News & Updates
FAA.gov News and Updates
Latest FAA.gov News and Updates
The FAA Air Traffic Report provides a reasonable expectation of any daily impacts to normal air traffic operations, i.e. arrival/departure delays, ground stoppages, airport closures. This information is for air traffic operations planning purposes and is reliable as weather forecasts and other factors beyond our ability to control.
Always check with your air carrier for flight-specific delay information.
The system outlook for today, April 29, 2016:
An emergency evacuation at Philadelphia (PHL) airport resulted in a temporary ground stop at the airport this morning, delays expected as arrivals/departures resume with one runway operational. Thunderstorm activity across Texas, Kansas and Arkansas this morning may delay flights into Dallas-Fort Worth (DAL, DFW) and Houston (HOU, IAH). Morning cloud cover may slow flights on both coasts in Philadelphia (PHL), San Francisco (SFO) and the Washington, D.C., area (DCA, IAD). Several inches of snow are expected in Denver (DEN) late morning and reduced visibility could trigger some delays.
April 22- The FAA and general aviation (GA) groups #FlySafe national safety campaign aims to educate the GA community on best practices in calculating and predicting aircraft performance, and on operating within established aircraft limitations.
What is Loss of Control?
A Loss of Control (LOC) accident involves an unintended departure of an aircraft from controlled flight. LOC can happen because the aircraft enters a flight regime that is outside its normal flight envelope and may quickly develop into a stall or spin. It can introduce an element of surprise for the pilot. Contributing factors may include: poor judgment/aeronautical decision making, failure to recognize an aerodynamic stall or spin and execute corrective action, intentional regulatory non-compliance, low pilot time in aircraft make and model, lack of piloting ability, failure to maintain airspeed, failure to follow procedure, pilot inexperience and proficiency, or the use of over-the-counter drugs that impact pilot performance.
Investigations of General Aviation Loss of Control Accidents often cite failure to predict aircraft performance, and flight operations conducted outside of the aircrafts established limitations.
Pilots can start by asking themselves:
- How much can I haul?
- How far can I go?
- How much fuel do I need?
This includes weight of passengers, fuel and cargo.
It also includes departure and arrival runway lengths, obstructions and expected density altitude.
How do I plan?
Start with your crew and passengers, and then add cargo. If these items alone exceed your planes capability, youll either have to make several trips, or get a bigger aircraft.
You will also need to calculate how much fuel you can take, and whether youll have enough to get to your destination, plus an alternative.
Finally, youll need to consider your departure and arrival runway lengths, obstructions and expected density altitude.
Be conservative when calculating your planes performance, and consider adding a safety factor. Some pilots add 50% to their takeoff and landing calculations for safety.
Whats the greatest variable?
YOU, the pilot, are the greatest variable in this plan. All of your calculations will not mean much if you cannot duplicate them in flight. Thats why its important to document your performance capability at least once a year, with a CFI on board. Fly at a typical mission weight, and try to duplicate or simulate mission density altitudes. That way, youll know what you and your aircraft can do.
Establish a Baseline
In order to know what performance you and your plane are capable of, youll need to establish a baseline. Think of this baseline as a reference point that relates to your performance, and that of your aircraft, under a given set of circumstances on a given day.
High density altitudes and human factors, such as fatigue, will result in performance below the baseline. Proficiency training and lighter loading will likely result in performance that exceeds the baseline. The key point is that for any given flight, your baseline will determine what you need to know about how your aircraft will perform.
What are Limitations?
Limitations are derived from Physical Laws, including:
- Weight and Center of Gravity,
- Speed Limitations,
- Aerodynamic Loading for Normal, Utility and Aerobatic certification categories.
Many limitations are easy to exceed, so you must be careful to operate your aircraft within its limitations at all times.
Tips for pilots
There is no substitute for careful attention to your aircrafts performance and limitations. Document your performance capability at least annually. Pay careful attention to weight and balance, conditions at your departure and arrival airports, and your expected density altitude. Know your aircrafts limitations under all conditions, and never exceed them.
Message from FAA Deputy Administrator Mike Whitaker:
The FAA and industry are working together to prevent Loss of Control accidents and save lives. You can help make a difference by joining our Fly Safe campaign. Each month on FAA.gov, were providing pilots with a Loss of Control solution developed by a team of experts. They have studied the data and developed solutions some of which are already reducing risk. We hope you will join us in this effort and spread the word. Follow #FlySafe on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. I know that we can reduce these accidents by working together as a community.
Did you know?
- Last year, 384 people died in 238 general aviation accidents.
- Loss of Control is the number one cause of these accidents.
- Loss of Control happens in all phases of flight.It can happen anywhere and at any time.
- There is one fatal accident involving LOC every four days.
