In recent months FAA Administrator Babbitt has promoted specific tailored hypoxia training, along with high-altitude handling, for commercial and private pilots who want to fly at high altitude. Indeed, FAA Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14CFR) establishes mandatory requirements for high-altitude training using military altitude chambers at 15 U.S.
More than 60 percent of business jet pilots do not use oxygen masks when required to by FAA regulations, according to a survey conducted by corporate pilot Chris Shaver for his master’s thesis at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
The Falcon 50, 900 and 900EX are among the first of several business jets to be the subject of a final AD as a result of the FAA’s special certification review (SCR) of all pressurized airplanes after the October 1999 Payne Stewart Learjet 35 crash and several other incidents and accidents attributed to suspected oxygen deprivation.
The FAA has proposed levying a $1 million fine against American Eagle for failing to comply with the company’s oil-consumption monitoring program. The offenses involved nine Saab 340Bs, whose oil levels the airline failed to properly check daily between May 1 and Aug. 24, 1998. During that period, Eagle pilots aborted 11 takeoffs due to low engine oil pressure.
Altitude chamber training is now being offered by MedAire at Arizona State University. The Tempe, Ariz.-based medical emergency response firm said the stand-alone, five- to six-hour course–available on demand–costs $995 per person and covers physiology, hypoxia, oxygen systems, altitude sickness and the physical effects of flight and decompression.
Gulfstream 100s, Astra SPXs and 1125 Westwinds are the latest business jet models to be the subject of an AD as a result of the FAA’s special certification review (SCR) of all pressurized airplanes after the October 1999 Payne Stewart Learjet 35 crash and several other incidents and accidents attributed to suspected oxygen deprivation.
For aviators and their passengers, oxygen means life at the high altitudes traversed by modern aircraft. True high-altitude passenger flight wasn’t really practicable until large-cabin pressurization was introduced during the halcyon days of aeronautical development surrounding World War II, most notably aboard the Boeing 307 Stratoliner and Lockheed Constellation transports and Boeing B-29 bomber.
RAYTHEON BEECH KING AIR B200, WERNADINGA STATION, QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA, SEPT. 4, 2000–Investigators were unable to find the cause of the pilot’s apparent hypoxia incapacitation.
French corporation Zodiac has purchased Scott Aviation from Tyco International, and renamed the Lancaster, Pa.-based oxygen system components supplier Avox Systems. The sale was followed by a contract from Cessna to supply Avox oxygen mask deployment containers for the new Citation Mustang very light jet.
The good news about the proliferation of new high-altitude airplanes–turbocharged piston or turbine–is that they offer users the chance to experience the increased efficiency of an engine that likes flying where the air is thin.