FAA news

Tomorrow at 2 p.m. Eastern Time is the deadline for Lead Applicants to submit Volume I and Volume II for the UAS Integration Pilot Program (UAS IPP).

The UAS IPP is an opportunity for state, local and tribal governments to accelerate the safe integration of UAS operations. Entities that wish to participate in the program must submit proposals to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to fly more advanced UAS operations, such as beyond visual line-of-sight or over people.

There are two ways to participate in the program, as a Lead Applicant and/or an Interested Party.

Lead Applicants must be state, local or tribal government entities. They will serve as the primary point of contact with the FAA.

Interested Parties are prospective public and private sector applicants/partners or Lead Applicants. They may submit a request by 2 p.m. ET December 13 to be on the Interested Parties List to facilitate the formation of Pilot Program teams. Interested parties can be private sector companies or organizations, UAS operators, other stakeholders or state/local/tribal government entities, including those that are designated Lead Applicants and those that are not.

The UAS IPP is expected to provide immediate opportunities for new and expanded commercial UAS operations, while fostering a meaningful dialogue on the balance between local and national interests related to UAS integration.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the general aviation (GA) communitys national #FlySafe campaign is designed to educate GA pilots about the best practices to calculate and predict aircraft performance and to operate within established aircraft limitations.

A Loss of Control (LOC) accident involves an unintended departure of an aircraft from controlled flight. LOC can happen when the aircraft enters a flight regime that is outside its normal flight envelope and quickly develops into a stall or spin. It can introduce an element of surprise for the pilot.

Digital Engine Control
Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC) means there is no direct pilot control over the engine or manual control mode. FADEC shares advantages with electronic ignition and electronic engine control systems, but it takes power management several steps further:

  • FADEC systems are autonomous, self-monitoring, self-operating and redundant. If the FADEC fails, the engine fails. However, redundancy makes it much less likely that a FADEC system will fail. In fact, a double magneto failure, the aircraft components that supply electrical power to the spark plugs, is statistically more likely than a FADEC failure.
  • FADEC combines throttle, propeller, and mixture controls into a single control. Every throttle setting at any altitude results in the optimum power/propeller revolution per minute or RPM/mixture combination. FADEC enables pilots to experience a vast improvement in fuel economy.
  • Automatic engine performance monitoring provides over-speed and over-boost protection throughout the operation. Pilots can command maximum power, and the system will deliver that power without exceeding limitations.
  • FADECs diagnostic processes constantly monitor the health of the aircrafts power plant. Small problems are found before they become big problems, which is why FADEC can help make your aircraft much more efficient.

You might ask is it hard to adjust to using a FADEC system? Well, it may take some time to get used to FADEC at first, but you will come to trust the system. The biggest hurdle is realizing the system provides no reversion to manual control.

Sometimes, pilots have run engines beyond operational limits in order to get out of tight situations. You cant do that with FADEC. Maximum allowable power is always available, but no more than that.

A few GA manufacturers are using FADEC now, but we expect to see more in the future.

Message from FAA Administrator Michael P. Huerta:
The FAA and industry are working together to prevent Loss of Control (LOC) accidents and save lives. You can help make a difference by joining our #Fly Safe campaign. Every month on FAA.gov, we provide pilots with Loss of Control solutions developed by a team of experts some of which are already reducing risk. I 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.

More about Loss of Control
Contributing factors may include:

  • Poor judgment or 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 prohibited or over-the-counter drugs, illegal drugs, or alcohol

Did you know?

  • In 2016, 413 people died in 219 general aviation accidents.
  • Loss of Control was 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 Loss of Control every four days.

Learn more:
Read more about FADEC in FAA Advisory Circular 33.28-1, Compliance Criteria for 14CFR 33.28-1, Aircraft Engines, Electrical and Electronic Engine Control Systems.

You can learn more about FADEC in this FAA fact sheet.

Check out more GA Safety Enhancements fact sheets on the mainFAA Safety Briefingwebsite.

TheFAASafety.govwebsite has Notices, FAAST Blasts, online courses, webinars and more on key general aviation safety topics.

TheWINGS Pilot Proficiency Programhelps 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.

