Tuskegee Airman Gets Terminal In His Name, New WASP Movie Inspires, And It’s Branson vs. Bezos For Space Dibs

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Photo: Representative Sam Graves (R, MO) Facebook Page.

Longtime friend of general aviation James Inhofe (R, OK) introduced a bill that would hold sat/comm company Ligado liable for the costs that aviation users would incur due to Ligado’s development of its GPS-adjacent radio spectrum, which it plans to use for communications and for the internet of things.

The Commemorative Air Force is now showing a film chronicling the contributions and achievement of the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs).  It will show the production at airshows and gatherings around the county, including in Kansas City this weekend and Oshkosh AirVenture in July.

Virgin Galactic got the FAA’s approval just last week to start flying paying passengers to space. The approval sets off a modern-day publicity arms race between Virgin Galactic’s Richard Branson and Blue Origin’s Jeff Bezos, the latter of whom has been promising to be the first really rich guy to go there. An online petition asking that Bezos not be allowed to return to earth has reportedly gathered more than 70,000 signatures.

A team in Australia is claiming the world distance record for an electric airplane after it flew a Pipistrel Velis Alpha Electro 730 nm over the course of several days. Eyre to There Aviation was the organization behind the effort. The airplane can go less than 100 nm on a single charge, so there were many stops along the way.

Starting yesterday, July 1st, 2021, the fee to take an FAA knowledge exam will increase to $175. The cost to take the tests has more than doubled over the past few years.

Garmin earned approval for the installation of its GFC 600 autopilot in Pilatus PC-12s with Garmin TXi primary flight displays, a popular mod for the pressurized single. When outfitted with compatible Garmin navigators and displays, the GFC 600 in the PC-12 will boast additional autopilot features, including enhanced go-around and missed approach functionalities.

The Huffington Post’s Macy Bayern wrote an expose of the FAA’s risky and stigmatizing policies on pilots and mental health. The FAA declined to comment on the piece.

A Slovakian company, Klein Vision, made a 35-minute flight to prove that its flying car prototype, dubbed the AirCar, can do both of the things its name claims. The plane landed at Bratislava, the capital, and proceeded to drive into the city center.

Kansas City, Missouri, named its general aviation terminal at the Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport after Brig. Gen. Charles McGee, who flew in World War II with the Tuskegee Airmen Squadron. McGee, who served as commander at a Kansas City Air Force Base in the 1950s, also managed Kansas City Downtown for a time in the early 1980s. McGee is 101 years old. The airport, by the way, is named after the two-term mayor of Kansas City, who was the original flight surgeon for the United States Air Force Thunderbirds. Wheeler is 94.


 The family of global basketball superstar Kobe Bryant reached a settlement with the estate of Ara Zobayan, the pilot of the helicopter in which Bryant, his daughter Gianna and six others died in January of 2020. Terms of the settlement weren’t released. At the time of his death, Bryant’s wealth was estimated at $600 million.

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