News

Legal Interpretation of 135.421(b), in particular the term "maintenance instructions."

FAA & FAASTeam News - Thu, 06/15/2017 - 11:37

The FAA has published a  Legal Interpretation Memorandum as a response for a request defining the interpretation of 14 C.F.R. § 135.421(b), in particular the construction of the term "maintenance instructions."  The full Memoransum is attached below but here is the text from the document

This responds to your January 6, 2017 request for an interpretation of 14 C.F.R. § 135.421(b), in
particular the construction of the term "maintenance instructions." First, you asked what
constitutes "maintenance instructions" as the term is used in the regulation. Second, you asked
whether "manufacturer's (engine, propeller, rotor, and each item of emergency equipment)
service bulletins, service letters, service instructions, etc., that specifically address a maintenance
procedure [are] considered to be part of the 'manufacturer's maintenance programs' and thus
mandatory under this rule?"

As to your first question, i.e., what would constitute maintenance instructions, we believe that, in
the absence of a regulatory definition, the term should be given its plain meaning-something
that would instruct (teach) how to perform a maintenance task or procedure. To borrow from
your second question, these could include any or all of your examples. This could encompass
various documents issued by a manufacturer, such as a maintenance manual, service bulletins,
service letters, service instructions, etc.

Your second question asks whether, in the context of § 13 5 .4 21 (b ), those foregoing documents
that specifically address a maintenance procedure are considered to be part of the manufacturer's
maintenance programs [referenced in paragraph (a) of the regulation] and thus mandatory for the
part 135 operator that chose the "manufacturer's recommended maintenance programs" in lieu of
the alternative option of a program approved by the administrator. The answer is yes, because
paragraph (b) provides that a manufacturer's maintenance program [which is made mandatory by
paragraph (a) for operators who choose that option] 1 "is one contained in the maintenance manual
or maintenance instructions set forth by the manufacturer ... for the aircraft, aircraft
engine, propeller, rotor, or item of emergency equipment."

You provided two factual scenarios for our office to consider in answering the questions.

Scenario #1: The Part 135 certificate holder adopts the manufacturer's
maintenance program/instructions on a specific date and will maintain their
aircraft to that program up to that date only. In this scenario, would the
certificate holder only be required to accomplish the maintenance related
service bulletins (SB), service letters (SL), or service information (SI) that
is included in the manufacturer's maintenance program up to the date they
adopted this maintenance program? Or would the certificate holder have
to continue to adopt future SB, SL, or Sis?

Answer: The certificate holder would be required to follow the maintenance procedures
contained in those manufacturer's documents that were in effect on the date the certificate holder
adopted the maintenance program. Our reasoning is explained in previous legal interpretations
issued by this office. 2 While those interpretations addressed different regulations, the same
reasoning applies. Under§ 135.42l(a), the certificate holder has the option of selecting either a
manufacturer's recommended maintenance program for the aircraft's engine, propeller, rotor,
and each required item of emergency equipment, or a program for those items approved by the
FAA. If the certificate holder chooses the first option, he or she is adopting a known
maintenance program then in existence, with knowledge of what it entails. With that adoption,
the certificate holder agrees to be bound by that existing program, in lieu of developing a
different program and seeking FAA approval.

Whereas the two referenced legal interpretations dealt in part with the application of the word
"current" in the respective regulations, the same legal principles apply here even though
§ 135.421(a) does not use that term. It is implicit that if a certificate holder adopts a
manufacturer's maintenance program, it is the one in effect (hence current) at the time of
adoption. Manufacturer's often make revisions to their recommended maintenance programs,
including issuing future SBs, SLs, and Sls, but under the circumstances set forth in Scenario # 1,
a certificate holder is not obligated to follow these later-issued procedures. As we observed in
our December 5, 2008 legal interpretation, if certificate holders were required to follow newlyissued
changes to their maintenance programs, these new requirements could impose financial
and other burdens on them for which they did not bargain. The exception would be if the
maintenance program selected by the certificate holder included a clause stating that the
program, if selected, necessarily includes all future-issued SBs, SLs, and Sis, etc.
2 See, e.g., Legal Interpretation of 14 C.

Moreover, if such compliance were required, this would be tantamount to private entities
issuing "rules" of general applicability without meeting the notice and comment
requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. § 553), and the
public would not have had an opportunity to comment on these future requirements.
An interpretation of the regulation that would allow manufacturers unilaterally to issue
changes to their recommended maintenance programs that would have future effect on
owners of their products would not be legally correct. This would run afoul of the AP A.
It would mean that our regulations effectively authorize manufacturers to issue
"substantive rules," as that term is used in the AP A, i.e., it would enable them to impose
legal requirements on the public. This would be objectionable for at least two reasons.
First, and most significantly, the FAA does not have authority to delegate its rulemaking
authority to manufacturers. Second, "substantive rules" can be adopted only in
accordance with the notice-and-comment procedures of the APA, which does not apply
to manufacturers. This reasoning is discussed in greater detail in our December 5, 2008
legal interpretation.

Scenario #2: The Part 135 certificate holder adopts the manufacturer's
maintenance program/instructions and state[ s] that they [sic] will maintain
their [sic] aircraft to the current manufacturer's program/instructions, without
a set date. In this scenario, would the certificate holder be required to accomplish
all maintenance related SB, SL, and Sis past, present, and future?

Answer: The certificate holder would be required to follow the maintenance procedures
contained in those manufacturer's documents that were in effect on the date the certificate holder
adopted the maintenance program, plus all the above-referenced later-issued maintenance-related
documents. That would be the maintenance program selected by the certificate holder, and
therefore it would be mandatory until such time that the certificate holder rejects that program by
(1) either electing to adopt the program in effect on that date of decision, or (2) by selecting the
second option provided by paragraph (a) of the regulation, i.e., developing its own program and
obtaining FAA approval of it.

You also attached five examples of Service Bulletins and Service Instructions that contain
maintenance procedures that are part of Lycoming's maintenance program/instructions, and ask
whether they are required to be accomplished by the certificate holder under§ 135.421(b). In
that regard, all three attached Service Bulletins are labeled MANDATORY by Lycoming.
Consistent with our answers above, if these documents are applicable and included in
Lycoming's maintenance program at the time a certificate holder adopts Lycoming's program
for its engine, the certificate holder would be obliged to follow them. A certificate holder would
not be required to follow any of them that are issued after the date of adoption of the program,
except as noted above. The fact that Lycoming has labeled the Service Bulletins as mandatory
has no regulatory effect unless they are already included in the engine maintenance program as
adopted by the certificate holder, or the FAA has issued an Airworthiness Directive or other rule
incorporating the service bulletin by reference.

Nevertheless, because Lycoming is probably in the best position to provide maintenance advice
on its products, a certificate holder would be well-served to follow the procedures in these
recommended documents even if they are not part of the adopted maintenance program. For
example, we note that Lycoming's Mandatory Service Bulletin No. 533C addresses actions that
should be taken in the event of a sudden engine stoppage. The Service Bulletin's Subject is:
"Recommended Action for Sudden Engine Stoppage, Propeller/Rotor Strike or Loss of
Propeller/Rotor Blade or Tip." We note that, although the procedures in the bulletin may not be
mandatory from an FAA regulatory perspective, following them would be an acceptable means
of addressing the damage at issue. Doing nothing after one of the listed damage events would
not be acceptable to the FAA, and doing something else would run the risk that the FAA would
find the attempted maintenance unacceptable.

This response was prepared by Edmund Averman, an attorney in the Regulations Division of the
FAA's office of the Chief Counsel, and coordinated with the Aircraft Maintenance Division
(AFS-300). If you have further questions concerning this response, please contact Mr. Averman
at 202-267-3073.

