Months before the FAA began its short-lived policy of furloughing air traffic controllers and making plans to close 149 low-activity ATC towers, the agency was making dire forecasts about how the plan would affect various facets of the
Federal Aviation Administration
Congressman Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.), whose district includes Wichita, has introduced a House bill to implement changes in the certification process for light general aviation aircraft. H.R.1848, the “Small Airplane Revitalization Act of 2013,” has already been referred to the House aviation subcommittee for further legislative action.
In the space of less than 24 hours in late April, Congress passed a bill that staved off air traffic controller furloughs and produced “found” money to keep low-activity contract control towers operating. With lawmakers eying another vacation that would officially begin on April 27 and end on May 5, the Senate passed a measure on the night of April 25 that would prevent furloughs of essential FAA employees, including air traffic controllers.
Everyone in general aviation (GA) seems happy that the U.S. Senate has introduced a bill to force the FAA to simplify Part 23 certification regulations, the Small Aircraft Revitalization Act of 2013 (S.1072) introduced by senators Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska). According to NBAA, this bill and another introduced in the House of Representatives “would set a date for implementation of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Part 23 Reorganization Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) recommendations to adopt consensus-based, design-specific performance requirements to achieve FAA certification.”
The FAA is proposing to supersede an airworthiness directive for the Sikorsky S-64E (type certificate currently held by Erickson Air-Crane). It requires inspecting and reworking the main gearbox second-stage lower planetary plate.
The Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS), launched in 1976 by NASA and the FAA, was developed to identify deficiencies and discrepancies in the National Airspace System as well as provide planning data for future system improvements. To date, the ASRS process has produced nearly one million safety reports.
Doha, Qatar-based charter operator Rizon Jet has announced that it has received FAA Part 129 certification for foreign air carriers, thus permitting unrestricted commercial operations into and within the U.S. Rizon Jet CEO Hassan Al-Mousawi noted that applying for the certification was a response to “an increasing customer demand for transatlantic flights.” Rizon Jet has additional operating bases in the Middle East and the UK.
Student pilot Michael Graham pleaded guilty in a North Carolina U.S. District Court on May 6 to falsifying statements in connection with his submission of an FAA medical form to obtain his student pilot certificate. According to an FAA statement, Graham did not disclose his criminal or medical history or current medications on his application for an airman medical certificate, which an aviation medical examiner subsequently approved. The FAA was notified after his flight instructor became concerned about Graham’s behavior.
The FAA approved an automated rig approach for offshore operators on the Sikorsky S-92, offering new functionality for the medium-twin helicopter. The system is said to “reduce cockpit workload by 60 percent” and allow safer operations under challenging weather and operating conditions. Sikorsky has been developing the “rig approach” system since 2007 in cooperation with operator PHI.
Aviation Partners has issued a Service Bulletin for the Hawker Beechcraft/BAE 125 Series 800A/B, C-29A, Hawker 800 and Hawker 800XP. The Service Bulletin provides instructions to reduce the maximum permissible altitude to FL340 from FL410. The altitude limitation is implemented by an Airplane Flight Manual limitation and placards installed on the instrument panel.
Aviation Partners and the FAA consider this Service Bulletin to be a safety-related limitation until a design change to preclude the oscillations is developed and FAA approved.