The Red Bull Leap From Space. According to the AOPA blog, Red Bull is planning a stunt that will include the highest manned balloon flight, the highest jump (from 120,000 feet or so), the longest freefall and the first time anyone has broken the sound barrier – with their own body. Moreover, Natasha Stenbock, a pilot, TV weather forecaster, and reporter during AOPA Live broadcasts from AOPA Summit, is the official Red Bull blogmaster for the jump whose reports you can see here.
Sharing Airspace With UAVs and Drones. In other interesting news, Max Trescott has noted that in the 145-page FAA reauthorization bill that has just passed through Congress, the FAA will be forced to speed up the introduction of “Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)” into the National Airspace System as thus far, they are solely authorized solely along the Mexican border and within restricted airspace. However, Max pointed out that this may inevitably lead to more mid-air collisions – something that GA pilots might want to worry about.
Law Enforcement Wants UASs. Nevertheless, there is one group in the USA that is clamoring for UAVs: Law enforcement. AVweb recently did a podcast interview with with Tim Adelman, a Washington attorney involved in the Department of Justice’s program to get small UAVs into the hands of more than 17,000 police and sheriff’s departments across the country.
USAV to Use iPads. In addition, the US Air Mobility Command is planning to buy up to 18,000 iPad 2 tablets or similar devices to replace heavy flight bags that air force pilots use to keep all of their charts and other flight materials in. Moreover, the Air Force Special Ops Command is also planning to buy 2,861 iPad 2s for its crews.
First African-American Woman to Earn Commercial Pilot’s License. On an interesting note, The Winged Victory Women in Aviation Webzine has reprinted a story about Janet Bragg, a Chicago registered nurse would became the first African-American female to hold a commercial pilot’s license obtained during World War II. Janet actually had to build and develop her own airfield in an all black community as African American pilots were not allowed to fly out of “White” airfields at the the time.
$11.35 Million Jury Verdict. On the legal front, Dale Forton, the president of the Professional Aviation Maintenance Association (PAMA), has recently written an article for General Aviation News about one of the largest air crash disaster verdicts in history that was handed down by a Philadelphia jury. Specifically, $11.35 million in compensatory damages was awarded to Dr. Robert Marisco Jr. and his fiancee Heather Moran in an action against Winner Aviation Corp. but from reading the article, it sounds like the NTSB report was excluded from the lawsuit (and that might have exonerated the mechanics). Hence, Dale’s article is well worth reading by pilots and maintenance professionals alike.
Boeing Brands the Sky With 787 Test Flight. Finally, Jon Ostrower has pointed out that for one of the longest test flights to date, Boeing decided to brand the sky with a special flight path – which you can also check out on Flightaware.com. Talk about a cool way to test a new aircraft!