Operation Safe Pilot, an 18-month federal probe into “the misuse of Social Security numbers by pilots,” ended last month with the indictment of 40 pilots–some with commercial or ATP certificates–on fraud charges. During the investigation of 40,000 FAA-licensed pilots in northern California, federal agents identified numerous pilots with current medicals who were receiving disability benefit payments.
Under a notice of proposed rulemaking published today, the FAA is seeking comments on its intention to increase the duration of first-class and third-class medicals for airmen under the age of 40. Currently, the maximum validity of a first-class medical certificate is six months, regardless of age.
Southwest Nebraska will receive its first-ever air ambulance in May–a Bell 407 operated by MedStar. Under current arrangements, hospitals or EMS agencies have to summon airborne services that are based nearly 100 miles away. The new flight service will be permanently based at McCook, Neb.
FlightSafety International and the Mayo Clinic have teamed to develop a new training program for hypoxia awareness. Under the contract, FlightSafety will install Mayo-designed training equipment at some of its learning centers.
On October 30, Dr. Jan Galla opened an aviation medical examination office at the Jet Aviation facilities on Teterboro Airport. Galla, a cardiac surgeon for the past 20 years, decided to become an aviation medical examiner (AME) full-time after five years of offering airman medical exams in his spare time. Galla’s practice is solely for aviation medical exams, primarily for professional flight crews.
Traditionally, the term “safety standdown” refers to a temporary halt to military operations following a string of accidents. It is an opportunity to stop the frenetic pace of normal operations, take stock of what is and isn’t being done correctly and approach renewed operations with a greater degree of care and preparedness.
With the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) poised to raise the age limit for commercial pilots to 65 effective November 23, the FAA has convened an aviation rulemaking committee (ARC) to recommend whether the U.S. should adopt the same standard.
Flight nurse Joan Sullivan Garrett never envisioned herself as an entrepreneur and certainly never as the head of a multi-million-dollar company with global assets and Fortune 500 clients. But that’s the way it turned out, and 18 years after she founded it, her company–MedAire–is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange and was expected to bring in revenues of more than $25 million last year.
“We do many things for the industry throughout the year, but this is the one that makes me the most proud,” said James Hoblyn, v-p of Bombardier’s business aircraft division, during his opening remarks at the 2005 Safety Standdown held recently in Wichita. This year marked the Standdown’s ninth year, and the sixth year since it was opened to corporate pilots outside of Bombardier. “Safety Standdown continues to grow in size and reputation.
AirCare’s Facts program now offers hypoxia training at customers’ facilities. Instead of an altitude chamber, the Olympia, Wash. cabin safety and service training company uses a “reduced oxygen breathing device” to change the composition of the gas mixture inhaled to simulate altitudes up to 30,000 feet.