The FAA’s updated Advisory Circular AC 120-61B provides information to help air carriers augment–but not alter or amend–existing programs to inform crew members about radiation exposure. The AC explains the differences between the natural sources of radiation in the atmosphere as well as the average annual exposure a human experiences from those sources.
Foodborne illness is a growing concern in the U.S., and one that flight departments and FBOs should take seriously. According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are approximately 48 million cases each year in the U.S., 128,000 of them severe enough to require hospitalization, 3,000 of them fatal. Travel medical services provider MedAire notes that gastrointestinal illness accounts for the largest percentage of calls from its private aviation customers, with 77 percent of them regarding passengers.
Following a number of recent helicopter accidents, Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) last month issued a notice of proposed rule-making aimed at improving the safety of helicopter external sling load and winching and rappelling operations. Winching and rappelling is generally associated with emergencies and, as a result, carries greater inherent risk than other helicopter operations, says the CASA. Such operations are also time-sensitive and are often conducted under challenging environmental conditions.
Safe Flight Instrument introduced its new Icing Conditions Detector (ICD) today at EBACE. The patented optical ICD provides an alert that icing conditions exist before ice can accrete on the aircraft. Composed of a single line-replaceable unit, the system is intended for operation in all modes of flight, according to Safe Flight. The system, currently under evaluation in a variety of airframe types, provides an instantaneous warning when icing conditions are present before ice accretion has an opportunity to reduce aircraft performance and controllability.
Argus added an aviation fatigue meter, a “proprietary algorithm and system that translates raw user data into actionable fatigue information” developed by Pulsar Informatics, into its Prism Armor safety management system (SMS) software. Argus said that users will be able to monitor and analyze crew fatigue more accurately and make more informed decisions.
Responding to concerns raised by NBAA, AOPA and other aviation groups, the FAA announced yesterday that it drafted new guidelines for dealing with pilots at risk of having obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Under the revised draft guidelines, pilots will no longer be disqualified on the basis of body mass index (BMI) alone–a reversal from the FAA’s initial proposal in November–and they will be issued medical certificates even if they are referred for additional evaluation.
Howard Ragsdale, senior vice president of business development for Denver-based Air Methods and this year’s winner of the Airbus Helicopters Golden Hour Award, has spent most of his aviation career in air medical operations. Along with Archie Gray, senior vice president of aviation services, he is one of two long-time employees of Air Methods to receive an HAI Salute to Excellence Award this year. The “Golden Hour,” of course, refers to the period of time after a person has been severely injured during which, if given medical care, he or she has the greatest chance of survival.
Safe Flight (Booth No. 2516) introduced its upgraded digital powerline detection system (DPDS) and provided an update about ongoing development of its icing conditions detector (ICD) at Heli-Expo 2014.
The DPDS adds a digital signal processor to Safe Flight’s previous analog system, allowing the detection of both 60Hz and 50Hz frequencies produced by power lines around the world. Safe Flight director of government and military sales Greg Hilewitz noted testing on an AS355 showed the DPDS detected a 22,000-volt line at more than one statute mile distant.
NBAA welcomed passage by the House of Representatives of H.R.3578, which compels the FAA to establish a rulemaking process before implementing any mandatory pilot-screening requirement for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) as a condition for getting a medical certificate. In November, the FAA announced a plan to begin requiring OSA screening for pilots with a body mass index of 40 or greater. “The business aviation community thanks lawmakers for passing this measure seeking a fully transparent process for any consideration of OSA screening,” said NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen.
U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and James Inhofe (R-Okla.) have introduced legislation–S.1941–to require the FAA to follow the established rulemaking process as the agency tries to implement its obstructive sleep apnea screening rule. Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska), an original cosponsor of the bill, is a member of the Senate general aviation caucus, along with Manchin and Inhofe.
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