No more “Taxi To” for takeoff

April 29, 2010

Effective June 30, 2010, the FAA is deleting the term “taxi to” from taxi and ground movement operations as it pertains to aircraft cleared to taxi to an assigned takeoff runway. The change requires controllers to issue explicit runway crossing clearances “for each runway (active/inactive or closed) crossing.” And aircraft issued clearance to cross a runway must cross that runway before receiving clearance for a subsequent runway crossing. There is an exception: “At airports where the taxi route between runway centerlines is less than 1,000 feet apart, multiple runway crossings may be issued after receiving approval by the Terminal Services Director of Operations,” according to the FAA.


NTSB Issues Glass-Cockpit Safety Recommendations

April 1, 2010

Pilots need more training in the use of glass cockpit technology, the NTSB said this week. The safety board issued six recommendations (PDF) to the FAA as a follow-up to a recent report that found advanced cockpits are not helping to prevent accidents in the general aviation fleet. “Advanced avionics and electronic displays can increase the safety potential of general aviation aircraft operations,” the NTSB says, “…but more effort is needed to ensure that pilots are prepared to realize that potential.” The safety board said the FAA can take several steps to help improve the impact of the technology.

The FAA should revise airman knowledge tests to include questions about using electronic flight and navigation displays, the board said. Also, manufacturers should provide more information about how to deal with system problems. All FAA training materials for pilots should include information about electronic primary flight displays, and their operation should be part of pilot proficiency requirements. The use of simulators and trainers for meeting training requirements needs to be clarified, the board said. Also, the FAA should inform maintenance technicians who work on the displays that it’s important for them to file service difficulty reports about any malfunctions or defects they find in electronic primary, flight, navigation and control systems. The FAA now can consider the recommendations and respond to the NTSB when it’s ready.

Finish-Up Resolutions

March 17, 2010

Happy New Year. I have to tell you that 2009 had to be one of the best years in my short 35 years to roam this little planet. To many great expierences to count and of course I got my physical self back by losing so much darn weight. I really fit so much better in the airplanes now.  So, how do I top that? I am not sure but I have always felt fairly goal oriented. SO this year my goal will be to continue my weight loss journey and I would like to run a half marathon. My hope is to run the Disneyland Marathon on Labor Day weekend.

What’s your resolution? I know that many of our customers come out and start training but to only “have that darn day job get in the way.” Or perhaps you already finished your license but want to finish up the instrument training or you want to get checked out in our Cirrus or Arrow and have access to a larger fleet of aircraft for your use. This is a great time of year to do it.

The basic message here is that there’s absolutely no shame in coming back to flight after having taken your first few steps. Lots of people do it! I did it! Several times! If you stick to it, you have a great chance of becoming a newly-certificated private pilot.

C’mon back to the airport! That wonderful perfume of recently-combusted 100LL and freshly-mown grass is waiting for you. I did it. Lots of people have done it. You can do it!

“Line Up and Wait”

January 13, 2010

The FAA could soon implement a changeover from “position and hold” to “line up and wait,” to conform with international phraseology standards, NBAA said this week. If approved later this month, the new terminology could be implemented as soon as this June. It’s long overdue, according to NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman. She said the NTSB issued six recommendations in July 2000, asking the FAA to change various ATC procedures to reduce the risks of runway operations. “In response, we were recently advised that the FAA soon plans to adopt a single change: the use of “line up and wait” instead of “position and hold” to instruct pilots to enter a runway and wait for takeoff clearance,” Hersman said at a runway safety summit in Washington last month. “We needed to wait nine years for that?” Bob Lamond, of NBAA, told AVweb on Tuesday he doesn’t expect too much distress over the change. “Folks are going to stumble over it at first, but we’ll get used to it,” he said. “It’s been talked about for years, so it’s really a non-issue for us.” However, implementation will require an “extensive awareness campaign” to ensure that pilots and controllers are informed, NBAA said. FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt, speaking at the safety summit last month, said the FAA has done a lot to address runway safety concerns. “The numbers prove we’ve made a dramatic improvement,” he said, nothing that in the past year there were just 12 incursions out of more than 50 million operations, and only two of those involved commercial carriers. “We’ve revamped our on-line courses. We’ve produced public service spots. And we mailed a half-million runway safety DVDs and brochures to pilots,” said Babbitt. “It’s been a tremendous joint effort across all parts of the FAA and the aviation industry. It worked.” He added, however, that there is still work to be done in the GA community. “We can make every protection possible, but the human in the loop is the challenge of the future,” he said

From Avweb

NTSB to require new reporting

January 11, 2010

The NTSB has published a final rule amending its regulations and reporting requirements regarding aircraft accidents and specifying the sort of accidents that must be reported immediately. Incidents making the list now include specific EFIS system and PFD or PND failures, and specific collision avoidance system advisories received while operating on an instrument flight plan or in class A airspace. Also included are powerplant issues including turbine component failure resulting in debris thrown anywhere other than out the exhaust path, and propeller failure resulting from anything other than a ground strike. Along with all that, air carriers will be required to report any landing or departure from a taxiway or use of the wrong runway.

Christmas time at the airport

December 26, 2009

As I sat at the flight school on Christmas Eve digging my wifves Honda CR-V out of the snow. It reminded me of a good joke that was passed to me on email. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good flight.

Buen Dia! (as they say on Montery Center)

Santa is about to take off on Christmas Eve for his annual ride when FAA inspector Juan Rivera approaches him in front of the hangar. “How long has it been since you’ve flown this sleigh,” he asks the Big Guy. “Exactly one year tonight,” Santa replies. “Well,” says the inspector, “I’d say you’re out of currency. We’d better take a ride together.

Wondering of course whether he did indeed turn in his paper certificate for a plastic replacement, Santa invites the inspector aboard. Being pretty quick, Santa couldn’t help noticing the 45 strapped to the inspector’s belt. “Why would you need a gun on a checkout flight?” Santa wondered.

“Well, I’m not really supposed to tell you this,” the inspector replied, “but you’re going to lose one on takeoff.”

Got A Paper Certificate? Replace It Now

December 24, 2009

If your FAA pilot certificate is printed on paper, it’s going to expire on March 31, unless you replace it with a new plastic certificate. To get the new counterfeit-resistant certificates, you have to fill out a form and mail it to the FAA in Oklahoma City along with $2 for each certificate you want to replace, or you can do it online. Either way, the new certificate won’t list your original date of issue, so you might want to keep that old dog-eared piece of paper to prove your longevity. If you apply by mail, it’s going to take four to six weeks, and up to 10 days for online processing, so don’t put it off till the last minute or you could find yourself grounded. Some non-pilot certificates, such as those for flight engineers and mechanics, are good for another three years but then they will also have to be replaced. Student certificates are not affected.

While you’re at it, you can also ask the FAA to issue you a new certificate number that is not your social security number. There is no additional charge to make this change.

 You can click here to visit the FAA website where you can make the changes.