Briefing: November 2012

IMC Club Announces Elite GroupSpaceports getting government fundingThe iPad feature battles wont relentFAA puts resources into Avgas transition Free first solo videos for studentsNotams


The IMC Club International has announced creation of a “Special Membership Group” within the IMC Club called the “Inner Marker Circle.” IMC Club International president Radek Wyrzykowski says he hopes the group will become an “aviation safety cult.” Members will be granted a special membership card and automatically enrolled into a drawing for an annual subscription to IFR Magazine, an IMC Club BrightLine Flight Bag, and a $1000 Proficiency Scholarship to be awarded annually at AirVenture Oshkosh.

Small airports may be slowly vanishing into the quicksand of urban development, but the FAA will provide nearly $500,000 in grants to three spaceport projects in California, Colorado, and Hawaii. “Government and private-sector partnerships are essential to carrying out our national space policies,” said FAA Acting Administrator Michael Huerta. “Today’s grants help keep America competitive.” The FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation, created in 1984, has issued licenses for more than 200 launches and licensed the operation of eight FAA-approved spaceports.

ForeFlight Mobile added to its suite of “advisor” functions in the ForeFlight iPad app with Runway Advisors. The system warns pilots as they approach hold-short lines with both a visual warning on the iPad and an audio call out if a headset is connected to the iPad. For smaller airports, this is computed; but larger airports have custom modeling to ensure accurate warnings even when hold-short lines are well displaced from their corresponding runways. Hilton Software, makers of WingX Pro, have also been at work adding a ground-proximity warning system, AGL altimeter readout and FlightShare, which shares flight data between multiple devices.

The FAA announced formation of a new office that will be responsible for providing technical information and guidance related to developments in aviation fuels, including unleaded options. Per the FAA, its new Fuel Program Office will provide “technical expertise and strategic direction in the planning, management and coordination of activities related to aviation fuels.” The Avgas Coalition, comprised of several industry groups, praised the action, saying the new office “will ensure an efficient use of both government and industry resources and will provide a more comprehensive pathway and timeline to an unleaded fuel.”

Nflightcam is one of a few companies tweaking HD cameras for cockpit use. Now they offer free videos of a student’s solo. Students register at and get a camera in the mail with a return-shipping container. After the solo, they return the camera and get the video sent to them. Students do pay shipping for the camera (and a refunded camera deposit) when they sign up.

New Zealand pilots see fee hikes including $313 for every medical evaluation … Senate wants U.S. operators exempted from EU emissions rules … University of North Dakota successfully test “sense and avoid” software flying in a Cirrus SR22 … photos of Chinese F-22-like stealth fighter “leaked” … wreckage of a huge Messerschmitt-323 Gigant (Giant) off the Sardinian coast … NAFI voices concerns over states attempting to regulate flight instruction directly … Transportation Department report says FAA’s NextGen progress is improving … A four-seat, carbon-fiber aircraft from Brazilian company Novaer may become available in the U.S. … Experienced warbird and airshow pilot Bob Odegaard and rare Super Corsair lost in crash … First U.S. airline Boeing 787 delivered to United Airlines … Chinese researchers control remote quadcopter by brain signals … Navy requests small airport closed after skydivers inadvertently land at Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base in Georgia … Lovefilm research shows the 1980 movie Airplane! produces three laughs per minute, making it—by the company’s accounting—the funniest movie of our time … For breaking news in general aviation, log on to


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