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China Crash Update; Record Plan Gets Little Love; and Wally Gets the Bob!

Plus, a farewell to Alaska legislator and aviation friend; Joby has novel cert plan; and much much more!

Just the facts
Aviation legend Wally Funk gets awarded the Bob Hoover trophy by AOPA president and CEO Mark Baker. Photo courtesy of AOPA by Dave Tulis.

The annual Women in Aviation International convention finished its nearly week-long run in Nashville last weekend, and it was a smash hit, with more than 4,500 attendees (68 percent of them women). During the event, 103 WAI-sponsored scholarships were awarded, worth a combined $473,000.

Joby Aviation announced it has made new progress toward type certification of its as-yet-unnamed tiltrotor multicopter using a novel approach, a compartmentalized piece by piece certification. We’ll see next how the FAA likes the plan.

AOPA awarded the R.A. Bob Hoover award to aviation legend Wally Funk, who was honored by WAI earlier in the week. In addition to amassing almost 20,000 hours in the air, being an astronaut and published author, Wally has now set an unofficial record for the most selfies participated in over a five-day period. Congratulations, Wally!

Signature Flight Support, the world’s largest FBO operator, announced that it would acquire TAC Air and its 16 FBOs around the country. Terms of the deal weren’t announced, and it must pass legislative review before the deal is finalized.

An around-the-world flight attempt mission was announced by the younger brother of the young woman who made such a trip, which culminated earlier this year. The aircraft maker, Shark, which sponsored the previous mission has announced that it will not take part in this one, citing concerns over such record chases. No major aviation group recognizes such records, by the way.

Longtime Alaska Congressman Don Young died last week while on a commercial flight from Anchorage to Seattle. He was 88. Young was elected to Congress in 1972 after the disappearance of a chartered Cessna 310 on a campaign trip from Anchorage to Juneau, in which Alaska U.S. Representative Nick Begich, along with three others, was presumed to have died. Young, a longtime champion of light aviation legislation, was one of the longest serving U.S. House members in history.

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A China Eastern Boeing 737-800 airliner crashed after nosediving from nearly 30,000 feet into the ground at a very high rate of descent, killing all 132 aboard on impact. Investigators this week found the plane’s cockpit voice recorder and continue searching for its Flight Data recorder in the wreckage, which consists largely of small fragments.

The FAA named Amy Hoover CFI of the year. Hoover, a long backcountry instructor and university professor, started flying to further he work as a field geologist.

In what is being portrayed as largely a publicity stunt, though one with potentially deadly consequences, Russia fired hypersonic missiles at targets in Ukraine as part of its war of aggression against its neighbor country. It is thought to be the first time hypersonic weapons have been used in war.

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No one was injured when the jet on which Pop music star Miley Cyrus was flying was struck by lightning while on its way to Paraguay for a big music festival. The plane made a precautionary landing short of Asunción. No one was injured. Here’s what the strike looked like from inside the cabin.

Auburn University dedicated an aviation scholarship fund to pioneering Black aviator Bessie Coleman, who was the first Black woman to earn a pilot’s certificate. The scholarship pool of $100,000, established by Walt and Ginger Woltosz, will support up to 10 aviation students at Auburn each year.

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