FAA news

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the general aviation (GA) communitys national #FlySafe campaign helps 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.

A Continuing Problem
The NTSB calls it the problem that never went away. CFIT or Controlled Flight Into Terrain continues to claim up to 17 percent of all general aviation fatalities, even though many pilots have technologies on their side.

CFIT occurs when an airworthy aircraft, under pilot control, flies into the ground, a mountain, a body of water, or an obstacle. Most often, the pilot or crew is unaware of the looming disaster until it is too late. CFIT most commonly occurs in the approach or landing phase of flight.

Accidents where the aircraft is out of control at the point of impact are not known as CFIT. Rather, they are considered uncontrolled flight into terrain. Similarly, incidents resulting from deliberate acts, such as terrorism or suicide by the pilot, are not considered to be CFIT.

Why Does CFIT Happen?
There are many reasons why a plane might crash into terrain, but pilot error is the most common, particularly a loss of situational awareness. A pilot may not know what his or her actual position is, and how that position relates to the surrounding terrain. Fatigue can cause very experienced pilots to make mistakes.

CFIT accidents often involve a collision with terrain which usually occurs during low visibility conditions and when the aircraft is on approach to a destination airport. Other contributing factors include weather, approach design and documentation, failure to use standard phraseology, and malfunctioning navigational aids.

GA Challenges
One of the problems in reviewing GA CFIT accidents is the lack of human factors data. This is due to the high fatality rate of CFIT accidents, and the fact that most GA aircraft are not equipped with data recording systems.

GA pilots have a unique challenge in that there is often only one pilot to conduct all of the flight and decision making duties. Unlike with a crewed cockpit, GA operations dont usually have a second pilot to help with avoiding a CFIT accident.

Therefore, it is vital that you as a single pilot, to ensure you are qualified for the intended flight, meet all regulatory requirements, and have the self-discipline to follow industry recommended safety procedures to minimize CFIT.

There are technologies that can help, including onboard alerting equipment. Air traffic control can act as an external warning too. However, external factors like fatigue, distraction, time pressure, procedural non-compliance, and more, can punch holes in your defense.

Realize that errors can happen, and layer redundancy into your operation. Verify your checklists, prepare for the unexpected. Fly rested, remain alert, undistracted, and focused on the operation. Dont become complacent about safety. Your loved ones will thank you.

More about Loss of Control:

Contributing factors may include:

  • Poor judgment or poor 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?

  • From October 2016 through September 2017, 247 people died in 209 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:

This FAA Safety Team (FAASTeam) Fact Sheet has more information about CFIT.

This FAA Advisory Circular discusses ways in which GA pilots can avoid CFIT.

This NTSB PowerPoint shows how you can overcome The Problem that Never Went Away.

This FAA Training Module can help you learn more about the causes of CFIT, and the ways to avoid it.

Time is getting short!!The FAAs Equip ADS-B website gives you the information you need to equip now.

Curious about FAA regulations (Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations)? Its a good idea to stay on top of them. You can find current FAA regulations on this website.

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.

Millions of travelers will take to the skies during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) wants to help you make it to your destination safely. You can help with that by paying close attention to whats in your bag.

Some common toiletries that passengers pack could be hazardous. Check your bags for the following items: aerosol cans that may contain hair spray, deodorant, tanning spray or animal repellant, nail polish, artist paints and glues.

Wondering what to do with those e-cigarettes? Passengers should know that e-cigarettes, vaping devices, and spare lithium batteries are not authorized to be packed in checked luggage. Spare lithium batteries the kind that are found in personal electronic devices and back-up charging devices can only travel in carry-on baggage.

Electronic devices powered by lithium batteries can catch fire if they are damaged or have exposed electrical terminals. If devices start to smoke or catch fire, they are much easier to extinguish if they are in the cabin area rather than the cargo hold. The FAA recommends that passengers keep cell phones and other devices nearby in the cabin to quickly access them if necessary.

Spare lithium batteries must be placed in carry-on baggage and protected from damage or short-circuiting. Batteries should be packed so that they are not touching or bumping something that could potentially cause them to spark. If batteries are not sealed in manufacturer packaging, the battery terminals should be protected by covering them with tape and placing them in separate bags to prevent short circuits.

