to refamiliarize himself with the tasking area of an upcoming soaring contest, with a general aim to stay within gliding distance of the departure gliderport. For about 2 hours, the pilot flew south of the gliderport at altitudes between 3,000 to 4,000 ft above ground level. He then encountered weaker soaring conditions and miscalculated his altitude by 300 ft due to a discrepancy between the glider’s primary altimeter and the altitude displayed on his GPS/moving map computer.

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ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (04.20.24)

Aero Linx: OX5 Aviation Pioneers Each year a national reunion of OX5 Aviation Pioneers is hosted by one of the Wings in the organization. The reunions attract much attention as many members travel from all parts of the country to gather and renew old acquaintances and relive the golden days of yore.

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ANN's Daily Aero-Term (04.20.24): Light Gun

Light Gun A handheld directional light signaling device which emits a brilliant narrow beam of white, green, or red light as selected by the tower controller. The color and type of light transmitted can be used to approve or disapprove anticipated pilot actions where radio communication is not available. The light gun is used for controlling traffic operating in the vicinity of the airport and on the airport movement area. 

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ANN FAQ: How To Get YOUR News Out On Aero-News

Good News, Bad News... It's ALL News

As the preeminent online aviation news resource out there, the editorial staff at Aero-News sees a large number of news releases. We look at all of them, and can usually tell whether something merits publishing consideration within reading the first couple of paragraphs. Often, however, a new and innovative product can be overlooked because of the very words written to promote it, by the very people who created it.

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Aero-News: Quote of the Day (04.20.24)

"The journey to this achievement started nearly a decade ago when a freshly commissioned Gentry, driven by a fascination with new technologies and a desire to contribute significantly to military operations, chose to enter the nascent field of unmanned systems. Throughout his career, Gentry has piloted various UAV models, including the RQ-21 and RQ-7B, before advancing to the MQ-9A, contributing to critical missions overseas and shaping the operational landscape." Source:  From the narrative describing how a USMC Drone Pilot became the 2024 Marine Aviator of the Year, a distinguished accolade traditionally reserved for pilots of manned aircraft.

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