Best of the Web

Civil Penalties For Pointing Lasers at Cockpits. Earlier this week, the FAA in the USA announced that it will begin to impose civil penalties on anyone who points a laser into an aircraft’s cockpit. Specifically, the maximum civil penalty will be $11,000 per violation. General Aviation News has noted that pilots this year have reported more than 1,100 incidents  of lasers being pointed at aircraft around the USA. Moreover, laser incident reports have risen from nearly 300 in 2005 when statistics started being collected to 1,527 in 2009 and then 2,836 in 2010.

New Technology to Detect Volcanic Ash. On a technology note, General Aviation News has noted that Vaisala’s Global Lightning Dataset GLD360 has new technology that provides early warnings of explosive ash clouds that could disrupt aviation routes and threaten safety. Specifically, the technology will detect the lightning that is produced by volcanic eruptions as this will be a key indicator of potential ash clouds. In fact and during the first 30 hours of Icelandic volcano Grimsvotn’s recent eruption, the technology detected over 14,000 lightning strikes or events that were within a 30-kilometer radius of the volcano.

Martin Jetpack Reaches 1,500 meters. On another technology note, the Martin Jetpack has reached 1,500 meters or 5,000 feet above New Zealand attached to a manikin simulating the pilot. The jetpack should be ready for consumers in about 18 months. The following video was also shot of the test flight:

Qref Syllabi and Checkride Checklists Now Free. Meanwhile, Qref has now joined ASA, Sporty’s and SAFE to provide free syllabi and checkride checklists. The free syllabi and checklists are available for private, instrument and commercial pilots here.

SPOT Connect App Available From the App Store. In addition, the SPOT Connect App, which pairs the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch with satellite communications device SPOT Connect to allow users to transmit messages via satellite from nearly any spot in the world, is now available on the App Store or at The SPOT Connect device itself retails for $169.99 while a SPOT Basic Service subscription starts at $99.99 per year. For more information, visit

One Pilot’s Dream Watch. If you are looking for an aviator watch, Blake, the pilot behind the Fly With Blake blog, has written that he has finally found the perfect aviator watch.  It’s the 4-bit Chrono watch by Cadence which displays time in both UTC and local time on the same dial face. Blake also added that the watch is a chronometer, hence its great for timing legs and doing ground speed estimations. He also added that the watch does not cost $8,000 (According to Cadence website, it costs $195 – but its also currently out of stock…).

Flying Four More Paws. On a different note, Steve, the blogger behind A mile of runway will take you anywhere, has written a detailed trip report about his latest Pilots N Paws rescue flight. This trip took him from Dayton, Ohio, down to Bowling Green, Kentucky and as usually, the trip report includes plenty of great aerial shots.  

Time Lapse Video of Boston Airport. Finally, David Parker Brown has posted a time lapse video of a very busy Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) on his AirlineReporter blog. The creator recorded roughly one hour and ten minutes of video before reducing it down to just two and a half minutes. He would have preferred to record a longer original video but local law enforcement thought that it might not be a good idea – even though recording the video was not illegal!

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