FAA Issues New Aircraft Ice-detection Rules

 - August 23, 2011, 11:00 AM

On Friday, the FAA issued a new rule that requires Part 121 operators to install ice-detection equipment in their existing fleets or to update their flight manuals to make sure crews know when they should activate their ice-protection systems. While the rule applies only to in-service airliners weighing less than 60,000 pounds, corporate and charter aircraft operators of aircraft under this weight limit should take note since studies show these airplanes are more affected by undetected icing or late activation of the ice-protection system. “This rule incorporates the latest research on aircraft icing,” said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt. “Making sure protection systems are turned on when icing conditions are detected will help eliminate accidents that can occur if pilots fail to turn on the ice protection soon enough.” For aircraft equipped with an ice-detection system, the new rule mandates that the system alert the crew every time they need to activate ice protection. The system can either turn on the ice protection automatically or pilots can activate it manually. For aircraft without ice-detection equipment, the crew must activate the protection system based on cues listed in their airplane’s flight manual during climb and descent, and at the first sign of icing when at cruising altitude. The FAA said this rule addresses a longstanding NTSB recommendation.

Also Noted…

Heart transplant surgeon, pilot and former U.S. Senate majority leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) will receive NBAA’s 2011 Al Ueltschi Award for Humanitarian Leadership in recognition of his life-saving efforts worldwide and the importance of business aviation to those endeavors. Frist retired from the Senate in 2007, and since then he has continued his regular medical mission trips worldwide, relying on general aviation and his own piloting skills to accomplish this. The award will be presented to Frist at the opening general session for NBAA’s 64th Annual Meeting & Convention in Las Vegas on October 10.

FlightSafetyInternational will offer training for the Gulfstream G450 and G550 at its learning center in Dallas starting next year. Training will be conducted in a level-D-qualified G450/G550 interchangeable simulator. With this addition, and the company’s recent announcement that it will offer Gulfstream G450 and G550 training in Hong Kong, FlightSafety will have a fleet of 10 Gulfstream G450 and G550 full-motion simulators.

TAG Aviation Asia attained International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO) registration, recognizing their development and implementation of this business aviation code of best practices. “Accreditation by IS-BAO was seen as an essential element in the development of TAG Asia and is the result of diligence and commitment by the ever strengthening young team at TAG,” said TAG Aviation Asia CEO Keith Morgan.

EppcoAviation won the Chevron Global Aviation President’s Award for the sixth consecutive year, in recognition of its operational excellence and safety at its UAE facilities. The company receives, stores and delivers jet fuel to Dubai, Sharjah and Fujairah International Airports, as well as Minhad Military Airbase. Eppco was recognized for meeting the award criteria of zero recordable injuries, zero motor-vehicle crashes, zero spills and zero product quality incidents.

Long Beach, Calif.-based JetFlite International reported that charter demand for its Gulfstream IV fleet during July was the highest monthly average over the past three years. “The flights were not solely international but rather a combination of domestic and international legs,” said company CEO Bill Cripe. It had flown more than 50 hours of charter time in its GIVs last month. In addition, the company reported a 5-percent increase in charter volume through July compared with the same period last year.