Delta Defends Pilot Who Hit Passenger
A Delta Airlines pilot is back at work after he belted one of two brawling passengers in a jetway after the aircraft landed. A video obtained by TMZ shows the pilot smacking one of the women, who started tussling while disembarking.
Evolution Adds Two More PT6 Options
Evolution Aircraft Company, maker of the high-end Evolution Turbine and Evolution Piston kit planes, is adding two more versions of the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6 turboprop to its pressurized single-engine lineup. The Evolution airplanes were previously part of the Lancair brand of experimental aircraft, but Kevin Eldredge, president of Evolution Aircraft Company, sold the Lancair assets to a father-son pair in Texas to focus on the Evolution series aircraft last summer.
B-52 Probably Ingested Birds In Four Engines
The Air Force crew of MACHO 11 can now top Sully's two-engine bird ingestion. The Air Force B-52 that crashed when departing from Andersen Air Force Base last May experienced indications consistent with failure of all four starboard engines due to bird ingestion. The Boeing B-52 Stratofortress is an eight-engine, turbojet-powered strategic bomber. The aircraft commander told investigators that he saw birds at wing level, felt or heard "thuds," and "observed engine indications for numbers 5, 6, and 7 'quickly spooling back' from the required takeoff setting" with high oil pressure on engine 8.
Former Pilot Headed For Jail
A federal judge in Los Angeles accepted the plea bargain of Arnold ("Arnie") Gerald Leto III on Monday, sentencing him to 10 months in jail for flying paying passengers without a pilot's certificate--at least one flight in a Dassault Falcon 10 and at least one flight in a Cessna Citation II. Leto lost his certificate in early 2016 for flying paying passengers in the Cessna Citation II without possessing the required type rating and without a second pilot--as is required by that aircraft's type certificate.
Langford: Uber Vision 'Doable'
Uber drew lots of attention this week with their three-day Elevate conference about how to create an urban network of flying taxis by 2020, but as ambitious as their goals are, John Langford, the CEO of Aurora Flight Sciences, says they are "doable." The vision won't come to pass, though, he told AVweb in an interview from the conference, unless there's a deadline. "It's a little bit like going to Mars -- it's certainly possible, but it's always 20 years away," he said.
Aircraft had been inactive and hangared for approximately six months. While trying to troubleshoot a fuel quantity indication problem, a fuel sample revealed contamination, which was sent for analysis. While awaiting results, tanks were drained and an anti-bacterial fuel additive was added before they were refilled.
I was flying out of Boeing Field (KBFI), something I had done hundreds of times before. Tonights flight was to maintain night landing proficiency, so after making landings at a few airports in the area, the adventure started as I returned home in the dark. The wind was from the north, so the active runway was 31L. And because I was making the approach at night, I did what I always do: approach the runway from the north over Elliot Bay. As expected, I was assigned a left pattern to 31L.
NTSB Reports: May 2017
The pilot reported that when he raised the landing gear shortly after takeoff, he heard a loud crunch as the gear entered the wells. The pilot climbed the airplane to about 3000 feet and observed the landing gear circuit breaker was popped and the alternator was off. The pilot attempted to extend the landing gear normally several times, however, the circuit breaker popped each time and the gear remained retracted. The pilot also attempted to use the emergency gear extension, to no avail.
The relatively inexpensive and ubiquitous availability of in-cockpit Nexrad weather radar has helped minimize the risk of using personal airplanes compared to, say, 30 years ago. But risk and aviation seem to be a zero-sum game, since one result of this technology is that were more likely to get up close and personal with cumulus clouds in all stages of thunderstorm development than ever before. Thats not a good thing, but it is real. Along the way, most of us havent taken to heart the technologys inherent limitations for our purposes, like latency.
BasicMed Takes Effect
Effective May 1, 2017, you may no longer need to hold an FAA third-class medical certificate to serve as pilot in command. The change results from FAA implementing a Congressional mandate enacted last year, which directed the agency to develop appropriate regulations to eliminate the third-class medical for specified flight operations. The image below, prepared by the FAA, highlights BasicMeds major provisions.
