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Just The Facts Aviation News Roundup For The Week Of October 26, 2020

Fifth named storm in 2020 makes landfall in Louisiana, a tragic crash in Alabama, more bad news for Boeing and a remarkably ambitious progress report from a flying car (we guess) maker.

Texan II aviators
Killed in the crash of a Textron Aviation Beechcraft T-6B Texan II were Instructor pilot U.S. Navy Lieutenant Rhiannon Ross, 30, and U.S. Coast Guard Ensign Morgan Garrett, 24.

Hurricane Zeta disrupted aviation activities and slammed the mainland as it made landfall just west of New Orleans on Wednesday, packing winds of 110 mph and heavy rains. The fifth named storm to hit Louisiana this year, Zeta is making its way to the northeast and will likely pass through Mississippi and northern Georgia before making its way out to sea.

The NTSB released its data for 2019, and accidents, 1,220, were slightly down from 2018 while fatalities were up, with 406 airplane occupants losing their lives in crashes in 2019 compared to 376 in 2018. Flight hours were up for the year, but the numbers for 2020, which we should get a year from now, will be an altogether different story.

Women In Aviation International is reminding everyone that its deadline for scholarships is November 10, 2020. Applicants must be current WAI members (as of November 1, 2020. The organization has more than $400,000 in scholarship money available in a number of aviation disciplines, including, of course, professional pilot education.

A Navy Instructor pilot and a Coast Guard Trainee were killed when the T-6B Texan II trainer they were flying crashed in Alabama while on a training flight. Killed were Lt. Rhiannon Ross, 30, and U.S. Coast Guard Ensign Morgan Garrett. The Navy is investigating the crash.

V1, but don’t rotate?  Samson Sky says that its Switchblade flying machine—we’ll leave it up to you to figure out a more specific term for what it is—has gotten up to flying speed, which it calculated at 88 mph. The company says it has more than 1,300 reservation positions for the vehicle, which it claims will do 190 mph in the air and 125 on the ground, all with a 200 hp V-4. No word on when the company will try to fly it.

Tecnam and Roll-Royce announced they were teaming up on an all-electric commuter/cargo plane, the P-Volt. Many of the details, including target specs and a timetable, aren’t yet public, but the 11-seater, based on the P2012 Traveller, will have two electric motors and carry 9 passengers.


AOPA is working to keep Hawaii’s historic Dillingham Field open. Located on Oahu, the field is leased from the Army by the State of Hawaii. The State has announced its intention to end the lease five years early. AOPA says the airport has 11 businesses that combine to put $12 million into the local economy every year while supporting 130 jobs. The State plans to end its lease by June 2021.

Amid ongoing losses related to the global slowdown in airliner flying and the continuing 737 Max saga, Boeing announced that it would cut as many as 7,000 jobs in 2021, bringing total job cuts in 2020 and 2021 to 26,000, which represents about 2% of the company’s pre-737 Max crisis workforce.

Sporty’s Pilot Shop launched the 2021 edition of its highly-regarded Learn To Fly course with a number of upgrades. The course, which prepares would be pilots for both the FAA Knowledge and Practical Tests, is available on a number of platforms, including Apple and Android tablets and phones. The $249 course comes with a lifetime subscription.


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