The Federal Aviation Administration has begun the process that would ultimately allow unmanned aircraft to fly freely in US airspace, as opposed to the limited and restricted ability they have to currently operate. It is seeking public input in to how to set up ranges for UAV testing that would ultimately lead to free flying UAVs:
The new law gives the FAA three years — two less than it took Congress to pass the act – to “integrate” UAVs into the national air space, or NAS, meaning set policies that will let drones share the air with piloted aircraft.
UAVs have proven reasonably reliable. Just like humans, they only fly off uncontrolled every now and then.
A few articles recently described how a formation of US Air Force F-16s
came so close to a commercial flight over the US this week that they triggered a cockpit alarm in the commuter plane
The incident was later described in this way:
The commercial plane “encountered two F-16s and they had a near-miss incident,” [Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Tony] Molinaro said.
While the term “near miss” in FAA parlance bodes ill, the incident is rarely as dramatic as it sounds.
While the reports don’t say how close the aircraft Read more
By now most have likely heard about the air traffic controller, Glenn Duffy, who reportedly brought his 9 year old twin children to work and allowed them to make several radio transmission to airliners on the tower frequency. The FAA and ATC union were quick to respond, with the FAA suspending not only the controller, but also his supervisor, Rose Kelly. The union said the behavior was “not indicative of the highest professional standards” of controller operations.
Pilots and controllers sometimes have an adversarial relationship. Pilots get annoyed at being told what they think is the wrong thing to do, and controllers often get annoyed at pilots who always think they know better. (In that regard, ATC controllers and fighter pilots may have much in common.) Rightly or wrongly, some pilots also blame controllers for some fatal mishaps. Gallows humor asks Read more