AttachmentSize Duncan-AFS-1 - 2017 Legal Interpretation.pdf291.9 KB
Categories: FAA/CAA, News, US

FAAST Blast — Week of June 12, 2017

FAA & FAASTeam News - Tue, 06/13/2017 - 15:47

FAAST Blast – Cessna SAIB, Airman Testing Updates, ADS-B Rebate, Startle Response, Flying a Global Hawk
Notice Number: NOTC7212

FAAST Blast — Week of June 12, 2017 – June 18, 2017
Biweekly FAA Safety Briefing News Update

 

SAIB Stresses Inspection of Cessna Main Landing Gear Actuator Assembly

On June 9, 2017, the FAA issued a Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (SAIB) for Cessna Models 172RG, R182, TR182, FR182, and all variants of 210/T210/P210-series airplanes with the exception of the Models 210 and 210A airplanes. The SAIB emphasizes the importance of inspecting main landing gear actuator assemblies for cracks following Textron Aviation Inc. supplemental inspection documents (SIDs) applicable to each model to prevent gear extension and retraction malfunctions. To view the SAIB and all related SIDs, go to https://go.usa.gov/xNVE7.

 

Airman Testing Updates

The FAA recently updated its Airman Testing page, to include revisions to the Airman Certification Standards for the private pilot airplane certificate and the instrument rating along with the first version of the commercial pilot airplane ACS. Be sure to visit, or better yet, subscribe to this page (faa.gov/training_testing/testing) for all the latest updates.

 

Act Now for ADS-B Rebates

For a limited time, the FAA is offering a $500 rebate for completed ADS-B installations in fixed-wing, single-engine piston aircraft. The FAA is implementing this program to emphasize the urgent need for pilots to equip for the ADS-B Out rule ahead of the January 1, 2020 deadline. Are you eligible for a rebate? Please visit faa.gov/go/rebate/ for details. But act now! The last day to apply for your rebate is September 18, 2017.

FlySafe – Startle Response

Fatal general aviation accidents often result from inappropriate responses to unexpected events. Don’t get caught by surprise on your next flight — check out this month’s #FlySafe fact sheet on how to manage the “startle response” at 1.usa.gov/2rNpCGP.

 

What’s it Like to Fly a Global Hawk?

You might be familiar with what it takes to fly a small quadcopter around, but have you ever wondered what it takes to fly “big” drones? FAA Aviation Safety Inspector Chris Huebner recalls his military experience to give us an inside look at large drone operations in his article, “What’s It Like to Fly a Global Hawk?” In the article, Huebner makes note of the widely distributed nature of UAS personnel and equipment which sometimes can require 25 people or more to fly an aircraft with no one onboard. You can find the article in the May/June 2017 issue of FAA Safety Briefing, or go to https://adobe.ly/2pEhdUg for a mobile friendly version.

Produced by the FAA Safety Briefing editors, http://www.faa.gov/news/safety_briefing/
Address questions or comments to: SafetyBriefing@faa.gov.
Follow us on Twitter @FAASafetyBrief or https://twitter.com/FAASafetyBrief

 

Categories: FAA/CAA, News, US

AEA recognizes members for training commitment

AskBob News - Fri, 06/09/2017 - 13:32

LEE'S SUMMIT, MISSOURI, June 9, 2017 -- The Aircraft Electronics Association announced the recipients of the annual Avionics Training Excellence Award, which recognizes AEA member companies for their total commitment to training as evidenced by participation in AEA-approved training. Fifty member companies received the 2016 AEA Avionics Training Excellence Award. 

Mike Adamson, AEA vice president of member programs and education, said AEA-certified repair station members are trained far beyond the Federal Aviation Administration requirements and demonstrate a commitment to training few other industries match. 

"The AEA develops high-quality, cost-effective regulatory and technical training for technicians to meet their employer's training program requirements and their own professional development goals," Adamson said. "Interest in AEA training expands beyond our membership and our borders as our reputation for excellence becomes more widely known."  

   

For a member company to be eligible for the AEA Avionics Training Excellence Award, all of its technicians must have completed at least one AEA-approved training event in the previous year, which includes the courses conducted at AEA headquarters; the AEA International Convention & Trade Show; AEA Connect Conferences; the Avionics News Technical Training Exam; AEA computer-based training; original equipment manufacturer training from AEA associate member companies; and AEA partner training. 

The following companies completed the training requirements and received the 2016 AEA Avionics Training Excellence Award: 

  • Absolute Aviation LLC, Edgewater, Florida
  • Aerotronics Inc., Billings, Montana
  • Airborne Avionics, Winnsboro, South Carolina 
  • Arapahoe Aero Avionics, Englewood, Colorado
  • Atlas Aircraft Center, Portsmouth, New Hampshire
  • BlackRock Aircraft Maintenance & Avionics, Hazle Township, Pennsylvania
  • Capital Avionics Inc., Tallahassee, Florida
  • CE Avionics Inc., Sanford, Florida
  • Century Flight Systems Inc., Mineral Wells, Texas
  • Dakota Avionics, Bismarck, North Dakota
  • Dyersburg Avionics of Caruthersville Inc., Caruthersville, Missouri
  • Executive Autopilots Inc., Sacramento, California
  • Flight-Deck Avionics, Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Flightpath Aviation Services, Brooksville, Florida
  • Flightstar Corp., Savoy, Illinois
  • Freedom Air Avionics, Broomfield, Colorado
  • Gibbs Service Center Inc., San Diego, California
  • Georgia Avionics Inc., Winder, Georgia
  • Gulf Coast Avionics Corp., Lakeland, Florida
  • Gulfstream Aerospace, Appleton, Wisconsin
  • Gulfstream Aerospace, Dallas, Texas
  • Islip Avionics Inc., Ronkonkoma, New York
  • JP Avionics, Hoedekenskerke, The Netherlands
  • Kent Career Technical Center, Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Kitchener Aero Avionics Ltd., Breslau, Ontario, Canada
  • L3 Vertex Aerospace, Madison, Mississippi
  • Maine Aviation Aircraft Maintenance LLC, Portland, Maine
  • Mayday Avionics Inc., Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • National Jets Inc., Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Nolan Avionics, Durant, Oklahoma
  • Northeast Air Inc., Portland, Maine
  • Northern Lights Avionics, Anchorage, Alaska
  • Park Rapids Avionics, Park Rapids, Minnesota
  • Pegasus Technologies Inc., Green Cove Springs, Florida
  • Pfizer Inc., West Trenton, New Jersey
  • Preferred Avionics & Instruments, Howell, Michigan
  • PrivateSky Aviation Services, Fort Myers, Florida
  • Prodigious Jet Services LLC, Lake Worth, Florida
  • Q.F. Avionics Center Ltd., Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
  • Quest Avionics Inc., Ocala, Florida
  • R & Z Avionics Ltd., Delta, British Columbia, Canada
  • Signature TechnicAir, Frederick, Maryland
  • Southeast Aerospace Inc., Melbourne, Florida
  • Spirit Aeronautics, Columbus, Ohio
  • Sun Aviation Avionics, Vero Beach, Florida
  • Textron Aviation-Tampa, Tampa, Florida
  • Tomlinson Avionics of Florida, Fort Myers, Florida
  • Top Flight Avionics, Belleville, Michigan
  • Vortek Aviation, Tomball, Texas'
  • Wilmington Avionics, New Castle, Delaware 

 

Applications for the 2017 

Categories: News, US

FAAST Blast — Week of May 29, 2017

FAA & FAASTeam News - Fri, 06/02/2017 - 10:52

FAAST Blast – SAFOs Cover Attitude Indicators and ACS Changes, Int’l Flight Plan Update, Dawn of Drones
Notice Number: NOTC7195

FAAST Blast — Week of May 29, 2017 – June 04, 2017
Biweekly FAA Safety Briefing News Update

 

New SAFOs Cover Attitude Indicator Limitation; ACS Changes

            The FAA recently published a Safety Alert for Operators (SAFO 17008) that notifies aircraft operators of the potential operational limitations of some attitude indicators in the event of unusual attitude recovery. The SAFO states that operators should be aware of design limitations of the make and model of the attitude indicator installed in their aircraft. The design of the instrument, if displaying only a minimum pitch indication of ± 25 degrees vertically, could “peg” at this maximum or minimum pitch indication or “tumble” and provide erroneous pitch and bank indications when the aircraft exceeds these limits. This guidance was recommended by National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Safety Recommendation A-14-108.

