Everyone in general aviation (GA) seems happy that the U.S. Senate has introduced a bill to force the FAA to simplify Part 23 certification regulations, the Small Aircraft Revitalization Act of 2013 (S.1072) introduced by senators Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska). According to NBAA, this bill and another introduced in the House of Representatives “would set a date for implementation of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Part 23 Reorganization Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) recommendations to adopt consensus-based, design-specific performance requirements to achieve FAA certification.”
One of the unfortunate but unavoidable facts of aviation is that accidents happen. While investigators work to determine why, and attorneys debate over who is responsible, in nearly every case there is a tragic human element involved-families of victims, who suddenly have their lives torn apart. It is a situation no one wants to be in.
The general aviation industry in the U.S. lost a key battle last night when the Santa Monica city council voted to impose higher landing fees, not just on transient aircraft but on all aircraft that use the airport. Starting August 1, even a Cessna 172 based at Santa Monica Airport (SMO) flown by a local student or rental pilot will be assessed $10.96 for each landing.
Last month in this space, I suggested some reading matter for the road. Now it’s time to talk about films for your flight.
Flight operations specialist Francois Lassale brings up a good point in a recent issue of AINSafety, that “the unit’s simplicity means training on the iPad and its use in the cockpit is seldom given much thought.” Lassale is absolutely right, and his views should extend to the use of any device or product that pilots bring into cockpits to help with their flying tasks.
Voluntary safety programs are based on trust. Can you trust the FAA? The short answer, when it comes to voluntarily reporting violations or voluntarily cooperating with an FAA investigation, is no. You absolutely cannot trust the FAA to look out for your interests, especially the interests of maintaining your certificate or livelihood.
Why all the growing interest in low-cost flight simulators?
Some announcements at this week’s Sun ‘n Fun show in Lakeland, Fla., for example, underscore wannabe and regular pilots’ fascination with these devices. Redbird Flight Simulations introduced its new low-cost Jay device, which, while it can’t be used to log time, promises to help pilots stay proficient. And Pilot Mall today unveiled the Advanced Panel, which is a modular instrument panel with flight and other controls that works with Microsoft Flight Simulator X (FSX) software.
Remember the spate of sleeping controllers and the angst it all caused at 800 Independence Avenue and 1200 New Jersey Avenue?
Maybe for general aviation to survive, we need more disruption. An article published in Wired magazine (Clayton Christensen Wants to Transform Capitalism, by Jeff Howe) discussed how successful companies often fail to recognize that new companies with “disruptive innovations” are about to take over their marketplace.
I really thought we had heard the end of the FAA’s one-level-of-safety mantra after Colgan Air Flight 3407, masquerading as a Continental Airlines codeshare, crashed in a fiery ball in a residential area just outside Buffalo, N.Y., one snowy February night four years ago.