POTUS TFRs Paralyze Florida Flight Ops
Airport operators and flight schools in the Palm Beach, Florida, area are bracing for long-term economic loss and disruption due to the presidential TFR covering President Trump's visits to his Mar-a-Lago resort. For the third weekend in a row, the presidential TFR covering Trump's visit has shut down busy Palm Beach Country/Lantana airport and disrupted flight training and other prohibited general aviation activities. Although local authorities and advocacy groups have approached the Secret Service requesting a cutout or procedural relief, none has been forthcoming.
Suit Follows Power Line Collision
An Aspen, Colorado, man is suing the pilot and passenger in an L-39 that hit power lines over a highway in 2015, saying he gripped the steering wheel of his car so tightly he's had chronic pain in his hands ever since.
Sonic Booms Announce TFR Intercept
Sonic booms rattled the southeast coast of Florida Friday evening as two F-15s were scrambled to intercept an aircraft that violated presidential restricted airspace over West Palm Beach.
Trump Claims $1 Billion Saving On Air Force One
President Donald Trump said Saturday he'd personally negotiated a $1 billion reduction in the $4.2 billion cost of the replacement aircraft for Air Force One and accomplished it in less than an hour. He also told a campaign rally in Melbourne, Florida, that the 25 percent discount is "not good enough. We're still not going to do it. The price is still too high."
Navy Lukewarm On Substituting Upgraded F/A-18s For F-35C
U.S. Navy Rear Adm. DeWolf Miller showed little enthusiasm for trading Super Hornets for F-35s, as has been proposed by President Trump in an effort to reduce the total program cost of the F-35 Lightning. Testifying at a House Subcommittee hearing on the F-35 program, Miller said, "The F-35C provides unique capabilities that cannot be matched by modernizing fourth-generation aircraft."
The pilot could not pull the right engines condition lever into the fuel cutoff position; the firewall shutoff was used to shut down the engine. Inspection revealed the linkage between the power lever and the condition lever on the fuel control unit was corroded and the linkage jammed with residue. The linkage was cleaned and lubricated, and the aircraft returned to service.
Last year, in the final stages of my student helicopter pilot training, I needed to complete the solo requirement of three takeoffs and landings at an airport with an operating control tower. The short cross-country to the towered airport went well. I negotiated with the tower controller to use the airports south helipad, which is near the tower and the approach end of one of the facilitys principal runways. First circuit from and back to the pad was uneventful, two trips to go.
NTSB Reports: March 2017
After taking air samples at various altitudes, the airplane was returning to its base and overshot a turn to the Runway 36 localizer. Shortly thereafter, the pilot reported an on-board fire. The airplane, which was at 1700 feet, lost altitude rapidly and radar contact was lost. The accident site was consistent with the airplane striking the ground at a high velocity, low angle of impact in a left wing slightly low attitude. There was a ground fire after impact.
Can’t You Read The Signs?
Airplanes are mechanical contrivances. So it shouldnt come as a surprise to learn they sometimes break. The object, of course, is for them to break on the ground, preferably right in front of a maintenance shop at which you have a credit on your account. It rarely works out that way, of course. Instead, airplanes can and do break while were flying them. But even when they let us down, they usually have been signaling in some fashion whats about to happen.
New Advisory Circulars
Three Advisory Circulars newly issued by the FAA in December 2016 and January 2017 may provide much-needed guidance to operators seeking answers to a wide range of certification and operational questions. Two of the ACs revise existing guidance on Use of Flight Deck Displays of Digital Weather and Aeronautical Information (AC 00-63A) and Airworthiness Approval of Enhanced Vision System, Synthetic Vision System, Combined Vision System, and Enhanced Flight Vision System Equipment (AC 20-167A).
Registration for 2017 FAA UAS Symposium Goes Live
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) announced today that registration is underway for the 2017 UAS Symposium scheduled to take place at the Hyatt Regency in Reston, VA, from March 27 to 29.The FAA and AUVSI are co-sponsoring this years event, which will bring together representatives from government, industry and academia to discuss topics of high interest to the fast-growing unmanned aircraft (UAS) community. It will focus on industry partnerships as well as how to overcome technical challenges to safe UAS operations.Last years first UAS Symposium in Daytona Beach, FL, drew hundreds of interested participants and gave the FAA wide-ranging viewpoints that are helping inform the agencys long-term planning for UAS integration. The three-day 2017 event promises to be an equally valuable session for all the participants and their organizations.FAA Administrator Michael Huerta will deliver the keynote address on March 27. Presentations and workshops are planned on issues such as the current and future regulatory environment, progress toward integrating UAS, unmanned aircraft research initiatives, counter-UAS evaluations and international UAS collaboration.For more information about this years symposium or to register, go to: http://www.auvsi.org/faa2017/home
FAA Air Traffic Report
The FAA Air Traffic Report provides a reasonable expectation of any daily impacts to normal air traffic operations, i.e. arrival/departure delays, ground stoppages, airport closures. This information is for air traffic operations planning purposes and is reliable as weather forecasts and other factors beyond our ability to control.Always check with your air carrier for flight-specific delay information.Today's Air Traffic Report:Strong winds and heavy traffic for Presidents Day weekendcould slow flights in the New York area (EWR, JFK, LGA). Clouds, rain and thunderstorms are expected all day in California and may lead to delays in Los Angeles (LAX), San Diego (SAN) and San Francisco (SFO). Clouds and rain might also delay flights in Las Vegas (LAS) and Houston (HOU, IAD).For up-to-the-minute air traffic operations information, visit fly.faa.gov, and follow @FAANews on Twitter for the latest news and Air Traffic Alerts.