            SAFO 17009, issued May 30, advises the general aviation community of changes to the evaluation standards for the slow flight task and certain stall tasks in the Private Pilot – Airplane Airman Certification Standards (ACS) and the Commercial Pilot – Airplane ACS, which will be effective June 12, 2017. It replaces a previous SAFO (16010) and provides a more comprehensive discussion of the Slow Flight and Stalls Area of Operation in the ACS.

To access these and other SAFOs, visit www.faa.gov/other_visit/aviation_industry/airline_operators/airline_safety/safo/all_safos.

 

International Flight Plan Update

The FAA recently met with Nav Canada and vendors (Harris Corporation, CSRA and Leidos) to review testing results between all operating systems for implementation of the new FAA requirement for International Flight Plan (ICAO) format for all civil flights filed with Flight Service.

To ensure a safe and seamless transition with full interoperability, the FAA has decided to delay implementation until the Fall of 2017. The additional time will allow all service providers to address required changes identified in testing and integrate enhancements to the international format, while avoiding system changes during the busy summer flying season. The FAA will provide a 30-day advance notice to the public when a final date is selected later this year. Learn more about the FAA International Flight Plan format by visiting our website.

 

The Dawn of Drones

Pilots: Are you the Doomsayer, the Dozer, or the Dazzled when it comes to drones? Traditional pilots generally fall into one of these three groups when it comes to opinions on drones. Figure out which group you belong to here: https://adobe.ly/2qonB2Q.

 

Produced by the FAA Safety Briefing editors, http://www.faa.gov/news/safety_briefing/
Address questions or comments to: SafetyBriefing@faa.gov
Follow us on Twitter @FAASafetyBrief or https://twitter.com/FAASafetyBrief

 

Categories: FAA/CAA, News, US

FAA Proposes $435,000 Civil Penalty Against United Airlines

FAA & FAASTeam News - Tue, 05/30/2017 - 13:10

The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposes a $435,000 civil penalty against United Airlines for allegedly operating an aircraft that was not in an airworthy condition. 

 The FAA alleges that on June 9, 2014, United mechanics replaced a fuel pump pressure switch on a Boeing 787 in response to a problem that a flight crew had documented two days before. However, the airline failed to perform a required inspection of the work before returning the aircraft to service, the agency alleges.

 United operated the aircraft on 23 domestic and international passenger flights before performing the required inspection on June 28, 2014, the FAA alleges. Two of those flights allegedly occurred after the FAA had notified United that it had not performed the inspection.

The FAA alleges the aircraft was not airworthy during all 23 of the flights.

 "Maintaining the highest levels of safety depends on operators closely following all applicable rules and regulations," said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. "Failing to do so can create unsafe conditions."

 United has asked to meet with the FAA to discuss the case.

Categories: FAA/CAA, News, US

FAAST Blast — Week of May 15, 2017

FAA & FAASTeam News - Thu, 05/25/2017 - 10:07

FAA Safety Team | Safer Skies Through Education

FAAST Blast – ACS Updates, SAIBs for Cessna Elevator and CMI engines, Vmc Training, You and UAS
Notice Number: NOTC7170

FAAST Blast — Week of May 15, 2017 – May 21, 2017
Biweekly FAA Safety Briefing News Update

ACS Updates

Updates to the Airman Certification Standards (ACS) for the Private Pilot Airplane certificate and the Instrument-Airplane rating are coming in June 2017, along with the first ACS for the Commercial Pilot Airplane certificate. The FAA intends to publish these documents on the Airman Testing web page (https://www.faa.gov/training_testing/testing/) later this month. We will also offer a series of webinars to explain the revisions in the near future. Stay tuned for more details. 

SAIBs Issued for C-150/152 Elevator; Continental 550/520 Series Engines

On May 11, 2017, the FAA issued a Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (SAIB) that highlights the potential for loose elevator attach bolts on certain Cessna 150/152 models. The SAIB was issued based on a service difficulty report of an elevator hinge bolt backing out on a C-150. The FAA recommends performing the inspections detailed in the Cessna supplemental inspection document (SID) 55-10-01. Both the SAIB and the SID(s) can be found here.

The FAA also issued an SAIB on May 10 which outlines available service instructions for identifying causes of engine kickback and recommended engine inspections following a kickback event on certain Continental Motors, Inc., 550 and 520 series reciprocating engines. See the full bulletin here.

FlySafe Topic of the Month – Vmc Training and AOA

Learn more about how Vmc training and Angle of Attack can help prevent loss of control accidents in the event of a power loss in this month’s #FlySafe topic. For details, see the FAA Safety Team (FAASTeam) flyer here.

You and UAS

Did you know that any operation that changes the purpose of your drone flight from fun/hobby to “a job” could put you under part 107, even if there is no direct compensation? Get the facts by reading, “When Do I Need a Certificate: A Look at Hobbyist vs. Commercial Requirements for Small UAS” in the May/June 2017 issue of FAA Safety Briefing at: https://adobe.ly/2pTwaCN.

 

Produced by the FAA Safety Briefing editors, http://www.faa.gov/news/safety_briefing/
Address questions or comments to: SafetyBriefing@faa.gov.
Follow us on Twitter @FAASafetyBrief or https://twitter.com/FAASafetyBrief

 

Categories: FAA/CAA, News, US

CALLBACK 448 - May 2017

ASRS Callback - Wed, 05/17/2017 - 11:25
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Issue 448 May 2017 Charles Edward “Charlie” Taylor is not a household name. He is, in many respects, a typical “Forgotten Man,” whose contributions have been all but forgotten throughout aviation history. Charlie Taylor, born May 24, 1868 in Cerro Gordo, Illinois, quit school at age 12, was essentially self-educated, and had a brilliant, mechanically inclined mind. He settled in Dayton, Ohio where, through serendipitous circumstances, he met Orville and Wilbur of Wright brothers’ fame.

Fast forward…and Charlie began working for the Wright Brothers on June 15, 1901 repairing bicycles and keeping shop, allowing Orville and Wilbur freedom to pursue their work with flying machines. Charlie accomplished many tasks for the Wrights while they pursued their dream of powered flight, allowing Charlie to demonstrate his genius. When the Wrights could not interest nearly a dozen automobile manufacturers to build a powerful, lightweight engine needed for their purpose, Charlie took on the task. Without instruction books, formal drawings, manuals, handbooks, or tooling, Charlie completed the task in just six weeks. The rest is history.

Charlie worked for the Wrights for over a decade, and logged many “firsts” as a pioneering icon in aviation maintenance. In addition to building the first aircraft engine, he became the first Airport Manager. He participated in building the first military airplane, and he engineered the first transcontinental flight. He was the first person to investigate a fatal powered flight accident, and Charles E. Taylor was inducted into the USAF Museum as the very first airplane mechanic.

