MAKE CHAPTER 288 YOUR AVIATION HOME! E-AB, TYPE CERTIFIED, VINTAGE, WARBIRD, ETC.
MAKE CHAPTER 288 YOUR AVIATION HOME! E-AB, TYPE CERTIFIED, VINTAGE, WARBIRD, ETC.
By Larry Fields, (Acting) FAA Flight Standards Service Executive Director
This time of year presents pilots with somewhat of a recurring conundrum: Do I fly, or do I fold? While some are content with tucking in their airplanes for a long winter’s nap, others embrace the change of season, taking advantage of the uncrowded skies, boosted performance, and winter’s unparalleled natural beauty. Regardless of which category you might fall into, you’ll want to heed some important guidance on the many nuances and risks of cold-weather operations. This issue of FAA Safety Briefing is a great place to start.
Michael knows aviation, he understands how the FAA operates, and he appreciates GA’s needs as a private pilot. Under Michael’s leadership, the FAA will address serious issues that have loomed over the agency and the aviation industry. Perhaps now the FAA will address the serious issues that have loomed over the agency and the aviation industry.
Since January 2022, Whitaker has held senior leadership roles at Supernal, a U.S.-based mobility service provider that is developing an advanced air mobility electric aircraft and a supporting transit ecosystem. Whitaker also served as global head of policy at Hyundai Urban Air Mobility, and principal of his own aviation and aerospace consultancy after departing his first stint at the FAA. He began his career as an attorney for Trans World Airlines in New York and Washington, D.C., then spent 15 years at United Airlines in Chicago, where he served as senior vice president of alliances, international, and regulatory affairs.
Whitaker left United to become the group CEO of InterGlobe Enterprises, the holding company that founded, owns, and operates India's largest airline, IndiGo, among other travel-related businesses. Whitaker earned his private pilot certificate as part of his commitment to fully understand aviation technology and the challenges of general aviation.
Last week EAA and Warbirds of America filed joint comments to an FAA Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that codifies new rules for flight training in experimental, limited, and primary-category aircraft. The FAA states that the NPRM is intended to re-establish the status quo prior to a June 2021 court ruling that turned longstanding policy on flight training in these aircraft on its head. This led to several years of experimental aircraft owners requiring letters of deviation authority (LODAs) to train in their own aircraft and owners of limited category aircraft needing exemptions to do the same. Legislation late last year eliminated the LODA requirement for most experimental aircraft owners.
The NPRM confirms that additional authorization is only required in the case of an experimental aircraft being used in a commercial flight training operation, which was established policy prior to June 2021. In order to allow limited category aircraft to receive LODAs, the NPRM moves the LODA rule into a different paragraph in Part 91. It also rewrites the primary category rule to explicitly allow compensated flight training, which was the original intent for the rule stated in its preamble.
Beyond correcting the 2021 court ruling, the proposal expands the types of flight training operations allowed under a LODA – following several years of advocacy by EAA and other groups. New additions include training for endorsements, aerobatics, flight reviews, and even expanded training opportunities for a sport pilot certificate. Some of these new additions require the applicant to show “specific need” to conduct such training in an experimental or limited category aircraft.
Fulfilling another EAA advocacy priority, the NPRM removes the experimental light-sport (E-LSA) “sunset date” for training, allowing for these types to again be available to train the public for operation of an ultralight vehicle under a LODA with a rated sport pilot instructor.
EAA and Warbirds’ comments, created in consultation with leaders from several aviation communities, are generally supportive of the changes within the context of the 2021 court decision, its fallout, and long-sought reforms to the traditional LODA system. The comments are mainly technical in nature and request, in summary:
The Commemorative Air Force and the Association of Professional Warbird Operators offered input to the comments submitted by EAA and Warbirds of America and added letters of concurrence to the NPRM docket.
EAA will continue to advocate for access to quality flight training across all types, with appropriate risk mitigations where needed.