Drone Advisory Committee Builds Consensus
WASHINGTON The Drone Advisory Committee (DAC) held its second meeting on January 31 in Reno, NV. The DAC is an RTCA Federal Advisory Committee comprised of executives who represent a wide array of stakeholders including: unmanned aircraft manufacturers and operators, traditional aviation groups, labor organizations, radio and navigation equipment manufacturers, airport operators, state and local government officials, and academia.During the meeting, the committee reviewed three draft tasking statements: (1) the roles and responsibilities of federal, state, and local governments in regulating and enforcing drone laws; (2) technological and regulatory mechanisms that would allow drone operators to gain access to the airspace beyond what the agency currently permits under the Small UAS Rule; and (3) funding to offset the cost of supporting unmanned aircraft integration into the nations airspace.The DAC approved the first two task group statements with edits which have subsequently been finalized. The statements for Task Group 1 and Task Group 2 are available online.The FAA received the DACs feedback on the third tasking statement and will finalize it over the coming weeks. The third tasking statement will be posted on RTCAs website.Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Michael Huerta announced the creation of the DAC in May 2016. The committee provides an open venue for the FAA and stakeholders to work in partnership to identify and recommend a single, consensus-based set of resolutions for issues related to the safety and efficiency of integrating unmanned aircraft into the National Airspace System. It also provides the FAA with recommendations that may be used for tactical and strategic planning.The next DAC meeting will be held on May 3 in Washington, DC. Information about the DAC, including meetings, is available on RTCAs website.
U.S. Helicopter Accidents Decrease
WASHINGTON DC The U.S. helicopter accident rate and the fatal helicopter accident rate have fallen for the third consecutive year, according to Federal Aviation Administration data.The overall accident rate fell to 3.19 accidents per 100,000 flight hours in 2016 compared with 3.67 accidents in 2015. The fatal accident rate fell slightly to 0.51 accidents per 100,000 flight hours in 2016 compared with a 0.52 rate in 2015. However, the rate is down from 0.65 in 2014 and 1.02 in 2013.In raw numbers, there were 106 helicopter accidents in 2016, including 17 fatal accidents. That is a 12 percent decrease compared to the previous year and a 27 percent decrease compared to 2013.Total AccidentsTotal Accident RateFatal AccidentsFatalAccident Rate20161063.19170.5120151213.67170.5220141384.26210.6520131464.95301.02The FAA and the helicopter industry have worked together to educate the civil helicopter community about safe practices, to drive these improved results, said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. The FAA and the industry also are taking an active role in advancing safety through new technology, collaborative policy changes and proactive outreach.The FAA and the helicopter industry have worked together through groups such as the International Helicopter Safety Team and the U.S. Helicopter Safety Team to prevent accidents. The effort is achieving success through a series of proactive measures:Creating a culture of safety The FAA has encouraged helicopter companies and individual pilots to promote safety in the workplace. Efforts include establishing a system where anyone can report an unsafe condition without fear of reprisal, making every employee a champion of safety, and establishing safety training programs for mechanics, pilots and other employees.Cutting the red tape The FAA issued the Non-Required Safety Enhancing Equipment policy in 2013 after consultations with industry. The policy allows operators and manufacturers to install safety equipment through a streamlined and less expensive approval process. The policy seeks to strike a balance between risk and safety through a common-sense approach.New technology Both the FAA and industry are using technological advances to promote safer helicopter flights. For example, the FAA mandated that the Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast system (ADS-B) be installed in U.S. helicopters by Jan. 1, 2020 if they intend to operate in busy airspace. ADS-Bs satellite-based technology can provide three-dimensional information (latitude, longitude, altitude) about a helicopters position, along with information about its direction and size, without the geographic drawbacks posed by radar.Collaborative rule-making The FAA is working with industry representatives to ensure that newly-manufactured helicopters can help prevent injuries, post-crash fires and catastrophic damage from bird-strikes. Some manufacturers and operators are already voluntarily stepping up and installing the life-saving equipment. In addition, the FAA required in 2014 that certain (Part 135) commercial helicopter operators, including air ambulances and air taxis, have stricter flight rules and procedures, improved communications, training, and additional on-board safety equipment.FAA International Rotorcraft Safety conference For the past two years, with industrys support the FAA has hosted a three-day gathering focused on a variety of safety topics. The conference includes presentations about decision-making, fatigue, safe autorotations, protective equipment, a culture of safety, and first-person experiences.
