Going Direct: How I’m Gearing Up For Flying Season`

A new plane, a new season and lots of reasons to go gaga over planes. There’s been so much noise politically in aviation these past few months that we’ve been so busy protecting our freedom to fly against some very real threats that it’s been too easy to forget the flying part, which is, after more »

Going Direct: Disaster Looming For GA?

President Trump’s budget proposal threatens the lifeblood of General Aviation. Over the past couple of days, the general aviation community has responded to a common threat to our way of flight. Earlier this week President Trump issued his budget, and while there is no shortage of controversy associated with it, for those of us who more »

Going Direct: Two Kinds Of Avgas

Like most of you, I think of avgas in a very one-dimensional way, regarding our old true blue 100LL as the only aviation gasoline, at least until a 100LL alternative hits the pumps in a few years. But it turns out that’s not really true. There’s another approved aviation fuel for sale today, Swift Fuels’ more »

Going Direct: Vexing Questions At The Aircraft Electronics Show

The CES of aircraft featured few new products but lots of interesting questions about aviation’s digital future. The 60th edition of the Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA) trade show in New Orleans got underway on Monday, and the first day of the show was an eye opener, but not for the usual reasons. Usually at this more »

Going Direct: NY Senator Schumer Reads Paper, Decides To Slam GA

What he “discovered” and suggested might shock you…but then again… United States Senator Chuck Schumer (D, NY) is worried about airplane accidents, specifically accidents involving small airplanes in New York. In a press release and open letter to the NTSB and FAA, Schumer made the “demand” that the agencies investigate a spate of aircraft accidents more »

Going Direct: FAA As The Enemy

Santa Monica Municipal Airport (KSMO)

The agency’s blindsiding GA on its Santa Monica capitulation was more than the alphabets could take.  A couple of weeks ago when the FAA made the surprise announcement—“surprise” as in Pearl Harbor and not Happy Birthday, by the way—we weighed in that the move was something we’d never seen the agency do before. Our suggestion, more »

Going Direct: Important Update On John King’s Battle With FAA

3/8/17 UPDATE: We’re delighted to share the news that King Schools’ co-founder John King has received his FAA medical certificate from the FAA. In an email to Plane & Pilot, King wrote that getting his ticket after a years-long battle was a surprise—of the most pleasant variety, we’re certain. The legendary aviation educator got his more »

Going Direct: With Drone Members, Will AOPA Pilots/Owners Be Left In The Cold?

The strategic decision by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association to accept drone pilots (and owners?) into the largest and most effective GA advocacy organization is troubling. It’s no secret that the numbers of GA pilots is declining, so AOPA’s numbers have as well. Of course, the fewer members, the less clout and the less more »

Going Direct: WSJ Tackles Execs Who Are Pilots

Did the financial news icon get this one right or make the usual mistakes? The venerable Wall Street Journal is a publication that sometimes gets it right with aviation and sometimes gets it really, really wrong. This time the subject was a dicey one: how to think about CEOs who fly light planes. As it more »

Going Direct: Part 23 Reformed – 4 Big Questions Addressed

With the FAA’s adoption of Part 23 reform, a whole new era in general aviation development begins. What does it mean to us as consumers and to the industry? How Does It Work? The new system will work like a more regulated form of what the Light Sport Aircraft regs introduced a decade ago. The more »

Going Direct: Why Trump-Airlines Meeting Could Spell Disaster For GA

Is privatizing ATC a backroom deal in progress? When it comes to what they might mean to aviation, the Trump administration’s policy moves these first few weeks have been hard to read. That said, there are hints that GA could be hit hard with new fees and limitations. The source of the concern lies in more »

Going Direct: Correcting Gene Cernan

I’d feel lucky enough to have shaken the hand of Captain Gene Cernan, who set foot on the moon in December of 1972, the last manned Moon shot. But I got to spend time with him twice, and, yes, at first all I could think about was, “My goodness, this guy has walked on the more »

Going Direct: Looking Forward

In many ways 2016 was a challenging year for aviation. Sales were down, not catastrophically, but down nonetheless. The numbers of pilots and active pilots continue to decline, and the prices of new airplanes continue to climb, though the features and build quality continue to climb, as well. None of these circumstances is ideal, but more »

Going Direct: What The New Medical Will And Won’t Do For Aviation

The new BasicMedical will help lots of pilots. Is that enough? I know that it’s not the most popular position to take about one of the biggest liberalizations of flying regulations in decades, often referred to as the driver’s license medical, but let’s talk about managing expectations. Here’s something you won’t hear from many pundits more »

Going Direct: Chinese Firm Buys Controlling Interest In Diamond North America

What the acquisition likely means for Diamond’s future in GA. The truth is that increasingly the future of light GA manufacturing in the United States is an airway that goes directly through China. So like it or not, our aviation fortunes are inextricably linked to our nation’s relationship with the Asian world power. With this more »

Going Direct: Plane & Pilot Platinum Awards 2016

Plane And Pilot Awards 2016

It’s easy to listen to the naysayers in aviation, but by any measure it’s been a remarkable year for general aviation. From great new airplanes and technological advancements, to innovative companies and regulatory gains, aviation had a banner year in 2106. Here are our picks for the Plane & Pilot Platinum Awards. Piper M600 Piper more »

Going Direct: FAA Orders Santa Monica To Stop The Nonsense

Santa Monica Municipal Airport (KSMO)

Here’s why the Feds called BS on Santa Monica’s airport business evictions. Santa Monica Municipal is a historically significant and busy little single-strip city airport, but if the City of Santa Monica had its way, the facility would be a ghost town already. The city officially says it’ll be a park, but there’s good reason more »