April 16 is the comment deadline for two FAA proposals. The agency wants to amend digital flight data recorder (DFDR) regulations of Parts 121 and 135 to prohibit “filtering” of signals. During several accident investigations, the NTSB found that some DFDRs were filtering signals before they were recorded.
Regulations and Government » Government
News about governmental decisions affecting aviation and aerospace.
The FAA will transition to e-mail distribution of ADs and special airworthiness information bulletins (SAIBs) and eliminate mailed paper versions. Starting next month, interested parties will be able to sign up on the FAA’s RGL Web site (http://rgl.faa.gov/) to receive ADs and SAIBs via e-mail. The agency plans to phase out paper copies by July.
A scheduled mediation session failed to settle a lawsuit in which former Raytheon Travel Air pilots allege they were fired because of their union-organizing activities when the company merged with Flight Options. The case is now set to go to trial on May 11. The pilots filed the lawsuit in late 2002. Court records show that the four pilots suing Flight Options are Thomas Bowden, William Brunet, Thomas Jeter and William Tumlin.
Lack of critical single-engine speed and distance data from manufacturers makes the FAA’s proposal to establish extended twin-engine operations (ETOPS) thresholds for Part 135 operators unworkable, according to comments submitted by NBAA and the National Air Transportation Association.
“Secure Access,” a program that would add more requirements to the Transportation Security Administration Access Certificate (TSAAC) program currently being field tested in the New York City area, should be the ticket for allowing business aircraft to operate where airlines are now permitted– namely within TFRs and at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA)–said NBAA. The Secure Access program was introduced by NBAA last month.
Starting on June 1, the FAA will no longer accept aircraft registration applications (AC Form 8050-1) that do not contain the printed or typed name of the signer in the signature block. The application form already asks for the typed or printed name below the signature, but the agency has previously not rejected applications solely on this omission.
No fatal accident involving Part 121 or 135 scheduled carriers occurred in 2002, versus three last year in which 24 people died, according to NTSB data. The crash of an Air Midwest Beech 1900 in Charlotte, N.C., accounted for 21 of those fatalities. More serious crashes by air-taxi operations raised their total and fatal accidents per 100,000 flight hours from 2.03 to 2.61, and 0.62 to 0.64, respectively, in 2002 and 2003.
Although the accelerated-depreciation bonus has been credited with a pickup in orders for new business jets, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association is encountering rough going in the Senate over its efforts to get the tax break extended.
The NTSB issued a scathing indictment of the FAA’s oversight of contract maintenance providers, essentially validating a DOT inspector general’s report that again exposed one of the lesser known practices of the U.S. airline industry. The latest report, made public in late February, again pointed to lax FAA scrutiny of a third-party maintenance contractor as one of the main contributors to the January 2003 crash of Air Midwest Flight 5481.
Can and should Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) be opened to general aviation and charter aircraft? That was the principal topic during an unusual March 16 field hearing, called for by House aviation subcommittee chairman John Mica (R-Fla.), at the vacant Signature Flight Support hangar at DCA.