FAA Administrator Marion Blakey yesterday established a forum of airline, labor and medical experts to recommend whether the U.S. should adopt the new International Civil Aviation Organization standard effective November 23 that will allow one of the two pilots in the flight deck to be over age 60, but not over 65. The forum will also determine what actions would be necessary if the FAA were to change its rule.
Pilot Flying Safety Awards are given by NBAA to the top pilots of member companies who have achieved exemplary safety records. Eligibility includes having flown corporate aircraft 1,500 hours without an accident, but the actual number of hours flown by many of the top pilots exceeds 20,000 hours.
According to recent salary surveys by NBAA and the National Air Transportation Association (NATA), the pilots who fly the biggest jets for the biggest companies bring home the biggest paychecks–no surprise there. And while seasoned business jet captains usually earn six-figure salaries, it takes years of earning little while spending lots on training to achieve that coveted spot in the left seat.
• A problem with an attitude indicator in a Cessna 402C “caused” the death of a young cargo pilot. “The problems could have grounded a passenger jet filled with people. But not so for air cargo–where delivering goods on time is industry lifeblood.”
• The rules allow cargo pilots to fly 40 percent more hours per year than passenger airline pilots, and cargo operation rules are generally less stringent.
A series of articles in the Miami Herald that took a look at the safety of air-cargo operations has exposed what the articles’ author seems to view as the ugly underbelly of commercial aviation. To hear the paper tell it, the air-cargo industry is a business rife with lawbreaking operators, pilots pushed to fly while dangerously fatigued and old airplanes that barely hold together.
The union representing some 760 Flight Options pilots is charging that the Raytheon-owned fractional share company is engaging in a pattern of harassing and hostile behavior as both sides continue negotiations toward an initial contract. Under terms of the National Labor Relations Act those talks can continue through August 2007 before a strike could be called.
Following its safety evaluation of the Mitsubishi MU-2 last year, the FAA has issued a proposed Special FAR that will force all current and future MU-2 pilots to obtain formal training to fly the high-performance turboprop twin.
Scara, a French association of leisure and executive air charter operators, is urging CRPN, the French crew retirement fund that collects contributions from all French-employed pilots, to file a lawsuit against fractional operator NetJets Europe for allegedly violating French labor laws.
With the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) poised to raise the age limit for commercial pilots to 65 effective November 23, the FAA has convened an aviation rulemaking committee (ARC) to recommend whether the U.S. should adopt the same standard.
Despite the issuance by the FAA of a Special FAR (SFAR) mandating initial and recurrent training for MU-2 pilots, lawmakers still want the airplane grounded because of its poor safety record.