TheGeneral 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 GA accidents. The GAJSC combines the expertise of many key decision makers in the FAA, several government agencies such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and stakeholder groups. 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 National Transportation Safety Board and the European Aviation Safety Agency participate as observers.

Each holiday season for the past several years, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has received reports from pilots who said they were distracted or temporarily blinded by residential laser-light displays.

The FAA's concerns about lasers regardless of the source is that they not be aimed at aircraft in a way that can threaten the safety of a flight by distracting or blinding the pilots. People may not realize that systems they set up to spread holiday cheer can also pose a potential hazard to pilots flying overhead.

So if youre going to install a holiday laser-light system, please make sure the lights are hitting your house and not shining up into the sky. It may not look like the lights go much farther than your house, but the extremely concentrated beams of laser lights actually reach much further than most people think.

If the FAA becomes aware of a situation where a laser-light display affects pilots, we start by asking the owner to adjust them or turn them off. However, if someone's laser-light display repeatedly affects pilots despite previous warnings, that person could face an FAA civil penalty.

The Administrators Fact Book has returned, and its on-line.

Years back, one of the most popular FAA documents was a little white book that contained invaluable information about the FAA and air transportation. Through pages upon pages of tables, graphics, and other materials, a story was told of how U.S. aviation works.Entitled The Administrators Fact Book, the monthly publication was unfortunately discontinued in 2012, but has returned and will eventually be converted into a digital format.

The document contains sections on aviation safety, air traffic, airports, aircraft, industry, commercial space transportation, pilots, general information, and FAA resources. The wide variety of materials presented can range from the FAAs annual budget, to airspace incident ratesfrom the number of people flying to the numbers of commercial space transportation launches and unmanned aircraft systems.

Much of the data, prior to the posting of Fact Book, could be found in various locations on the website, but today, the Fact Book materials and data are largely located in one location on the FAA website.

In addition, the data is sourced for accuracy and dated as to when the materials were last amended. Officially, the document is intended to be updated monthly, however, some data, such as the FAA budget for example, is displayed yearly. There is however some information, such as certain numbers relating to Unmanned Aircraft Systems, or drones, that may actually be presented in a monthly format.

It is the FAAs hope that with the return of The Administrators Fact Book, you will use this valuable aviation resource.

A research team from the Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence (ASSURE) today released a report that concludes that drones that collide with large manned aircraft can cause more structural damage than birds of the same weight for a given impact speed.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will use the research results to help develop operational and collision risk mitigation requirements for drones. ASSURE conducted its research with two different types of drones on two types of aircraft through computer modeling and physical validation testing.

Unlike the soft mass and tissue of birds, most drones are made of more rigid materials. The testing showed that the stiffest components of the drone such as the motor, battery and payload can cause the most damage. Concentrating those masses on the drone can also cause greater damage, the researchers found.

The research team evaluated the potential impacts of a 2.7-lb. quadcopter and 4 lb. quadcopter; and a 4-lb. and 8-lb. fixed wing drone on a single-aisle commercial transport jet and a business jet. They examined impacts to the wing leading edge, the windshield, and the vertical and horizontal stabilizers. The windshields generally sustained the least damage and the horizontal stabilizers suffered the most serious damage.

The structural damage severity levels ranged from no damage to failure of the primary structure and penetration of the drone into the airframe. However, the research specifically did not explore the risk to flight imposed by that damage. The researchers concluded that unmanned aircraft system manufacturers should adopt detect and avoid or geo-fencing capabilities to reduce the probability of collisions with other aircraft.

The team conducted a preliminary computer simulation to evaluate the potential damage to engine components if a drone is ingested into an aircraft engine, including damage to fan blades, the nacelle and the nosecone. They plan future additional research on engine ingestion in collaboration with engine manufacturers, as well as additional airborne collision studies with helicopters and general aviation aircraft.

In 2014 Congress directed the FAA to establish a UAS Center of Excellence. The FAA selected ASSURE, led by Mississippi State University, in May 2015.

The November/December 2017 Sim City issue of FAA Safety Briefing explores the exciting world of flight simulation technology and its evolving impact on aviation safety. Feature articles focus on the many flight simulation options now available to pilots, as well as how simulation can improve flight training efficiency.