Click on the following link to learn more:
AND -- If you would like to read the FAA's Advisory Circular click here:
FAA UPDATES NONTOWERED FLIGHT OPERATIONS AC
Read about the new AC here:
DOWNLOAD THE AC HERE:
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Read the renewal notice here:
1. FAA Releases Policy Memo on Task-Based Phase I
2. ELECTRONIC DATA DELIVERY: "SEE AND AVOID"
Go to the Aviation and Space News tab above, then FAA ************************************
The FAA on September 13 issued a rare unapproved parts notification pertaining to 12 specific aircraft adhesive products used to secure fabric aircraft covering material and made by a California company between 2011 and 2022, following an investigation. The agency cited no safety concern. Click below to read the AOPA article on this subject.
Inside this website you'll find all the news that FAA is involved in, plus numerous stories about all things aviation and the people in the FAA that make the Agency function.
A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) from the FAA entitled “Public Aircraft Logging of Flight Time, Training in Certain Aircraft Holding Special Airworthiness Certificates, and Flight Instructor Privileges” has been published in the Federal Register. Among several rule changes, the NPRM proposes to codify the ability to train, without any further FAA authorization, in experimental, limited, and primary category aircraft when the use of aircraft is not being offered for hire to a third party as part of the instruction.
Under the proposed rule, Letters of Deviation Authority (LODAs) would continue to permit certain types of training where the aircraft is offered for hire. This has allowed and would continue to allow training operations to offer transition training to appropriately rated members of the flying public where the use of an experimental aircraft is compensated.
Another significant rule change proposed in the NPRM is the removal of a prohibition on experimental light-sport aircraft to be used in compensated training operations. Over the years, this restriction has severely limited the availability of suitable aircraft for ultralight training. With an appropriate LODA, these aircraft would once again be legal for training prospective ultralight pilots. This is a long-awaited change first proposed in 2018 in an NPRM that was later withdrawn and combined with this new rulemaking initiative.
The NPRM, like most rulemaking documents, is complex. EAA is reviewing the document in detail and will provide appropriate comments. Once the NPRM is published, the FAA will accept comment for 60 days.
The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2023
Legislation to reauthorize the FAA has been introduced in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. On the Senate side, the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2023 was sponsored by Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation Chair Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., Ranking Member Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Aviation Subcommittee Chair Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., and Subcommittee Ranking Member Jerry Moran, R-Kan. The House bill, called the Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act, was introduced by House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Sam Graves, R-Mo., with full Committee Ranking Member Rick Larsen, D-Wash., Aviation Subcommittee Chairman Garret Graves, R-La., and Aviation Subcommittee Ranking Member Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., co-sponsoring.
The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2023 (PDF) incorporates provisions for modernizing the National Airspace System (NAS), improving customer protections for airline passengers and expanding air travel service. It also looks to grow the aviation workforce, improve safety, fund airport infrastructure projects and continue research and development for innovative aviation technologies. In addition, the bill has provisions for improving aircraft accessibility for people with disabilities.
“The bipartisan FAA Reauthorization Act will help get the air travel system soaring again by improving safety and service,” said Sen. Cantwell. “The bill provides funding for the latest safety technology on runways, and to hire more air traffic controllers, pilots, and mechanics. The bill also sets the first-ever clear ticket refund standards for delayed flights and will penalize airlines that sell tickets on flights that they don’t have the staff or technology to operate.”
The Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act (PDF) includes provisions designed to improve FAA efficiency and operations, provide airport infrastructure funding and reauthorize the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). As with the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2023, it also lays out plans aiming to grow the aviation workforce, encourage testing and integration of new technologies, improve the airline passenger experience and address safety issues such as runway incursions. In a first for such legislation, the Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act includes a title specific to general aviation.
“For over a century, the United States has led the world in aviation safety and innovation, but our ‘Gold Standard’ status is being threatened by increasing global competition, rapid developments in technology, a shortage of aviation professionals, and FAA’s own inefficiency,” said Rep. Graves. “Our bipartisan legislation will improve critical infrastructure for airports of all sizes, streamline the FAA bureaucracy, strengthen the nation’s general aviation sector, encourage the more rapid deployment of safe technological innovations, and address workforce challenges throughout the aviation system.”
As written, each bill covers more than $100 billion in appropriations and would reauthorize the FAA through 2028. The agency’s current authorization expires on Sept. 30. Prior to becoming law, the reauthorization legislation will need to be voted through by the House and Senate and signed by the president.
