New medical rules for pilots, known as BasicMed, take effect May 1, but starting today, pilots can start to prepare for the new requirements. Forms and checklists for both pilots and doctors are posted online at the FAA website. The FAA also has compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions, and said the Medical Self-Assessment course developed by AOPA (and available free online for anyone) can be used to fulfill its requirement to complete a medical education course every two years.
Nine people were killed when a de Havilland DHC-3 Otter hit a mountain in Alaska in June 2015, and on Tuesday the NTSB said the pilot had a history of making bad decisions. “Lives depended on the pilot’s decision making,” said NTSB acting chairman Robert Sumwalt. “Pilot decisions are informed, for better or worse, by their company’s culture. This company allowed competitive pressure to overwhelm the common-sense needs of passenger safety in its operations. That’s the climate in which the accident pilot worked.”
Beechcraft’s King Air twin turboprop has long been popular, with more than 3,000 built since the 1960s, but that doesn’t make it invulnerable to market forces — and a weak international market has driven down deliveries in the first quarter of this year to just 12, compared to 26 in the same period last year, the company reported last week. CEO Scott Donnelly said he expects those numbers to improve by the end of the year, and end up about the same as last year, when the company sold 106 King Airs.