Twenty-five years ago, aviation department manager jobs were often automatically awarded to the most senior pilot, or the person considered the best “stick and rudder” aviator. That kind of career advancement began changing as we entered the 21st century. The efforts to create smarter managers took off in earnest when aviation leaders found themselves under increased scrutiny from regulators, shareholders and investors about how they used their aircraft after the downturn of 2008 and the resulting bad press for private aviation.
The Center for Aviation Safety Research at Saint Louis University (SLU) and the Professional Aviation Board of Certification and Professional Testing have signed a joint agreement to evaluate the use of enhanced knowledge testing for pilots. The aim is to ensure that pilot training effectively prepares new aviators for employment in an industry with knowledge and skill requirements radically different from those previous generations faced.
Priester Aviation has been awarded both Air Charter Safety Foundation (ACSF) and Wyvern Wingman certification. The ACSF certification uses accredited, independent auditors to evaluate aircraft management and jet charter companies’ compliance and safety protocols. Priester Aviation, based at Chicago Executive Airport (KPWK), also carries an Argus Platinum rating, as well as IS-BAO certification.
The FAA announced it will formally re-examine the certification standards for helicopters under FAR Parts 27 and 29. Currently Part 27 helicopters must weigh 7,000 pounds or less and have no more than nine passenger seats. Helicopters that weigh more than 7,000 pounds and have 10 or more seats fall under the more stringent Part 29.
The FAA plans to formally reexamine the certification standards for helicopters under Parts 27 and 29 of the FARs, the agency announced. Currently, Part 27 helicopters must weigh 7,000 pounds or less and have nine or fewer passenger seats. Helicopters that weigh more than 7,000 pounds and have 10 or more seats fall under the more stringent Part 29 rules.
The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) tapped Jonathan Archer, a 24-year aviation industry veteran, as its new director of engineering and airworthiness. Archer most recently provided key support for the FAA and the Joint Planning and Development Office as an associate with Booz Allen Hamilton. His work included facilitating an FAA aviation certification service pilot study implementing a voluntary safety management system for select Part 21-approved design and manufacturing organizations.
Regional fractional provider Executive AirShare’s operating arm, Executive Flight Services, earned International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO) certification. Executive Flight Services earned IS-BAO Stage One certification following an audit of its safety management system, organization and personnel, standard operating procedures, training programs, flight operations, aircraft equipment and maintenance requirements. Executive AirShare operates 50 aircraft in its fractional and managed fleets from bases in six Central U.S. cities and Buffalo, N.Y.
GAMA praised the U.S. House Appropriations Committee’s “continued strong support” for reform of the Part 23 aircraft certification process and the transition away from leaded avgas. “We are especially pleased by the committee’s emphasis on improving the certification process at the FAA,” said GAMA president and CEO Pete Bunce.
Commercial use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) is possible once manufacturers demonstrate the airworthiness of their designs, according to the manager of the FAA’s UAS Integration Office. “It’s a two-way street,” advised Jim Williams. “The FAA can’t pull the industry up.”
Robinson Helicopter received EASA certification for its R66 on Wednesday, four years after the FAA approved the turbine helicopter. With this latest approval, Robinson said it is now able to begin delivering R66s in its current backlog of European orders and focus on strengthening its presence in this market. Two-thirds of the company’s sales typically come from non-U.S.
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