NTSB Safety Alert: Mechanics, The “B” Nut can be Deadly!
Notice Number: NOTC2986
"B-nut" is a common term for a nut that provides the clamping force to create a reliable seal in lines (fuel, oil, or air, lines on a reciprocating or turbine engine) installed on an aircraft. If a B-nut is improperly secured (either torqued too much or not enough), a loss of engine power or an engine fire could result.
Under- and over-torqued B-nuts could cause fuel, oil, or air leaks depending on where the B-nuts are installed; over-torqued B-nuts could also result in deformation and damage to a line. Fuel or oil leaked onto a hot engine could result in a fire.
B-nuts are exposed to vibration and thermal expansion and contraction during aircraft operations; therefore, maintenance personnel must ensure that the B-nuts are properly secured.
Here is a link to the NTSB Safety Alert SA-086: https://www.faasafety.gov/files/notices/2023/May/SA-086.pdf
For more information, visit www.ntsb.gov
In early March 2023, the FAA published guidelines for an optional task-based Phase I flight-testing program, thereby establishing an alternative to the standard 25 or 40-hour flight-testing requirement for amateur-built aircraft and replacing the hours-based testing period with a list of comprehensive and concise tasks.
Upon an applicant aircraft’s completion of the newly-specified tasks, the FAA will approve creation of a unique Aircraft Operating Handbook (AOH*). The applicant aircraft, thereafter, is considered to have completed the Phase I flight-testing period.
The program prescribes a series of 17 discrete flight-test tasks, and recommends the tests be flown per test cards carried in the aircraft. The program further requires the creation of an Aircraft Operating Handbook (AOH)* from the test results. Such a document benefits the builder and any subsequent owners of the vetted aircraft. Test plans—provided they accomplish the FAA-prescribed tasks—may be written by anyone, including kit manufacturers and type clubs. Users of the EAA’s Flight-Test Manual will note similarities in the requirements of the EAA and FAA protocols.
In order to utilize the task-based flight-testing program, an applicant aircraft must have an operating limitation allowing said program’s use. Operating limitations are issued along with airworthiness certificates by the FAA or Designated Airworthiness Representatives (DAR) as part of an aircraft’s airworthiness certification process.
As the traditional time-based Phase I program remains unchanged, aircraft builders are free to utilize such. On 21 April, the FAA released a formal policy memorandum fully enabling the use of the task-based methodology. The new operating limitation reads (blank fields to be filled in by the appropriate inspector or DAR:
No person may operate this aircraft for other than the purpose of meeting the requirements of § 91.319(b). The pilot in command must comply with § 91.305 at all times. This aircraft is to be operated under VMC, day only. Unless operating in accordance with the task-based flight test program described in Advisory Circular (AC) 90-89C, Amateur-Built Aircraft and Ultralight Flight Testing Handbook, chapter 2, section 1, during Phase I flight testing, this aircraft must be operated for at least _____ hours with at least_____ takeoffs and landings in this geographical area: [The area must be described by radius, coordinates, navigational aids, and/or landmarks. The size of the area and airports must be that required to safely conduct the anticipated maneuvers and tests.] This aircraft may only operate from [identify name of airport(s)].
By dint of the antecedent memo, all newly inspected amateur-built aircraft should obtain the revised operating limitation. Aircraft builders are advised to query their respective DARs prior to aircraft inspections vis-à-vis subject memo. Builders/owners/operators of amateur-built aircraft already flying and still in phase I are advised to petition their local FSDOs to reissue their respective aircrafts’ operating limitations with the updated language.
The new operating limitation will be incorporated into a future change to FAA Order 8130.2.
*The term AOH is new and makes its initial appearance in the revised (AC) 90-89C, the Amateur-Built Aircraft and Ultralight Flight Testing Handbook. The term was suggested by the EAA as a homebuilt-specific alternative to Pilot Operating Handbook (POH) or Aircraft Flight Manual (AFM), both of which have regulatory connotations not applicable to experimental aircraft.
