FAAST Blast — PIREP Enhancements, MMEL/MEL Relief, Flying Light

FAAST Blast — Week of Dec. 10, 2018 – Dec. 16, 2018
Biweekly FAA Safety Briefing News Update
PIREP Process Enhancements
While Pilot Reports (PIREPs) are an important component of safe and efficient flight, their numbers have declined in recent years as part of the trend of fewer inflight contacts. An NTSB study has also concluded that to encourage more PIREPS, the process needs to be simpler and less time-consuming. To help address these concerns, Flight Service improvements have been developed to make it easier for pilots to submit a PIREP. For example, flight service specialists now only use read-back for accuracy when there is uncertainty about information a pilot provides. In addition, specialists are now encouraged to request specific details pertinent to the current or forecast weather, shortening the time required to obtain a PIREP from pilots eager to return to ATC frequencies.
Another simple way to prepare and send PIREPs from the cockpit is with inflight electronic PIREP submissions. It works with an easy-to-use, menu-based interface either on a mobile device or cockpit avionics, which allows word selection to describe the level of the weather experienced. As suggested by the NTSB, vendors have modified platforms to accept PIREP submissions up to five hours after occurrence, providing additional valuable data to fill in observation gaps for forecast models and advisory products. Click here for more on electronic PIREP submission. You can also learn more about PIREPS in the article “How to Be a Weather Wingman” in the March/April 2018 issue of FAA Safety Briefing.

MMEL/MEL Relief for Items Installed via Supplemental Type Certificate
If you use a Master Minimum Equipment List (MMEL) as a Minimum Equipment List (MEL) under the provisions of a letter of authorization (LOA) D095, or an FAA-approved MEL under LOA D195, please see FAA InFO 18012. This is especially important if you have items installed on your aircraft via Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) and desire MMEL/MEL relief for these items. If you have any questions, please contact the FAA’s New Implementation Branch at 202-267-8166 .

Flying Light
Although similar in appearance to their standard airworthiness certificate-toting siblings, light-sport aircraft (LSA) often handle much differently than what you might be used to. If LSA flying is in your near future, it’s a good idea to get some knowledge on the differences. In his feature article, “Flying Light,” author William Dubois provides important insight and relays some of his own personal experiences with LSA that you may find helpful. You can read the article at adobe.ly/2DboGSj or download the entire issue at 1.usa.gov/FAA_ASB.

Produced by the FAA Safety Briefing editors, www.faa.gov/news/safety_briefing.
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