The House aviation subcommittee cleared legislation yesterday that would force the FAA to follow established rulemaking processes before implementing a new requirement that some pilots be screened for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) before receiving a medical certificate. The bill, H.R. 3578, was introduced on November 21 by Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.), chairman of the Transportation Committee’s aviation subcommittee.
Recognizing the value of crew monitoring and cross checking skills, the industry is poised to roll out the first edition of a comprehensive training guide to teach pilot monitoring skills. At the Bombardier Safety Standdown, NTSB member Robert Sumwalt characterized “a lack of good cross checking and pilot monitoring skills” as one of the greatest threats we face today.” A former USAir pilot, Sumwalt said 20 percent of the errors his old airline experienced and some two thirds of the undesired aircraft states would never have occurred if the crews had been properly monitoring the aircraft.
An eruption of anger from pilots, air traffic controllers and aviation associations greeted the revelation by FAA Federal Air Surgeon Fred Tilton that pilots with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher will automatically be required to be evaluated for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
Delta Air Lines plans to begin distributing Microsoft Surface 2 tablet computers to its Boeing 757 and 767 pilots beginning in January. Pilots will use the computing device as an electronic flight bag (EFB) to store electronic charts and documents, reducing weight and improving workflow on the flight deck, the airline said. Delta joins other U.S. carriers that have incorporated tablet computers in their flight decks. Delta is the first major airline to select Microsoft’s Surface 2; other carriers, including United, Alaska and American, have selected the Apple iPad.
Aviation in the Middle East isn’t just growing, it’s booming–and women have every opportunity to join the ranks, according to the president of the Emirates chapter of Women in Aviation, International (WAI).
The FAA issued a rule on November 5 specifically aimed at improving advanced pilot training for Part 121 pilots. The regulation is a direct result of a U.S. Congressional mandate following the 2009 crash of Colgan Flight 3407 near Buffalo, N.Y., in which the pilots first stalled and then lost control of the aircraft on approach.
The pilots of US Airways regional subsidiary PSA Airlines ratified a letter of agreement in late September that grants them the right to fly thirty 76-seat Bombardier CRJ900s in return for several concessions in their Air Line Pilots Association collective bargaining agreement.
More than five weeks since the Bombardier CSeries FTV1 flew for the first time, the airplane has flown only two more times, taking its flight hour total to eight.
The National Business Aviation Association presents Pilot Flying Safety Awards each year to member company pilots who have exemplary safety records. To be eligible for an award, a pilot must have flown corporate aircraft 1,500 hours without an accident, but the actual number of safe hours flown by many of the 2012 top pilots are above 20,000 hours.
Jeppesen has begun development of FliteDeck Pro (for commercial operators) for Microsoft’s Windows 8/Surface tablet. Delta Air Lines is the launch customer and plans to equip its 11,000 pilots with Microsoft Surface 2 tablet computers as electronic flight bags, with Boeing 757 and 767 pilots scheduled to receive their units later this year and the rest next year. The Surface 2 tablets will run Jeppesen’s FliteDeck Pro and will be used for document viewing and checklists, replacing 38 pounds of paper per airplane and saving Delta $13 million a year in fuel and associated costs.
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