The Middle East needs to prepare to handle increased air traffic congestion over the next few years, especially in the Gulf region; however, forming a central body to coordinate the necessary changes and harmonization is proving difficult.
The FAA is due to issue a rule requiring a new approach to stall training for airline pilots that runs counter to previous guidance. According to Dr. Jeff Schroeder, the agency’s chief scientific and technical officer, the new approach will “take a lot of work to undo previous training because some pilots are ‘spring-loaded’ to the previous technique.”
Progress has proven slow–tediously slow–for Mitsubishi’s MRJ regional jet program during the two years between the 2011 Dubai Air Show and this one. In fact, program schedules reflect two separate year-and-a-half-long delays to certification since then, placing the company further from its elusive goal today than it thought it stood during the 2011 edition of the Middle East’s premier aerospace event.
The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive for the Embraer Phenom 300. The Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil, Brazil’s civil aviation authority, has issued an emergency AD stating cracks in the stator pressure plate of the brake assembly have been found that could lead to loss of brake parts on the runway, reduced braking capability and possible runway excursion. Corrective action requires an inspection for cracks, with repair or replacement as necessary.
The FAA issued a rule on November 5 specifically aimed at improving advanced pilot training for Part 121 pilots. The regulation is a direct result of a U.S. Congressional mandate following the 2009 crash of Colgan Flight 3407 near Buffalo, N.Y., in which the pilots first stalled and then lost control of the aircraft on approach.
The final version of a guide to teach pilot monitoring skills should be released by late spring next year, a member of the working group told an audience at the Flight Safety Foundation (FSF) international safety summit in Washington, D.C. Pilot monitoring deficiencies have been listed as a contributing factor in a number of accidents over the past decade.
The FAA published updates to the wake turbulence separation categories on October 22 for Louisville, Miami, Cincinnati, San Francisco, Atlanta and Philadelphia airports based on improved understanding of how wake vortices behave. Categories are now based on weight, certified approach speed and wing characteristics. Special consideration will be given to aircraft with limited ability to counteract adverse rolls.
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) issued an airworthiness directive requiring inspections and possibly modifications to the Airbus A380, stating that cracks discovered during fatigue testing could “reduce the structural integrity of the wing.”
Airservices Australia commissioned two new ground stations to support its national automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) network as the country’s first ADS-B mandate approaches. Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) requires that aircraft flying above 29,000 feet be fitted with ADS-B avionics by December 12.
It is a common perception among operators and maintenance facilities that trying to get approval criteria from the FAA for just about anything is a moving target that varies from region to region and even among inspectors. “Shopping around” to get the answer you want to hear has been common for as long as anyone can remember. Loosely defined criteria can present a serious safety hazard, and it’s widely recognized that they are a significant waste of time and money for both the applicant and the FAA.