The FAA issued a final rule on multiengine turbine airplane extended operations (ETOPS) that allows operators of commercial aircraft–now including Part 135–to fly virtually anywhere, provided the aircraft is capable of protecting passengers and flight crew during an emergency diversion of any length.
The FAA and the Park Service have taken some steps to implement the National Parks Air Tour Management Act, but nearly six years after its passage, “the required air-tour management plans have not been completed,” according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office.
Tomorrow is the deadline on the second of two notices of proposed rulemaking to ease fuel-spill prevention, control and containment (SPCC) rules for fuel trucks and fuel farms. Under the proposal, fuel suppliers will no longer be required to have “sized secondary containment,” removing the mandate that fuel trucks must be parked in special containment or “bermed” areas when not in service.
NBC Sports chairman Dick Ebersol, one of three who survived the Nov. 28, 2004, crash of a chartered Challenger 600 at Montrose, Colo., said he saw “chunks of slush” sliding off the cabin roof and across his window while the twinjet was taxiing for takeoff, according to the recently released NTSB factual report. The Air Castle-operated aircraft crashed on takeoff, killing Ebersol’s son, the pilot and the flight attendant.
The NTSB has sent an “urgent safety recommendation” asking the FAA to prohibit airlines from using credit for the use of thrust reversers when calculating landing distances. Although the recommendation would prohibit reverser credit on all runways, “its practical effect would be felt on planned landings only on contaminated runways, which is when the credit is included in stopping-distance calculations,” the Safety Board said.
A Tri-Coastal Airlines Swearingen SA-226TC (N629EK) crashed in a “nose-down, near-vertical attitude” near Paris, Tenn., while on a cargo flight from Dayton, Ohio, to Harlingen, Texas, on February 8. The sole-occupant pilot was killed. According to the NTSB, the pilot asked ATC if he could make a 360-degree turn to the left while the turboprop twin was in cruise flight at 16,000 feet.
Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm recently signed legislation that exempts the sales tax on aircraft parts installations performed in the state for customers who do not reside or base their aircraft in Michigan. The new law also provides a waiver from taxes associated with purchasing an aircraft in Michigan by buyers who do not live or keep their aircraft in the state.
More stringent training requirements for pilots of Mitsubishi MU-2Bs have been recommended by an FAA Flight Standardization Board (FSB) report, but they stop short of mandating a type rating for the turboprop twin. The report follows a safety review initiated by the agency last year following a series of MU-2B accidents.
Fourteen aviation trade groups signed aletter to the heads of the Senate foreign relations committee asking for quick action to name Donald Bliss as the next U.S. representative to the International Civil Aviation Organization, a position that has been vacant since Edward Stimpson stepped down last fall.
The general aviation industry in 2005 reached an all-time record for billings and a four-year high in new turbine airplane deliveries. According to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, billings of $15.1 billion on the shipment of 3,580 piston and turbine airplanes last year was a 27.2-percent increase from the $11.9 billion on the shipment of 2,963 airplanes in 2004.