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 1978 Piper Archer II, John is an FAA-certified flight instructor, instrument instructor, multi-engine rated commercial pilot, and former NASA engineer who specialized in avionics and control systems for Earth-orbiting satellites, including the Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer and Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer.

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 before joining Aviation Week in 2012.

He, his wife, and two high school-aged boys live in the wilds of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, where their two Weimaraners, EZ and Porter, can run amok. 

Tail wreckage of Flight TK6491.
Russia Asks For 747 Autopilot Changes Following Crash 
Pilot error, controller oversight shortcomings and a potentially confusing or potentially dangerous autopilot mode are key takeaways from a preliminary report on the January crash of an ACT Airlines Boeing 747-400 freighter.
Electronics Ban Highlights Safety Versus Security Trade-offs  4
By requiring laptops and other devices with lithium-ion batteries to be put in cargo holds, the Homeland Security Department may be setting up a “perfect storm” of conditions that could lead to an uncontrollable fire.
SmartSky Set For Network Buildout Sprint 
Critics said it couldn’t be done, but SmartSky has proven how to make use of unlicensed spectrum to provide aircraft with 4G connectivity that’s down to Earth.
Podcast: Electronics Ban Could Cost Gulf Carriers 8
Aviation Week editors discuss whether the electronics ban will actually accomplish its security goals and how the new rules could cost the Persian Gulf airlines business traffic.
Elevator Malfunctions In MD-83’s Rejected Takeoff  72
Ameristar Jet Charter pilots attempting to takeoff March 8 from the Willow Run Airport in Michigan were not able to lift the nose of the aircraft at the 152-kt. takeoff speed, due to a jammed right elevator.
Does Security Trump Safety In DHS Electronics Ban?  52
Travelers could see an increased risk from lithium battery-ignited fires in the cargo holds of their aircraft, according to two battery and aircraft safety experts.
Hawker Hunter T7
Podcast: Can Airshow and Demonstration Flights Be Made Safer? 61
Aviation Week pilots explore why things sometimes go wrong at airshows and what can be done to improve safety.
LoPresti HID Lights To Illuminate Air Transports 
LoPresti Aviation is in the process of certifying a landing light system for the Boeing 737 family of aircraft, marking the company’s first attempt to compete in supplemental type certificate market for mainline single-aisle aircraft.
SmartSky Readies For Abundance Of Apps 
Nascent 4G air-to-ground connectivity provider SmartSky Networks plans to have the beta version of its new Skytelligence applications development platform up and running in April.
Training Programs Target Airbus Upsets 
Aviation Performance Solutions, a provider of upset prevention and recovery training, has launched two Airbus-specific UPRT programs to counter the continued threat of loss of control inflight accidents.
Embry-Riddle Designs Tailsitting VTOL UAS for Spinoff Heurobotics  2
New vertical-takeoff-and-landing drone has twin rotor systems to provide full-authority control in rotary-wing mode, and a swept wing to provide speed and range in fixed-wing mode.
Heurobotics Advances Adaptive Control VTOL Drone 
The VTOL UAVs feature adaptive control systems that allow for one continuous control mode independent of flight regime.
Aireon Surveillance Payloads See First ADS-B Traffic  3
Ten down, 65 to go: Aireon has successful power-up and aircraft tracking for its first batch of satellite-based surveillance satellites.
Shaky Start For Sikorsky M28 Demo Tour  39
An altitude violation and lack of situational awareness during a demonstration flight at Dallas/Fort Worth marred what otherwise should have been the celebratory relaunch tour of a relatively unknown Sikorsky twin turboprop aircraft, the M28.
Bell Channels Eurocopter Of Old In FC-X Demo Cockpit 
After talk of a no-cockpit helicopter, Bell Helicopter is taking a more measured approach with its possible future architectures for a 12-passenger medium twin.
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