Aviation News: A collection of news tidbits and regulation updates

Aviation News
A collection of news tidbits and regulation updates

By Fred Workley

Fred Workley
Fred Workley

Proposed review of regs on hold
The FAA has put on hold its proposed review of Parts 91, 119, 125, and 135 because of budget concerns. The FAA had been operating under a continuing resolution in the first quarter of the new fiscal year that started on Oct. 1, 2002. The FAA was thus not able to convene a new commission to carry out the proposed review in 2002, but the project is still on the proposed list.

New look for ADs
A new rule was effective on Aug. 21, 2002, that changed the look of the FAA's Airworthiness Directives (ADs) but their purpose remains the same. The FAA issues ADs when they become aware of unsafe conditions that affect a particular type of aircraft, powerplant, propeller, or appliance, and that will likely exist or develop in other products of the same type design. ADs impose a legal obligation on the aircraft owner to correct the unsafe conditions. ADs are published in the Federal Register as amendments to Part 39 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR), but are not codified in the regular annual editions of the FAR.

Anti-icing requirements final
The FAA published in the Federal Register on Aug. 27, 2002, a new rule making the two anti-icing interim rules permanent. The interim rules, published in 1992 and 1993, outline requirements for anti-icing, deicing, and training procedures for Part 121, 125, and 135 operations. Part 91 operators must follow two Advisory Circulars, AC 120-58 and AC 135-17, on large and small aircraft ground deicing.

Alcohol fuels: Take heed
Cessna has issued a Service Bulletin, dated Oct. 2, 2002, that warns Cessna aircraft operators not to use AGE-85 (85 percent ethanol) in Cessna Aircraft, including models 152, 172, and 182. The SB states that use of the ethanol-based alternative fuel may damage certain components. On the other hand, Embraer introduced the Ipanema aircraft on Oct. 10, 2002. This aircraft is fueled by alcohol distilled from sugar cane. The Ipanema is a crop duster aircraft.

Aircraft corrosion costs
A study published in 2002 by the Federal Highway Society and the Corrosion Society is titled "Corrosion Costs and Preventive Strategies in the United States." The report indicates that corrosion costs for U.S. air carriers is $2.2 billion a year; $200 million in design and manufacturing; $1.7 billion for corrosion maintenance; and $300 million in downtime. It points out that there are additional aviation-related corrosion costs associated with maintaining airports, fuel storage facilities, and hangars. The study did not include the costs of corrosion control for general aviation aircraft or government-owned aircraft. Copies of the report are available from the National Technical Information Service, 5285 Port Royal Road, Springfield, VA 22161. The NTIS product number is PB2002106409/u for a cost of $106.

Department of Homeland Security
The new Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is the biggest new department since the Department of Defense. It will incorporate parts of 20 agencies and eight cabinet level departments. The new TSA has moved from the Department of Transportation to DHS. The DHS will employ more than 150,000 people and have a budget close to $38 billion per year. Many government agency aviation programs are affected by this consolidation of agencies.

Human factors program certification
The FAA has issued Policy Statement No. ANM-01-03 that identifies factors to consider when reviewing an applicant's proposed human factors methods of compliance for flight deck certification. This final policy that clarifies current FAA policy with respect to compliance with human factors-related regulations during certification projects on transport category airplanes. The Transport Airplane Directorate issued it on Feb. 7, 2003 [Federal Register: Feb. 19, 2003 (Vol. 68, No. 33)]. For further information contact Steve Boyd, Airplanes & Fight Crew Interface Branch; (425) 227-1138; fax (425) 227-1320; e-mail: 9-ANM-111-human-factors@faa.gov.

The final policy provides guidance with respect to the recommended content of a Human Factors Certification Plan. A Human Factors Certification Plan is not a required document, but may be included as part of a transport category airplane certification project if an applicant so chooses. These recommendations can be used as a means by which the applicant and the FAA can establish an early and formal written agreement on the methods of compliance for regulations that relate to human factors and that are applicable to the certification project. The final policy as well as the disposition of public comments received are available on the Internet at the following address: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/leaving.cgi?from=leavingFR.html&log=linklog&to=http://www.faa.gov/certification/aircraft/anminfo/finalpaper.cfm. You can also obtain a copy of the policy by contacting the person listed.

Emergency evacuation systems
Flight Standards Handbook Bulletin for Airworthiness HBAW 02-04C (Amended) titled "Air Carrier Emergency Evacuation Systems (EES) Maintenance Program Requirements" with an effective date of Oct. 1, 2002 was amended on Feb. 14, 2003. This handbook bulletin provides information and guidance to the Flight Standards Airworthiness Aviation Safety Inspectors (ASI) who have certificate management responsibility for certificate holders under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) Part 121. It outlines existing regulatory requirements and FAA national policy regarding the particular maintenance requirements of EES.

The requirements for EES maintenance are found in 14 CFR Part 121, subpart L. However, the particular regulation that addresses emergency equipment is section 121.309(b)(1) which states, in part, that "each item of emergency and flotation equipment listed in this section and in sections 121.310, 121.339, and 121.340 must be inspected regularly in accordance with inspection periods established in the OpSpecs to ensure its condition for continued serviceability and immediate readiness to perform its intended emergency purposes."

Agencies urged to upgrade ELTs
The NTSB published Safety Recommendations for government agency aircraft after the fatal crash in 1997 of a Scenic Airlines, Cessna 208B. DOI had chartered the Cessna under Part 135. In its recommendations, NTSB has asked federal agencies to initiate the following recommendations: Equip all government-owned aircraft with electronic locator transmitters (ELT) that meet TSO C126 or equivalent. Agencies should replace older ELTs as soon as possible, upgrading any older ELTs at the time their yearly inspections with passenger-carrying aircraft taking precedence over nonpassenger carrying aircraft. They also recommend that until the FAA changes the regulations, government agencies should require their hired operators to comply with 14 CFR Part 91.207. NTSB also recommends the installation of FAA approved crash-protected video data recording (VDR) systems on all government turbine-powered aircraft that are not currently required to be so equipped.

Policy for strengthened cockpit doors
The FAA announced the availability of final policy concerning certification of strengthened flight deck doors on Transport Category Airplanes. (Policy Statement No. ANM-01-115-11). You can obtain a copy of the policy statement by contacting Jeff Gardlin, Federal Aviation Administration, Transport Airplane Directorate, Transport Standards Staff, Airframe/Cabin Safety Branch, ANM-115, 1601 Lind Ave. SW., Renton, WA 98055-4056; (425) 227-2136; fax (425) 227-1320; e-mail: jeff.gardlin@faa.gov.

Pilots required to have government ID
According to a new rule effective Oct. 28, 2002, a U.S. pilot must now carry a government-issued photo ID while flying. This includes a valid driver's license, federal or state ID card, U.S. military ID card, or other credentials acceptable to the FAA. Pilots must present identification when asked to representatives of the FAA, Transportation Security Administration (TSA), National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), or any law-enforcement agency.

Fred Workley is the president of Workley Aircraft and Maintenance Inc. in Alexandria, VA, Benton City, WA, and Indianapolis, IN. He holds an A&P certificate with an Inspection Authorization, general radio telephone license, a technician plus license, ATP, FE, CFI-I, and advance and instrument ground instructor licenses.