The Aircraft Weight and Balance Handbook (Chapter 6, 7 and 8, Appendix A) (FAA-H-8083-1A), has several helpful charts and examples:
The Pilots Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge (FAA-H-8083-25A) (Chapter 8), will help you establish your performance checklist:
The Alaska Off-airport OPS Guide provides a variety of operations and review guides:
The FAASafety.gov website has Notices, FAAST Blasts, online courses, webinars and more on key general aviation safety topics.
Check out the 2016 GA Safety Enhancements (SEs) fact sheets on the main FAA Safety Briefing website, including Flight Risk Assessment Tools.
Take time to read the May/June 2015 edition of FAA Safety Briefing dedicated to Aircraft Performance: https://www.faa.gov/news/safety_briefing/2015/media/MayJun2015.pdf
The WINGS Pilot Proficiency Program helps pilots build an educational curriculum suitable for their unique flight requirements. It is based on the premise that pilots who maintain currency and proficiency in the basics of flight will enjoy a safer and more stress-free flying experience.
The General Aviation Joint Steering Committee (GAJSC) is comprised of government and industry experts who work together to use data to identify risk, pinpoint trends through root cause analysis, and develop safety strategies to reduce the risk of accidents in GA.
An FAA fact sheet outlines GA safety improvements and initiatives.
The GAJSC combines the expertise of many key decision makers across different parts of the FAA, several government agencies, and stakeholder groups. The other federal agencies are the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which participates as an observer. Industry participants include the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, Experimental Aircraft Association, General Aviation Manufacturers Association, Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association, National Business Aviation Association, National Air Transportation Association, National Association of Flight Instructors, Society of Aviation and Flight Educators, and the aviation insurance industry. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) also participates as an observer.
Whats not to like about an automated government system thats faster, simpler and more user-friendly than the paper-based system it supplements?
In a Federal Register notice, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) officially notified owners of small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) used for commercial, public and other non-model aircraft operations they may now use the FAAs new, streamlined, web-based registration process to register their aircraft. The system became available to these owners March 30.
All owners of small UAS used for purposes other than as model aircraft must currently obtain a Section 333 exemption grant, a certificate of waiver or authorization, or other FAA authorization to operate legally in U.S. airspace. Registration is one of the requirements associated with a Section 333 exemption.
Previously, these UAS owners had to fill out paper aircraft registration forms and physically mail them to the FAA Registry in Oklahoma City. The process often took weeks to accomplish because of the volume of requests the Registry was receiving.
Many exemptions, mostly issued before the web-based registration system was created, required aircraft to be registered using the paper process and to be marked with an N-number. The notice specifically advised exemption holders that aircraft operated under Section 333 exemptions can now be registered using the web-based system.
In contrast to paper registration, web-based registration significantly speeds up the process. It is easier to use and takes much less time to complete than the legacy system. Registration for operators is $5 per aircraft, the same low fee that manned aircraft owners pay.
UAS owners who already registered in the legacy paper-based system and received an N-number for their aircraft do not have to re-register. Owners who register under the new system can easily access the records for all of their aircraft by logging into their on-line account.
April 21- The FAA held a UAS Symposium in conjunction with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University this week to broaden the dialogue with industry and the public on how to safely integrate unmanned aircraft into the National Airspace System.
FAA Administrator Michael Huerta and Deputy Administrator Mike Whitaker both noted the tremendous progress the FAA and industry have made on integration by working together collaboratively. They called on the attendees to build on this success by helping the FAA frame the next steps for future collaboration on the bigger integration challenges.
"Working together, we have accomplished a truly incredible amount in the last couple of years. But were still really at the beginning of the process," Huerta said during his keynote address. "We need to start thinking about bigger challenges, so I propose that we use this symposium to frame these challenges together."
Huerta noted safety is a shared responsibility. He said the FAA-industry partnership is working because both respect that they sometimes have different viewpoints but ultimately find common ground. This has resulted in a string of recent accomplishments.
For example, the FAA assembled a diverse task force last fall that helped create a robust drone registration system in record time. Today, more than 425,000 people have registered their drones, absorbing the FAAs shared safety message in the process.
Based on the success of the registration task force, the FAA formed an aviation rulemaking committee in March to develop recommendations for how the agency could allow certain unmanned aircraft to operate over people. The committee delivered a comprehensive report earlier this month that will help shape a new rule.
The agency has also streamlined the Section 333 and UAS test site processes to make it easier to fly. The small UAS rule, which will be finalized in late spring, will allow for routine commercial drone operations and eliminate the need for most Section 333 exemptions.
The wide-ranging viewpoints and feedback provided during the UAS Symposium will inform the FAAs long-termdiscussion on UAS integration. It will also mark the beginning of a new phase of the collaboration that will help the FAA identify and prioritize integration challenges. Administrator Huerta will report on next steps during AUVSIs XPONENTIAL in May.
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