Feature articles include:

The link to the online edition is www.faa.gov/news/safety_briefing. Be sure to also follow us on Twitter@FAASafetyBrief

FAA Safety Briefingis 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

Today's Air Traffic Report:

Heavy Thanksgiving traffic is expected along the East Coast today. Low clouds, rain and wind in the Northeast could delay flights in Boston (BOS) and the New York area (EWR, JFK, LGA). Low clouds also are expected this morning in Charlotte (CLT) and Seattle (SEA). Thunderstorms in the Gulf of Mexico and off the Southeast coast may lead to additional delays.

Pilots: Check out the new Graphical Forecasts for Aviation (GFA) Tool from the Aviation Weather Center.

For up-to-the-minute air traffic operations information, visit fly.faa.gov, and follow @FAANews on Twitter for the latest news and Air Traffic Alerts.

The FAA Air Traffic Report provides a reasonable expectation of any daily impactsto 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.

Did you know that most general aviation fatal accidents are caused by in-flight loss of control? Many of these loss of control accidents are caused by factors related to engine failure. Between 2001 and 2010, engine maintenance errors were identified as a contributing factor in 35 of 70 randomly-selected accidents.

Is Your Engine Up to Snuff?
Your engine is the heartbeat of your aircraft, and when youre flying, you certainly want it to perform without a hitch. Numerous accidents happen needlessly because important maintenance was ignored or performed poorly. How many times have we heard of an accident or emergency landing because of an engine malfunction indication, or worse, an engine failure?

Ensure your safety by making sure your airplanes ticker is humming along at its best. Proper engine maintenance, post-maintenance, advanced pre-flights, and engine performance monitoring can go a long way in eliminating needless, inconvenient, expensive, and potentially fatal consequences.

Good Maintenance Practices:

  • Get to know your airplane, and your mechanic
    -Work with your mechanic to make sure the aircraft is operated and maintained properly. Review inspection results and talk to your mechanic about any applicable Airworthiness Directives and Service Bulletins.
  • Dont ignore regular maintenance
    -You cant simply pull off to the shoulder when you are in an aircraft. You need to have all parts of the airplane functioning, and functioning well.
  • 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.
  • Check the oil filter with each oil change
    -Checking the oil will tell you a lot about engine health. Several samples will create a trend.
  • At every other oil change, do a compression check and check magneto timing, spark plugs, and the exhaust system.

Advanced Preflight After Maintenance:

Maintenance-related problems and the pilots failure to catch them can lead to disastrous consequences.

  • After maintenance, be sure to conduct a preflight that goes above-and-beyond the normal before you take flight again.
  • Look at your aircrafts maintenance history. Develop an extra checklist, as necessary, and use that checklist every time your aircraft has had maintenance.
  • Become familiar with flight controls or systems prior to maintenance, so you can spot abnormalities later.
  • Review ALL of your aircrafts records, including receipts, work orders, FAA Form 337s (Major Repair and Alteration forms), and approval for return to service tags (8130-3 Forms). Also, locate any Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) data.
  • Talk to your mechanic about the work that he or she did on your aircraft. Pay close attention to the components or systems that underwent repair.
  • Be prepared to abort takeoff if something goes wrong, or doesnt feel right.

Engine Performance Monitoring:

  • Youll get immediate feedback from airspeed indicators, attitude indicators, angle of attack indicators, manifold pressure gauges, RPM gauges, and G-force meters. You will be able to tell if design limitations have or are about to be exceeded. This information is available real time on every flight.
  • Engine diagnostic equipment comes in many different forms. One version is the external, hand-held test kit that attaches to ignition plugs and determines system functionality. A good test kit can check engine compression, magnetos, ignition leads, engine timing, and more.
  • Engine data management systems come in a variety of forms and are offered by many different companies. These devices monitor your engine while you focus on flying the aircraft. They can meter your mixture and exhaust gas temperature (EGT) to optimize lean-of-peak operations. Some systems even offer interpretive software and/or provide professional analysis of your data.
  • A digital/electronic engine control (D/EEC) regulates the function of the injection system to ensure the engine provides the power that it needs. An engine control unit reads several sensors, and then adjusts the engine through a series of actuators. Sensors include ones for airflow, engine cooling, throttle position, and fuel flow.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the general aviation (GA) communitys national #FlySafe campaign is designed to educate GA pilots about the best practices to calculate and predict aircraft performance and to operate within established aircraft limitations.