FAA Evaluates Drone Detection Systems at DFW
This week, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and its partners are conducting detection research on unmanned aircraft (UAS) popularly called drones at Dallas/Fort Worth International (DFW) Airport.The DFW evaluation is the latest in a series of detection system evaluations that began in February 2016. Previous evaluations took place at Atlantic City International Airport; John F. Kennedy International Airport; Eglin Air Force Base; Helsinki, Finland Airport; and Denver International Airport.Drones that enter the airspace around airports can pose serious safety threats. The FAA is coordinating with government and industry partners to evaluate technologies that could be used to detect drones in and around airports. This effort complies with congressional language directing the FAA to evaluate UAS detection systems at airports and other critical infrastructure sites.At DFW, the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi UAS test site is performing the flight operations using multiple drones. Gryphon Sensors is the participating industry partner. The companys drone detection technologies include radar, radio frequency and electro-optical systems.The FAAs federal partners in the overall drone detection evaluation effort include the Department of Homeland Security; the Department of Defense; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Federal Communications Commission; Customs and Border Protection; the Department of the Interior; the Department of Energy; NASA; the Department of Justice; the Bureau of Prisons; the U.S. Secret Service; the U.S. Capitol Police; and the Department of Transportation. The work is part of the FAAs Pathfinder Program for UAS detection at airports.The FAA intends to use the information gathered during this assessment and other previous evaluations to develop minimum performance standards for any UAS detection technology that may be deployed in or around U.S. airports. These standards are expected to facilitate a consistent and safe approach to UAS detection at U.S. airports.Amplify the news on Twitter and Facebook using #FAA
FAA Issues Study on UAS Human Collision Hazards
April 28- What might happen if a drone hits a person on the ground? Whats the risk of serious injury?Although the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) cant yet definitively answer those questions, studies by a consortium of leading universities have made a start toward better understanding the risks of allowing small unmanned aircraft or drones to fly over people.The consortium that conducted the research includes the University of Alabama-Huntsville; Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University; Mississippi State University; and the University of Kansas, through the Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence (ASSURE). ASSURE represents 23 of the world's leading research institutions and 100 leading industry and government partners. It began the research in September 2015.The research team reviewed techniques used to assess blunt force trauma, penetration injuries and lacerations the most significant threats to people on the ground. The team classified collision severity by identifying hazardous drone features, such as unprotected rotors.The group also reviewed more than 300 publications from the automotive industry and consumer battery market, as well as toy standards and the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) database. Finally, the team conducted crash tests, dynamic modeling, and analyses related to kinetic energy, energy transfer, and crash dynamics.When the studies were complete, personnel from NASA, the Department of Defense, FAA chief scientists, and other subject matter experts conducted a strenuous peer review of the findings.The studies identified three dominant injury types applicable to small drones:Blunt force trauma the most significant contributor to fatalitiesLacerations blade guards required for flight over peoplePenetration injuries difficult to apply consistently as a standardThe research showed multi-rotor drones fall more slowly than the same mass of metal due to higher drag on the drone. Unlike most drones, wood and metal debris do not deform and transfer most of their energy to whatever they hit. Also, the lithium batteries that power many small drones need a unique standard to ensure safety.The team recommended continued research to refine the metrics developed. The team members suggested developing a simplified test method to characterize potential injury, and validating a proposed standard and models using potential injury severity test data.The second phase of ASSUREs research is set to begin in June 2017, and will examine the risks of collisions with aircraft.The report on the ASSURE research and two video files are available here:http://pr.cirlot.com/faa-and-assure-announce-results-of-ground-collision-study/Amplify the news on Twitter and Facebook using #UASIMPACT
FAA Air Traffic Report
Today's Air Traffic Report:Low clouds and decreased visibility likely will cause delays this morning in Atlanta (ATL), Boston (BOS), Charlotte (CLT) and the New York area (EWR, JFK, LGA). Strong winds could lead to additional delays in Dallas-Fort Worth (DAL, DFW), Denver (DEN), Las Vegas (LAS), Phoenix (PHX) and San Francisco (SFO). Scattered thunderstorms over Oklahoma and the Atlantic Coast are not expected to cause significant delays. Delays also are expected in Los Angeles (LAX).Pilots: Check out the new Graphical Forecasts for Aviation (GFA) Tool from the Aviation Weather Center.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.The FAA Air Traffic Report provides a reasonable expectation of any daily impactsto 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.
