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Just The Facts News Roundup For the Week Of August 24, 2020. Fires and Hurricanes Dominate the News

Fires continue to devastate the west, Hurricane Laura smashes inland, and some actual good news in this week’s roundup of aviation stories in the headlines.

Hill Helicopters
Hill Helicopters

Fire continued to devastate large parts of the Western United States, and smoke and numerous TFRs have restricted GA flying around the region.

The pilot of a Kaman firefighting helicopter was killed in Oregon earlier this week while fighting one of dozens of blazes in and around the state. The accident is under investigation.

Hurricane Laura bulldozed its way though Southern and Central Louisiana with 100-mph winds and torrential rains wreaking havoc throughout the region. The storm has weakened into a tropical depression, but is still bringing a lot of rain to the south central United States.

An artificial intelligence program roundly defeated a human F-16 fighter pilot matches to zero in a test of AI sponsored by DARPA.

Disney+ announced a new dramatic series, The Right Stuff, based on the Tom Wolfe book of the same name. The eight-part streaming series will debut on Disney+ in October.

 ForeFlight announced new available features, including visual 3D icing levels, visual approaches based on instrument procedures and a traffic pattern entry planner on its ForeFlight iOS app.

The company that operated the Kobe Bryant crash flight sued air traffic controllers. Island Express Helicopters alleges that two controllers failed in their duty to keep the flight safe by denying flight following and other services to pilot Ara Zobayan, resulting in stress and overload. Nine were killed the crash, including Zobayan, Bryant and his young daughter, and several others on their way to a youth basketball event.


Otto Aviation officially launched its Celera 500-hp, diesel V-12 powered pusher proof of concept, of which it says it has made more than two-dozen flights. 

In an online story by David Tullis, AOPA warned of the dangers of using the wrong cleaning solutions on aircraft surfaces. The story cited an incident in Florida in which a renter, the flight school claimed, inadvertently damaged the panels of two Cessnas.

Hill Helicopters, a UK start-up, launched a new private helicopter design, the HX50, which will be powered by a 500-shp turboshaft engine. The all-composite craft will sport a three-blade composite rotor and a ducted tail rotor.


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