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Tragic, Preventable Possible Cause Of Fatal Citation Crash, GE’s Next-Gen Turboprop Engine Gets Airborne, And Britney Spears Flies A Plane (But Only Kind Of)

Plus, a flying motorcycle goes on pre-sale, Virgin Galactic cleared to fly again, NTSB to go deep sea diving and much, much more!

The data from a Citation 560 XLS+ that crashed into a building in Farmington, Connecticut, shortly after takeoff from Plainville, Connecticut’s Robertson Field, was consistent with the parking brake having been set during the takeoff run, according to the NTSB’s preliminary report on the crash. All four aboard the small jet were killed in the crash, and three employees in the building the jet hit received non-life-threatening injuries.

The engine that will power the Beechcraft (née Cessna) Denali has made its first flight, a few years behind its original schedule. The GE Catalyst engine is the linchpin of the single-engine pressurized turboprop design. The Catalyst’s advanced engineering and reduced parts count go toward making it close to 20% more efficient than comparable turboprop engines. As we’re sure the folks at GE are, we too are curious to see if flight testing bears out that ambitious goal.

A short video of Britney Spears trying her hand at “flying” a small jet and loving it has gone viral. In it the recently emancipated Spears is clearly loving it. A few months back, Britney posted an image of Amelia Earhart praising women pilots. We concur, Britney!

The NTSB is going to recover the TransAir 737 cargo plane that crashed off the coast of Hawaii after an engine failure. The plane is sitting on a coastal ridge around 500 feet below the surface, and the recovery team planes to find the flight and voice recorders and bring much of the aircraft to the surface in its investigation into what went wrong. The plane crash landed in the ocean about two miles offshore after losing an engine on departure and being unable to maintain altitude on the remaining engine.

Jet Pack Aviation is taking pre-orders for its flying motorcycle, which is not a motorcycle and which has not yet flown. The craft will be built as an ultralight (good luck with the 254-pound weight limit, folks). It’s expected to be available in around two years and will cost around $400,000. Here’s a cartoon/video of what they’re implying it will be able to do.


During its September 28th press briefing, the FAA discussed its plans to streamline air carrier traffic flow, so less time is spent on the ground by each aircraft. The agency is calling the plan one that is “more sustainable,” saying it will help reduce emissions.

A spy video has emerged of what looks to be a new top-secret stealth plane. When the head of the aircraft’s presumed developer, Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works, was asked about the craft, he responded that he could not and would not discuss it. Opinion is divided about whether the craft is an old design or a new one, if it is a drone or a piloted design, or even which end is up and which is down.

A Just Highlander light plane crashed in Ozark, Arkansas, after hitting power lines, seriously injuring the pilot, who was airlifted to a Littlerock trauma center. Reports are that the plane was practicing for the ArkanSTOL short takeoff and landing competition, which takes place this weekend at Byrd’s Adventure Center.


Congress is taking steps to put the FAA in its place, after the agency changes its regulations to mirror an opinion (widely considered an aberrant one) from a Florida judge, ruling that CFIs offering instruction in certain classes of aircraft are doing soThe amendment has bipartisan support is expected to pass as part of Defense Department reallocation legislation.

The FAA has cleared Virgin Galactic to start flying again. The agency had grounded the company from making its space flights while it investigated anomalous performance and an airspace deviation on Virgin Galactic’s August 11th flight, which carried company head Richard Branson, three other passengers and two pilots.


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