Message from FAA Administrator Michael P. Huerta:
The FAA and industry are working together to prevent Loss of Control (LOC) accidents and save lives. You can help make a difference by joining our #Fly Safe campaign. Every month on FAA.gov, we provide pilots with Loss of Control solutions developed by a team of experts some of which are already reducing risk. I 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.

More about Loss of Control:

Contributing factors may include:

  • Poor judgment or 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 prohibited or over-the-counter drugs, illegal drugs, or alcohol

Did you know?

  • In 2016, 413 people died in 219 general aviation accidents.
  • Loss of Control was 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 Loss of Control every four days.

Learn more:

Check out the GA Safety Enhancement fact sheet on Engine Maintenance and Performance Monitoring. You can also learn more about the important steps you need to take after your airplanes been serviced with our fact sheet on Advanced Preflight After Maintenance. A full list of fact sheets is available at www.faa.gov/news/safety_briefing.

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

Advisory Circular 120-113, Best Practices for Engine Time In Service Interval Extensions gives the regulatory requirements for time limitations and time in service intervals for engine overhauls.

Read Chapter 8, Inspection Fundamentals in the FAA Aviation Maintenance Technician Handbook.

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

The WINGS Pilot Proficiency Program helps pilots build an educational curriculum suitable for their unique flight requirements. It is based on the premise that pilots who maintain currency and proficiency in the basics of flight will enjoy a safer and more stress-free flying experience.

The General Aviation Joint Steering Committee (GAJSC) is comprised of government and industry experts who work together to use data to identify risk, pinpoint trends through root cause analysis, and develop safety strategies to reduce the risk of GA accidents. The GAJSC combines the expertise of many key decision makers in the FAA, several government agencies such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and stakeholder groups. 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 National Transportation Safety Board and the European Aviation Safety Agency participate as observers.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is evaluating a prototype system that the agency expects will ultimately provide near real-time processing of airspace authorization requests for unmanned aircraft (UAS) operators nationwide. The system is designed to automatically approve most requests to operate in specific areas of airspace below designated altitudes.

The FAA has deployed the Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability(LAANC) for drone operators at several air traffic facilities in an evaluation to see how well the prototype system functions and to address any issues that arise during testing. Two agency-approved companies, AirMap and Skyward, are currently providing LAANC services. During the evaluation, the FAA may sign agreements with additional providers who responded to the original request for information.

The prototype evaluation will last until next Spring. The FAA plans to launch a national Beta test shortly thereafter. The exact details of the test will be determined by the outcome of the prototype evaluation. The agency also plans to solicit participation from new industry partners at a later date.

Under the FAAs small drone rules formally known as Part 107 operators need to secure approval from the agency to operate in any airspace controlled by an air traffic facility. LAANC is the first application developed by industry in response to this operational need.

LAANC uses airspace data provided through the UAS facility maps The maps show the maximum altitude around airports where the FAA may authorize operations under Part 107. LAANC gives drone operators the ability to interact with the maps and provide automatic notification and authorization requests to the FAA.

LAANC is the first UAS tool that delivers drone information to air traffic control and is the first step in developing Unmanned Aircraft Systems Traffic Management System (UTM).

Check the FAAs UAS Data Exchange website frequently for updates and additional information.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) quickly approved the first unmanned aircraft operation of its kind to help restore cellular service in Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

The Flying COW (Cell on Wings) drone, developed by AT&T, functions like a cell tower in the sky, restoring voice, data and internet service. It flies up to 200 feet above the ground, covering an area of 40 square miles, and is particularly useful in remote areas.

The Pulse Vapor 55 drone, which resembles a miniature helicopter, is fitted with LTE radios and antennas and is tethered to ground-based electronics and power systems. Because the aircraft exceeded the 55-lb. weight limit required to operate under the FAAs small drone rule, the FAA had to issue a special exemption and an emergency certificate of authorization for AT&T to conduct its mission.

The company is using the drone as a temporary cell service solution while it rebuilds the permanent infrastructure on the island.

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