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.
An advance notice of proposed rulemaking from the Bureau of Safety and Environment (BSEE) seeks to improve safety for operations related to helicopters and helidecks on fixed offshore facilities. The BSEE invites comments on whether to incorporate in its regulations industry standards for design, construction and maintenance of helidecks, as well as standards for aviation fuel storage and handling.
The NTSB will hold a free one-day forum to review current technological advancements to flight data recorders and aircraft locators. The preliminary agenda for the meeting, called “Emerging Flight Data and Locator Technology,” was posted last week. The session will focus on equipment in use while also exploring new technologies in development and determining what issues relating to policy, industry standards and technical limitations need to be addressed.
The FAA granted the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority category-one safety status last week after conducting inspections to ICAO standards of the country’s aviation infrastructure and regulatory framework. The new status will allow Ethiopian carriers direct access to the U.S. from Africa.
The FAA issued an emergency order of revocation against Marpat Aviation of Switzer, W.Va., on August 27 for allegedly violating some conditions of its rotorcraft external-load operator certificate. The FAA believes Marpat failed to use a qualified chief pilot, falsified an application for renewal of its certificate and refused to comply with repeated FAA instructions to amend its flight manual. The agency says the company also operated its aircraft in a careless and reckless manner. Marpat subsequently surrendered its operating certificate.
The 45th annual seminar of the International Society of Air Safety Investigators (ISASI) will be held October 13 to 16 at the Stamford Hotel in Glenelg, near Adelaide, Australia. The theme for this year’s seminar is investigations and safety management systems. ISASI members include professional aircraft accident investigators and analysts from 60 countries.
The U.S. helicopter safety team (USHST) has begun a recruitment drive to convince more helicopter safety experts to join its efforts to reduce accidents and fatalities in the industry. The USHST comprises members from both industry and government focused on safety management, training, maintenance and safety technology.
More than 100 people attended Bell Helicopter’s Latin America regional safety symposium for rotorcraft pilots and technicians, held August 11 at the São Paulo World Trade Center in Brazil. The event, which coincided with the annual Latin American Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition, highlighted Bell’s support of the International Helicopter Safety Team’s mission to establish partnerships in countries with significant helicopter operations and encourage development of safety interventions.
The FAA on August 14 released its final solicitation for a new Center of Excellence (COE) for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) tasked with identifying current and future issues critical to the safe integration of UAS into the nation’s airspace. These issues include detect-and-avoid technology, control and communications, low-altitude operations safety, compatibility with ATC operations and training and certification of UAS pilots and other crewmembers. The agency will support this new COE with at least $500,000 per year over the next 10 years.
The FAA announced that the unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) test site Virginia Polytechnic Institute will manage is cleared to start flying aircraft.