Aviation Research Group/U.S. (ARG/US) said it has written a series of standards for on-site safety audits that are specific to helicopter operators. The ARG/US series begins with requirements that are common to virtually all types of operation and
Goodrich Aviation Technical Services (ATS), the airframe heavy maintenance component of Goodrich, has been sold to a subsidiary of Macquarie Group.
ATS has more than 1,200 employees at its 950,000-sq-ft facility in Everett, Wash., and serves a broad base of North American and global customers by providing maintenance, repair and overhaul services to airlines, cargo fleet operators and aircraft owners.
“If I talk to ten people, I get ten different versions of what they believe an SMS [Safety Management System] is,” FAA associate administrator of aviation safety Nick Sabatini told attendees at the fourth FAA International Aviation Safety Forum.
The FAA is inviting comments on final changes to U.S. aircraft registry rules that are to take effect later this year under the Cape Town Treaty. The treaty clears the way for a new international registry and covers all fixed-wing aircraft certified to carry eight or more people (including crew) and helicopters carrying at least five people, as well as aircraft engines of at least 550 hp.
The FAA has revised the regulations covering temporary flight restrictions by creating a separate set of conditions to cover sporting events and airshows (new FAR 91.145) and revising the existing rules to apply only to disaster and hazard areas (retitled FAR 91.137).
Still unclear at press time was how Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) 91 will affect general aviation, particularly business aircraft and private aircraft with mtows exceeding 12,500 lb.
At present, the most that can be said about the FAA’s intention to have an Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) assist in rewriting FAR Parts 135 and 125 is that it is a work in progress.
The first ARC was formed several years ago and dealt with developing FARs that would apply to fractional jet operations. After lengthy deliberations, the new FAR–Part 91 Subpart K–was promulgated and instituted.
The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) issued a call to action last week related to maintenance issues for charter operators. The association wants members to complete a survey related to the issue of FAR Part 135 maintenance of aircraft with more than nine versus nine or fewer seats.
Operators who own a share of a fractional aircraft are to be given the same Cape Town Treaty protection as sole owners have had since March 2006. They are to be included in the International Registry of Mobile Assets (IRMA), which provides a single universal point of reference and record, and was set up under the treaty (which comprises the Cape Town Convention and the related Protocol on Aircraft Assets).
Implementing safety management systems (SMS) and developing operator decision-making skills are imperative to improving the accident record for helicopters. That was the message more than 100 helicopter pilots, crewmembers and industry managers heard at the third annual Helicopter Safety Forum, co-sponsored by FlightSafety International and Rotor & Wing magazine, held this year in Dallas-Fort Worth.