FAA Publishes First Set of UAS Facility Maps
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today published more than 200 facility maps to streamline the commercial drone authorization process. The maps depict areas and altitudes near airports where UAS may operate safely. But drone operators still need FAA authorization to fly in those areas.This marks a key first step as the FAA and industry work together to automate the airspace authorization process. The maps will help drone operators improve the quality of their Part 107 airspace authorization requests and help the FAA process the requests more quickly. The maps are informational and do not give people permission to fly drones. Remote pilots must still submit an online airspace authorization application.Operators may download the map data in several formats, view the site on mobile devices and customize their views. The map viewer displays numbers in grid cells which represent the distances Above Ground Level (AGL) in one square mile up to 400 feet where drones may fly. Zeros indicate critical locations around airports and other aircraft operating areas, like hospital helipads, where no drone flights can be preauthorized. Requests to operate in these areas will require further coordination and FAA safety analysis, which can result in additional safety mitigations to be complied with by the drone operator. Remote pilots can refer to the maps to tailor their requests to align with locations and altitudes when they complete airspace authorization applications. This will help simplify the process and increase the likelihood that the FAA will approve their requests.FAA air traffic personnel will use the maps to process Part 107 airspace authorization requests. Altitudes that exceed those depicted on the maps require additional safety analysis and coordination to determine if an application can be approved.Additional maps will be published every 56 days through the end of the year. The updates will coincide with the agencys existing 56-day aeronautical chart production schedule. If a map is not yet available, it can be expected in future releases.The facility maps are an important accomplishment as the FAA collaborates with industry to safely integrate drones into the National Airspace System. They will help improve the safety of drone and traditional aircraft operations. Questions may be directed to the FAA's UAS Integration Office via email@example.com or by calling 844-FLY-MY-UA.
Fly Safe: Prevent Loss of Control Accidents
Mountain Flying: Experience and Training is EssentialMountain flying is exhilarating, exciting, and challenging. It can open up new flying opportunities, but you need training, experience, and careful preparation to safely navigate those lofty peaks and spectacular scenery.Your training should begin with a quality mountain flying course that includes adequate mountain ground and flight training. You have a narrow window of safety when flying around mountains so youll need the experience and knowledge gained from a recognized training program. After your training is complete, and before your first flight, make sure you perform a mountain checkout with a qualified mountain flight instructor.Mountain flying, even more so than flight in the flatlands, is very unforgiving of poor training and poor planning. Its essential that you learn how to carefully prepare for the rigors and potential pitfalls of a mountain flight. Knowing the conditions is essential. The combination of weather and the surrounding terrain can cause dangerous wind, severe turbulence, and other conditions that may create serious challenges for a small GA aircraft. So, its important to use every available clue about the weather and terrain.Even experienced mountain pilots may not be familiar with the way local conditions and terrain may affect an aircrafts performance. While enjoying the views at a high-density altitude, you can quickly become surprised by your aircrafts changing performance. The pressure altitude, corrected for temperature, will make your airplane perform as if it is at a higher altitude. This change can have an adverse impact on your aircrafts performance.Here are the skills youll need:Knowledge of your airplanes performance, including how your aircraft will perform in all weather conditions and at high altitudes. Youll need to review takeoff, climb, landing, cold starts, hot starts, and stalls, among other performance characteristics. Make sure you take conditions into consideration, and are leaning the engine correctly for optimum power. Your planes condition and performance is essential to your survival.Flying skills. Do you have the skills needed to operate in extreme conditions, make decisions quickly and calmly, and fly in all types of weather?Do you have a Plan B? This is critical when flying a GA aircraft in the mountains. You should