Air safety

January 4, 2014 - 2:35am

The FAA has proposed levying a $304,000 civil penalty against Cheyenne, Wyo.-based Great Lakes Aviation for allegedly conducting 19 flights following improper application of de-icing fluid. The FAA maintains that Great Lakes flew Beech 1900Ds out of Hays, Kan., in January 2011 with de-icing fluid that exceeded the maximum temperature of 180 degrees F. The Great Lakes de-icing manual states that fluid heated to more than 180 degrees could damage the aircraft or the de-icer.

Great Lakes had 30 days from receipt of the FAA’s December 2 enforcement letter to respond to the agency.

January 3, 2014 - 3:40am

The FAA is reissuing and revising a Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (SW-08-03R4) covering recommendations for rotorcraft powered by turboshaft engines flying into snowy or icy conditions. The SAIB describes procedures to reduce the probability of an uncommanded in-flight engine shutdown due to snow and/or ice ingestion and reminds operators that most helicopters are not approved/equipped for flight into icing conditions.

January 3, 2014 - 12:15am
Pilots have come to rely on technology in the cockpit, but they must know how to make it work for them under difficult situations, says a working group.

Humans’ attempts to interact with cockpit automation have provided fodder for pilot anecdotes for years, and the recently released Operational Use of Flight Path Management Systems offers a precise roadmap for where the industry needs to focus. The 34-member research team responsible for compiling the report comprises members of the Performance-based Aviation Rulemaking Committee’s (PARC) flight-deck automation working group, which evolved not long after the 1995 American Airlines accident in Cali, Colombia.

January 1, 2014 - 4:48am

House Transportation Committee chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) set the table for the next round of FAA reauthorization and federal aviation programs when he told the International Aviation Club of Washington, D.C., last month that “we have to begin laying the groundwork now.” The current FAA reauthorization became law in 2012 and expires in September 2015.

December 23, 2013 - 3:00pm

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) last week lists two aviation issues as top priorities for 2014 in the latest audit released by the office of its inspector general (IG). The DOT will focus on improving the FAA’s industry oversight and operations within the national airspace system (NAS), while also identifying and addressing what it views as root problems in the decade-old NextGen program.

December 17, 2013 - 2:45pm

Although the current FAA reauthorization and federal aviation programs do not expire until September 2015, follow-on legislation is already on the radar screens of government and the aviation industry. In a House aviation subcommittee hearing last week on the state of American aviation, chairman Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.), whose district includes the FAA’s technical center in Atlantic City, noted that it took five years and 23 short-term extensions to pass the current reauthorization bill.

December 17, 2013 - 1:25am

Incorrect data in aviation records is serious in the extreme. Aviation depends on data entry to record everything from student pilot training to air carrier compliance with airworthiness directives to scores of information on every aspect of defeating gravity safely. For that reason, air safety relies in large part on records, the accuracy of which is critical.

December 16, 2013 - 2:43pm

Eurocontrol’s Maastricht Upper Area Control Center last week introduced a system to dynamically manage upper airspace to suit traffic flow. The new variable division flight level (VDFL) enables a flexible distribution of traffic between upper and lower sectors (from 24,500 feet to unlimited), by altering the division flight level to match changing traffic patterns. The division flight level between the upper and lower sectors was previously fixed at 33,500 feet.

December 16, 2013 - 10:40am

The U.S. air traffic management (ATM) system outperforms Europe’s more fragmented system on both cost and operations, according to two reports issued by the Eurocontrol Performance Review Commission (PRC).

December 9, 2013 - 2:34pm

The Flight Operations Risk Assessment System (Foras) was created to quantitatively assess aviation risk factors with more than simple accident rates. As highlighted in the Flight Safety Foundation’s November 2013 AeroSafety World publication, the system breaks down risks into ever smaller elements to simplify analysis.

 
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