Missouri senator Claire McCaskill (Democrat) hit the nail on the head when she wrote to the FAA about easing rules on the use of portable electronic devices (PEDs) in aircraft. Her letter seeks to have the FAA reconsider restrictions on PEDs, citing as one example the fact that many airline pilots are now using switched-on iPads during taxi, takeoff and landing without any problems.
Imagine seeing this headline: “Major Airline Uses Student Pilots on Passenger Flights.” There would be universal outrage and condemnation if an airline tried to put students in the cockpit on passenger-carrying flights–even if “just” to handle the radios or practice touching some of the controls in cruise flight.
When John Adams proclaimed, “I believe in a government of laws, not of men,” he couldn’t have imagined just how many laws—or how much legal mumbo-jumbo—his descendants would have to endure. In his day, after all, people didn’t do things like put an empty sheet at the end of the Constitution labeled, “This page intentionally left blank.”
I am so relieved that the U.S. presidential election is finally over. The past year—and especially recent months—have been marked by an undercurrent of anxiety, with otherwise-loving families having cocktail-soaked dinner wars and old friends severing Facebook ties over national policy issues. Perhaps now we can all stop bickering and get down to business.
Washington, D.C., seems to be a city that is in perpetual crisis. Now the U.S. government is in conniptions over the “fiscal cliff.” Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke coined that metaphor to describe the tax increases and automatic spending cuts that kick in on January 2 unless Democrats and Republicans somehow tame the $16 trillion national debt.
When it comes to decriminalization of aviation accidents, the world seems to take one step forward and two back.
This month, I’m turning my blog space over to the reader who submitted the following letter to our magazine.—Jeff Burger, editor of AIN sister publication Business Jet Traveler
An Open Letter to the Editors of Business Jet Traveler:
A reader recently took me to task for writing that the FAA is reinterpreting Part 135 regulations, in a story about the FAA’s belief that contract charter instructors and check airmen apparently are not complying with the rules.
All these nightly news reports of the oversight failures in the pharmaceutical industry that allowed a so-called compounding pharmacy located just 20 miles down the road from where I live in Massachusetts to wreak havoc with tens of thousands of lives (including those who developed fungal meningitis from contaminated injections and those who are just frantically worrying about getting it) got me thinking about government oversight of the avia
If a picture is worth a thousand words, what is the value of being able to walk through a finished aircraft long before the first seat is installed or the first carpet?