The FAA will upgrade the cockpits in its fleet of 18 King Air 300 flight-inspection airplanes with Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics systems rather than replace the aircraft, the agency said. Rockwell Collins installed the retrofit displays and associated hardware in the first airplane last month. FAA technicians will perform the upgrades in the remainder over the next three years as part of a broader aircraft life-extension program.
In 1998, the National Business Aviation Association started honoring companies that have flown 50 years or more without an accident. NBAA Convention News talked with representatives from this year’s top honorees to find out about their
operations and the secrets of their successes.
Tecumseh Products, Tecumseh, Mich.
Dennis Bailey, aviation department manager
Each year, NBAA recognizes the top aviation maintenance and avionics technicians with good safety records who work for member companies. Maintaining corporate aircraft or avionics for three accident-free years is the minimum requirement for an NBAA Safety Award but the actual number of years for many of the technicians adds up to four decades or more.
Though business jet accidents in the first half of the year decreased 31 percent versus the same period last year, fatal accidents were up from two to five, according to figures released by Robert E. Breiling Associates of Boca Raton, Fla. As a result, business jet-related fatalities were up from six last year to 14 in the first half of this year.
Aviation by far has the highest number of outstanding safety deficiencies of any form of transportation in the U.S., according to the NTSB, which authors an annual Most Wanted list of recommendations. Congress wants to know why.
Every year the NTSB updates its list of Most Wanted Transportation Safety Improvements, divided among the five transportation modes over which it has jurisdiction and a sixth listed as intermodal.
The FAA has issued two new final rule amendments covering FAR Part 33 turbine engine certification standards.
Government officials continue to shine a spotlight on general aviation security. Testifying last week before the House Committee on Homeland Security, DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff said his department would soon unveil a plan to tighten security standards for general aviation aircraft (read: business airplanes) entering the country from overseas.
Between now and December 31, the FAA is sending teams of aviation safety inspectors to conduct “special emphasis inspections” of all Part 135 charter operators focusing on compliance with FAR Parts 119 and 135 and OpSpec A002 and A008 operational control requirements. The instructions to the inspector workforce are detailed in FAA Notice N8900.16, which contains an inspection checklist.
Few things can make or break a flight as thoroughly as catering. Caterers know it, and passengers know it. So do the schedulers and dispatchers who order it and the flight attendants who serve it. That considered, said Brad Thomas, catering director and executive chef at Lindy’s in San Diego, “the goal of everyone is to make the passengers happy.”