FlightSafety International (FSI) has added two companies to its Extended Advantage program, which provides FlightSafety customers with special access and pricing for partner company products. The new companies are Aeronautical Data Systems (ADS), which makes a bundle of oxygen- and fuel-management programs, and ForeFlight, developer of the ForeFlight Mobile iPad app.
By the time hypoxia is detected, it’s often too late, and the higher the cabin altitude, the less time pilots have to realize that they need to don oxygen masks.
There is a new way for pilots to get the oxygen needed for high-altitude unpressurized flying, Zodiac Aerospace’s Infiniox onboard oxygen-generation system (Obogs), and visitors to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh can see the system installed in a Cessna 206. This is the first time that Zodiac has displayed the Obogs installed in an airplane, and the 206 is parked at Zodiac’s exhibit (127) near Hangar D. Zodiac is also demonstrating its General aviation crew mask oxygen mask, also targeting the unpressurized single- and twin-engine market.
The FAA is cautioning cabin and cockpit crewmembers to guard against passengers attempting to bring personal oxygen bottles on board an aircraft. Contained O2 is considered a hazardous material both as a non-flammable gas and an oxidizer.
Part 121 and 135 regulations do allow air carriers to provide passengers with onboard compressed oxygen for personal use, provided they follow guidelines in their FAA-approved aircraft maintenance manual. However, these carriers are not allowed to permit passengers to bring their own oxygen tanks aboard.
When oxygen is required, nothing else will do. The new Avia Pulse DE series emergency portable pulse oxygen system from Avia Technique is one answer.
Introduced at AIX last month, the system is “a major improvement over everything that has come before,” according to the Berkshire, UK-based company that developed it.
LouElla Hollingsworth, a veteran air traffic controller with 29 years’ experience, saved the pilot of a Piaggio Avanti when she recognized signs of hypoxia in his radio transmissions on November 16 last year. Thanks to Hollingsworth’s quick thinking as a Fort Worth Center controller in Texas, she convinced the pilot to descend to a lower altitude where the oxygen level was suitable for breathing.
It’s a simple concept: if you can flight plan a higher altitude to use during an overwater emergency, then you might not need as much extra fuel to reach an alternate airport. Most airlines and business jet operators flight plan for an emergency altitude of 10,000 feet, because supplemental oxygen isn’t needed at that altitude, when flying from the equal-time point to an alternate airport.
The U.S. Air Force will gradually lift flight restrictions placed on its Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor fleet in response to unexplained incidents of hypoxia, or oxygen deprivation, experienced by pilots dating as far back as 2008.
The FAA has issued an airworthiness directive for certain Bombardier Challenger 300s as a result of reports of deformation found at the neck of the pressure regulator body on the oxygen cylinder and regulator assembly (CRA). It requires an inspection to determine if a specified oxygen CRA is installed and to replace affected oxygen CRAs.
In February 2011 the FAA issued an Airworthiness Directive calling for removal of chemical oxygen generators from airplane lavatories, or emptying the generator and restowing the masks. (By the way, no one told the passengers that there was no longer any supplemental oxygen supply in the bathrooms.) While security wasn’t mentioned in the AD, apparently there was a safety problem. Or as the FAA so confoundingly put it in the new final rule, which rescinds the 2011 AD, “This AD was prompted by reports that the current design of the oxygen generators presents a hazard that could jeopardize flight safety. We are issuing this AD to eliminate a hazard that could jeopardize flight safety and to ensure that all lavatories have a supplemental oxygen supply.”
- Page 1