This month, CALLBACK pays tribute to Charles E. Taylor and is dedicated to the thousands of Aviation Maintenance Technicians, men and women, who keep America’s aircraft airworthy and return them to service when they require servicing, repair, or periodic maintenance.

The Aircraft Maintenance Technicians (AMTs) who submitted the following reports have contributed to improved maintenance practices. Their contributions to aviation safety exemplify commitment and dedication in the tradition of Charles E. Taylor.Right Seal, Wrong Place; Return to Base This aircraft maintenance team thought that they had correctly replaced a seal on a CRJ200. A successful leak check added confidence, but a procedural error would soon come to light…along with a lamentable loss of lubrication.■ [Another] Aircraft Maintenance Technician and I were installing a new carbon seal on the Integrated Drive Generator (IDG) on Engine #1. During that process, we put a seal in the wrong location. We misinterpreted the diagram depicting where the seal went. Throughout this process we had to keep going back to the [Maintenance] Manual to print out sub-tasks using computers that were exceptionally slow, as well as endure many interruptions…which added to our distraction.

After installation, we performed the leak check in accordance with the Maintenance Manual, and there were no leaks, so we did not realize our error at the time. During discussion about the project, Supervisors found that we had incorrectly installed the seal. By the time we discovered this fact, it was the following day.… The aircraft [had] lost the oil on the left engine IDG, most likely due to our mistake. The aircraft subsequently had to return to base. It was easy to misinterpret the diagram in the Maintenance Manual. The interruptions due to slow network access to the online Maintenance Manual and [other] interruptions added to the situation. When You’re out of O2, N2 Won’t Do The importance of proper color-coding and distinct labeling of gas bottles was highlighted in this Technician’s report on an incident that could have had “noxious” consequences.■ [I] received a call…to service oxygen on an [Air Carrier] aircraft. [I] arrived at the scene and opened up the rear tail gate [of the line truck.] I saw one bottle secured to the bed. It was green in color, with no visible warning sign that I can recall. I noticed a steel braided line that was attached to the regulator and wrapped [around] the tail gate, but I did not see the service end. I looked around and found the service kit.… Enclosed was a regulator with a braided line attached. Instead of [switching] regulators, I swapped [the braided] lines and serviced the aircraft with 120 psi of gas.

On my first day back to work [after scheduled days off], I installed what I thought was a missing bottle of nitrogen [in the line truck]. After further inspection, I found that the bottle that was already installed in the truck was nitrogen and not oxygen. I immediately notified my manager of the issue.

I believe that when I looked in the tailgate, I saw a green bottle and didn’t see any obvious abnormalities. I assumed the steel braided line was the same type we used in the hangar on the oxygen servicing bottle. The bottle didn’t have a…regulator like we had on the high pressure bottle, but [it was] the same color and a similar design.

[I recommend] better placards and warning signs around all gas bottles, more color distinctive regulators used for each [gas] type, and servicing stations at [each] gate. An Abundance of AssumptionsThis incident started out with a wrong assumption, which was compounded when the paperwork associated with the job was overlooked. The Inspectors should have caught the error, however they assumed that the initial assumption was correct.■ I started my service on a B737 aircraft while another Technician…was to start the fuel nozzle replacements. After I completed my initial service, I noticed that the Number 2 Engine Cowlings were opened up, so I figured that must be the engine getting the fuel nozzles. I found one new nozzle at the In-Station for our plane, so I took it into the Lead’s office and told the other Technicians that three were missing, as we were to replace four nozzles altogether. Our Lead was notified and more nozzles were ordered. When they arrived, one Technician took the left side of the engine and another took the right side and began removing the fuel nozzles to replace them. I was the third person, so I was handing tools to them and getting whatever they needed. After the nozzles were replaced, I helped to safety all the bolts that had been removed [and reinstalled]. After Inspectors had looked the engine over for safety and security, I closed Number 2 Engine Cowlings.…

The next day I was informed that the nozzles were the wrong part numbers and that they were supposed to be installed on the Number 1 Engine. I had never looked at any of the paperwork to verify with the other mechanics what part numbers [we were to use] or which engine we were to work on. Off with Their Heads!This Technician found that a less than professional maintenance person had used rather drastic and careless means to cover up a mistake in a maintenance procedure. ■ The Maintenance Technician noticed the Nose Gear Steering Cover was loose and seemed to be drooping. He checked the cover and found it to be loose. When attempting to tighten it, he discovered that forward attach bracket screws had been deliberately cutoff and a sealant fabricated screw head was used in its place. At the time the loose steering cover was noticed, the bolts had failed.

The event was started by a routine check for a loose steering cover. This is rather common and is simply a hardware tightening process to repair. In this case it turned out to be worse.

The person who installed the steering metering valve missed the step that required the Technician to install the forward attach bracket hardware through the upper steering plate. Apparently after the steering metering valve was installed, the Technician discovered his/her error. Rather than remove the metering valve to correct the error, the Technician opted to cut the screw heads off and use sealant to hold the forward bracket. Note the screw must be installed prior to the steering metering valve installation because there is insufficient clearance with the valve installed.

The aircraft was removed from service. The steering cover was removed and the proper hardware installed. The aircraft was then returned to service.

I suspect that schedule pressure played a role in this event. The Technician, realizing his error, likely feared calling the Inspector to inspect the metering valve reinstallation. The time required to remove and reinstall the valve also would likely need to be explained. Who’s on First?Perhaps the involvement of too many Technicians led to this propeller mix-up worthy of Abbott and Costello.… If 1 and 3 are on First and 2’s on Second,…■ I was the Lead Mechanic for a propeller build-up during which #2 and #4 Blades were swapped. When the prop was finally put on a plane a month later, the airplane experienced excessive vibration. This is when the prop was inspected and found [to have] blades…installed in the wrong locations. I think the blades were installed improperly because too many people were involved in the build-up. Blades #1 and #3 were installed first, so I think we just got confused as to which side #2 went on. Inevitably after installing #2 incorrectly, then #4 would also be incorrect. I think we also failed to double-check our work like we did when installing #1 Blade. Check Out
ASRS Safety Topics!ASRS Database Report Sets each consist of 50 de-identified ASRS Database records relevant to topics of interest to the aviation community. View/Download Report Sets »CALLBACK Issue 448 Download PDF & Print View HTML ASRS Online Resources CALLBACK Previous Issues Report to ASRS Search ASRS Database ASRS Homepage Special Studies
In cooperation with the FAA, ASRS is conducting an ongoing study on wake vortex incidents, enroute and terminal, that occurred within the United States. Learn more »
ASRS, in cooperation with the FAA, is gathering reports of incidents that occurred while pilots were utilizing weather or AIS information in the cockpit obtained via data link on the ground or in the air. Learn more » Read the Interim Report » March 2017 Report Intake: Air Carrier/Air Taxi Pilots 5,240 General Aviation Pilots 1,216 Flight Attendants 775 Controllers 660 Military/Other 339 Dispatchers 202 Mechanics 173 TOTAL 8,605 ASRS Alerts Issued: Subject No. of Alerts Aircraft or Aircraft Equipment 2 Other 1 TOTAL 3 NOTE TO READERS:   ■  Indicates an ASRS report narrative    [   ]  Indicates clarification made by ASRS A Monthly Safety Newsletter from The Office of the NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System
Issue 448


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Categories: News

Associations praise update to Product Certification Guide

AskBob News - Tue, 05/16/2017 - 09:41

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 16, 2017 -- The Aerospace Industries Association (AIA), Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA) and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) today announced the approval of an updated United States Federal Aviation Administration / Industry Guide to Product Certification. The last version of the guide was published in 2004. 