With the increased helicopter activity at 7FL6, this may be a webinar you should have great interest in viewing.
“Caution Helicopter Wake Turbulence:” This is something you either have never heard or very seldom. Several accidents have occurred as a result of helicopter wake turbulence to fixed wing aircraft. This session will explore the impact of helicopter wake turbulence on fixed wing aircraft both in the VFR environment and the IFR environment.
The FAA's Aviation Weather Handbook consolidates weather information from several advisory circulars into one place and operates as a technical reference for anyone flying in the national airspace system.
The handbook, published on December 20, is the result of a yearslong effort to streamline user access to aviation weather guidance.
Information in the handbook comes from the most-used weather products and information and meets the FAA's standards for pilot weather training and certification.
"Publication of the Aviation Weather Handbook is the culmination of 3+ years of hard work by Flight Standards and a host of others within the aviation weather community," FAA aviation safety manager, James Marks said. "The new handbook combines information and guidance from 6 separate weather related advisory circulars into a single source document to support pilots, dispatchers, and operators with flight planning and decision making."
The handbook is available for download from the FAA's website; however, the FAA says it is essential for users to be "familiar with and apply the pertinent parts of Title 14 CFR and the Aeronautical Information Manual."
The handbook is currently available online in PDF format. The 500-page document can be downloaded onto mobile devices and computers and can be viewed with a PDF reader app.
A bit of confusion regarding VFR charting rules going forward was subtly cleared up this week (Jan. 10) when the FAA issued a follow-up notice regarding a September publication.
That notice had said that “Effective November 3, 2022, Visual Flight Rules (VFR) aeronautical charts will no longer make reference to emergency value in private airport charting.” Worsening the news, it added that “Only private airports with landmark value will be retained and charted beyond February 23, 2023.” Many in the general aviation community took this to mean that private airports would largely be absent from future VFR charts, leaving out useful landmarks and safety options for aviators reliant on the maps for navigation. The EAA noted that nearly ¾ of the country’s airports are private. Without being able to locate them, the imperiled aviator is all the worse off.
In response, the FAA published a notice this week, clarifying that the only real, essential change noticed by the average pilot will be the removal of the term “emergency” from the chart legend when referring to private airfields. The FAA clarified that it determines the inclusion of such fields based on their use as a landmark, and those criteria will remain unchanged, leaving any previously charted private airports just as they were before the updated cycle. Airports are evaluated by operational status, airspace, length and surface of their runways, owner’s preference, satellite imagery, and airport remarks before adding them to VFR charts.
The updated notice states that “aeronautical charts users should not see a significant change to private airports depicted on VFR charts.”
In late October the FAA changed its standard on electrocardiogram (ECG) findings for medical applicants, decreasing the types of results that would lead to a medical deferral. While Class II and III medical holders are not subject to routine ECG testing, the FAA also mirrored the change in its protocol for heart arrhythmias, which all airmen are required to note if diagnosed.
The change allows airmen with a “First-degree AV (atrioventricular) block with PR interval less than 300 ms (0.30 sec)” to receive a medical certificate without deferral. This change was actually known informally to the aeromedical community as far back as 2018 but was formalized in the October change to the FAA’s list of 18 “normal abnormal” ECG findings that do not require medical deferral.
The FAA made this change because airmen with this abnormal – but benign – result almost never showed any concerning indications upon follow-up testing, so the FAA eliminated the deferral requirement.
This fits a pattern of recent reforms at the FAA’s Office of Aerospace Medicine, currently under the leadership of Federal Air Surgeon Dr. Susan Northrup, that is gradually making the application process easier for airmen. While EAA continues to work aggressively to reduce barriers to medical certification, Dr. Northrup – a GA and warbird pilot herself – and her team have been very receptive to change and community input.
Unfortunately, there have been recent allegations that the ECG change was due to an ulterior, political motive. This is absolutely false, and the associated personal attacks on Dr. Northrup, a career public servant and U.S. Air Force veteran, are inexcusable. Given the criticism, often warranted, that aeromedical certification is too difficult in the United States, it is ironic that a change that removed a medically unnecessary barrier to easy certification has garnered controversy.
