IFR Briefing: January 2017


NTSB Issues GA Safety Alert On Midairs

After completing its investigation of two fatal midair crashes last year in which seven people died, the NTSB in November issued a Safety Alert urging general-aviation pilots to make use of cockpit technologies that can help them see and avoid other aircraft. The alert reviews the two recent crashes as well as two earlier ones, and notes that in each case, the pilots had access to technology that may have helped to avert the crash if it had been utilized. The traditional “see and avoid” practice has “inherent limitations,” the NTSB said. The alert is posted online here.

New Sport Aviation Show Launches In Florida

The inaugural Sport Aviation Showcase kicked off in Deland, Florida, in November, providing a new venue for fans of light sport aircraft. AVweb’s editorial director Paul Bertorelli checked out the show, and said it has some advantages over the established Sebring show, with which it will compete—a quieter venue (the Sebring airport is next to a race track) and a warmer season, compared to Sebring’s January schedule. Director Jana Filip said the Deland trade show is just one step in developing a 40-acre sport aviation complex at the airport, with manufacturing, hangars, and services. AeroJones, a Taiwan-based company that last year took over manufacturing and distribution of the Flight Design CTLS line, said it plans to expand in Florida early next year and is considering a Deland site.

Boom Unveils SST Demonstrator

Boom Technology of Denver, Colorado, unveiled its XB-1 one-third-scale supersonic demonstrator in November. The company says they aim to build the fastest-ever civilian aircraft, with a cruise speed of Mach 2.2. Boom is working with Virgin Galactic to build and test the XB-1. Virgin CEO Richard Branson attended the unveiling, and said The Spaceship Company will provide engineering and manufacturing services, along with flight-test support. First flight for the two-seat demonstrator is expected late next year, said Blake Scholl, CEO and founder of Boom. The design features a delta wing, three engines, and a tapered carbon-fiber fuselage. The full-size jet will carry 45 passengers and fly nonstop for 4,500 nm, the company says. Branson said his company has an option on Boom’s first 10 airplanes.

Business Aviation Showcased At NBAA Expo

NBAA’s annual Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition was held in Orlando, Florida in October, and led with big news from Cirrus that they have achieved FAA certification for their single-engine jet. The jet has been in the works for about a decade, and has drawn a lot of interest from GA pilots, especially Cirrus owners. The company said deliveries will start in December. Also at the show, Dassault Aviation unveiled a new cabin design for their Falcon 900LX, and Pratt & Whitney Canada said their new PW617F1-E jet engine is now type-certified. The engine will power Embraer’s new version of the Phenom 100.

Aviation Legend Bob Hoover Dies At 94

Bob Hoover, whose extraordinary aviation life included flying in World War II, test-flying for the Air Force and performing a unique airshow act demonstrating the laws of aerodynamics with a twin Shrike Commander, died October 25 at age 94. Hoover was widely regarded as “the greatest stick-and-rudder man who ever lived,” as Jimmy Doolittle described him. He won a long list of aviation awards, including the Distinguished Flying Cross. More than 1500 people attended a memorial celebration in November, hosted by airshow pilot Sean D. Tucker at Van Nuys Airport, in California.


An Alaska Airlines jet flew the first commercial flight with biofuel derived from discarded wood products…The two-seat Sun Flyer electric airplane began taxi tests in Colorado…The number of fatal accidents involving experimental aircraft continues to decline, says EAA…Pipistrel announced plans to build a 19-seat aircraft powered by hybrid electric technology and hydrogen fuel cells…Breaking news in general aviation can be found at AVWeb.com.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here