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Posts Tagged: "aviation"

House Aviation Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), Flying Cars and Passenger Drones

The development of UAS vehicles for delivering packages or passengers could go a long way in alleviating issues of congestion occurring along the nation’s roadways. Aviation subcommittee ranking member Rep. Rick Larsen (D-WA) spoke to these possibilities, citing a recent industry scorecard which found that U.S. drivers spent 40 hours each year stuck in traffic during peak hours, leading to an economic loss of $300 billion in lost productivity. Larsen noted that there were currently more than 50 passenger drone concepts in development and was the first of a series of Representatives attending the hearing to note that such technologies would make the science fiction world of The Jetsons a distinct reality.

Heritage Foundation panel focuses on FAA missteps in drone regulations

There is a legitimate question to be raised, however, over whether the FAA’s registry regulations and the harsh penalties for offenders actually makes our skies any safer for American citizens. That was a question tackled by a panel at The Heritage Foundation at a moderated discussion on better approaches to U.S. drone policy… Some panelists questioned why there was a need to single out UAVs as a particularly dangerous threat to manned aircraft when it was clear that there were far greater environmental risks to aircraft. Sargent chastised the media, saying that they have “not been much of a help on this” by overstating drone risks, further noting that damage risks from large birds were far greater than drones… Taylor expanded the scope of this idea, mentioning that while a few dozen people died in recreational watercraft accidents each year, and hundreds are put into hospitals from injuries related to all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), he was not aware of any story where an American was injured by a drone.

Understanding the black box and why it can be so difficult to locate

The earlier days of black box technology well behind us, the magnetic tape recording medium has since been replaced by solid state memory to record data. Today, black boxes used on aircraft regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration has to meet some exacting specifications. FDR equipment must be able to record data for 25 hours consecutively and be able to withstand extreme conditions like impacts up to 3,400 Gs and fires lasting 30 minutes and reaching temperatures of 2,000°F. It can also resist water pressures at depths up to 20,000 feet. The CVR equipment must meet the same extreme condition specifications and record up to two hours of sound. Further, the black box equipment is mounted in the tail of the plane, which typically suffers last in an impact, giving the black box the best chance of survival.