Authorities say Desgroux unexpectedly had a charter helicopter pilot land on a soccer field last November at the sprawling corporate campus of SAS Institute in Cary. Wearing a military uniform, Desgroux told a security officer he was there to pick up a female employee for a classified briefing authorized by the president, according to federal agents.
When NASA's Ingenuity helicopter completed its third flight in April, its ground team met the last of the three objectives needed to call the technology demo project a success. That's why for its fourth test flight, the Ingenuity team wants to push the machine's performance envelope on Mars by flying farther over more rocks and craters and going faster than it ever had. It's going to happen sooner than later, as well: NASA has announced that the helicopter's fourth flight is scheduled to take off on April 29th at 10:12 AM Eastern time. The Ingenuity team completed its first objective six years ago when it demonstrated that the helicopter can fly inside a JPL chamber. When Ingenuity flew for the first time on Mars back in April, the team met its second objective.
Skyryse, an autonomous helicopter startup, unveiled the technology stack that it says will enable future fleets of air taxis to fly themselves over cities. It also released footage from a demonstration flight of one of its autonomous helicopters from earlier this year. The Hawthorne, California-based company is one of many with dreams of flocks of air taxis whizzing above cities in the near future. But rather than expend a lot of energy trying to build an electric-powered vehicle from the ground up, Skyryse is using regular helicopters as a platform to demonstrate its autonomous technology. Skyryse released a video depicting a modified Robinson R-44, a Federal Aviation Administration-approved helicopter, flying itself with two pilots inside as backup.
One co-conspirator told investigators the group made about six smuggling flights a month with one of the leased helicopters, with each flight hauling up to 600 pounds (272 kilograms) of marijuana. Martin would hire pilots to make the runs, typically paying them about $50,000 per round trip, as well as other workers who would help load and unload the helicopters.
The 2010 emergency landing happened during a training flight in southwest Virginia, according to a report from the National Transportation Safety Board. The crew heard a "very loud growl" before the helicopter made the hard landing about seven minutes into the flight, according to the report, which was first publicized by The Richmond Times-Dispatch and later reviewed by The Associated Press. It bounced once before coming to rest, resulting in "substantial damage," the report said.