After a Hendrick Motorsports King Air 200 crashed into Bull Mountain on Oct. 24, 2004, while attempting a missed approach at Martinsville/Blue Ridge Airport in Virginia, Nascar race team flight departments took a fresh look at the safety of their operations.
Federal Aviation Administration
Whoever is named to succeed Russ Chew as COO of the FAA’s Air Traffic Organization (ATO) faces particular challenges as Congress debates controversial FAA funding proposals that would take place over the next decade and are scheduled to start in October. Chew, a former airline pilot who led the ATO since its inception in 2003, resigned last month.
The FAA recently established the WATRS Plus Web page to discuss issues related to the West Atlantic Route System (WATRS) Plus Airspace. On June 5 next year, the FAA plans to introduce a redesigned route structure and a reduced lateral separation standard in WATRS Plus Airspace.
New FAA Notice N8000.351 provides procedures on how to complete the application for second-in-command (SIC) pilot type ratings. The notice also explains the final rule that the FAA issued on Aug. 4, 2005, about the requirement for an SIC pilot type rating for flights where the aircraft’s type certification requires a minimum crew of at least two pilots and the flight will be outside U.S. airspace involving a landing in a foreign country.
General aviation’s concerns found a firm basis last month when the FAA presented a reauthorization proposal that includes a more than 300-percent hike in the fuel tax and myriad fees for obtaining a pilot’s license, registering an airplane or receiving a medical.
Shirley, N.Y.-based Naasco Northeast Corp. (Booth No. 2238) recently received FAA approval for the overhaul and repair of Hartman A-1077 series relays, which are used on a variety of fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft and had previously been regarded as unrepairable.
Addison, Texas-based Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America, which services the more than 400 MU-2s operating outside of Japan, expressed its approval and cooperation with the FAA’s safety evaluation of the twin turboprop. Further, the company has contracted former NTSB investigator Greg Feith to assist in the review.
The FAA has issued clarifying bulletins, set up a team of specialists that can be contacted 24/7 and is considering amending its controversial rule upgrading flammability standards for thermal and acoustic fuselage insulation. The rule, which became effective September 2, poses a "serious threat to the continued operation of Part 25 [certified] aircraft," according to trade groups.
With one congressman calling it “dead on arrival,” the FAA yesterday released its new proposal for financing the agency over the next 10 years, a plan that would more than triple general aviation fuel taxes, from 21.8 cents per gallon to 70 cents per gallon, and create a mishmash of new and/or higher fees for such things as pilot licensing, aircraft certifications and other services.