Super Bowl 51 Flight Restrictions
Pilots flying in the airspace around Houston, TX, between Feb. 2-6 will want to familiarize themselves with the FAAs air traffic procedures NOTAM for the area on those dates. The FAA has released the guidance in conjunction with Super Bowl LI, which takes place on Sunday, Feb. 5 at NRG Stadium in Houston, TX. Game time will be at 5:30 p.m. CST.As a designated National Security Special Event, additional unmanned aircraft restrictions will be in place before, during and after the Super Bowl. Learn more here: Super Bowl No Drone Zone.Note that reservations will be required for arrivals and departures from Thursday, Feb. 2 through Monday, Feb. 6 at 21 Houston-area airports. Reservations can be obtained through local FBOs.George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)William P. Hobby Airport (HOU)Ellington Airport (EFD)Scholes International Airport at Galveston (GLS)Houston Executive Airport (TME)Lone Star Executive Airport (CXO)David Wayne Hooks Memorial Airport (DWH)Sugar Land Regional Airport (SGR)West Houston Airport (IWS)Texas Gulf Coast Regional Airport (LBX)Pearland Regional Airport (LVJ)La Porte Municipal Airport (T41)Baytown Airport (HPY)Houston Southwest Airport (AXH)RWJ Airpark (54T)Chambers County Airport (T00)Liberty Municipal Airport (T78)Navasota Municipal Airport (60R)Eagle Lake Airport (ELA)Wharton Regional Airport (ARM)Bay City Municipal Airport (BYY)Required Route Structures for Arrivals and DeparturesArrival Route Requirements: Feb 2: 6 a.m. (1200z) through Feb 6 8 p.m. (07/0200z)The arrival route requirements are specific to arrivals into several Houston-area airports. They are broken into arrival airport and direction for both turbojet and turbo prop/prop aircraft. These routes can be found in the FAA air traffic management procedures NOTAM.Departure Route Requirements: Feb 2 6 a.m. (1200z) through Feb 6 8 p.m. (07/0200z)The departure route requirements are specific to airport of origin and direction of flight and destination. These routes can be found in the FAA air traffic management procedures NOTAM.To assist flight operators in easily obtaining important air traffic management information, the FAA has published NOTAMs specific to each airport in the region:George Bush Intercontinental/Houston (IAH)William P. Hobby (HOU)Ellington (EFD)Sugarland Regional (SGR)West Houston (IWS)Houston Southwest (AXH)Houston Executive (TME)David Wayne Hooks Memorial (DWH)Conroe/North Houston Regional (CXO)Pearland Regional (LVJ)Texas Gulf Coast Regional (LBX)La Porte Municipal (T41)Scholes International (GLS)Baytown (HPY)FAA ATC Air Traffic Management InitiativesAir traffic management Initiatives can be expected throughout the week and may include the following:Ground Delay Programs (GDP)Airspace Flow Programs (AFP)Collaborative Trajectory Options Program (CTOP)Time Based MeteringMiles in TrailAirborne HoldingGround StopsThe FAA has published a webpage that contains all air traffic management related information for all Houston area-airspace and airports. It will be updated as additional information becomes available.Special Event TFR for Super Bowl Sunday February 5th, 2017A TFR has been published for the Houston, TX area associated with Super Bowl LI. The TFR will be centered on NRG Stadium and will be active from 4:00pm Central Standard time (2200z) until 11:59pm Central Standard time (06/0559z) on Sunday, February 5th. The TFR will have a 10 nautical mile inner ring as well as a 30 nautical mile outer ring.The 10 nautical mile TFR centered on NRG Stadium prohibits GA operations at Houston Hobby/HOU from 1600 local (2200z) until 2359 local (06/0559z) on February 5, 2017.The 30 nautical mile TFR ring centered on NRG Stadium has additional restrictions between the 10 and 30 nautical mile areas from 1600 local (2200z) until 2359 local (06/0559z) on February 5, 2017.View the Super Bowl LI TFR Graphic DepictionRead the full text of the Super Bowl LI TFRTSA Gateway Screening available out of Houston Hobby/HOU during TFRTSA Gateway Screening will be available for aircraft wishing to depart Houston Hobby/HOU during the TFR on February 5, 2017. TSA screening will be available at HOU between 1600-2230 local. Reservations for screening may be made beginning February 2nd by calling TSA at 713-454-6942. Operators wishing to utilize the TSA screening process must register with TSA no less than 24 hours prior to their scheduled departure time. Flight crew and passengers must provide a valid government issued photo ID to the TSA prior to departure from HOU. Gateway screening will include ID verification and vetting of all flight crew and passengers, screening of persons and baggage and inspection of the aircraft.Please note that there may be a limit of aircraft allowed to arrange TSA screening due to TSA staffing at HOU.FAA Super Bowl LI air traffic management webpage.