Bakersfield, Calif.-based specialized response and flight training company SRT Helicopters (Booth No. 6808) is justifiably proud of its student practical examination record. According to company owner Christian Gadbois, SRT Helicopters boasts a 100-percent first-time pass rate for all students taking all levels of FAA practical flight exams over the eight years of the Part 61 flight school’s existence.
Pilot certification in the United States
Nearly three years after the crash of Colgan Air Flight 3407 near Buffalo cast a spotlight on the working conditions of regional airline pilots in particular, the FAA has issued a new, stricter rule on pilot flight duty and rest requirements for passenger carriers operating under Part 121.
In yet another case of local interpretation of federal regulations, at the Long Beach, Calif., Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) FAA inspectors have decided that contract pilots cannot fly for different Part 135 operators without undergoing full initial training on each aircraft that they fly.
Next time you have some solitude, sit quietly and think back to that early part of your life when you began to wonder what itπd be like to fly.
There is an irony apparent in the events following the February 2005 Challenger accident at Teterboro. Investigators nearly ignored the primary cause of the crash, as the NTSB focused primarily on 14 CFR Part 135 operational control issues and the lack of FAA oversight as the secondary causes.
The FAA has issued a proposed policy change that would clarify the definition of the words “actively engaged” as it relates to application for and renewal of the Inspection Authorization (IA) certificate. Airframe and powerplant mechanics (A&Ps) can qualify to take the IA test if they have held the mechanic certificate for at least three years and have been “actively engaged” as a mechanic for the previous two years.
The FAA last month announced a proposed rule that would require all U.S. pilot certificates to include a photo of the certificate holder. Under the proposal, pilots would obtain a new photo certificate valid for eight years, after which they would need to update their photo and obtain a new certificate.
The requirement for pilots to be certified fit to fly by a medical doctor is a universal feature of aviation regulatory bodies. The International Civil Aviation Organization sets the standard, which individual states can modify. According to ICAO, “To become a professional pilot or an air traffic controller, an applicant must be in normal good health (including normal hearing, normal vision and normal color perception).”
The FAA today proposed new pilot duty-time limitations and rest requirements for Part 121 carriers that stand to profoundly alter scheduling practices and hiring needs across the U.S. airline industry.
Faced with leaving for vacation without passing an FAA reauthorization bill that would tighten pilot training rules, lawmakers stripped those provisions from the main bill and added them to the 15th short-term extension of funding, taxes and programs for the agency.