The Qantas Sale Amendment Bill, which serves to repeal part of the Qantas Act and effectively removes restrictions on foreign ownership and stipulations affecting Qantas’ business operations, passed Australia’s Lower House of Federal Parliament on Thursday by a vote of 83 to 53.
The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), in collaboration with the FBI and the FAA, on February 11 launched a 12-city public awareness campaign about the safety issues surrounding laser attacks on aircraft cockpits. Reports of aircraft laser illuminations in the U.S. have increased sharply over the past few years–to 3,960 last year from 2,836 in 2010.
The FAA released a safety alert for operators (Safo) last week for the Cessna Citation 500 reminding pilots to observe the Citation’s operating limitations by ensuring aileron trim is properly set before takeoff. The Safo also highlights the need to avoid excessive use of trim in flight. A Citation 500 operated under Part 135 rules crashed in 2007 shortly after takeoff, killing the two pilots and four passengers.
Last week’s NBAA Flight Plan podcast offered aircraft operators headed for the Sochi Winter Olympics in Russia a number of safety tips made even more important now that numerous security threats have surfaced. Some of the most valuable tips include what some might see as obvious reminders, such as having the right visa upon arrival. NBAA is also warning visitors to carry proper identification at all times, to keep a low profile while within the country and to tanker fuel when possible.
The January 9 decision by Moody’s Investor Service to downgrade the credit rating of Qantas Airways to Ba2 (from Baa3) has prompted fresh calls for the Australian government to provide emergency debt guarantees for the country’s flag carrier.
Night vision solutions provider Night Flight Concepts has released an infographic to teach pilots how to properly prepare for and defend against laser strikes. “As the annual number of laser strikes on aircraft increases, the topic of laser strike readiness [for aircrew] is becoming more pressing,” the company said. Night Flight’s infographic helps arm pilot with the tools they need to “identify, prepare for and recover from laser strikes.”
The U.S. Navy is upgrading the communications network on its E-6B Mercury airborne command post to provide the battle staff on board with faster, more reliable access to both classified and unclassified information. The service recently received the third fleet E-6B outfitted with the Internet protocol bandwidth expansion (IPBE) upgrade.
In a new safety alert for operators (SAFO), the FAA reminds pilots not to depend upon cockpit technology as the primary means to control the aircraft in all situations.
“A recent analysis of flight operations data (including normal flight operations, incidents and accidents) identified an increase in manual handling errors,” said the SAFO, issued on January 4.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau is trying to understand how a military air traffic controller allowed a Qantas-Link Boeing 717 inbound to Darwin carrying 115 passengers to fly through the altitude of a Qantas Boeing 737 that just departed that same airport with 155 people on board. Darwin is a joint-use military/civilian airport. The 717’s Tcas system alerted the crew to the other aircraft, which the pilot reported passed about 800 feet beneath him. That same captain said the other aircraft looked as if it had passed much closer to his 717 than 800 feet.
Night Flight Concepts (NFC) is offering laser defense training online. The one-hour course is available to law enforcement and other first responders for $95 and to other students for $125 through the company’s website: www.nightflightconcepts.com. Upon finishing the course, students take an online quiz and can print a certificate of completion.
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