More than 2,000 FAA inspectors and engineers furloughed due to the partial government shutdown that began on Dec. 22 have been recalled to work, according to an FAA statement made on Tuesday. The latest revision of the Department of Transportations (DOT) plan for operations during the shutdown now categorizes a total of 3,113 Aviation Safety positions as necessary for life and safety and therefore excepted from furlough.
Lightning strikes are relatively common on aircraft but not many show up on cockpit video. A Kuwait air force F/A-18 Hornet pilot was on a training flight when his glare shield cam caught a bolt from the blue hitting the canopy next to his head. He was shaken up by the noisy encounter but landed safely, sporting proof of the jolt on the canopy. He was OK but the aircraft will need some work.
Every year there are a few accidents in which carbon monoxide poisoning is a factor. The toxic gas is odorless and colorless-and the manner in which it attacks a human makes it nothing short of a bully on steroids. My daughters involvement in an ultimately tragic search for a missing airplane triggered my thoughts of the need for carrying an effective CO monitor in the airplanes we fly.
Advancing age has its benefits when it comes to flying-wisdom and experience are two, and perhaps greater financial security to allow us to indulge our aviation passion. But despite increasing longevity, much as we fancy achieving the ripe age of 969 years as Methuselah, were a long way from that (50 is the new 70).