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November 27, 2023

Mount Rushmore Helo Tours Restricted to 1/2 Mile

New Air Tour Management Plan Goes Into Effect in 180 Days

The National Park Service and the FAA have published their now complete air tour management plan for Mount Rushmore - the TL,DR? All flights stay 1/2 sm from park boundaries, or 5,000 ft AGL. The plan isn't a surprise to local operators, being the stuff of years-long controversy thanks to the park's confluence of indigenous lands, controversial custody, overt politicism, and increasing crowds. 

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Bob Hays Honored for Work on B-29

"Doc" Mechanic Attains Both Charles Master Mechanic and Wright Brothers Master Pilot Awards

Bob Hays, a crewman working with the B-29 Doc crew, has been recognized by the FAA with its highest honor: The Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award. Bob Hays started his career in 1967, beginning his PPL and going on to join the Kansas Army National Guard where he received his FAA Mechanic’s Certificate in 1975. In addition to his mechanic expertise, Bob received his CFI and ATP ratings, though not all of his jobs kept him away from desk duty.

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Stolen Plane? Good Ol' Detective Case Wraps Up Nice and Clean

Aircraft Owner's "Stolen" Plane Found Abandoned in Alleged Insurance Fraud

A Utah man's stolen 1970 Beechcraft was found in the backwater of Wells, Nevada, safe and sound - and netting him a 2nd-degree felony for insurance fraud in the process. The aircraft had been reported by its owner as stolen in late June, with the owner reporting it was "missing from where he left it" according to charging documents. In late August, the owner filed a claim and moved on with life. The story didn't quite sit right with investigators, however. Airborne joyrides and thefts aren't too often quiet, sedate affairs, given the implicit career waste of ruining a pilot's license in the process. Curious, local police put out feelers in the local communities, asking

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NTSB Final Report: Piper PA-32RT-300T

Maintenance Personnel’s Inadequate Maintenance Of The Magneto, Which Resulted In A Loss Of Engine Ignition

Analysis: The pilot declared an emergency to air traffic control after the airplane’s engine began to run rough while en route to the destination airport. He received radar vectors to an alternate airport but was unable to reach that airport. During the subsequent off-airport landing, the airplane impacted trees and sustained substantial damage to the wings and fuselage. Postaccident examination of the airplane revealed the magneto case’s cover screws were loose and there was corrosion present on the magneto housing.

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