For more detailed information about materials that should not fly, check out our Pack Safe: When in Doubt, Leave it Out video, the FAA's PackSafe website, and the FAAs Hazardous Materials Safety website.

To be on the safe side, when in doubt, just leave it out!

The Federal Aviation Administrations (FAA) nationwide deployment of the Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) has exceeded all of the programs original objectives.

Since the program began with a prototype system in November 2017, LAANC has processed more than 50,000 applications from drone operators for authorization to fly in controlled airspace. The system now covers almost 300 air traffic facilities serving approximately 500 airports, providing near-instantaneous approvals and allowing operators to quickly plan their flights. View a list of the participating facilities.

LAANC helps support the safe integration of drones into the nations airspace. The system uses airspace data provided through temporary flight restrictions, Notices to Airmen (NOTAMs) and unmanned aircraft system (UAS) facility maps that show the maximum altitude ceiling around airports where the FAA may authorize operations under Part 107, the small drone rule for commercial and public agency operators.

The FAA has approved 14 LAANC service suppliers. Instructions on how to apply are provided by each supplier:

Drone operators also may file for airspace authorizations using the FAADroneZone, including for areas not covered by LAANC or when the operator holds a Part 107 waiver.

As the latest step in its transition to a more integrated and systematic approach to pilot certification, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is asking for public comments on new draft standards for obtaining an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate in the airplane category or for obtaining an airplane type rating.

Along with the October 22 Notice of Document Availability, the FAA included the draft Airman Certification Standards (ACS) for public review and comment. The proposed standards include what a pilot is expected to know, consider and do in order to prepare for the FAA ATP knowledge test and practical test and ultimately receive an ATP certificate or airplane type rating, as applicable, if the standards are met. The areas covered are preflight preparation, takeoffs and landings, inflight maneuvers, stall prevention, instrument procedures, emergency operations and postflight procedures.

The ACS also includes guidance for applicants on eligibility requirements for taking the single-engine or multiengine airplane knowledge tests and practical tests. Guidance for evaluators conducting the practical test is also provided.

The Airman Certification Standards program is based on collaboration between the FAA and a diverse group of aviation industry experts. The goal is to make sure testing and training standards for pilots keep pace with todays operating environment. In June 2016, the Agency replaced the Practical Test Standards for the private pilot (airplane) certificate and the instrument (airplane) rating with the new corresponding Airman Certification Standards. The proposed ATP standards are the latest to be offered for comment.

Submissions on the standards are being accepted until the comment period closes December 21, 2018.

Flights between the Northeast and the major international airports in Florida and the Caribbean are more direct, more efficient, and safer since the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) implemented 55 new Performance-Based Navigation (PBN) routes on November 8.

Satellite-equipped aircraft now can fly new routes that begin at the North Carolina/South Carolina border and flow south toward Florida and the Caribbean. The new routes will augment the existing structure of conventional jet routes. The Agency also updated 11 existing PBN routes. It previously added two PBN routes to the system

Implementing 55 new satellite-based routes on one day is a significant milestone in our work to modernize the air traffic control system, said Dan Elwell, Acting FAA Administrator. We are providing better access to busy airspace along the southern part of the East Coast, to the major international airports in Florida and beyond.

The Agency also is designing high-altitude PBN routes from the northeast to join the new routes that began today. When the new route structure is completed, equipped aircraft will seamlessly fly on satellite-based routes along the East Coast to South Florida and the Caribbean.

The project is part of the FAAs South-Central Florida Metroplex initiative. The Metroplex team designed the new routes, 39 are over water and 16 are over land. This brings the total number of PBN routes over the United States to 316. Get more facts about the South-Central Florida Metroplex on our website.

These new routes, along with other PBN procedures and new technologies are part of the FAAs Next Generation Air Transportation System. NextGen is moving the National Airspace System from ground-based radar to satellite-based navigation, from voice to digital communication, and from point-to-point data to a fully integrated information management system. These initiatives change how we see, navigate, and communicate in our nations skies.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today dedicated the new Atlanta Flight Operations Facility at Cobb County International Airport in Kennesaw, GA. The new facility will enable the Agency to continue providing outstanding support of the National Airspace System.

The FAA is pleased to locate our critical flight inspection services out of this state-of-the-art facility, said Teri L. Bristol, Chief Operating Officer of the FAAs Air Traffic Organization. We appreciate the Atlanta communitys support of our continued mission to provide the safest, most efficient airspace system in the world.

