Following the NTSB’s February 2 report on the Colgan Air accident, the FAA published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) asking for public comment and recommendations by April 9 on possible changes to regulations relating to the certification of pilots conducting domestic, flag and supplemental operations.
Pilot licensing and certification
AirAsia pilot cadets are to train under a new multi-crew pilot license (MPL) program to be run by Canadian company CAE. The 56-week program will start in March and should lead to the award of Transport Canada MPL licenses to the cadets. They will also gain authorization from the Department of Civil Aviation Malaysia before entering AirAsia’s initial operating experience program for Airbus A320 first officers.
U.S. licensed pilots will not be able to exercise the privileges of their paper pilot certificates after March 31, the FAA is reminding airmen. Paper certificates issued under FAR Part 63 (flight engineers and navigators) and Part 65 (air traffic control tower operators, aircraft dispatchers, mechanics, repairmen and parachute riggers) won’t expire until March 31, 2013. According to FAR 61.19(h), “Duration of pilot certificates.
Aviation has always been a tightly knit and closed society. We have our own language, ethical standards and barriers to entry so formidable it’s a wonder that people make the effort to become pilots, mechanics, controllers, flight attendants, airplane builders and so on.
The FAA has revoked the licenses of two Northwest Airlines pilots who overflew their destination airport by 150 miles on October 21 while operating Flight 188 from San Diego to Minneapolis (MSP). The emergency revocations cite violations of a number of Federal Aviation Regulations, including failure to comply with air traffic control instructions and clearances and operating carelessly and recklessly.
In the view of many airline chief pilots, the established system of professional pilot training produces pilots who– while satisfactory in a single-crew operation–need additional training in two-crew procedures before they are of use to airlines.
British Aerospace HS.125-700A, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Nov. 1, 2006–The Hawker landed gear-up at Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport because the flight crew failed to extend the landing gear, according to the NTSB. A contributing factor was the inoperative audible landing gear warning system. The pilot explained that he was distracted by trying to locate the runway for a visual approach.
Pilots who apply for a new certificate to replace one that has been damaged or lost, or who require a new certificate because of added ratings or endorsements, will receive a pleasant surprise. The FAA has started to issue redesigned credit-card-size certificates that are more professional looking documents and made from composite PVC media card stock instead of paper.
If you get the feeling you’re just a number when it comes to getting your medical, you may be interested to know that the FAA issues 453,000 airman medicals every year. According to an FAA spokesman, the agency also processes 5,700 special issuances, responds to 87,600 written inquiries, answers 95,000 telephone inquiries and conducts 155,000 full reviews of medical records. But don’t be too quick to assume they’re an uncaring lot.
Beech King Air B90, San Jon, N.M., May 14, 2001–The NTSB determined that the probable cause of the accident was the pilot’s failure to maintain aircraft control due to his incapacitation for an undetermined reason. A contributing factor was the subsequent inadvertent stall/spin to the ground.