The updated guide will help institutionalize best practices and a new operating norm for the FAA, companies and applicants that will prove to be foundational in reaching the next level of safety and certification process effectiveness and efficiency. It incorporates changes based on lessons learned and the most recently published FAA policy guidance. The guide also establishes principles and guidance for how an applicant and the FAA can transition to a state where there is progressively less direct involvement of the FAA in detailed compliance activities, increasing the efficiency of the process while maintaining the same high level of safety. 

"Since the FAA and Industry Guide to Avionics Approvals was first published April 13, 2001, much has changed in the agency, the industry and the products," said AEA President Paula Derks. "Now on its third revision, this update leverages risk-based decision-making and organizational maturity as it modernizes the processes to better facilitate the needs of aviation. This Product Certification Improvement Guide is an excellent example of industry and the FAA working together to streamline processes and maximize efficiencies in certification." 

There have been significant changes in the certification processes over the last 10-to-15 years that improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the certification and design approval processes and enhance product safety. The revised guide addresses the impact of those changes and assists the stakeholders in taking full advantage of the benefits they offer. 

"Clarifying the roles and responsibilities of industry and FAA oversight offices and facilitating a shift to a systems approach to product certification and safety oversight was a recommendation of the FAA Aircraft Certification Process Review and Reform report to Congress and the Part 21 / Safety Management Systems Aviation Rulemaking Committee," said GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce. "We're proud to work with the FAA to update this guide, and help implement these improvements to ensure the certification process becomes more efficient and consistent, while keeping safety as the number one priority." 

The revised guide introduces some significant changes to the Partnership For Safety Plan, a written agreement to define a working relationship between an applicant for a product certification or approval and the applicable organizations of the FAA. The PSP will now provide high-level guidance when the FAA and applicant have reached agreement on how they will conduct business, instead of providing specific details on how the parties will work together on specific issues, creating a more efficient, more consistent process. 

"This is an outstanding example of how government and industry can work together to reach a win-win outcome," said AIA President and CEO David F. Melcher. "The joint team of experts has outlined what it would take to conduct a timely and successful certification project, and we are committed to work with the FAA and industry partners during the implementation phase." 

A group comprised of representatives from nearly 15 organizations worked over 18 months to improve the guide and produce the third edition of it. The organizations are: AEA, AIA, ALOFT AeroArchitects, Bell Helicopter, FAA, GAMA, Garmin, GE Aviation, Gulfstream, Honeywell Aerospace, ICX Consulting, Textron Aviation and The Boeing Company. AEA, AIA, GAMA and FAA sponsored the guide. 

 

Click here to view the updated guide.

 

For more information, contact:

Geoff Hill, AEA director of communications

Phone: 816-347-8400

Email: geoffh@aea.net

 

Dan Stohr, AIA director of communications

Phone: 703-358-1078

Email: dan.stohr@aia-aerospace.org

 

Sarah McCann, GAMA director of communications

Phone: 202-637-1375

Email: smccann@gama.aero  

Categories: News, US

May/June 2017 Issue of FAA Safety Briefing

FAA & FAASTeam News - Mon, 05/15/2017 - 10:40

The May/June 2017 issue of FAA Safety Briefing focuses on the exciting and ever-expanding world of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). Feature articles answer the Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How of UAS operations, including the regulatory and technical challenges they present.

 

Feature articles include:

 

  • The Dawn of Drones – Why We All Need to Care About UAS (p. 7)
  • When Do I Need a Certificate? A Look at Hobbyist vs. Commercial Requirements for UAS (p. 9)
  • Who’s Behind UAS? – A Look at Drone Support, Programs, and Initiatives in the FAA (p. 12)
  • How Do We All Get Along? – A Look at the FAA’s Strategy for UAS Integration into the NAS (p.16)
  • Where Do I Find the Drone Zone? – Navigating Cyberspace for Official UAS Resources (p. 20)
  • What’s It Like to Fly a Global Hawk? – A First Person Account of Large UAS Operations (p.24)
  • Drone Dragnet – UAS Guide for Law Enforcement Officials (p. 27)

 

In the May/June Jumpseat department (p. 1), Flight Standards Service Director John Duncan discusses the FAA’s overarching strategy for supporting and integrating UAS operations into the NAS, while the Checklist department (p. 23) reviews the steps required to become a remote pilot. In Nuts, Bolts, and Electrons (p.31), we explore the role of drone maintenance and the future job potential in this area.

 

In Aeromedical Advisory (p. 5), Federal Air Surgeon Dr. Michael Berry discusses some medical fitness tips for remote pilots, while Angle of Attack (p. 33), breaks down some of the key features of the FAA’s free B4UFLY app.

 

Our UAS-themed issue of FAA Safety Briefing wraps up with a profile of Part 107 Policy and Implementation Lead Everette Rochon, who discusses some of the challenges going forward with integrating UAS into the National Airspace System..

 

The link to the online edition is: http://www.faa.gov/news/safety_briefing/. Please see our new mobile-friendly links to each feature article. Be sure to follow us on Twitter - @FAASafetyBrief

 

FAA Safety Briefing is the safety policy voice for the non-commercial general aviation community.  The magazine's objective is to improve safety by:

  • making the community aware of FAA resources
  • helping readers understand safety and regulatory issues, and
  • encouraging continued training
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Categories: FAA/CAA, News, US

Update on this years Mx Competition

AskBob News - Fri, 04/28/2017 - 15:54

We’re searching for the words to sum up this year’s competition and all we can come up with is “WOW!”

 We wish that every single aircraft maintenance professional could be so fortunate to be able to attend and compete in the Aerospace Maintenance Competition. For those of you who were able to be there in person or view the live stream delivered by AireXpert, you saw and felt the camaraderie and professionalism of these teams. There’s simply nothing like it, and all of those teams (both pros and students) set a great example for the next generation of mechanics.

 All eyes were on Orlando and we’re not joking. We were absolutely blown away not only by the number of viewers who signed up to view the broadcast, but from their locations. By the end of the ceremonies yesterday, over 8000 viewers in 39 countries tuned in to the competition. From St. Lucia to Australia and Ukraine to Zimbabwe, the AMC was on display for the entire world to see.

 We’ll be returning to Orlando to broadcast the 2018 AMC and we’ll be making some changes to improve the production and make it more interactive. We’re so inspired to shine a light on the incredible work that happens within the global aircraft maintenance community and we want to share it with the world.

 A sincere thank you to all of the men and women who work behind the scenes and who are responsible for every flight.

 From the entire AireXpert Team

 www.engio.mx

www.eng.io

 

Categories: News, US

FAA Cautions on off-the-shelf Checklists

FAA & FAASTeam News - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 13:58

 

Subject: Safety Concerns with Using Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) or Personally Developed Checklists

Purpose: This SAFO warns pilots and operators of the risks of purchasing a commercially available checklist, obtaining a free download, or developing their own aircraft checklist in lieu of using the checklist contained in the manufacturer’s Pilot Operating Handbook (POH)/Airplane Flight Manual (AFM).

Background: Recently, a pilot was unable to lower the aircraft’s landing gear and referred to a COTS checklist for the specific type of aircraft. The aircraft landed with the landing gear partially extended. On contact with the runway, the landing gear collapsed, and the aircraft sustained substantial damage.

Discussion: The post-accident investigation compared the POH/AFM and the COTS checklist used. The investigation found that the COTS checklist did not match the manufacturer’s checklist relating to the landing gear failure and manual gear extension. The omission of steps within the COTS checklist significantly contributed to the pilot’s inability to fully extend the aircraft’s landing gear. Further, the CAUTION statement in the POH/AFM was not present on the COTS checklist. The CAUTION states: "Do not re-engage landing gear operating motor in flight. To reduce landing gear side loads to a minimum, avoid crosswind landing and high speed turns while taxiing."

