Pilots don’t use NOTAMs as much as they should, says the FAA, and missed or misunderstood NOTAMs have resulted in numerous Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) filings when hazardous operations or violations ensued.
NOTAMs have long been published in the print form every 28 days as the Notices To Airmen Publication, but many pilots report never having seen an issue of that publication. NOTAMs are now available easily on the FAA’s web site, and even have a NOTAM search tool available that can narrow down NOTAMs truly significant for a flight. SAFE suggested that the print publication is redundant.
FAA Administrator Michael Huerta told a drone conference in Las Vegas last month that one of the biggest ongoing problems is keeping drones away from aircraft. Huerta said the agency receives an average of 200 drone-sighting reports from pilots each month, including drone sightings at altitudes of up to 6,000 feet, even though rules limit altitude for drones to 400 feet without further authorization.
Renee Pionke is a primary grade teacher in Rosendale, Wisconsin, and she will use her grant to help fund a visit by her 3rd grade class to the EAA Aviation Museum in Oshkosh. The field trip is actually a capstone event for the students, who will study various aeronautical topics for 6-8 weeks prior to the museum visit.
Nicole Williams-Roulhoc of Pembroke Pines, Florida, will use her grant to buy materials and supplies that will allow her 4th and 5th grade gifted students to work in teams to research famous aviators, build replicas of aircraft, identify and study aviation careers, and learn about the principles of flight.
Bradley Agee teaches 11th grade math at Sandusky High School in Sandusky, Ohio. In addition to using his grant to purchase a copy of Microsoft Flight Simulator (STEM Edition), he will teach his students how to convert statute miles to nautical miles using navigation plotters with aeronautical charts, how to determine true and magnetic heading, and how to make other numerical calculations associated with flying.
Roger Sanders, who teaches 8th grade in Rock Hill, South Carolina, will use his grant to purchase balsa wood gliders to teach his students principles of flight and basic concepts of fluid friction.
This year’s grant competition attracted 46 applications from classroom teachers and STEM coordinators across the United States. SAFE’s goal in awarding these grants to classroom teachers is to help introduce children and teens to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) through the study of aviation and aerospace related subjects. Thanks to Sherry Rossiter and the committee for qualifying the winners; this was a more extensive project than in past years (and we are so glad of that!)
A Bloomberg News report said, “The GAO’s findings are closer to those of the private-plane lobby, which has argued that the existing system has performed well and that there’s no need to create a private air-traffic organization.” A previous blow to the privatization proposal came in September when the American Conservative Union Foundation, a leading Washington, DC conservative group, said that HR 2997 does not meet the criteria of a truly privatized entity.
Proponents of privatization, led by Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA), are continuing to push for a complete overhaul of the system. An organization called Citizens For On Time Flights, set up by advocacy association Airlines for Americas, has released a barrage of attacks on the current system calling it “outdated” and the “cause of flight delays.”
The two-day symposium will include expert speakers, breakout sessions, networking and tours. The fee is $260 and includes both days of the symposium, two breakfasts and two lunches, museum admission and tours of the American Airlines training facilities.
SAFE was founded to boost aviation instructional excellence, not only in the cockpit but in schools as a way to encourage more young men and women to take up careers in aviation. SAFE has been providing small grants to elementary and high school teachers for that purpose almost since its 2009 founding. This year there were four such grants.
For more information, visit AOPA’s You Can Fly web page.
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