Having lost the first round of its attempt to fine Raphael Pirker for using a flying wing to take video, the FAA plans to issue a public notice reaffirming its authority to regulate the use of small unmanned aircraft. The agency is appealing a March ruling by a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) administrative law judge rejecting the $10,000 fine.
U.S. congressional leaders, addressing those attending the Unmanned Systems Conference in Orlando on Tuesday, said Congress will likely expedite provisions of the 2012 FAA Modernization and Reform Act that require the FAA to introduce unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into the nation’s airspace.
Audiences at aviation conferences possess important industry insights, but pilots are often reluctant to share some of that information publicly. Recognizing that fact and attempting to overcome audience resistance, François Lassale, CEO of Morrison, Colo.-based Vortex FSM and master of ceremonies at the Flight Safety Foundation’s business aviation safety summit (BASS) in San Diego, used the “Poll Everywhere” online software to anonymously gather useful safety information from the BASS audience and instantly project the results for the group to view.
With the Malaysian airliner disappearance still unsolved, the Flight Safety Foundation (FSF) has called for an international symposium on the current state of technology and the need to incorporate aircraft monitoring and communications systems to enhance location tracking.
Boeing likes to refer to “discipline” when it describes the approach it has taken with the 787-9, discipline in defining the firm configuration of the airplane and discipline related to the program’s engineering plan.
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has proposed amending requirements for underwater locating devices (ULDs) and cockpit voice recorders (CVRs) to substantially extend their transmission and recording times. The agency cited the March 8 disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 as justifying the changes, which it proposed last December.
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.
Sikorsky is proceeding with the second phase of flight-testing for its Sara demonstrator, an S-76 fitted with special equipment to expand operational automation.