The NTSB issued a number of recommendations on May 1–one urgent–to address the compliance and safety programs in place at and FAA oversight of operators owned by HoTH, including Hageland Aviation Services; Frontier Flying Service; and Era Aviation, which may do business as Ravn Alaska, Ravn Connect and Corvus Airlines. The Safety Board took the action in light of six recent accidents and one incident involving the carriers.
Unconfirmed reports have surfaced that claim a military U-2 high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft operating far above civilian airways might have been responsible for an April 30 computer failure at the FAA’s Los Angeles Center. Both the center’s primary and backup radar computer systems failed at the same time, causing nationwide air-traffic backups into and out of Southern California. Some believe the U-2’s ultra-high altitude might have confused the ATC computers.
The FAA aims to delegate authority to the six national unmanned aircraft system (UAS) test ranges it has chosen to issue their own experimental airworthiness certificates to manufacturers to test fly aircraft. The North Dakota test range, which planned to begin operations this week as the first range to receive an FAA certificate of authorization (COA), expects to eventually have two designated airworthiness representatives.
Within Six Months
May 16, 2014:
Drug and Alcohol Testing of Certain Maintenance Provider Employees Located Outside the U.S.
The FAA released final versions of two important pieces of guidance: FAA Order 8110.42D Parts Manufacturer Approval Procedures, which cancels revision C; and FAA AC21.303-2 Application For Parts Manufacturer Approval Via Tests and Computations Or Identicality. Both have a direct effect on PMA producers.
A nonprofit search-and-rescue organization has asked a federal court to review an FAA order that it stop using a model aircraft to assist in its search efforts. Texas EquuSearch Mounted Search & Recovery, based in Dickinson, Texas, filed a petition for review of the order in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on April 21.
According to the latest data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), African aviation has made significant progress in safety with airlines on that continent experiencing only one Western-built jet hull loss last year. The Western-built jet hull loss rate improved 55.4 percent between 2013 and 2012, while the region’s accident rate for all aircraft types improved nearly 50 percent (7.45 accidents per million flights from 14.80 in 2012).
NetJets is preparing to launch its NetJets China business this summer, by which time it expects to receive Chinese government approval for an air operator certificate. It has also hired “key people” over the past few months in the run-up to the launch of NetJets’ Chinese joint-venture operation, NetJets Business Aviation, which initially will provide aircraft management services.
The FAA announced on April 9 that the aviation safety rating of the Philippines has been upgraded to category one from category two after the agency completed an international safety assessment last month. The Philippines’ safety rating was set to category two in 2008 for unspecified safety deficiencies.
Directional Capital’s Air Services subsidiary now provides hydrostatic services for oxygen bottles, nitrogen bottles and fire extinguishers. The company expanded its composite and accessory facility by 5,000 sq ft to house this new capability. Air Services has locations at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, Las Vegas International Airport and Birmingham International Airport.