Voluntary safety programs are based on trust. Can you trust the FAA? The short answer, when it comes to voluntarily reporting violations or voluntarily cooperating with an FAA investigation, is no. You absolutely cannot trust the FAA to look out for your interests, especially the interests of maintaining your certificate or livelihood.
Accidents, Safety, Security and Training
News about significant aircraft accidents and information from accident reports; information on safety procedures and concerns; crew, passenger, aircraft and airport security issues; and news about simulators and training procedures.
On April 9, the NTSB held a public meeting to discuss the crash of a LifeNet helicopter in Mosby, Mo., on Aug. 26, 2011. The Eurocopter AS350B2 ran out of fuel, according to the NTSB, and the pilot failed “to successfully enter an autorotation when the engine lost power due to fuel exhaustion.” What the pilot did not do, the Board explained, is move the cyclic control aft when the engine failed.
Before the 9/11 attacks in 2001, a one-mile bubble of airspace used to follow the U.S. President around, theoretically protecting him and his entourage from airborne threats. That bubble has grown to a 10-nm diameter ring surrounded by a 30-nm restricted zone, raising a key question: Is the risk of an attack now that much greater than it was before 9/11?
An RAA-sponsored study into the fatigue effects of multi-segment flight operations has reached the end of its third and final stage, involving the development of so-called fatigue risk management systems (FRMS).
From May 2, the FAA will start publishing new instrument approach plates that include an enlarged segment of airspace to protect aircraft during circling approaches. The new airspace also offers pilots additional obstacle clearance while considering their MSL altitude above the MDA, which affects true airspeed.
The boundaries of protected airspace for circling approaches are defined by arcs drawn from the threshold of each runway at an airport. The larger the aircraft, the larger the arc.
Flight operations specialist François Lassale, managing director of Vortex FSM, has cast doubt on the wisdom of pilots’ depending on iPads in the cockpit. “Some operators are so caught up in iPad fever they’re not thinking about the complexities the units add to flight operations when they’re used in the cockpit,” he told AIN.
The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has approved both an RNP approach to an ILS and an RNP AR (authorization required) approach for Zhangjiajie Airport (ZDGY) in southeastern China to help increase its capacity. Surrounded by rugged mountainous terrain, the airport sits in the middle of what the country’s Civil Air Navigation Services Organization (Canso) calls “complex airspace that limits operations at peak hours for both inbound and outbound traffic.”
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has agreed to pay the FAA $3.5 million in fines for numerous violations of airport rescue and fire fighting (ARFF) standards that occurred between December 2010 and June 2012 at John F. Kennedy (JFK), Teterboro (TEB), La Guardia (LGA) and Newark (EWR) airports.
August 2 is the implementation date for the new Part 121 regulation that requires all cockpit crewmembers to hold a Part 61-issued ATP certificate. That also means those airmen must have a first-class medical certificate if they intend to exercise the privileges of that ATP certificate. The FAA emphasizes that P.L. 111-216 does not include any grandfathering provisions for current flight-crew members who currently hold commercial pilot certificates.
After less than a week of massive air traffic delays across the U.S., the Senate and the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly last week to give the FAA the flexibility to move money around its budget from lower-priority items to more necessary areas like funding that returns all of the nation’s air traffic controllers to duty. The legislation is also expected to return funding to the agency’s contract tower program through the end of September. The Senate vote on the legislation was unanimous, while in the House the vote was 361 for and 41 against.