Patrick Cau, a German citizen and former United Airlines flight attendant, has been sentenced to 18 months in a U.S. federal prison for making eight false bomb threats against United Airlines flights. Cau was fired by the airline about a year before the first threats began surfacing from a variety of U.S. cities in late 2012. Cau must also pay nearly $314,000 in restitution to both his former employer and the Los Angeles Police Department for expenses related to the threats.
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) will begin implementing new regulations next year for third country operators (TCOs) that wish to fly to Europe. The new regulations will provide a single, unified code for all operators flying to the 28 European Union states, EU overseas territories and the four EFTA (European Free Trade Association) states (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland). The unified rules will cover all holders of AOCs (air operator certificates), which includes business aviation charter companies as well as airlines.
I got to thinking about voluntary versus mandatory safety reporting programs after reading an article in a British newspaper about two UK pilots who allegedly fell asleep in the cockpit of an Airbus A330 shortly after takeoff. What caught my attention was the statement from the UK Civil Aviation Authority that enforcement action against the pilots is unlikely.
When the FAA amended aircraft stall training last year to emphasize reducing angle of attack over the long-used procedure of limiting altitude loss above all else, training organizations across the U.S. were required to update their curriculums to reflect those changes.
Using the successful 2008 industry/government partnership that spawned the Commercial Aviation Safety Team (Cast), the FAA announced plans on November 21 to organize a similar Air Carrier Training Steering Group to evaluate best practices and newly identified areas of air safety risk. FAA Administrator Michael Huerta asked industry participants at the meeting to provide him with the top five focus areas to improve airline training.
Air navigation service providers (ANSPs) from 10 Eastern and Central European countries signed a cooperation agreement earlier this month to create a regional entity with a stronger voice in Europe’s air traffic management decision-making process. The association covers airspace managed by three smaller groupings of adjoining countries known as functional airspace blocks (FABs), in this case the Baltic, Danube and Central Europe FABs.
Bombardier plans to issue an update on the flight-test schedule of its new CSeries jet “in a few weeks” as program managers assess whether to maintain the company’s admittedly ambitious entry-into-service target date of one year after first flight, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft marketing vice president Philippe Poutissou told AIN last week during a briefing at the Dubai Airshow.
NBAA announced that its director of legislative affairs, Dick Doubrava, and FAA associate administrator for airports Christa Fornarotto have been appointed to vice president positions with government-relations responsibilities for the association. Doubrava came to NBAA in 2004 from the Carmen Group, a Washington-based government relations firm.
The Department of Transportation’s Office of the Inspector General (IG) this week will begin an audit of the FAA’s progress at reducing the fatal accident rate of helicopters operating as emergency medical service (HEMS) transports. The FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 required the FAA to take specific actions to reduce the HEMS accident rate, including short-term safety initiatives to promote the use of advanced technology, such as night vision equipment.
The FAA is requesting comments on the draft of an advisory circular (AC 120-27F) to provide operators with guidance on developing and receiving approval for a weight-and-balance control program for aircraft operated under Part 91, Part 91 Subpart K and Parts 121, 125 and 135. Comments must be received by December 7.