Friday, July 25, 2014

Cleveland Aerial Media: Federal Aviation Administration launches investigation into Cleveland drone company after drone flown during bridge demolition

CLEVELAND - Cleveland Aerial Media told NewsChannel5 last week they violated a temporary flight restriction July 12, when they flew a drone over the Innerbelt Bridge demolition and posted the video online.

That flight triggered a letter of investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration informing Cleveland Aerial Media, also known as Aerial Cleveland, that the incident is under investigation.

Aerial Cleveland co-owner John Ellenberger said they will now take ground school and pilot safety classes at Lorain County Regional Airport and get more involved with the Academy of Model Aircraft to avoid future incidents.

"We're taking this very seriously. The lesson that we learned is that we're going to have to be a lot more careful and follow the guidelines a bit more stringently," said Cleveland Aerial Media co-owner John Ellenberger.

In an unrelated incident, FAA investigators are still investigating a near miss with an unknown drone and helicopter over Cleveland July 11.
Drones, UAVs, quadrocopters: whatever name they go by, some feel the FAA should force drone operators to register and get certified.

Drones can be used for for search and rescue, photographing ballparks, farming and more. That means this technology could be big business—as long as safety comes first.

"I see it creating jobs and Ohio is the birthplace of aviation and we want to bring innovation to Cleveland," Ellenberger said.

Ellenberger also said Cleveland Aerial Media loves the city Cleveland and doesn't want to hurt anyone.

Ellenberger said the FAA's rules about drones or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles or Systems are unclear, but he expects the FAA will soon update the rules to keep up with this changing remote-controlled technology.

Story and Video:

Cost of obtaining pilot's license will increase -Canada

Taking to the skies and enjoying the wild, blue yonder just got a bit more expensive.
The Liberal government announced that it will raise the tax on aviation fuel from 2.7 cents a litre to 6.7 cents in 2017.

For those recreational fliers renting or owning a small plane, or those contemplating obtaining their pilot's license, the tax hike means they will have to dig a bit deeper into their pockets when it comes time for take-off.

“The percentage, in terms of actually increasing the cost of a litre of gas, is not a huge amount but it is something that we will have to pass on to customers ... I mean, we don't have a choice,” said Ian Fyfe, operations manager at the St. Thomas Flight Center.

According to Fyfe, the flight center rents a two-seater for $128 an hour plus HST, and taking a four-seat plane out for a spin costs $152 an hour plus HST. Factor in the $14,000 needed to obtain a pilot's license and, well, costs are soaring.

“Flying is very expensive anyway,” said Fyfe. “We took a major hit in 2010 when the HST was introduced, but everything is cumulative. Any one change may not seem like much, but cumulatively, the cost is considerable when owning an aircraft, flying, or learning to fly. Does it help our business? No, it doesn't.”

However, according to Dale Arndt, Airport Superintendent for the City of St. Thomas, the tax hike could actually result in some good news for smaller airports. Although, he cautioned that any increase to the cost of gasoline will deter some aircraft from purchasing fuel in Ontario, having access to the transportation funding will benefit operations.

“Now it looks like we are eligible for that tax money to use for infrastructure, which would be a positive thing,” said Arndt. “Airports on the list can tap into some of that tax money and improve or repair runways. In St. Thomas we are in pretty good shape but a few more years down the road we will have to spend money to repair our runways.”

Fyfe said that the tax hike will be an added cost to doing business at the busy flight center, and those who are taking courses needed to obtain a commercial pilot's license will have to compare it to an increase in university or college tuition. Or, he said, just the price of getting an education.

“But the gas tax may cause recreational fliers to fly a bit less,” said Fyfe.

Approximately 12 people obtain their pilot's license each year at the St. Thomas Flight Center, and another 30 individuals annually upgrade their license ratings. “We have a real mix of commercial and recreational pilots," he said.

Original Source:

First plane lands on Wellcamp tarmac

Developer John Wagner has piloted the first plane to touch down on the freshly-laid asphalt at Wellcamp Airport, just weeks before Australia's newest runway is completed.

It was momentous occasion for his mother Mary, who was one of the lucky few passengers on the flight.

"I was feeling extremely proud of not only John, but all the boys (Neill, Denis and Joe), because I have always had faith they would be able to see their vision of building the airport come to fruition," said Mary, who has eight children, 30 grand children and two great-grandchildren.

After describing her son as a "little devil of a kid who was destined to be a leader", Mary said John was always keen on planes.

"I can remember my brother Father Pat Doyle taking John to airports to watch planes land when he was a youngster," she said.

"So to see him at the controls of the plane, landing so smoothly on the runway, was just such a proud moment for me."


Joe, Mary and John Wagner (right) touch down for the first time on the almost-completed tarmac of Wellcamp Airport in a Beechcraft King Air. 
Photo Contributed