John Croft

John Croft
Senior Avionics & Safety Editor,
Aviation Week & Space Technology

Based in Washington, John is Aviation Week’s senior editor for avionics and safety. Along with being a part-owner of a 1977 Piper Archer II, John is an FAA-certified flight instructor and former NASA engineer who specialized in avionics and control systems for Earth-orbiting satellites.
After leaving NASA in 2000, he earned a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Maryland and went to work for several aerospace publications, most recently with Flight International as Americas Editor.

ADS-B Retrofit Market Heats Up 5
Competition is driving ADS-B prices down, but installation complexities continue to dominate costs.
Watchdog: Inadequate FAA Oversight Leaves Airlines Hazardous Cargo Violations In Limbo

A government watchdog has found that some U.S. carriers did not face penalties after violating rules by carrying dangerous goods on passenger aircraft, even though the FAA did not verify that corrections had been made afterward, a quid pro quo for the protection. 

Podcast: How Do We Keep Pilots From Crashing Planes? 3
Aviation has become technically safer and safer. Is it now time to address the pilot as a safety concern?
Germanwings Crash: Can Single-Pilot Operations Combat An Uncooperative Cockpit? 10
NASA and industry are making progress on the human factors aspects of a long-distance relationship between two pilots flying an airliner – one in the air and one on the ground.
Pilot-Proofing Cockpits Takes Center Stage 52
Germanwings crash could spur a revival of technology solutions to scuttle deliberate pilot, passenger actions to down an aircraft.
German Investigators Cast Wider Net For Frozen AOA Sensors In Pamplona Dive Incident 9
Investigators studying the cause of an uncommanded pitch-down of a Lufthansa Airbus A321-200 near Pamplona, Spain, in November 2014, hope to discover the probability of similar events linked to frozen angle-of-attack sensors as the investigation continues.
U.K. NATS To Continue ‘Procedural Changes,’ Drawing Noise Complaints 
The issue emerged late last year when a 3.5-month test of new performance-based navigation (PBN) procedures for eastbound departures was completed.
DOT Cautions Airlines To Monitor Codeshare Partners On Conflict Zones 
The action is the result of the FAA’s “growing concerns about regional conflict zones around the world,” the DOT says.
Engineering Judgment Key In 757 Forced Landing In Antarctica 18
The Scout motto, “Be Prepared,” came in handy for the pilots of a Boeing 757 flying scientists from Christchurch to Pegasus Field in Antarctica when fog forced a landing at well below instrument minimums.
More Stakeholders Call For FAA Air Traffic Services Privatization 


A NextGen working group formed under the auspices of nonprofit think tank Eno Center for Transportation has joined those advocating for a recasting of the FAA’s responsibilities as part of a multi-year reauthorization bill being crafted by House lawmakers. 

FAA’s current four-year authorization expires on Sept. 30.

FAA Asks Airlines For ‘Committed-To-Stop Point’ For Landings 
The request, delivered in an Information for Operators (InFO) note published Mar. 13, calls for airline, air taxi and fractional operators as well as their training managers and pilots to develop the procedures using approved performance data for the aircraft and manufacturers procedures: “(The procedures) should be part of the approach briefing and adopted in initial and recurrent training, the operator’s SOPs, flight operations manual and crew resource management-training programs.”
Can Global Surveillance Be Crowd-Sourced? 3
With more than 6,200 receivers in place around the populated portions of the world, Flightradar24 will now turn to the oceans to give the nascent surveillance provider more visibility of long-haul routes.
Hamburg Incident Highlights Dangers Of Ignoring ILS ‘Critical Areas’ 
The pilots recovered to normal flight before returning for a non-eventful landing. Interfering with the glideslope transmitter was a Boeing 737 that had landed on a different runway and was waiting to cross Runway 23 to reach the terminal.
Perth Deploys Technology, Operational Changes Following Vehicle Incursion
Operators of Australia’s Perth Airport have implemented seven safety upgrades in the wake of a serious incursion between an airport car performing a routine runway inspection and a QantasLink Boeing 717 that was landing there in rain and low visibility after an instrument approach in July 2014.
Apr 25, 2015

Saturday's Progress 57 Space Station Departure Paves the Way for new Russian Re-supply Mission

Progress 59 is scheduled to lift off from Baikonur on Tuesday at 3:09 a.m., EDT, initiating a four orbit, six hour sprint to the International Space Station with three tons of supplies...More
Apr 24, 2015

Airbus A380 Makes First Flight (2005) 1

The Airbus A380 made its first flight on April 27, 2005. The story since has been full of ups and downs. See our original coverage from 2005....More
Apr 23, 2015

Airbus, Boeing Delivering Aircraft At The Last Minute? 1

An analysis of Airbus' and Boeing's delivery data from Aviation Week Intelligence Network's Fleet database reveals that both Airbus and Boeing tend to deliver a majority of their aircraft during the second half of each month....More
Apr 21, 2015

Astronaut Scott Kelly Paces Start to ISS Marathon Mission, Chance to Sip Espresso

"We definitely look forward to the espresso machine," astronaut Scott Kelly, NASA's ISS marathoner, told Russia Today. "I know a lot of people are interested in it."...More
Apr 15, 2015

Briny Water May Challenge Future Mars Spacecraft Design

"These finding have implications for planetary protection policies for future landed spacecraft," according to the Nature Geoscience report. "Cl-bearing brines are very corrosive and this may have implications on spacecraft design and surface operations."...More

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