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September 29, 2014, 12:00 PM

The FAA’s September 26 approval of a half dozen exemptions for some TV and film production companies to operate unmanned aerial systems (UAS) stopped just short of complete approval of those operations in the national airspace system. U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said the UAS to be used in the proposed operations do not need an FAA-issued certificate of airworthiness because they do not pose a threat to national airspace users or national security.

September 29, 2014, 11:53 AM

The Center for Aviation Safety Research at Saint Louis University (SLU) and the Professional Aviation Board of Certification and Professional Testing have signed a joint agreement to evaluate the use of enhanced knowledge testing for pilots. The aim is to ensure that pilot training effectively prepares new aviators for employment in an industry with knowledge and skill requirements radically different from those previous generations faced.

September 29, 2014, 11:51 AM

Teterboro (N.J.) Airport will be closed to fixed-wing traffic this coming Saturday morning, October 4, from 6 a.m. to noon local time to allow crews to repaint the runways. Helicopter operations will be permitted. The Teterboro Users Group urges operators to check Notams for specific times.

September 29, 2014, 11:48 AM

The International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST) released two new safety bulletins last week focused on risk assessment and professionalism. The first, a flight/ground risk assessment tool (Frat/Grat), explains how a good Frat/Grat is intended to operate, and offers operators guidance for how to create their own. The second bulletin is called “Setting the Right Example: Flying Safely Even When No One Is Watching.”

 

September 29, 2014, 11:40 AM

A chartered DHC-6 Twin Otter crashed September 20 near Port Moresby-Jacksons International Airport in Papua New Guinea, killing four of the seven people aboard. The aircraft, operated by Hevilift in what was reported as “poor weather,” was approaching Port Moresby inbound from Woitape Airport, 60 miles north.

September 29, 2014, 11:35 AM

Qantas was criticized by an Australian senator and some airline employees last week for its plan to remove life rafts from more than half of its Boeing 737-800 fleet to save fuel. ICAO regulations do not require aircraft flying within 400 nm of land to carry rafts. The airline said it is also pulling the equipment to simplify flight operations.

September 29, 2014, 11:30 AM

Airbus Helicopters said Protean won its 2014 Vision Zero Aviation Safety Award for development of the LZControl.com landing-zone database, a free-flight safety service for the air medical industry. Pilots using the company’s LZControl can easily access landing-zone maps and satellite images, pull down current weather and IFR information and locate site-specific contacts.

September 26, 2014, 2:05 PM

Airstrikes against Islamic State terrorists in Iraq and Syria this week featured the combat debut of the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor stealth fighter, and of the Royal Saudi Air Force F-15S Strike Eagle. The air forces of Bahrain, France, Jordan, Qatar and the UAE also participated, and the Royal Australian Air Force is en route to the fight with F-18s and a Wedgetail AEW aircraft.

September 26, 2014, 10:10 AM

The unveiling of a new livery on Thursday of Etihad Airways’ first A380 at Airbus’s Hamburg factory signaled the start of a new era for the Abu Dhabi-based carrier, as it prepares to launch its first services with the superjumbo in December.

September 26, 2014, 9:24 AM

Airbus began immediate processing of flight-test data from the A320neo’s September 25 first flight, which Single Aisle program experimental test pilot Philippe Pellerin described as “a lot of fun” as he emerged from the aircraft at the Toulouse-Blagnac factory in southwest France. The first A320neo, powered by Pratt & Whitney PW1100G-JM geared turbofan (GTF) engines in the 33,000-pounds thrust class, “really feels like an A320–which is good news,” remarked fellow experimental test pilot Etienne Miche de Malleray, who occupied the right-hand seat.

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