The Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, in conjunction with the FAA, is sponsoring a survey designed to evaluate low-visibility operations/surface movement guidance and control system (LVO/SMGCS) symbology used on low-visibility taxi charts. To qualify for the 45-minute online survey, participants should be Cat III-qualified ATP pilots, preferably with five years of experience. Fifty participants will later be randomly chosen for a $50 Amazon gift card.
A little more than a month after Ontario’s provincially funded air ambulance service Ornge suffered a fatal crash, the Province’s coroner has released the results of a special investigation into 40 Ornge patient transport-related deaths between 2006 and 2012. Operational errors at Ornge contributed to eight of those deaths, according to the July report, which also made 25 recommendations to improve service at Ornge.
Humans, by our very nature, are daytime creatures. Our brains and our bodies have been hardwired for this, and not even the fairly recent (in evolutionary terms) innovation of artificial light can change hundreds of thousands of years of development. In response to darkness, our brains produce a chemical known as melatonin, which makes us sleepy, yet these days we are far removed from the agrarian “get up when it’s light out, go to bed when it’s dark” lifestyle of just a few centuries ago.
Cessna Aircraft is offering a program that covers all scheduled maintenance and parts costs for new Citation Sovereigns for the first five years or 1,500 flight hours. According to Cessna, the Sovereign Shield program “practically eliminates maintenance-related direct operating costs” for 2013 Citation Sovereigns, allowing owners to operate the aircraft for “far less” than other midsize business jets.
Mercy One helicopter emergency medical services at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines, Iowa, one of the first HEMS operators certified to fly Waas low-level IFR routes, including approaches to local hospitals, recently added a second Waas-capable Bell 429 to its fleet. These IFR routes keep helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft from mixing in IFR airspace. Three of the hospital helipad approaches are Waas-based while another is an approach to a helipad in Stuart, Iowa, that is used as a rendezvous for helicopters and ground ambulances from surrounding counties.
Cessna Aircraft announced the “Sovereign Shield” program yesterday for 2013 Citation Sovereigns, covering all scheduled maintenance and parts costs for these business jets for the first five years or 1,500 flight hours. The program “practically eliminates” maintenance-related direct operating costs for these Citation Sovereigns, Cessna said. According to Cessna, operators covered by the Sovereign Shield program can save more than $3,500 on a 2,000-nm trip compared with operators of competing midsize jets.
Flight departments will have a new federal regulation to contend with regarding hazardous materials. New regulations from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Osha) mandate the training of thousands of flight department employees by December 1 to educate them on how to identify and protect themselves from hazardous chemicals used in the workplace. The Hazard Communication Standard will be fully implemented in 2016.
The U.S. Court of Appeals has unanimously upheld the FAA’s right to impose the mandatory overwater North Shore Route on helicopter traffic over New York’s Long Island. Writing for the Court, U.S. circuit judge Richard Roberts rejected a legal challenge (petition for review) to the route filed by the Helicopter Association International to overturn the mandate.
NBAA has issued a new resource about the net investment income tax (NIIT), having now fully reviewed the U.S. Treasury Department and IRS regulations on this tax, which was enacted as part of the 2010 healthcare overhaul. Beginning this year, the law imposes a 3.8-percent tax on the investment income of certain individuals, and it will affect many common airplane leasing arrangements, NBAA said.
Greenwich AeroGroup announced today that Atlantic Aero in Greensboro, N.C., and Western Aircraft in Boise, Idaho, have received AS9110 quality system certifications. Now all three Greenwich AeroGroup maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) service centers are AS certified. The internationally recognized AS9110 standard focuses on MRO services and is an offshoot of the AS9100 standard that addresses the aviation industry. “We are extremely pleased with these achievements,” said Greenwich AeroGroup senior v-p Jeff Mihalic.