FAA Delays Helicopter Safety Rule Deadline

 - April 22, 2014, 2:55 PM

The FAA said yesterday that it will delay by one year the April 22, 2014, compliance deadline to implement pilot training and qualification, airspace and other operational provisions in the new helicopter safety rule. Other implementation deadlines in the Helicopter Air Ambulance, Commercial Helicopter and Part 91 Helicopter Operations final rule, released on February 20, governing operational control centers (2016) mandatory equipment including radar altimeters and HTaws and mandatory instrument ratings for Part 135 pilots in command (2017), and flight data monitoring systems (2018) remain unchanged.

The FAA said the original deadline did not give stakeholders and the agency “sufficient time to prepare” and was “contrary to the public interest.” The agency pointed out that the deadline could have forced some Part 135 operators to shut down and created confusion for some Part 91 operations.

Specific problem areas identified included new flight competency checks governing knowledge of flat-light, whiteout and brownout conditions and the ability to demonstrate recovery from encounters with inadvertent IMC.