Best of the Web

Cessna Raising Skycatcher Prices. General Aviation News, the AOPA Pilot Blog, AVweb  and EAA.org are reporting that Cessna has sent out a letter to inform everyone holding purchase deposits on the 162 Skycatcher that the price for delivery of the LSA would rise to $149,900 in 2012 – a fairly substantial price hike…

Podcast Interview: Flying Without a Third Class Medical. And speaking of LSAs, EAA and AOPA are working on a proposal to the FAA that would expand the number of aircraft models available to those who want to fly without a third class medical. Hence, AVweb‘s Mary Grady recently interviewed Dan Johnson, the president of the Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association (LAMA), to find out more details.

Supreme Court to Hear a Pilot’s Privacy Case. In an interesting legal case that might also interest pilots everywhere, the US Supreme Court will hear a case involving private pilot Stanmore Cooper who is suing the government for violating the provisions of the 1974 Privacy Act. Specifically, Cooper has already pleaded guilty and paid a $1,000 fine for lying about his medical condition and the medication he was taking on his official medical forms from 1994 until 2005 after the FAA cross-checked records with the Social Security Administration and discovered that he was receiving disability benefits. According to Cooper’s lawyer, the government’s actions violated provisions of the 1974 Privacy Act.

The American Airlines Fiasco. Earlier this week, troubled American Airlines filed for bankruptcy protection – a move that seemed to surprise no-one in hindsight. The Cranky Flier blog has an interesting post about why US Airways should buy American but by far the best coverage has come from the Dallas Morning News’ Airline Biz Blog as Dallas is American Airlines’ main hub and base.

Air India in a Tailspin. And if you think American Airlines has problems, there is Air India – which is in dire straits. Devesh Agarwal of the Bangalore Aviation blog has mentioned a lengthy article entitled Tailspin: Praful Patel and the fall of Air India. The article goes into considerable detail about the history of Praful Patel tenure as civil aviation Minister and the coincidental disasters suffered by India’s national carriers Air India and Indian Airlines. The article is well worth reading by anyone interested in commercial aviation and the problems faced by commercial airlines – especially national carriers.

British Airways Talks About Frequent Flier Miles and Fuel Surcharges. On one more commercial aviation note, the Cranky Flier blog has recently interviewed Simon Talling-Smith (Executive Vice-President, The Americas) at British Airways who talked about the criticism of frequent flier redemption levels along with the dreaded fuel surcharge.

World War II Glider Pilots Hold Reunion. On a history note, General Aviation News has noted that the National World War II Glider Pilots Association has held a reunion. Apparently, approximately 6,000 people were trained as glider pilots for the US Army Air Force during the war. Moreover, the Silent Wings Museum in Lubbock (Texas) is the home of thousands of glider related artifacts plus has an ongoing restoration project of a British Horsa glider. For more information, check out SilentWingsMuseum.com and WW2GP.org.

Behind the Scenes of World’s Largest Aerobatic Display Team. Finally, David Cenciotti’s Weblog has mentioned a new video that gives a clear idea of what happens behind the scenes of the Italian Air Force’s 50-year old Frecce Tricolori – the world’s largest aerobatic display team. The video has 170 minutes footage and the short teaser clip below will give you a taste of the footage.

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