have an alternative route to get you out of trouble, or the option of delaying your return to home base.Survival. Are you experienced in personal survival techniques? Bitterly cold temperatures, high winds and other factors can land you in a position that you werent originally counting on. Be sure to pack specialized emergency and survival equipment on board. Youll want to include personal locator beacons, in addition to a 406 emergency local transmitter.Mountain flying is demanding so you should carefully consider your experience and background before beginning a flight into mountainous terrain.Checklist:Are you fully knowledgeable about your capabilities and those of your aircraft?Have you taken a specialized training course and worked with your flight instructor?Are you aware that while youre focused on a type of flying that has great rewards, it also has heightened risk?Those mountain views are beautiful, but theyre even more stunning when you can enjoy them safely.The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the general aviation (GA) communitys national #FlySafe campaign is designed to educate GA pilots about the best practices to calculate and predict aircraft performance and to operate within established aircraft limitations.Message from FAA Administrator Michael P. Huerta:The FAA and industry are working together to prevent Loss of Control (LOC) accidents and save lives. You can help make a difference by joining our #Fly Safe campaign. Every month on FAA.gov, we provide pilots with Loss of Control solutions developed by a team of experts some of which are already reducing risk. I hope you will join us in this effort and spread the word. Follow #FlySafe on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. I know that we can reduce these accidents by working together as a community.What is Loss of Control?A LOC accident involves an unintended departure of an aircraft from controlled flight. LOC can happen when the aircraft enters a flight regime that is outside its normal flight envelope and quickly develops into a stall or spin. It can introduce an element of surprise for the pilot.More about Loss of ControlContributing factors may include:Poor judgment or aeronautical decision makingFailure to recognize an aerodynamic stall or spin and execute corrective actionIntentional failure to comply with regulationsFailure to maintain airspeedFailure to follow procedurePilot inexperience and proficiencyUse of prohibited or over-the-counter drugs, illegal drugs, or alcoholDid you know?In 2015, 384 people died in 238 general aviation accidents.Loss of Control was the number one cause of these accidents.Loss of Control happens in all phases of flight.It can happen anywhere and at any time.There is one fatal accident involving Loss of Control every four days.Learn more:Read Tips on Mountain Flying, by the FAA FAASTeam.This FAA Mountain Flying tip sheet has specific information designed to keep you safely in control of your aircraft.Have you read the Extreme Weather edition of the FAA Safety Briefing? Rocky Mountain High: The Zen of Mountain Flying is just one of the good articles in this May/June 2012 issue.Are you a practical type? If so, youll appreciate the Top Ten Practical Considerations for Mountain Flying on AvWeb.This NTSB Safety Alert has lessons learned information that can be critical to your safety.TheFAASafety.govwebsite has Notices, FAAST Blasts, online courses, webinars and more on key general aviation safety topics.Check out GA Safety Enhancements fact sheets on the mainFAA Safety Briefingwebsite, including Flight Risk Assessment Tools.TheWINGS Pilot Proficiency Programhelps pilots build an educational curriculum suitable for their unique flight requirements. It is based on the premise that pilots who maintain currency and proficiency in the basics of flight will enjoy a safer and more stress-free flying experience.TheGeneral Aviation Joint Steering Committee (GAJSC)is comprised of government and industry experts who work together to use data to identify risk, pinpoint trends through root cause analysis, and develop safety strategies to reduce the risk of GA accidents. The GAJSC combines the expertise of many key decision makers in the FAA, several government agencies such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and stakeholder groups. Industry participants include the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, Experimental Aircraft Association, General Aviation Manufacturers Association, Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association, National Business Aviation Association, National Air Transportation Association, National Association of Flight Instructors, Society of Aviation and Flight Educators, and the aviation insurance industry. The National Transportation Safety Board and the European Aviation Safety Agency participate as observers.