Airship Ventures Looks Set to Fold. On November 14, Airship Ventures, the operator of the world’s largest passenger airship, announced it was ceasing operations immediately. Airship Ventures was founded in 2007 and brought a Zeppelin NT (“New Technology”) airship to the USA to operate out of Moffett Field in Sunnyvale, California, for flight-seeing, science missions, media and advertising operations. There is a drive to save Airship Ventures as it needs to raise $5 to $6 million. For more information, visit Facebook.com/AirshipVentures.
Sydney Flypast. The Aviationist blog has mentioned that on November 19, the Royal Australian Air Force celebrated 34 years service of the Lockheed C-130H Hercules with a 2-ship retirement flight over Sydney. The two aircraft, one with a special yellow sunset tail paint scheme, flew along Sydney’s southern beaches and the harbor at 150 metres before heading north and then west to the Blue Mountains before returning to base.
Five Things You Probably Never Knew About Lasers. Sylvia, the blogger behind the Fear of Landing blog, has written a post listing five things about lasers she did not know (and you probably did not know either). Apparently, geese (just like pilots…) don’t like having a laser shown at them plus you can also shine one at the ISS station – so long as you don’t hit any aircraft in between and warn the astronauts first.
New iPad “HGS Flight” Simulation App. Armchair aviators take note: Rockwell Collins has unveiled HGS™ Flight, a new app that lets users experience the company’s Head-up Guidance (HGS) with synthetic vision on an iPad. The HGS Flight app lets users simulate flights using real-life advanced features and allows users to see a virtual view of terrain despite any weather condition. There is also a “career” mode to build HGS skill and a “challenge” mode where users can define settings such as visibility and wind. The free app is available for download in the Apple iTunes App Store.
The AOPA FlyQ Electronic Flight Bag Launched. The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) has also released the FlyQ Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) for the iPad. The new app is intended as a complete pre-and in-flight planning tool providing airport directory information, aviation weather and flight planning. AOPA members can buy subscriptions and save 30% at AOPA.org/flyq/tablet with member pricing being $69.99 a year for the VFR package or $119.99 a year for the VFR and IFR package. Non-member prices are $99.99 for the VFR package or $174.99 a year for the VFR and IFR package.
FAA Safety Briefing’s International Focused Issued. Non-American pilots might want to take note that the November/December 2012 issue of the FAA Safety Briefing focuses on several tools and resources which can help pilots operate safely beyond US borders. The internationally-themed issue includes a review of overseas flying requirements, how to master the language of aviation, island-hopping in the Caribbean and a look at how the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) can impact flying. There is also an article examining the International Flight Information Manual (IFIM) – a useful planning tool for flights outside the United States.
16 Year Old Girl Becomes the UK’s Youngest Pilot. Finally, SWNS.com has reported that 16-year old Gutsy Rachael Spelling has become the youngest girl in Britain to solo after learning to fly because she was bored over her school holidays. In fact, she has already racked up 50 hours flying time at the controls of a four-seater Pipe Archer and now regularly flies on her own – despite being a year away from being able to drive a car. She also has admitted being addicted to the “rush” and feeling of “freedom” from flying alone.