Recommended Action: Pilots and operators, other than those operating an aircraft under 14 CFR Part 121 or 135 that choose to use COTS or personally developed checklists should meticulously compare them to the manufacturer’s checklist and placards contained in the POH/AFM to confirm they are consistent. This action will ensure the pilot has all pertinent manufacturer’s information during aircraft flight operations.

Contact: Questions or comments regarding this SAFO should be directed to the General Aviation’s Commercial Operations Branch (AFS-820) at (202) 267-1100.

Link to SAFO 17006

Categories: FAA/CAA, News, US

Basic Medical Begins

FAA & FAASTeam News - Mon, 04/24/2017 - 10:11

April 24- General aviation pilots can now prepare to fly under BasicMed without holding a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) medical certificate as long as they meet certain requirements. They can fly under BasicMed beginning on May 1, the effective date of the January 10 final rule. It offers pilots an alternative to the FAA's medical qualification process for third class medical certificates, while keeping general aviation pilots safe and flying affordable.

General aviation pilots may take advantage of the regulatory relief in the BasicMed rule or opt to continue to use their FAA medical certificate. Under BasicMed, a pilot will be required to complete a medical education course every two years, undergo a medical examination every four years, and comply with aircraft and operating restrictions. For example, pilots using BasicMed cannot operate an aircraft with more than six people onboard and the aircraft must not weigh more than 6,000 pounds.

A pilot flying under the BasicMed rule must:·     

  • possess a valid driver's license;
  • consent to a National Driver Register check;
  • have held a medical certificate that was valid at any time after July 15, 2006;
  • have not had the most recently held medical certificate revoked, suspended, or withdrawn;
  • have not had the most recent application for airman medical certification completed and denied;
  • have taken a BasicMed online medical education course within the past 24 calendar months;
  • have completed a comprehensive medical examination with any state-licensed physician within the past 48 months;
  • have been found eligible for special issuance of a medical certificate for certain specified mental health, neurological, or cardiovascular conditions, when applicable; and
  • not fly for compensation or hire.

Pilots can read and print the Comprehensive Medical Examination Checklist and learn about online BasicMed online medical courses at www.faa.gov/go/BasicMed.

Categories: FAA/CAA, News, US

Got Safety Culture?

FAA & FAASTeam News - Mon, 04/17/2017 - 11:00

By Bill Johnson, PhD Chief Scientific and Technical Advisor for Human Factors in

Aircraft Maintenance Systems, FAA.

Capitalizing on selected questions, used for discussion in an FAA Airworthiness

Inspector’s Human Factors Workshop, Johnson

helps you to be introspective as you reconsider

your corporate safety culture.

The mere thought of another Ph.D. writing about

“Safety Culture” could cause you to flip to the next

article in this AMT magazine. Don’t do that! Try a

couple more paragraphs.Look for definitions of

safety culture. There are many. The good news is

that the definitions are redundant, containing the

same words and concepts.

Safety culture, like organizational culture, is founded on an organization’s shared

beliefs, attitudes, values, and commitment regarding the importance of safety at

every level of the organization. A strong safety culture requires unilateral knowledge

and commitment. Every person in the organization should be able to express, with

varying levels of detail, their personal commitment and job/task related contribution

to worker safety and safe flight.

While definitions of safety culture are abundant safety culture is intangible. It is not

an object or a written policy. An organization cannot “hold up and show” their safety

culture. While intangible, an organization’s safety culture is manifested by employee

attitude and behavior. It is visible based on how corporate leaders from every level

of management demonstrate their understanding of culture and their commitment to

safety. Demonstrated commitment can include training programs, voluntary

reporting with a just culture, establishment of formal measures to identify and

manage hazards, and sufficient equipment and procedures to enhance continuing

worker and flight safety.

Aviation Safety Inspectors Consider Safety Culture During Human

Factors Training

Regulatory compliance is one of many ways to ensure safety. A primary role of the

FAA Airworthiness Aviation Inspector is to ensure that the regulated entity, any

certificate holder, follows the rules. FAA’s Compliance Philosophy helps the ASI to

work with you to ensure compliance. Of course, mere compliance does not

guarantee a quality safety culture. Your FAA Inspector is not a safety culture

assessor. However, an insightful ASI can work with you to help identify challenges

and solutions before they evolve to a noncompliance or an undesirable event.

All FAA Airworthiness ASIs take a three-day maintenance human factors course.

FAA is one of the few regulators that offer such a course for their workforce. This

author sees the course as one of many demonstrated FAA Flight Standards

management commitments to organizational safety culture. The mere existence and

support of the three-day class shows that FAA management sees the importance of

the maintenance human factors topics. The class is a tangible demonstration of

safety culture.

The course covers the usual maintenance human factors fundamentals, like human

error, communication, fitness for duty, failure to use technical procedures, event

investigation, voluntary reporting, and more.

The course is structured around the PEAR Model, standing for People, the

Environment on which they work, the Actions that they perform, and the Resources

necessary to complete the work. Yes, the Dirty Dozen is included.

There is considerable discussion throughout the course proceedings. Average

aviation years of experience for this class are always greater than 25. Thus,

experience and aviation wisdom ensures powerful story telling. One unit of the

course considers safety culture by looking at demonstrated ways to consider an

organization's commitment to safety (aka, safety culture). Here are a few sample

ASI questions and expected company answers.

Voluntary Reporting Question

ASI Question: Show me the published written “Just Culture” policy and

steps for voluntary reporting

Sample Excellent Corporate Answer: Here is the policy. It is part of our Aviation

Safety Action Program, or a similar reporting method. It clearly explains the

voluntary reporting process and how such reports are processed. It delineates a

timely just culture decision-making process that protects workers who make

mistakes. It makes it clear that blatant procedural noncompliance, reckless behavior,

unfitness for duty, or falsification of records, and other actions are not protected by

the policy and not immune from regulatory or corporate punitive action. This

program has been instrumental in identification and management of hazards and

risk before it becomes an undesirable event. To maximize the value of this

voluntarily reported information we publish a quarterly newsletter of significant

reports. In addition we use voluntary reports as discussion items for shift change

and other safety meetings. We are working on a program to push this information to

worker mobile phones.

Human Factors Training Question

ASI Question: Show me the course outlines for your maintenance

human factors training

Sample Excellent Corporate Answer: We have three courses for maintenance

human factors. One is a two-hour introduction for new hires. The second is an eighthour

course for all employees. That course includes about two to four hours of

computer-based training of fundamentals.

It is followed by a four-hour event investigation and discussion class, with an

instructor. Our third class is the two-hour recurrent training which includes

information from our voluntary reporting, other event-based reports, and any

description of new practices/procedures. It is aligned with the EASA recurrent

training requirements and takes place on a 24-month recurring basis.

All employees, managers, and executives must take the human factors training. Our

instructors are usually promoted from the maintenance or maintenance training

ranks. Usually they have a college degree and an Airframe and Powerplant

Certificate but neither are firm requirements. All HF instructors must have taken a

train-the-trainer class and some human factors training outside of our organization.

We encourage our HF trainers to attend at least one human factors related meeting

at least annually.

