FAA

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Poop Raining From Sky Ruins Girl's Sweet 16

Philadelphia family suspects feces came from a plane

(Newser) - At least the party was memorable. Pennsylvania teen Jacinda Cambray was celebrating her Sweet 16 birthday with about 40 guests in her family's backyard on Sunday when a party pooper brought the event to a screeching halt. Family members had just brought the teen's giant purple cake inside... More »

200-Pound Drone Gets OK to Spray Pesticides

FAA approves Yamaha's RMAX

(Newser) - A drone large enough to carry tanks of fertilizers and pesticides has won rare approval from federal authorities to spray crops in the US, officials say. The drone, called the RMAX, is a remotely piloted helicopter that weighs 207 pounds, according to Steve Markofski of Yamaha, which developed the aircraft.... More »

Report: Hackers Could Use Plane WiFi to Hijack Controls

FAA says it is working with experts on necessary changes

(Newser) - That in-flight WiFi we've all become so fond of could be breached by hackers to take control of the plane, according to a worrying GAO report out yesterday. Passengers, or even people on the ground, could break down firewalls guarding communications and navigation systems, Reuters reports, meaning a hacker... More »

No Charges for White House Drone Pilot

Spy agency hasn't punished him for crash

(Newser) - Sounds like spy agency worker Shawn Usman has some very understanding bosses: Federal authorities have decided not to pursue charges against the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency employee for crashing a drone on the White House grounds while off-duty and intoxicated earlier this year, and the NGA says it has taken no... More »

Southwest Is Flying Planes That Missed Inspections

FAA is OK with it, because inspections were for a backup system

(Newser) - Southwest notified the FAA yesterday of a serious oversight—it failed to conduct a mandatory inspection of some of its planes' rudder systems. Here's the weird part: The inspections still aren't done, but the planes are still flying. The FAA granted the airline an unusual waiver to keep... More »

FAA Trying to Regulate Moon Business

Reuters analyzes FAA letter to Bigelow Aerospace

(Newser) - Can American businesses now stake their claim on the moon? That's the indication from an FAA letter to Bigelow Aerospace, in which the agency reveals plans to "leverage the FAA's existing launch licensing authority to encourage private sector investments in space systems by ensuring that commercial activities... More »

FAA: Drones Nearly Hit Planes 25 Times in 6 Months

Reports of close calls are surging

(Newser) - Air travelers appear to have a genuine new problem to fret about: small drones. The FAA has logged 25 close calls with planes since June 1, reports the Washington Post . By "close call," it means an instance in which a drone "came within a few seconds or... More »

Planes Rerouted to Prevent Walrus Stampede

FAA warns media, gawkers to stay away, not spook beached animals

(Newser) - Aircraft, media, and curious folks in general have been instructed to stay far away from the 35,000 walruses crammed onto an Alaskan beach to prevent the easily spooked animals from stampeding each other to death, the Guardian reports. "When they lose their sea ice habitat and come ashore... More »

2 Weeks Until Chicago Control Center Reopens: FAA

Officials hope everything's up and running by Oct. 13 after sabotage

(Newser) - The Federal Aviation Administration says it will take about two weeks to fully reopen a Chicago-area control center, where an act of sabotage brought the city's two international airports to a halt last week. The FAA said yesterday it hopes to return the facility to full service by Oct.... More »

FAA Lifts Israel Flight Ban

Astronaut tweets 'saddest photo' from space

(Newser) - Amid heavy lobbying from Israel, the FAA lifted its ban on flights to Tel Aviv's airport just before midnight, saying it had reviewed "significant new information and measures the government of Israel is taking to mitigate potential risks to civil aviation." Israeli officials had urged the US... More »

FAA Extends Flight Ban to Israel

Even as Michael Bloomberg flies in to prove it's safe

(Newser) - Travelers stuck in limbo because of flights grounded at the Tel Aviv airport just got some bad news: The FAA is extending its ban on flights to the Ben Gurion International Airport for at least another 24 hours, to 12:15pm Eastern tomorrow, reports CNN . European airlines are following suit,... More »

Amid Flight Ban, Kerry Lands in Israel

White House rejects request to drop FAA ban

(Newser) - As Israel continued to pound Gaza, John Kerry arrived for cease-fire talks today, landing in Tel Aviv despite the FAA's 24-hour ban on US flights to Israel . The secretary of state, whose Air Force flight was not affected by the commercial ban brought in after a rocket hit a... More »

Feds OK Commercial Drone Flights Over Land

'Puma' will keep watch over BP's pipelines in Alaska

(Newser) - The aircraft now keeping an eye on BP's pipelines near Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, has an unusual way of taking off: It gets thrown. That's because it's a drone called Puma, and it happens to be the first drone approved for commercial flights over land in the US,... More »

FAA: Passenger Jet Nearly Collides With Drone

Official says it's become a 'very real' problem for pilots

(Newser) - A US airliner nearly collided with a drone in the sky over Tallahassee, Florida, say federal officials.The FAA's Jim Williams acknowledged the incident Thursday at a San Francisco drone conference, citing it as an example of the "very real" risks posed by integrating drones into US airspace.... More »

FAA Unveils 6 Drone Test Sites on American Soil

Alaska, Nevada, NY, ND, Texas, Virginia are the lucky winners

(Newser) - The Federal Aviation Administration announced six states today that will develop test sites for drones, a critical next step for the unmanned aircraft's march into US skies. The agency said Alaska, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Texas, and Virginia will host research sites. Drones have been mainly used by... More »

FCC May Allow Cell Phone Calls During Flights

Agency will consider lifting ban next month

(Newser) - This is either great or horrible news for air travelers, depending on perspective: The FCC might soon allow passengers to talk on their cell phones all throughout their flights, reports the Washington Post . The agency will consider lifting its ban on airborne calls next month. Under the proposed change, the... More »

FAA to Crack Down on Overweight Pilots

Agency worried about related sleep problems

(Newser) - Plus-size pilots and air-traffic controllers will soon be getting some extra attention from the FAA. Under a new policy, overweight pilots and controllers must get checked out for a condition known as obstructive sleep apnea, reports USA Today . The worry is that if they get lousy sleep at night, they... More »

Miami Pilot: My Passenger Fell Out the Door

Coast Guard search is underway

(Newser) - The pilot of a small plane off the coast of Miami radioed the control tower this afternoon with the worst kind of message: “Mayday! Mayday! Mayday! His door was ajar." He was referring to a passenger in his Piper PA 46 plane who he said fell into the... More »

FAA: You Can Use Your Tablet, Phone Gate-to-Gate

Change will apply to planes that meet certain criteria

(Newser) - After story upon story about the FAA's declining resistance to passengers' use of electronic devices, the definitive headline has finally arrived: The FAA says airlines can allow passengers to use devices from gate to gate. The AP reports that the change will apply to planes that meet certain criteria... More »

FAA Panel Clears Gadgets for Takeoff: Source

Gadgets, WiFi OKed for under 10K feet

(Newser) - The end is in sight for that game in which the flight attendant tells you to turn off your e-reader for takeoff like she really thinks it's going to crash the plane, and you nod solemnly and pretend to actually turn it off until she's out of sight.... More »

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