Briefing: December 2018


FAA Revives ADS-B Rebates

Last year, the FAA offered a $500 rebate to aircraft operators who installed new equipment to meet the 2020 ADS-B mandate, but that offer expired in September 2017. Now the FAA has reinstated the program, with enough funding for 9,800 more rebates. The offer will end on October 11, 2019, or when the money runs out. The FAA has repeatedly said the compliance deadline won’t be pushed back, and any aircraft lacking ADS-B-out won’t be allowed to fly in most controlled airspace after Jan. 1, 2020. “The ADS-B mandate is not going away,” said FAA Acting Administrator Dan Elwell. “Now is the time for aircraft owners to equip.” More details can be found

FAA Reauthorization Bill Passed

After years of operating on short-term budget extensions, Congress has passed a five-year, $90 billion bill to fund the FAA, the longest-term FAA bill since 1982. In a statement posted online, the FAA said the bill “delivers a safer, more secure and efficient aviation system to the traveling public and helps fuel economic growth and competitiveness.” GA advocacy groups noted several GA-friendly provisions — no user fees, no ATC privatization, and insurance protections for volunteer pilots who conduct charitable flights. The bill also removes some restrictions on designated pilot examiners that should make it easier for pilots to schedule checkrides.

NTSB Examines SFO Close Call

When the crew of an Air Canada A320 lined up on a crowded taxiway instead of the designated runway at San Francisco International Airport, in July 2017, about 1100 lives were put at risk, the NTSB noted in its probable-cause hearing in September. The board’s investigation was the first time the NTSB has reported on an event in which there were no injuries and no aircraft damage — but the potential scale of the disaster prompted the effort to determine what went wrong, and prevent it from ever happening again. The board found the flight crew misidentified Taxiway Charlie as the landing runway due to “a lack of awareness” that a parallel runway was closed, and also found that information provided to the flight crew by both the FAA and the airline was confusing and ineffective. Crew fatigue was cited as a contributing factor. The full report is posted online

EAA Funds $1 Million For Flight Training

EAA announced in October it will fund up to $10,000 each toward the cost of flight training for up to 100 young people, thanks to a $1 million grant from the Ray Foundation. The foundation, based in Naples, Florida, aims to help boost the flight-training success rate from the current 20 percent to 80 percent. The scholarship program will be managed by EAA, and is expected to continue annually. Chapter members will identify former Young Eagles for the Ray Aviation Scholars program and mentor them through flight training. More details about how chapters can participate can be found The foundation aims to further the legacy of James C. Ray, who died last year. He was dedicated to aviation and to supporting education for youth.

Aerion Sets 2023 First Flight Target

Aerion Corporation will fly its AS2 supersonic business jet in 2023, CEO Tom Vice said in a news conference at NBAA’s convention in Orlando in October. Vice said GE’s new Affinity engine will power the 11-seat aircraft at Mach 1.4 over the ocean and subsonically over land. It’s the first all-new supersonic engine in more than 50 years, and the first ever designed specifically for a business jet. Vice said the engine was the final piece of a complex puzzle to create an aircraft that will be comfortable, efficient, environmentally responsible and quiet, and still meet the speed demands of the new market.


Gulfstream has started deliveries of the G500 midsize business jet…A vintage Constellation, restored in Maine, was towed to New York to become a cocktail lounge at JFK…The Global 7500, Bombardier’s largest jet, is now certified by Transport Canada…Breaking news in general aviation can be found


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