Shift Turnover Question

ASI Question: Show me your shift turnover practices/process

Sample Excellent Corporate Answer: Of course, the shift turnover question is

somewhat dependent on the size and complexity of the shop/location. Our various

departments match the turnover to meet their specific requirements. There is no one

size fits all. In most cases we have designated lead mechanics who have the

responsibility to document the status of jobs from one shift to another. They have the

responsibility and are given sufficient shift overlap time to convey the status of all

tasks that transfer from one shift to the next. If there are complex procedures in

progress, the lead mechanic can ask personnel from the outgoing shift to stay on to

ensure proper handover. There is a shift turnover office at the worksite where the

meetings take place for every turnover. Job cards are used as the primary

documentation for job status. We have documentation to ensure that all appropriate

handover communications are clearly discussed and documented accordingly.

Incoming workers are required to check the last task performed prior to the shift

change. In our company the management and the workers recognize that shift

change, or within shift task turnover, presents a hazard. We treat shift and task

turnover very seriously.

Safety Culture Question

ASI Question: What evidence do you have to indicate that your company

has a positive safety culture?

Sample Excellent Corporate Answer: You can ask any worker on this floor and you

will get an answer to this question. We have had a lot of training about risk

assessment. The training is backed up with newsletters, signage, and plenty of heart

felt talk from company leadership. Every worker knows their particular jobs and can

talk about how their job performance affects overall attention to worker and flight

safety. We celebrate accident-free worker safety as much as we celebrate

schedules and maintenance quality performance. When a worker sees or perceives

a serious issue they are encouraged to report the potential hazard immediately. We

have seen management rush to buy new equipment when workers identify potential

safety risk. Voluntary reporting on safety-critical matters is always perceived as a

positive step toward continuing safety in our departments and for the company at

large. As workers we appreciate the quest for continuing safety. We get it!

Size Matters for a Safety Culture

The FAA Aviation Safety Inspectors human factors class includes inspectors from

the airlines, larger repair stations, and small general aviation organizations. That

diverse group of inspectors knows that one size safety culture does not fit all. Large

organizations have multiple shops and locations to manage and there may even be

a designated person to manage activities that foster culture. Small shops have fewer

people and fewer resources to help cultivate the right culture. Size does matter but

that is OK. As stated at the outset the key words include: shared beliefs, knowledge,

values, and commitments where every person in the organization can express their

personal commitment and demonstrated contribution to worker safety and safe

flight. Got safety culture?

 

Categories: FAA/CAA, News, US

CALLBACK 447 - April 2017

ASRS Callback - Thu, 04/13/2017 - 09:45
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Issue 447 April 2017 This month, CALLBACK again offers the reader a chance to “interact” with the information given in a selection of ASRS reports. In “The First Half of the Story,” you will find report excerpts describing an event up to a decision point. You may then use your own judgment to determine possible courses of action and make a decision regarding the best way to resolve the situation.

The selected ASRS reports may not give all the information you want, and you may not be experienced in the type of aircraft involved, but each incident should give you a chance to exercise your aviation decision-making skills. In “The Rest of the Story…” you will find the actions actually taken by reporters in response to each situation. Bear in mind that their decisions may not necessarily represent the best course of action. Our intent is to stimulate thought, discussion, and training related to the type of incidents that were reported.

The following reports chronicle situations where pilots, once their decisions were made, operated their aircraft into a critical phase of flight. Choices are not always clear-cut, decisions are always second guessed, and no number of rules or checklists can cover the range of decisions that a pilot may be required to make. Our hope is that thoughtful discussion of these incidents might benefit the judgment that a pilot employs while making decisions that may or may not be dictated by a regulation, rule, or checklist. The First Half of the StorySituation # 1  Beech 1900 Captain’s Report■ Early during the takeoff roll, the pilot noted a right hand LOW FUEL PRESS annunciator and associated Master Warning.… All [other] aircraft instruments and indications remained normal.
What Would You Have Done? Situation #2 Air Carrier Flight Crew Report ■ The marine fog bank had just come in. As we were intercepting the course for the RNAV Y RWY 27 approach, several planes ahead of us all went around. Tower gave us a short delay vector off the course and re-cleared us on the LOC RWY 27 approach. We did a very quick and dirty brief, noting…managed/selected [speeds] and [a potential] missed approach. I loaded the FMC while the Captain flew. I felt we were being rushed with the last minute approach change, and…it was only my third flight [in the last month]. I was slower than normal and a bit rusty as well. I didn’t notice that the Derived Decision Altitude (DDA) I set was above the 500 feet AGL call. As we neared the minimums, I was looking to make the 500 feet call and completely missed the 100 feet above “Approaching Minimums” call and subsequently was late with the “Minimums” call also. The Captain called “Minimums” for me followed by his “Going Around” call. He pushed the thrust levers up to the go around detent, called “Flaps 3,” and began to pitch up. I was still a second or two behind him thinking about the minimums call I just missed and didn’t immediately retract the flaps. Before I could set the flaps to three, the Captain said that the runway was in sight.
What Would You Have Done? Situation #3  ERJ170/175 Captain’s Report ■ We departed with good weather forecast for Salt Lake City with no alternate needed. We were planned with 600 pounds of taxi fuel and 1,471 pounds of contingency fuel. The flight was uneventful until we began the descent to SLC. We were being vectored north around the airport to get around a storm that was over the airport. As we broke out north of the airport, I looked down and saw it raining on the east side with more storms east of the airport. We were on downwind vectors for [runway] 16L and had just been cleared for the approach when ATC said that aircraft were reporting a loss of 20 knots indicated airspeed (KIAS) on final and were going around. I told the FO to tell them we will be discontinuing the approach and would like to hold for a bit. We were still doing alright on fuel then and had 3,800 pounds on board. I figured we had 10 to 15 minutes before we had to do an approach to SLC or divert.… I was focused on whether or not we could hold long enough to get into SLC. ATC said that the storm was passing at SLC, and the winds were 16 knots and steady with no Low Level Windshear alerts. They asked if we would like to do an approach. We decided that we would try a single approach, and if we went missed, [then we would] go to ZZZ. We setup for the approach, intercepted final, and started configuring flaps. ATC advised heavy precipitation between us and the runway.

