NBAA Details New RVSM Monitoring

 - July 30, 2012, 4:40 PM

Pilots flying in reduced vertical separation minimum (RVSM) monitoring airspace will soon find themselves becoming familiar with another new compliance standard, as well as a new acronym, AGHME. This stands for Aircraft Geometric Height Measurement Element, and Nov. 18, 2012, is the final day to demonstrate compliance with a revised FAA rule on RVSM

According to an NBAA story from the July/August Business Aviation Insider, the revision evolved after numerous incidents in which aircraft were found out of compliance with current RVSM standards. The new requirement means operators flying within RVSM airspace must be able to verify and record height-measurement details every two years or within 1,000 flight-hour intervals. The rule requires at least two airplanes for each type a flight department operates, or each specific aircraft with a single type.

Operators have a choice of three different methods of demonstrating compliance. One involves carrying a GPS monitoring unit onboard the aircraft during normal flight operations. Another requires mode S-equipped aircraft to overfly specific AGHME positions in North America, where actual altitudes can be measured and discrepancies noted. European flying offers operators a chance to use any of three GPS-based monitoring units (GMUs) in the region to verify altitudes.


The explanation of the acronym "AGHME" in the above story is not accurate. It is not "Aircraft Ground Height Monitoring Equipment" but instead it is "Aircraft Geometric Height Monitoring Element". See:
Sorry, but I am on a tear about the use of acronyms in training and communication documents. The use of acronyms is not standardized or regulated. Please minimize the use of acronyms in your stories. They might as well be written in Chinese characters as most people do not know what they represent.
Dick Siano

I'm wondering what will happen with ferry flights done by freelance pilots. There is no real "operator" for the aircraft need to be flown to another part of the world.

Thanks for your note Dick. Guess I must have been thinking of a practical name that related to what AGHME stood for. Sorry about that.

We operate in China. I flew the aircraft to the US in September for a heavy maintenance check in Mesa, AZ. Phoenix has an HMU to measure height yes? No, out of service - we only discovered that a few days before picking the aircraft up on the 15th of December. Universal handled our flight and they didn't even know about the unit in Phoenix being out of service. Frantic phone calls to fly over the one in Seattle - the FAA informed me that ALL of the Height Monitoring Units in the United States were out of service. My DOM called a lady at the FAA and discussed the situation with her - there is one in Japan!! Great, off course from Sapporo to Macau but we diverted and flew over it. I asked if we needed prior arrangements - no. Flew over it and just yesterday found out that you have to schedule the flight in advance in Japan. Now I am looking at the February deadline and trying to figure out what to do next. Does anybody have any ideas?

See comment above.

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