Going Direct: Why States Rights Are Bad For Aviation

Going Direct States Rights

A court ruling puts the principle of FAA control at risk. Why that’s something aviation can’t live with. When the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on a liability suit by a pilot’s widow over an allegedly faulty engine that caused the crash that killed the woman’s husband, they opened a can of worms, angry, more »

Going Direct: Why New ACS Tests Mean So Much


Now that the new ACS testing standards are in effect, the good news is, it’s a whole new ballgame. This is a good thing, as the old ballgame, that is, the way the FAA administered tests, was, at best, useless, and, at worst, an abusive bureaucratic exercise that cost test applicants untold millions of dollars more »

Going Direct: Space X—Mars For $200K A Ticket? In 10 Years? Not A Joke?

Space X

Or…when really smart, successful aviation people propose really baffling things. When Elon Musk, founder of Tesla, the promising but challenged electric car company, and Space X, the promising but challenged commercial space company, unveiled at the International Astronautical Congress conference in Guadalajara, Mexico, his plans to go to Mars, well, really, for all of us more »

Going Direct: The Blessed Insanity Of The New Medical Rules

new medical rules

The passage into law of the 3rd class pilot medical certification just last week as I write has changed the way hundreds of thousands of pilots will get their medicals. It’s a fundamental change in regulations for private aviation that I’ve been pushing for these past 20 years, and it’s finally here. Victory for the more »

Going Direct: Emissions, Technology, Politics And Common Sense


As a seeming parting shot in his tenure as chief executive, President Obama took a jab at aviation by singling out the segment for its contribution not to global commerce, understanding and progress, but, alas, pollution. The mechanism behind the move is a little convoluted. In essence, President Obama directed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) more »

Going Direct: Smart Innovation On Display At AirVenture


The marketplace in aviation is in a strange place. We’re not in a depressed or even a recessed market, and while some trot out the “new normal” as commonplace, I don’t buy it. I think the name of the game is good old competition, though winning at the game takes a smarter approach than ever. more »

Going Direct: 25 Oshkosh Airshows


This is my 25th Oshkosh airshow event. By EAA standards, 25 isn’t a big number. I’m a relative newbie, in that regard. There are people wandering the show with jackets stitched with patches dating back to before I was born. Oh, to have been able to see all that they’ve seen. Oshkosh is aviation history more »

Going Direct: Is Changing Everything Enough?


Like everyone who has been around general aviation for a while, I’m a little skeptical when I hear news of positive regulatory change in the offing. Perhaps I should be a little optimistic from time to time, though. Even if we do face challenges in GA, and we do, I need to remind myself that more »

Going Direct: 3rd Class Medical Reform Set To Become Law

With the Senate’s overwhelming passage of the FAA Reauthorization bill—the House passed it last week—the temporary funding measure goes to the president’s desk for his signature. President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law by July 15. While the bill is a broad funding measure, of greatest interest to us personal transportation pilots more »

Going Direct: I Might Have Taken My Last FAA Medical Exam

Going Direct: I Might Have Taken My Last FAA Medical Exam-650

A new rule means the outdated FAA 3rd Class Medical could be a thing of the past for many of us. With the coming adoption (no jinx) of the FAA Third Class medical reform bill, I might never have to go through an FAA exam again. And I couldn’t be happier. Here’s how the timetable more »

Going Direct: How To Open Up Flying For Everyone

Going Direct: How To Open Up Flying For Everyone

There are probably some pilots who want aviation to be a small world, who’d like nothing better than to make being a pilot and owning an airplane an exclusive club. Let me be clear: We are not those people. We want flying to be open to everyone who wants to fly. It won’t be easy more »

Going Direct: What We Believe

What We Believe

The new Plane & Pilot stands for a lot of things the old brand did, including our embrace of low-and-slow and alternative forms of committing aviation. Beyond that, we stand for a few more beliefs that bear comment, some of which are right in line with what P&P has always believed and shouted that fact more »

Going Direct: Why The FAA’s $500 ADS-B Rebate Plan Smells Like Fear


With little fanfare the FAA announced earlier this week that it was going to give owners of airplanes in need of ADS-B gear a $500 incentive to equip. The plan has been widely praised by aviation organizations from AEA to the ZBAA, and those organizations are encouraging everyone to spring into action and be one more »

Going Direct: Airplanes, Mentors, Sweatshops And Father’s Day


Aviation lessons, the hard way, from my father Much of what I know about flying and about airplanes comes from a small number of people I’ve worked with over the past 25 years. Some were mentors, some were friends and colleagues, and some were heroes. By far, the most important of all was my father, more »

Going Direct: Enough Already—What Does The ICON Mess Really Mean?


The story of a startup airplane maker is an arc. Here’s what ICON’s might mean. The one name that everyone says when they talk about ICON Aircraft and its controversial A5 LSA amphibian program and that no one ever puts in print is this: “Eclipse.” Unless you’ve been lost in the Amazon for the past more »