The Department of Transportation’s recent requirement for first officers to have 1,500 hours is taking its toll on air service to some parts of the U.S, a Regional Airline Association spokesman said during a recent hearing on air service to small communities before the U.S. House aviation subcommittee. Brian Bedford, president and CEO of Republic Airways, urged the FAA and Congress to work together to fix the pilot supply challenges created by the new qualification issue by allowing structured credit for more of the logged flight hours required for an air transport pilot certificate.
Accidents, Safety, Security and Training
News about significant aircraft accidents and information from accident reports; information on safety procedures and concerns; crew, passenger, aircraft and airport security issues; and news about simulators and training procedures.
Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff signed a new law last week that more clearly prioritizes the aviation accident investigation process. First proposed after the Congressional investigation of the 2006 Gol/Legacy Amazon midair, Law 12970/2014 establishes mechanisms to protect information sources, especially voluntary testimony, from court use (though cockpit recordings can be used); makes airlines or owners responsible for wreckage and its removal; and clarifies investigative responsibilities.
The Kenya Airports Authority collaborated with the National Birdstrike Committee of Kenya to organize the third annual East African Wildlife Symposium, which runs from May 28-30 in Kisumu, Kenya. The event was created to share information about wildlife hazards in the region and reduce the overall number of wildlife strikes by aircraft in East Africa. This year’s theme is “Wildlife Hazards, Land Use and Aviation Safety: Impact, Challenges and Opportunities for Synergy.”
A partnership between FlightSafety International (FSI) and Gulfstream has created two new science-based flight crew training courses. One focuses on rejected takeoffs, presenting the flight crew with as many as 18 different V1 abort scenarios requiring a decision to continue or abort the takeoff. The second course reviews the physics of energy management during the aircraft descent, helping pilots to avoid unstabilized approaches.
Safe Flight Instrument introduced its new Icing Conditions Detector (ICD) today at EBACE. The patented optical ICD provides an alert that icing conditions exist before ice can accrete on the aircraft. Composed of a single line-replaceable unit, the system is intended for operation in all modes of flight, according to Safe Flight. The system, currently under evaluation in a variety of airframe types, provides an instantaneous warning when icing conditions are present before ice accretion has an opportunity to reduce aircraft performance and controllability.
The Known Crewmember Program (KCM) has officially been expanded to include Part 135 and 125 charter pilots, with yesterday’s first nonscheduled airline use of this program at Washington Dulles International Airport. KCM is a risk-based screening system that enables TSA officers to verify the identity and employment status of flight crewmembers.
Bombardier Aerospace announced Tuesday at the Regional Airline Association Convention in St. Louis that it has appointed CAE as its authorized training provider for its entire line of CRJ regional jets. Under the ATP agreement, which has already taken effect, CAE instructors will deliver CRJ aircraft flight training courses at eight locations around the world.
CAE operates 10 CRJ aircraft full-flight simulators (FFSs) in Charlotte, Minneapolis and Phoenix in the U.S; Copenhagen, Denmark; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Madrid, Spain; and Toronto and Montreal in Canada.
The National Transportation Safety Board last week published nine specific recommendations to the FAA and the National Weather Service (NWS) that are intended to deliver more comprehensive pre-flight weather information to pilots. The recommendations are based on the findings of NTSB accident investigations involving aircraft encountering adverse surface wind, dense fog, icing, turbulence, and low-level wind shear. While this information currently exists, it is not always provided directly to pilots by NWS preflight weather forecasts.
The FAA does not require a letter of authorization to fly a localizer performance with vertical guidance (LPV) approach within the U.S. However, guidance for flying in other parts of the world–such as in Europe where the number of LPV approaches is growing–is not nearly as clear and straightforward.
Jon Beatty began his tenure as the Flight Safety Foundation’s new CEO last month, replacing Kevin Hiatt, who has joined the International Air Transportation Association. Aircraft go-arounds remain one of the top concerns for the FSF and its new leader.