A late September report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said the FAA is making progress in its policing of pilots’ medical certificates, but the chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure still has some reservations about the overall program.
Pilot certification in the United States
The National Business Aviation Association presents Pilot Flying Safety Awards each year to the member company pilots with 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 2007 top pilots, who have already received their awards, are much higher. The top recipient, George Thomsen, has logged 30,136.
The NTSB’s chief administrative law judge on September 3 ordered the FAA to pay $12,475 in attorney fees and expenses to two pilots, whom the Agency had accused of operating an unairworthy Learjet 60, and the FAA subsequently withdrew its suspension of the pilots’ airline transport pilot certificates.
The NTSB’s chief administrative law judge on September 3 ordered the FAA to pay $12,475 in attorney fees and expenses to two pilots, whom the Agency had accused of operating an unairworthy Learjet 60, and the FAA subsequently withdrew its suspension of the pilot’s airline transport pilot certificates.
If you get the feeling you’re just a number when it comes to getting your medical, you may be interested to know that the FAA issues 453,000 airman medicals every year. According to an FAA spokesman, the agency also processes 5,700 special issuances, responds to 87,600 written inquiries, answers 95,000 telephone inquiries and conducts 155,000 full reviews of medical records. But don’t be too quick to assume they’re an uncaring lot.
The New Jersey State Assembly deferred action on proposed legislation that would require security background checks of flight students. NBAA, AOPA and others argued that the legislation is illegal because it’s preempted by federal authority.
Virginia Aviation Wright Model B, Midland, Va., May 19, 2003–At 8:20 p.m. EDT an airline transport pilot of the homebuilt Wright Model B (N1911K), was seriously injured and the aircraft substantially damaged when it struck trees while maneuvering at Horse Feathers Airport, Midland, Va. The accident occurred in VMC.
Three new scholarships are now available through Women in Aviation. Sporty’s Foundation is offering two $5,000 recreational pilot flight training scholarships for WAI members who are small aircraft maintenance technicians, and a $1,000 scholarship has been established in memory of Flo Irwin, who co-founded Aircraft Spruce and Specialty.
Twenty years ago owner-pilots of high-performance airplanes often supplemented their flying skills by offering the right seat of the airplane to a young CFI whose role was to help keep the left-seat aviator out of trouble. That usually meant working the radios, stowing the charts and generally acting as another set of eyes and hands when the weather was bad or the traffic was dense.
Part of the certification process of a new aircraft design is completing hundreds of tests to hit thousands of data points for both flight and ground tests. To reduce the time required to complete these tests, OEMs usually dedicate a fleet of aircraft for the certification testing.