We were on the glideslope at 190 KIAS with flaps 2 passing through 7,500 feet MSL when it seems we might have encountered a microburst.… Within 5 seconds our indicated airspeed rapidly increased to 234 KIAS.
What Would You Have Done? Situation #4  B737 First Officer’s Report ■ While on approach, we started out a little high due to thunderstorms that were on our arrival. The deviation was going to get us on the ground with about 6,400 pounds of fuel. Just north of the airport, we were turned onto a downwind and cleared to 4,000 feet MSL, and after that to 3,000 feet. Once we got close to leveling off at 3,000 feet, we were given a base turn…and cleared down to 2,600 feet. At that time we reported the airport in sight, and I noticed that we were still around 240 KIAS. I queried the Captain if he still wanted to go that fast. He said he had not realized we were still going that fast and started slowing. He dropped the gear and started slowing while also following the glide slope. I made the 1,000 foot call, but we both realized we only had flaps 15 selected up until that point. We missed that gate, but it looked like the aircraft was slowing enough to make the 500 foot gate. As we tried to get the aircraft slowed, I think we may have had only flaps 25 at the 500 foot gate. What Would You Have Done?The Rest of the Story
Situation #1  Beech 1900 Captain’s Report The Reporter's Action■ The pilot rejected the takeoff, as briefed, for a Master Warning prior to V1 speed. The pilot assumed a false annunciator warning because the LOW FUEL PRESS annunciator extinguished after power was reduced…and all other remaining instruments and annunciators were indicating normal. The pilot decided to attempt a normal takeoff after taxiing back to [the] runway and receiving takeoff clearance. All operations during the second takeoff were entirely normal and routine, with no abnormal annunciations or events. The flight continued through termination under normal operating circumstances.First Half of Situation #2
Situation #2  Air Carrier Flight Crew Report The First Officer's Action■ We had hit a hole in the clouds, and the runway was there. We were still configured and in position to make a safe landing.The Captain's Action■ A second or two after bringing up the power, we were in the clear with the runway in sight. Since the flaps and gear had not been moved yet, I chose to pitch over gently and continued visually to land in the touchdown zone with a normal rate of descent and normal landing. First Half of Situation #3
Situation #3  ERJ170/175 Captain’s Report The Reporter's Action■ I would have normally broken off the approach immediately, but we were high enough off the ground that I could get stable by 1,000 feet AGL, and I also expected the [air]speed increase to immediately subside. We were both caught completely off guard when the airspeed didn’t go back to normal, but actually kept increasing. At that point, I told ATC that we were going missed and going to ZZZ.… Even though there was a flap overspeed, I elected to retract the flaps due to our fuel status and not knowing if there would be a delay getting into ZZZ with other aircraft being diverted there. I felt it would be less risky to retract the flaps than to continue flying with the flaps at 2 and burn extra fuel. We landed at ZZZ uneventfully, and I left the flaps in the landing configuration until Maintenance could look at them. First Half of Situation #4
Situation #4  B737 First Officer’s Report The Reporter's Action■ I should have made the go-around call per Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). However, neither of us announced the go-around, and we continued to land.… Luckily, we landed uneventfully. As we taxied clear of the runway, we both agreed that we should have gone around and, after the fact, realized our non-compliance. I realized that I should have used my training and my assertiveness to announce the go-around per SOP. I still regret not speaking up as I should have. Check Out
ASRS Safety Topics!ASRS Database Report Sets each consist of 50 de-identified ASRS Database records relevant to topics of interest to the aviation community. View/Download Report Sets »CALLBACK Issue 447 Download PDF & Print View HTML ASRS Online Resources CALLBACK Previous Issues Report to ASRS View ASRS Report Sets ASRS Homepage Special Studies
ASRS, in cooperation with the FAA, is gathering reports of incidents that occurred while pilots were utilizing weather or AIS information in the cockpit obtained via data link on the ground or in the air. Learn more » Read the Interim Report »
In cooperation with the FAA, ASRS is conducting an ongoing study on wake vortex incidents, enroute and terminal, that occurred within the United States. Learn more » February 2017 Report Intake: Air Carrier/Air Taxi Pilots 4,128 General Aviation Pilots 1,104 Controllers 545 Military/Other 307 Flight Attendants 296 Mechanics 182 Dispatchers 169 TOTAL 6,731 ASRS Alerts Issued: Subject No. of Alerts Aircraft or Aircraft Equipment 6 Hazard to Flight 1 TOTAL 7 NOTE TO READERS:  ■ or ■ Indicates an ASRS report narrative    [   ]  Indicates clarification made by ASRS A Monthly Safety Newsletter from The Office of the NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System
Issue 447

NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System | P.O. Box 189 | Moffett Field | CA | 94035-0189
Categories: News

FAA Safety Briefing April 2017

FAA & FAASTeam News - Wed, 04/12/2017 - 09:34
Read the Latest Issue!

Want to learn more about ADS-B? Then don’t miss reading this!

Ins and Outs of ADS-B

This issue focuses on Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) technology, a foundational component of FAA's NextGen system for improving the safety and efficiency of the NAS. Articles cover the myriad safety and technology benefits ADS-B offers, as well as provide important details on the purchase, installation, and operation of ADS-B equipment.

    Download Magazine:

PDF  |  EPUB  (for e-readers) |  MOBI (for Kindle)

Categories: FAA/CAA, News, US

FAA Clarification of Overhaul Requirements Under Part 91

FAA & FAASTeam News - Wed, 04/05/2017 - 09:28

Notice N 8900.410

Purpose of This Notice. This notice clarifies the differences between overhaul processes and the inspections that make up required inspection programs under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 91.

Background. There have been several recent issues surrounding the interpretation of whether compliance with the manufacturer’s recommended time between overhaul (TBO) intervals are required under part 9.

The Notice is avialble here in PDF:  http://fsims.faa.gov/wdocs/notices/n8900_410.pdf

Categories: FAA/CAA, News, US

EASA: U.S. Operators Can’t Use MMEL in Europe

AskBob News - Tue, 03/28/2017 - 13:37

U.S. Part 91 twin turboprops and jets flown in Europe must now operate with a Minimum Equipment List (MEL) developed for that specific aircraft under Letter of Authorization (LOA) D195, rather than with a manufacturer’s aircraft model Master MEL (MMEL) approved by the FAA under LOA DO95. Laurent Chapeau, head of the ramp inspection office of the French Safety Oversight Authority, which administers SAFA ramp inspections for third-country operators in France, has affirmed EASA’s recent recognition of the ICAO standard.

“The regulation is now clearly written from last November,” Chapeau said, adding that his agency has noted a lack of compliance “during ramp inspections in the last few months.” In some cases, inspectors “did raise Category 2 findings,” which represent “significant impact on safety” and require operators to take follow-up preventive action.

Under ICAO guidelines, LOA DO95 doesn’t provide the oversight or approval process required for a valid MEL. FAA Flight Standards is reportedly developing compliance solutions for affected U.S. operators. The U.S. is the sole ICAO signatory country that allows operators to use an MMEL as an MEL.

Source: AINOnline

Categories: News, US

EASA Aims To Tighten MX Flight Check Rules

AskBob News - Tue, 03/21/2017 - 13:30

The European Aviation Safety Agency has issued an opinion that is the first step in creating a rule aimed at mitigating mishaps during maintenance check flights (MCFs). According to EASA, a number of accidents and incidents have occurred during MCFs, caused by incomplete or inadequate maintenance.

This opinion proposes safety requirements to adequately select pilots and apply procedures for MCFs, while distinguishing between complex aircraft and non-complex aircraft. Operators conducting the higher risk category of these MCFs in complex aircraft (including business jets) will have to develop EASA-approved procedures and ensure coordination among the new MCF regulations; the member state’s continuing airworthiness management program; and the maintenance provider, whether commercial or private.

Some 362 comments were submitted to the notice of proposed amendment on MCFs published in 2012. The agency says the opinion responds to these comments. A rule is expected to be adopted in the first quarter of 2019.

Categories: News, US

Augmented Reality Could Help Close Skill Gap In Maintenance

AskBob News - Wed, 03/15/2017 - 11:27

The demand for aircraft engineers and mechanics continues to increase rapidly, especially in parts of the world with the least training infrastructure. Kevin Deal, vice president of Aerospace & Defense at IFS, thinks virtual reality and augmented reality tools could help meet the demand.

Japan Airlines recently deployed a virtual reality headset for engine mechanics and flight-crew trainees,” Deal notes. And the overall market for virtual and augmented reality is expected to reach $120 billion by 2020.

These technologies have been used in commercial and military aviation for simulated training for several years. Now Deal sees them being used to address the skill gaps in aviation maintenance.

Read Full Article on Aviation Week

Categories: News, US

Like The Proposed Changes To FAA Airworthiness Approval Tags?

AskBob News - Wed, 03/15/2017 - 11:19

MRO-Network.com reports the FAA is seeking comments on an advisory circular about instructions for use of airworthiness approval tags. 

The FAA is requesting comment on draft Advisory Circular (AC) 43-ARTS, which provides instructions for use of the airworthiness approval tag.

If issued in its current form, the new AC would address requirements for a single and dual release, as well as recognize electronic generation and digital signatures. Initial industry feedback suggests that the draft document is a significant departure from current regulatory interpretation and policy.

The original deadline to provide comment was extended in response to an industry coalition request. Comment is due June 12.

Categories: News, US