Dr. Stephen Leonard, EAA Aeromedical Advisory Council chairman, explained, “rather than requiring AMEs to defer the exams of pilots showing those changes, and requiring the pilot to schedule consultation with a cardiologist and a few thousand dollars’ worth of testing, FAA authorizes us as physician examiners to question the pilot, verify that there are no associated symptoms or other conditions that might indicate a clinically significant cardiac issue, and go ahead and issue the medical certificate.”
Dr. Leonard further clarified that “we still send the EKG to FAA, their doctors still review it, and if they have any question, they follow up. Never, in 42 years as an AME, have I seen one of those ‘normal abnormals’ turn out to be clinically or aeromedically significant.”
Other recent FAA reforms include a new policy on situational depression and mild post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), two very positive steps as the FAA looks to overhaul its mental health policies. There is much more work to be done, but EAA looks forward to accomplishing it together with Dr. Northrup and the Office of Aerospace Medicine in the coming years.
AND ANOTHER UPCOMING POLICY CHANGE AUTHORIZED BY THE FEDERAL AIR SURGEON
Vision limitations for corrective lenses/glasses have been reduced from 1,2,3,4,6,19, and 20 to ONE:
Vision Limitation #102:
Must use corrective lens(es) to meet vision standards at all required distances
1- Must have available glasses for near vision. 2- Must wear corrective lenses. 3- Must wear corrective lenses for near and distant vision. 4- Must wear corrective lenses for distant vision and have glasses for near vision. 6- Must wear prismatic correction
- Must wear corrective lenses, and possess glasses for near / intermediate vision. 20- Holder shall possess glasses for near/intermediate vision.
102- Must use corrective lens (es) to meet vision standards at all required distances.
Note: 17- Not valid for night flying or by color signal control remains.
This was reflected in AMCS on December 28, 2022.
Over the past decade the FAA has increased its use of electronic communication methods substantially. The Agency use to view communicating electronically with aircraft owners, users, maintainers, and the general public as a convenient additional way to get its message out. In 2022, in appears, the FAA has decided to cross the electronic Rubicon to now rely solely on electronic communication methods. That is both great news for General Aviation and very big a problem for General Aviation. Its great news in that now aircraft owners and maintainers have near immediate access to the most current information available about the aircraft they operate and maintain. It’s a problem for some segments of General Aviation since not every owner checks the internet for maintenance updates before flying. For example, while I worked for the FAA’s Legal Office an oft debated question was the application to the facts of a case the phrase in §43.13, “current manufacturer’s maintenance manual or Instructions for Continued Airworthiness.” Does that phrase mean the most current manual or ICA the manufacturer has published or the latest version the owner or maintainer possesses? Owing to the time it takes for a design approval holder to mail a new manual update to “persons required … to comply with any of those instructions” (see, §21.50) which version of the ICA must be followed could materially affect whether the owner or maintainer complied with the rules. Now, with the advent of the FAA’s new Dynamic Regulatory System or DRS, the agency seems to want everyone to rely exclusively on the DRS for that information – no more mailing of important documents.
Just a couple of weeks ahead of the change, the FAA announced that effective in mid-August of 2022 it would no longer mail copies of Airworthiness Directives (AD’s) to registered owners, as had been the practice for many decades. Now owners and maintainers must check the DRS for updates to see if the FAA has published an AD that might affect the operation of the aircraft or require a maintainer to perform extra tasks before approving the aircraft for return to service. The FAA used to carefully consider that not every aircraft owner (particularly in some segments of General Aviation) even had a home computer much less access to high-speed internet service. Apparently, no longer. The FAA’s announcement that it will end mailing hard copies of AD’s to registered owners means that the agency is, in essence, requiring that to be an aircraft owner you must have a computer and internet access. Further, the burden is now shifted from the FAA to the owner. An aircraft owner cannot wait to get an AD in the mail, you must search the DRS for applicable AD’s. How often do you have to do that? Monthly? Weekly? Before each flight?
