The crew of a Beech 1900C and the handling controller were both responsible for a controlled flight into terrain (CFIT) accident, according to the NTSB’s recently released final report. The twin turboprop was on an IFR Part 135 cargo flight in IMC on March 8, 2013, and was 10 miles east of Aleknagik, Alaska, when the accident happened. Both pilots were killed.
The FAA announced it will formally re-examine the certification standards for helicopters under FAR Parts 27 and 29. Currently Part 27 helicopters must weigh 7,000 pounds or less and have no more than nine passenger seats. Helicopters that weigh more than 7,000 pounds and have 10 or more seats fall under the more stringent Part 29.
The FAA announced that the unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) test site Virginia Polytechnic Institute will manage is cleared to start flying aircraft.
The FAA has issued amended repair station regulations that allow the agency to deny an application for a new repair station certificate if the applicant or certain associated key individuals had materially contributed to the circumstances that caused a previous repair station certificate revocation action. The rule also adds a new section prohibiting fraudulent or intentionally false entries or omissions of material facts in any application, record or report made under the repair station rules.
Rockwell Collins announced at the LABACE show that the Vector SMS available to its Arinc Direct customers has been approved by Bermuda’s Department of Civil Aviation to meet its requirement for safety management systems. The Vector program integrates with the Arinc Direct flight operation system, enabling users to identify risks and hazards, which can then be addressed through guidance or advisories. “Safety management systems are becoming a standard throughout the aviation industry worldwide,” said Bob Richard, staff vice president, Arinc Direct for Rockwell Collins (Booth 4002).
The FAA’s Airports Office and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (Natca) have jointly created a new safety system called Airport Voluntary Reporting System (AVRS) to allow the agency’s employees to report safety hazards more easily without fear of retaliation. The FAA and Natca signed a memorandum of understanding for the 18-month pilot program covering 338 of the 550 Airports Office employees.
The U.S. Air Force said Friday it had initiated an investigation at Grand Forks AFB into allegations of cheating on proficiency exams by a number of air traffic controllers attached to the 319th Operations Support Squadron. One airman was caught with images of test material the Air Force alleges were shared with other controllers.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s inspector general (IG) last month issued recommendations related to the FAA plan to integrate two runway safety systems with airport surface detection equipment (ASDE-X). The two systems are the runway status lights (RWSL) system, which gives pilots a visible warning when runways are occupied; and the automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) system that generates simultaneous alerts to controllers and pilots of potential runway incursions and ground collisions.
The FAA on August 8 banned all U.S. airlines and commercial operators, as well as anyone flying with an FAA-issued pilot certificate, from operating within Iraqi airspace at any altitude in response to ground fighting between Iraqi security forces and militants. The ban remains in force until further notice.
The FAA mandate to equip with ADS-B OUT avionics is coming in fewer than 5.5 years, and many owners and operators are still waiting to upgrade their aircraft, either because they’re hoping prices will drop and technology will improve or they aren’t sure they’ll be keeping their aircraft beyond the deadline.