To anyone who hit the silk more than 30 years ago, the name Switlik Parachute is well known as a preeminent maker of the lifesaving devices. Founded in 1920, Switlik Parachute is still in business in Trenton, N.J. But old habits die hard, and the company whose name still ends with “Parachute” actually hasn’t made one since 1968.
Federal Aviation Administration
While the Aerospace Industries Association calls for more money for aeronautics research and development, the Bush White House wants a NASA budget that would slash funding for this type of work.
Bombardier Flexjet has become the first nonscheduled operator to successfully transmit real-time flight-intent data to the FAA’s Air Traffic Control System Command Center (ATCSCC) near Washington Dulles International Airport. This data gives the agency more predictable information with which to make traffic-flow-management decisions each day. The fractional aircraft company operates a fleet of more than 100 aircraft.
A group of airports, local governments and residents has requested that Congress order the complete phase-out of all Stage 1 and Stage 2 aircraft regardless of weight. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) has submitted such legislation.
The FAA released Notice N8000.354, providing guidance to agency inspectors regarding the new two-year inspection authorization (IA) renewal period. Beginning March 31, inspectors will be renewing IAs to expire only in odd-numbered years. Authorizations renewed this year and next will expire on March 31, 2009.
Air East filed an appeal with the NTSB over the emergency revocation of its Part 135 certificate on March 8, grounding the Farmingdale, N.Y. charter operator. The action followed a 34-day FAA investigation of the company prompted by a fatal crash last August 4 of one of its Learjets in Groton, Conn.
Within 6 Months
March 30, 2007: Mode-S Elementary (ELS) and Enhanced (EHS) Surveillance
Mode-S elementary (ELS) and enhanced (EHS) surveillance, including eight data downlinks, is scheduled for mandatory phasing in in European airspace by March 30, 2007, starting first in France, Germany and the UK (www.eurocontrol.int/mode_s/).
Starting on June 1, the FAA will no longer accept aircraft registration applications (AC Form 8050-1) that do not contain the printed or typed name of the signer in the signature block. The application form already asks for the typed or printed name below the signature, but the agency has previously not rejected applications solely on this omission.
The NTSB issued a scathing indictment of the FAA’s oversight of contract maintenance providers, essentially validating a DOT inspector general’s report that again exposed one of the lesser known practices of the U.S. airline industry. The latest report, made public in late February, again pointed to lax FAA scrutiny of a third-party maintenance contractor as one of the main contributors to the January 2003 crash of Air Midwest Flight 5481.
Can and should Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) be opened to general aviation and charter aircraft? That was the principal topic during an unusual March 16 field hearing, called for by House aviation subcommittee chairman John Mica (R-Fla.), at the vacant Signature Flight Support hangar at DCA.