Going Direct: Why NYC White House Would Be A Security Nightmare

going direct

President-elect Trump’s plan to base out of New York City raises tricky security and access questions. When Donald Trump won the United States presidential election in early November, he did so in part because of his promise to “drain the swamp” that he believes Washington, D.C. politics to be. Now it seems that part of more »

Going Direct: Flight Sharing Going To The Supreme Court?

plane sharing

Flytenow’s model got shot down by the FAA. Not so fast, says the Internet startup. For decades, private pilots who took along paying friends on trips have been targets for the FAA, which strictly limits a pilot’s right to collect fees from passengers. So when Flytenow started its ride-sharing business a couple of years ago, more »

Going Direct: An Unexpected Reason Why The Supersonic Boom Jet Is Interesting

Boom Jet

Probability and hype in the new airplane game. By now you might have heard about the new Boom supersonic jet, a “demonstrator” version that’s set to fly sometime in 2017. That’s what the company making the jet, Boom Technology, out of Denver, Colorado, says anyway. Um…okay. Now here’s what will really happen. Let me start more »

Going Direct: What Donald Trump’s Election Means To Aviation

Going Direct Trump Aviaiton

A non-partisan look at how the new president’s policies will affect pilots and manufacturers. It’s been said again and again, and here I am saying it, too. Donald Trump’s ascension to power is unlike any other individual’s in our nation’s history. There has, thank goodness, never, ever been a presidential election like this in the more »

Going Direct: Cities That Hate Airports


On separate sides of the continent, a pair of oceanside municipalities are getting evil in their attempts to shut down historic airfields. You have to give a little credit to former Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley, who in March of 2003 ordered city crews to destroy Meigs Field, the iconic Chicago general aviation destination that more »

Going Direct: Why Bob Hoover Touched Us All

Bob Hoover

Why the war hero, test pilot and airshow great means so much to us pilots Was Bob Hoover the greatest pilot ever? I don’t know. He surely needs to be in that conversation, but when all is said and done, the result is discovering that the question is unanswerable. Truth is, it’s impossible to say more »

Going Direct: Sully Movie’s Scariest Message

Going Direct Sully

By the time you read this, there might not be quite as much buzz surrounding the remarkable film by Academy Award®-winning director Clint Eastwood and starring Academy Award®-winning actor Tom Hanks, which chronicles the so-called “Miracle on the Hudson.” Then, again, with award season getting underway, the film might be generating a different kind of more »

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

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 »