Aviation Minute – April 2013

1. NASA reports that, if it detects a large asteroid capable of wiping out humans headed for earth, there are no plans to launch Bruce Willis into space to blow it up.

2. In a scene from “Catch Me If You Can,” a 61-year old French citizen masquerading as an Air France pilot tried to hitch a ride in the jump seat of a US Airways flight from Philadelphia to West Palm Beach, Florida. Wearing an Air France shirt and carrying an Air France bag, he presented a ticket to the gate agent and then asked if there were any first class seats available that he could take as a professional courtesy. When the gate agent told him there were none, he stated something about how much he hated Americans and then walked on the plane and into the cabin. Suspicions were raised when he had trouble opening the jump seat.

3. United Airlines plans to resume flights of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner on May 31. It has been grounded for several months due to a problem with overheating of batteries.

4. Last month I stated that drones were the up and coming thing, and that I expected to be able to report news on them every month. Not much news this month. Codepink, an anti-war group, plans to fly a drone over the home of the CEO of General Atomics, maker of the Predator drones.

5. CAP news. Currently there is no command specialty track for seniors. There is a command code to designate those in command positions. That will change this month with implementation of the Command Specialty Training Track. Some observations: Training is heavily based on a mentoring program. Being assigned to a command position is not a prerequisite to enter the track. Nor, as best I can tell, it is not necessary to be enrolled in the track to be assigned a command position. Of interest to some, you may be able to “jump-start” ratings on the Command Track based on command experience. For example, those who served at least 1 year as a squadron CC or Deputy Commander prior to 30 Apr 2013 may be awarded the Technician rating. That experience plus at least one year as a CC or CV at the group or higher level can be awarded the Senior rating. Those qualifying have until March 31, 2014 to apply for a rating through the jump-start provisions. Go to www.capmembers.com/media/cms/P222_95366131D292D.pdf for more details.