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Airlander Deflates After Breaking Free

The Hybrid Air Vehicles Airlander broke free from its mooring mast at Cardington Airfield in England but a uniquely dramatic safety feature prevented it from running amok. Airlander reported on Saturday that after leaving its moorings, an onboard system ripped open the hull and deflated the enormous aircraft so it ended up crumpled on the edge of the airfield.

Source: avwebAirlander Deflates After Breaking Free

FAA Fields Prototype UAS Airspace Authorization System

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is evaluating a prototype system that the agency expects will ultimately provide near real-time processing of airspace authorization requests for unmanned aircraft (UAS) operators nationwide. The system is designed to automatically approve most requests to operate in specific areas of airspace below designated altitudes.

The FAA has deployed the Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability(LAANC) for drone operators at several air traffic facilities in an evaluation to see how well the prototype system functions and to address any issues that arise during testing. Two agency-approved companies, AirMap and Skyward, are currently providing LAANC services. During the evaluation, the FAA may sign agreements with additional providers who responded to the original request for information.

The prototype evaluation will last until next Spring. The FAA plans to launch a national Beta test shortly thereafter. The exact details of the test will be determined by the outcome of the prototype evaluation. The agency also plans to solicit participation from new industry partners at a later date.

Under the FAAs small drone rules formally known as Part 107 operators need to secure approval from the agency to operate in any airspace controlled by an air traffic facility. LAANC is the first application developed by industry in response to this operational need.

LAANC uses airspace data provided through the UAS facility maps The maps show the maximum altitude around airports where the FAA may authorize operations under Part 107. LAANC gives drone operators the ability to interact with the maps and provide automatic notification and authorization requests to the FAA.

LAANC is the first UAS tool that delivers drone information to air traffic control and is the first step in developing Unmanned Aircraft Systems Traffic Management System (UTM).

Check the FAAs UAS Data Exchange website frequently for updates and additional information.

Source: FAAFAA Fields Prototype UAS Airspace Authorization System

FAA Approves Drone to Restore Puerto Rico Cell Service

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) quickly approved the first unmanned aircraft operation of its kind to help restore cellular service in Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

The Flying COW (Cell on Wings) drone, developed by AT&T, functions like a cell tower in the sky, restoring voice, data and internet service. It flies up to 200 feet above the ground, covering an area of 40 square miles, and is particularly useful in remote areas.

The Pulse Vapor 55 drone, which resembles a miniature helicopter, is fitted with LTE radios and antennas and is tethered to ground-based electronics and power systems. Because the aircraft exceeded the 55-lb. weight limit required to operate under the FAAs small drone rule, the FAA had to issue a special exemption and an emergency certificate of authorization for AT&T to conduct its mission.

The company is using the drone as a temporary cell service solution while it rebuilds the permanent infrastructure on the island.

Source: FAAFAA Approves Drone to Restore Puerto Rico Cell Service

Garmin Pilot 9.1 adds new StreetMap layer and global winds aloft

Garmin released the latest version of their flagship EFB app for iPhone and iPad, adding a new Street Map layer, worldwide winds aloft on the map, expanded aircraft library and a new Connext devices status page. Here’s a quick look at each new feature and where to find it.


All the aviation apps on the market do a great job at displaying aviation charts and data, but one layer that has been missing is street maps. Garmin now includes this layer as a basemap option on the moving map, which will display a high-resolution detailed street map for an additional source of situational awareness. This can be useful for those flying low-altitude operations to help find landmarks or navigate by ground references.

You’ll need to first head over to the Downloads section of the app to download the new street maps. Go to the OpenStreetMap option in the Navigation & Basemaps section, and select the Worldwide Overview (low-resolution) map, and then choose the maps for individual states to download the high-resolution layers. This will allow you to view the detailed maps in the air without an internet connection.

Now, head back to the Map, and select the OpenStreetMap layer as an option from the Map/Chart menu to view the detailed maps.

Worldwide Gridded Winds

Garmin Pilot added gridded winds aloft forecast data, based on the Global Forecast System (GFS) weather model, to provide detailed coverage for the entire world. To view this data, you’ll need to head to Settings -> Data Services and enable the option for Worldwide Winds Aloft Coverage. Then, when you go to view the Winds Aloft on the moving map, you’ll see global forecast data.

Expanded Aircraft Library

The aircraft library has been expanded significantly to include new performance profiles, checklists and weight and balance data for Beechcraft, Cessna, Cirrus, Van’s aircraft and more. You can access the library from Checklists, Weight and Balance or from the Aircraft tab in Settings.

Connext Devices Page

Garmin Pilot is compatible with a wide-range of external devices, including the panel-mount Flight Stream system, Garmin transponders, portable GDL datalink weather receivers, Garmin Aera GPS, D2 Pilot watches, inReach navigator, Garmin VIRB cameras and more.

To help you see what devices are connected and the services they provide, Garmin added a new status page to show device connection status and available services (weather, music, GPS, ADS-B, etc.). You can find this page in the Connext section of the app, in the new menu option called “All Devices”.

Garmin Pilot is available as a free download in the app store, with annual subscriptions starting at $74.99

Source: Ipad appsGarmin Pilot 9.1 adds new StreetMap layer and global winds aloft

British Agency Partners with Drone Community to Promote Safety

England’s Civil Aviation Authority is teaming up with top drone manufacturers to promote safety at the grassroots level. As part of its DroneSafe campaign, the CAA presented the inaugural Share the Air community event last week at Compton Abbas airfield to educate consumer drone users about best UAV safety and operational practices. “Drones being the […]

The post British Agency Partners with Drone Community to Promote Safety appeared first on DRONELIFE.

Source: Quadcopter/Drone newsBritish Agency Partners with Drone Community to Promote Safety