Some thoughts to remember going forward. If you are contemplating an aircraft purchase, part of your due diligence now must include the DRS. You cannot rely solely on the paper records the previous owner will give you at the time ownership transfers. If you are a maintenance provider, you are likely already use to searching the FAA’s Regulatory and Guidance Library or other electronic databases for applicable AD’s. Those other FAA databases are now subsumed into the DRS so get used to using the DRS. If you are already an aircraft owner, proactively check the DRS for new AD’s applicable to your aircraft and check them carefully for applicability and the time in which maintenance tasks are due so you can have your maintenance provider do what is necessary to keep your aircraft flying. I still believe the DRS is, on balance, a good tool. Just be aware that the FAA is now, to a greater and greater extent, relying on it as the agency’s exclusive method of communication.
This article is from AOPA: Author: Currently Of Counsel to the firm of Paul A. Lange, LLC, Mr. Christopher Poreda served as the FAA’s New England Regional Counsel from 2002 to 2015. A graduate of the US Air Force Academy in 1974, he flew F-4 Phantoms for the US Air Force in Europe and at Nellis AFB in Las Vegas, NV, before serving as a flight instructor for the Air Force. After leaving the Air Force, he earned a law degree from Northeastern University and clerked for the Massachusetts Appeals Court before working as an associate for Bingham, Dana & Gould in Boston until joining the FAA’s legal office in 1990. Attorney Poreda served as a staff attorney for the FAA and as the counsel to the Engine and Propeller Directorate at the FAA’s New England Region before assuming a management role for the FAA’s legal office in 2002. He retired from Federal service in 2015 after 37 years with the US Air Force and the FAA. He has taught Aviation Law to law students at New England Law, Boston, and undergraduates at Southern New Hampshire University. He remains an active flight instructor in the Boston area.
GA Safety Enhancement Topics
Here's a list of topics for you to choose from. Just click on the one that interests you and you will be directed to that Fact Sheet.
The FAA manages the world’s safest and most complex aviation system. On an average day, we serve more than 45,000 flights and 2.9 million airline passengers across more than 29 million square miles of airspace. The National Airspace System is a dynamic organism that is constantly evolving. This interactive dashboard helps explain how it works.
The Dynamic Regulatory System (DRS) combines more than 65 document types from more than a dozen different repositories into a single searchable application. This comprehensive knowledge center centralizes the FAA’s aviation safety guidance material from the Flight Standards Information System (FSIMS) and the agency’s Regulatory Guidance System (RGL).
Each guidance document includes a link to the Code of Federal Regulations provision on which the document is based. DRS contains more than 2 million regulatory guidance documents, which can be browsed or searched. A search engine allows for basic or advanced searches and different ways to sort and view the results. The system includes pending and current versions of all documents along with their revision history. Information in the DRS is updated every 24 hours
The FAA published its latest revision to Advisory Circular (AC) 90-114 (Revision B), Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast Operations which provides comprehensive guidance on ADS-B operations in the National Airspace System (NAS) in accordance with ADS-B regulations (14 CFR sections 91.225 and 91.227). Of note in this revision is the clarification of certain operational policies like aircraft that are exempt from 91.225 (Section 3.2), ADS-B Out operations during formation flying activities (Section 4.3.1) and during aerobatic flight (Section 18.104.22.168.2), and inoperative ADS-B procedures (Section 22.214.171.124).
The AC also provides a helpful overview of the ADS-B system architecture, the various forms of available equipment, broadcast services available to ADS-B users, and operational considerations with regard to equipment performance requirements and airspace restrictions.
WASHINGTON—The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has added a new feature to MedXPress that allows pilots to track the status of their medical certificates online throughout the application and review process. Prior to adding this new feature, pilots had to call the Office of Aerospace Medicine to check their application status. “If you can track where your ridesharing car is or the status of a company delivering your package, pilots should be able to see online the real-time status of their application,” said Federal Air Surgeon Dr. Susan Northrup “We will continue to explore how we can be more transparent with the aviation community.” As soon as an application is submitted, it will appear in the pilot’s MedXPress profile. Status updates will change as the application moves through the FAA’s review process. If an application is deferred or denied, the applicant will receive detailed information through the mail. The certification process itself does not change. To learn more about the entire FAA medical certification process, click the button below.