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FAA.gov News and Updates

Latest FAA.gov News and Updates

June 27- 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 in operating within established aircraft limitations.

Remember the lyric, Get your motor runnin? Well, its even more important to KEEP your motor running. The General Aviation Joint Steering Committee (GAJSC) says inadequate engine maintenance has led to a high number of engine failures. This is not a good scenario when you are in flight.

Get to know your airplane, and your mechanic
Ideally, pilots and mechanics should work together to make sure the aircraft is operated and maintained properly. As a pilot, you should take an active role in maintenance by reviewing inspection results and discussing Airworthiness Directives and Service Bulletins with your mechanic.

Dont ignore regular maintenance
Be sure to comply with all manufacturer-recommended service intervals:

  • Fifty-hour oil changes are recommended for most normally-aspirated piston engines.
  • Turbo-charged engines should undergo oil changes more frequently.
  • Oil filter inspection with each oil change will yield immediate feedback.
  • Investigate further if you find metal particulates in the filter.
  • Oil analysis can reveal a lot about engine health, but it works best when several samples create a trend.
  • Its not a bad idea to do a compression check as well as to check magneto timing, spark plugs and the exhaust system every other oil change.

Keep your eyes open
Every service interval is an opportunity to give your aircraft a once-over. Look for leaks and stains in the engine compartment. Look for missing, loose, or broken hardware. Check the condition of hoses, belts, and baffles. Tires, brakes, and oleo struts should be checked as well.

Maintain safe flight
How we operate our engines has a lot to do with how long theyll last. Its actually harder on an engine if the airplane spends a lot of time sitting in a hangar, or worse, on the ramp. Regular operation keeps your engine components lubricated, which reduces potential corrosion.

  • Thermal shock can be very hard on engines, so be sure your engine has reached operating temperature before you take off.
  • Smooth, steady power changes are good for engine longevity. This is especially true for turbo-charged powerplants.
  • Be sure to strictly follow manufacturers recommendations if you are operating on the lean side of peak Exhaust Gas Temperature. Its not worth it to save a gallon or so per hour if your engine overheats in the process.
  • Especially for turbos: Plan your descents with some power to keep your engine warm.

Monitor your engine performance
Its true that most GA aircraft dont have dedicated automatic flight data recording devices now, but there are still quite a few options available:

  • Turbine operators are accustomed to manually recording engine cycle and performance information for trend and engine health analysis.
  • You can also track engine power, fuel flow, oil temperature and pressure.
  • Panel-mounted GPS systems and many hand-held units are already capable of recording position, heading, speed and altitude.
  • Some engine monitors have recording capability, and many aircraft owners participate in oil analysis programs a tool for gauging engine health and heading off expensive or disastrous problems.
  • Some aircraft are equipped with metallic chip detectors that can forecast engine and transmission failures, giving you the time you need to make a safe landing.

Basic instrumentation such as airspeed indicators, attitude indicators, angle of attack indicators, manifold pressure gauges, RPM gauges, and G-force meters all give immediate feedback as to whether design limitations have or are about to be exceeded. This information is available now, on every flight.

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 failure to comply with regulations.
  • Failure to maintain airspeed.
  • Failure to follow procedure;
  • Pilot inexperience and proficiency.
  • Use of prescription, over-the-counter, or illegal drugs or alcohol.

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.

Learn more
The FAASafety.gov website has Notices, FAAST Blasts, online courses, webinars and more on key general aviation safety topics.

Check out Check Engine! in the May/June 2015 edition of FAA Safety Briefing to learn more about engine data management systems.

Check out the 2016 GA Safety Enhancements (SEs) fact sheets on the main FAA Safety Briefingwebsite, including Engine Maintenance and Performance Monitoring.

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.

Have you thought out the what-ifs if your engine fails? Read a pilots lifesaving story.

Understand what makes every airplane tick by taking the online courses and safety quizzes offered by AOPA.

Changing your own oil is common in automobiles. But, in your airplane? Thats a different story. Be sure to check out this video from Disciples of Flight.

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.

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, 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 also participates as an observer.

An FAA fact sheet outlines GA safety improvements and initiatives.

Posted: June 27, 2016, 6:26 pm

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.

Today's Air Traffic Report:

A great morning for air travel throughout the national airspace system is expected to turn windy and rainy in pockets of the country this afternoon. Thunderstorms are possible in Atlanta (ATL), Charlotte (CLT), Denver (DEN), Houston (HOU, IAH) and Memphis (MEM), as well as in Florida and the Northeast. On the West Coast, high winds are possible in San Francisco (SFO).

For up-to-the-minute air traffic operations information, visit the front page of www.faa.gov, and follow @FAANews on Twitter for the latest news and information.

Posted: June 27, 2016, 1:18 pm

June 24- NextGen is bringing new benefits to Los Angeles International Airport through a technology called Data Comm. Data Comm revolutionizes communications between air traffic controllers and pilots by replacing some traditional voice communications with digital information exchanges like texting versus talking over the phone.

Voice communication is labor intensive, time consuming and can lead to miscommunications known as talk back, read back errors. Data Comm, by contrast, enables streamlined, two-way data exchanges between controllers and flight crews for clearances, instructions, advisories, flight crew requests and reports.

By exchanging digital messages, air traffic controllers, pilots and airline operations centers can communicate more clearly and efficiently.Better communication improves controller and pilot productivity, improves safety, can reduce flight delays and can help aircraft fly more direct routes, saving time and fuel and reducing aviations impact on the environment. Both U.S. and international carriers are benefiting from Data Comm capabilities at LAX. These include Air New Zealand, Air Tahiti Nui, AirBridge, American, British Airways, Cargolux, Delta, Emirates, Etihad, Executive Jet, FedEx, Hawaiian, Korean, Qatar, Scandinavian, Singapore, Southwest, Sunset, United, UPS and Virgin America, in addition to some general aviation operators.

The FAA began testing Data Comm capabilities and benefits in 2014 at Newark and Memphis with UPS, FedEx and United Airlines along with select international operators. The FAA started deploying Data Comm in air traffic control towers in the fall of 2015 and plans to be using it in more than 50 towers by the end of 2016. The technology will be installed in air traffic control facilities that manage high altitude traffic beginning in 2019.

For more information, visit our NextGen page or follow #FlyNextGen on Social Media.

Posted: June 24, 2016, 5:23 pm

June 15- The FAAs final policy on the non-aeronautical use of airport hangars appears in todays Federal Register and will take effect on July 1, 2017. The FAA is issuing the policy to clarify how aviation facilities including hangars can be used on airports that receive federal funds. The final policy strikes a balance between hangar use for aviation and non-aviation purposes.

The policy ensures hangars are available when there is an aviation need, and if demand is low, allows hangars to be used for non-aviation activities. The FAA recognizes that non-aviation hangar space rental allows airport sponsors to be economically independent when hangars are not being used to fulfill aviation needs. Airport sponsors must receive approval from the FAA before hangars can be used for non-aviation purposes.

In addition, the policy outlines the type of aircraft that can be built in a hangar, the equipment and items that can be stored in hangars, and the role of the airport sponsors to ensure tenants pay fair market value for hangar space.

Posted: June 15, 2016, 4:09 pm

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