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FATIGUE RULES DELAYED TILL NEXT YEAR
The FAA is behind
schedule on its proposal for new rules addressing pilot fatigue, and
they won't be out until sometime early next year, Peggy Gilligan, the
FAA's associate administrator for aviation safety, told a Senate panel
on Tuesday. Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., chairman of the Senate aviation
subcommittee, said lawmakers were running out of patience with the FAA,
which had said earlier this year the NPRM would be out by this fall and
then extended that to the end of the year. Gilligan also told the
aviation subcommittee the new rules will not allow pilots to take naps
in the cockpit as a fatigue-fighting strategy, as some other countries
allow. "The crew has to come to work prepared for the schedule they are
undertaking," she said. "We can manage and mitigate their fatigue
through the regulations sufficiently that they should be alert
throughout that flight." John Prater, president of the Air Line Pilots
Association, raised the issue of long commute times for pilots. "The
regional carriers, especially, they lose a contract and all of a sudden,
people who lived in Cincinnati for 20 years, flying out of their home
base, now have to commute overnight," said Prater. But Gilligan said
that issue may be addressed by FAA guidance to operators rather than in
the new rules. "How to do it is hard," she said. "But we know we do need
to address it." More...
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MAY FLY DEC. 22
The Seattle Times is reporting that the beefed-up wing root structure of
the Boeing 787 survived testing on Monday and the aircraft is scheduled
for a first flight on Dec. 22. Quoting unnamed sources, the newspaper
said it had been told that while engineers have not yet given the final
approval on the tests, those who conducted them have declared them a
success. Just before the twice-delayed first flight in June, a wing
stress test revealed delaminations in support stringers where the wing
meets the fuselage. More...
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|Biz Can't Let Its Guard Down, Says Canadian
NEEDS NEW ORDERS NOW
The aircraft industry needs new orders
now if it's to avoid even deeper cuts in the future, even though the
economy seems to be on the mend according to a Canadian study. The
Conference Board of Canada report (free registration required) says order
cancellations over the past year have cut backlogs at Bombardier and
other companies. It says that although things are looking up for the
economy, bizjet orders tend to lag up to two years behind the return to
prosperity and that could leave a big gap between when the airplanes
currently on the books are built and the next ones are started.
Conference Board spokesman Michael Burt told the Montreal Gazette that
the overall trend is positive but it's a question whether recovery will
happen quickly enough for aerospace. "We are moving in the right
direction," he said. "The question is how quickly we move in the right
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CRASH CAUSE UNKNOWN
The pilot of a Beaver floatplane that
crashed appears to be the only one who can shed light on the cause of
the accident, which killed six passengers on Sunday off British
Columbia's west coast. The Seair Beaver had just left Saturna Island,
about 30 miles south of Vancouver, when witnesses said it "nosedived"
into the water. The unidentified pilot and a female passenger survived
but the other six, including a six-month-old baby, never got out and the
airplane sunk to the bottom of the shallow strait between B.C.'s
mainland and Vancouver Island. The aircraft was recovered Tuesday but so
far officials have said there is nothing unusual about the wreck. It
will be examined thoroughly but the pilot, who remains in hospital with
multiple injuries, has not yet provided a statement. More...
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MANDATES: DON'T BUFF FROST, REMOVE IT
The FAA this week
published a final rule prohibiting takeoffs with "polished
frost," which it defines as "frost buffed to make it smooth," on the
wings, stabilizers and control surfaces of aircraft operated under
fractional or charter rules. The rule requires operators to remove any
frost adhering to critical surfaces prior to takeoff. Since most such
operators already were prevented from using the procedure under FAA
operating specs, the change mainly affects operators in Alaska, FAA's
Les Dorr told AVweb on Tuesday. Out of 188 aircraft affected by
the new rule, 177 are in Alaska. FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt said
the FAA has advised pilots not to take off with frost or ice
contaminating their wings for years, "because it made good sense. Now,
it's the law." The change, however, does not apply to non-fractional
operators flying under Part 91, although of the 12 frost-related
accidents the FAA identified, 9 involved such operations. Those
accidents, the FAA says, would not have been prevented by this new rule.
"Nevertheless," the FAA said, "these accidents illustrate the risk
involved in flying with polished frost." More...
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PROMOTED AT NATA
Michael France is the new director of
regulatory affairs at the National Air Transportation Association. He
was formerly the manager of regulatory affairs. More...
JOINS AIR BP
John Nelson is
the new salesman for Air BP in the Southeast. He's a chemical engineer,
pilot and founder of an FBO accounting software company.
Skytech is bucking the
downturn and just opened a new facility at Carroll County Regional
Airport (KDMW) where it will continue to deal in high-end single Pipers,
Cessnas, and Pilatus aircraft. The company also recently completed a
facility in Charlotte with an eye to serving the rebounding market in
two years. More...
WHERE? YOU TELL US
Get a promotion or a new job? Your
colleagues want to know about it, and AVwebBiz can get the word
out. Drop us a line about the
staff appointment, with a nice recent photo, and we'll do our best to
include it in our new section, "Who's Where." The items will be
permanently archived on AVweb for future reference, too.
|The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You!||back to
THE AVWEBBIZ TEAM
AVwebBiz is a weekly
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