Bombardier’s annual Safety Standdown, organized by the manufacturer’s business aviation flight operations team, begins in Wichita on September 30. The standdown is designed to foster a safety culture through better communication. Military aviation uses the standdown concept–essentially grounding a particular squadron or fleet–when a significant high-risk safety issue emerges.
Nearly 90 percent of the UK public would be concerned about flying with a pilot who had been awake for an extended period of time, according to a survey conducted for the British Air Line Pilots Association (Balpa). The survey asked 2,052 people in the country over the age of 18 one important question related to pilot fatigue: “How concerned…would you be for your safety if you were on board an aircraft being flown by a pilot who had been awake for…[22 hours]?”
Pilots planning for a career that requires certification to airline transport pilot (ATP) standards will need to set aside thousands of dollars to pay for additional training mandated by new FAR 61.156. The training is required before the candidate can take the ATP written and practical tests (beginning August 1 next year), and the portion that will cost the most is 10 hours of simulator training, including at least six hours in a full-flight simulator (FFS) meeting Level C standards and replicating a multiengine turbine-powered airplane weighing at least 40,000 pounds.
Kevin Corns, a graduate student at Capella University, is studying the informal learning methods of commercial pilots. Corns said, “The one-size-fits-all approach to pilot training may no longer be sufficient in today’s aviation environment. Current pilot training practices may need to be modified or changed.” Current Part 121 pilots are invited to take Corns’s anonymous survey, which he says should take 10 to 15 minutes to complete.
The UK’s Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators (Gapan) has awarded Bombardier Aerospace its Master’s North American Award for industry contributions to air and ground safety. The award recognizes Bombardier’s central safety management system themes, including active hazard identification, risk management and performance measurement.
Implementation of a new Brazilian requirement mandating the use of level-D simulators for renewing business aircraft type ratings has been postponed until next year due to a shortage of suitable training equipment in the country. The country’s ANAC aviation authority had intended for the requirement to take effect two months ago, and the agency has been criticized by operators and pilots for being too rigid in its requirement for full-motion simulators.
In response to fleet growth and an uptick in its business, fractional provider Bombardier Flexjet has resumed hiring pilots after ceasing such activity, and then subsequently furloughing pilots, during the Great Recession. It recalled all of its furloughed pilots earlier this year. “We are thrilled to be expanding our dedicated pilot team…and anticipate hiring in the double digits this year and beyond,” said Flexjet vice president of operations Jason Weiss.
The OpenAirplane universal rental system was launched in June with six airplane rental companies participating in the program. “The response to our launch has been amazing,” co-founder Rod Rakic told AIN. “More than 2,500 pilots have signed into our app, creating pilot profiles to fly with OpenAirplane in the first two weeks.”
The FAA has issued a final rule that raises to 1,500 the minimum flight hours required by first officers for U.S. air carriers flying under Part 121 regulations, up from the current 250 hours. The new rules stem from a Congressional mandate following the 2009 crash of Colgan Air 3407, a Bombardier Q400, in Buffalo, NY. The rule also requires that first officers hold an ATP certificate and a type rating in the aircraft being flown.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of Phillips 66’s Young Eagles Rebate program, which aids pilots who volunteer their time, aircraft and money to introduce youngsters to flight. Starting in 1994, Phillips 66 Aviation has provided a $1-per-gallon fuel rebate to help offset the cost of qualified Young Eagle flights through its nearly 900-strong FBO network, and since its inception has been used by approximately 5,000 pilots.