A May 11 trial date has been set for the start of a lawsuit in which four former Flight Options pilots allege they were fired because of their union-organizing activities before the company merged with Raytheon Travel Air. However, a settlement could come sooner. The case is scheduled to go before a mediator early this month. The pilots filed the lawsuit in late 2002.
In a rare decision, a federal judge in Jacksonville, Fla., ruled last month that the FAA was more responsible for a fatal accident than the pilot. All four people on board a Piper Cherokee Six were killed on Dec. 12, 2001, when the piston single crashed in heavy fog.
The FAA announced today that it intends “later this year” to issue a formal notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to increase the mandatory airline pilot retirement age from 60 to 65. The planned proposal follows several other recent related actions.
April 8 is the closing day to submit comments on a proposal to permit operations of U.S.-registered aircraft owned by a non-U.S. company to use the options of FAR 91.501 without obtaining a “foreign aircraft permit.” Under existing rules U.S.-registered aircraft are considered foreign-owned when the management and/or board of directors of the corporation are not composed entirely of U.S. citizens.
A hydraulic leak that, along with inclement weather, forced a NetJets Citation on a ferry flight from Appleton, Wis., to Rochester, Minn., to divert to Minneapolis on January 12 was caused by a break in a hydraulic line, not by a bullet strike. During the post-flight inspection in Minneapolis a broken hydraulic line was found inside the left engine compartment, as well as a bullet hole on top of the right wing with the bullet still embedded.
British Aerospace Jetstream 3101, Caracas, Venezuela, Nov. 18, 2004– Jetstream YV-1083C (Venezuelan registration) lost directional control and crashed into the airport fire station while landing in IMC and heavy rain at Simon Bolivar International Airport, Caracas, Venezuela. The domestic Venezolana Linea Aerea Bolivariana flight from El Vigia, Venezuela, was on an IFR flight plan.
A former employee of GE Aircraft Engines claims the company knowingly shipped defective parts built during a 10-year period at its factory in Madisonville, Ky. The charges came to light in a $64.4 million “whisteblower” lawsuit filed by former quality-control engineer Terri Brown, unsealed in late November at the request of the Courier-Journal of Louisville.
The Transportation Security Administration is allowing operators to increase progressively the time for which international waivers are valid. Any operator who has a 90-day waiver coming up for renewal now can request a six-month waiver. Once an operator has a six-month waiver, it can get a one-year waiver. The holder of a one-year waiver coming up for renewal can request another one-year waiver.
A jury ordered Universal Avionics to pay Honeywell $5.5 million in damages for violating a patent related to Honeywell’s original (pre-“enhanced”) GPWS. The same jury last month ruled in favor of co-defendant Sandel Avionics. All three firms build terrain awareness and warning systems (TAWS) and have been locked in a lawsuits over TAWS patents since 2002.
The DOT in its advance NPRM asks the public to comment on the following questions:
(1) How might customers and passengers benefit from the information covered by the NTSB recommendation in making their air-taxi service purchase decisions?
(2) Should any notice requirement, if adopted, also apply to air charter brokers and other ticket agents who arrange for air transportation for air-taxi customers?