Flight Inspection ensures the integrity of instrument approaches and flight procedures that pilots fly in the National Airspace System. FAA pilots fly specially equipped Beechcraft King Air 300 (BE-300) aircraft to conduct airborne inspections of all space- and ground-based instrument flight procedures and they validate electronic signals in space transmitted from ground navigation systems.

The 32,050-square-foot facility includes a 23,100-square-foot hangar that will accommodate six BE-300 aircraft that support Flight Program Operations flight inspection mission. The facility also includes shop space for aircraft maintenance and repair, and administrative space that can accommodate 26 FAA employees.

The Atlanta Flight Operations Facility is part of the FAAs Flight Program Operations service unit in the Air Traffic Organization. The program consolidates all of the agencys aircraft and people into a single organization responsible for all aspects of flight program safety, administration, operations, training, and maintenance.

Other Flight Program Operations facilities are located at Anchorage, AK; Atlantic City, NJ; Battle Creek, MI; Fort Worth, TX; Oklahoma City, OK; Sacramento, CA; and Washington, D.C.

FAA rebates are quickly being claimed by general aviation owners equipping their aircraft with Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast avionics.

A month after the FAA relaunched its $500 rebate program, 1,438 rebates have been taken from a total of 9,792 available through October 11, 2019, as long as supplies last. Thirty to forty rebates are claimed on an average day.

The FAA relaunched the program to encourage owners of fixed-wing, single-engine piston aircraftto equip with ADS-B Out avionics, which will be required in certain, controlled airspace beginning January 1, 2020, which is less than 14 months from now.

Aircraft owners need to follow five steps to receive the $500 rebate:

  • Purchase the equipment and schedule its installation.
  • Obtain a Rebate Reservation Code by reserving a position online.
  • Have the equipment installed.
  • Conduct the required equipment performance validation and get an Incentive Code.
  • Claim the $500 rebate online using the Rebate Reservation Code and Incentive Code.

As with the earlier rebate program, the relaunched rebate program is available only to those who have not yet equipped their aircraft.

In addition to the ADS-B Rebate reservation portal, the FAA's Equip ADS-B website lists FAA-certified ADS-B equipment and features an equipage database searchable by aircraft type and model.

The existing FAA Airworthiness Directive (AD) identifies existing flight crew procedures to be used in those circumstances. The FAA and Boeing continue to evaluate the need for software and/or other design changes to the aircraft including operating procedures and training as we learn more from the ongoing investigation.The FAA is not doing a safety probe seperate from the ongoing Lion AIr Accident investigation of whcih we, the NTSB and Indonesian officials are a part.

On Wednesday evening, an air traffic controller at the Las Vegas tower became incapacitated while on duty. The FAA is deeply concerned by the incident, is thoroughly investigating what occurred, and is taking immediate steps to modify its overnight shift staffing policies. No safety events occurred during this incident. The controller is currently restricted from working air traffic.

At the request of the Department of Defense (DOD) and the United States Coast Guard (USCG), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is using its existing authority under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations 99.7 Special Security Instructions to address concerns about potentially malicious drone operations over certain, high-priority maritime operations.

The FAA, in cooperation with DOD and USCG, is restricting drone flights near U.S. Navy (USN) and USCG vessels operating in the vicinity of Naval Base Kitsap in Washington state and Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay in Georgia. Drone operations are required to maintain a distance of at least 3,000 feet laterally and 1,000 feet vertically from these vessels.

These special security instructions, provided in an FAA Notice to Airmen (NOTAM), are effective today. The full text of this NOTAM and additional information on these special security instructions, including a visual depiction and geospatial definition of the relevant airspace.

The FAA also warns drone operators in this NOTAM that these USN and USCG vessels are authorized by law to take protective action against drones perceived to be safety or security threats such as those violating the cited FAA special security instructions. This action could result in interference, disruption, seizure, damage or destruction of these drones. Further, operators who do not comply with the FAA special security instructions also may be subject to enforcement action, including potential civil penalties and criminal charges.

Any operator with an overriding reason of public interest or necessity (e.g., conducting a search and rescue mission) to operate their drone in close proximity to the cited USN and USCG vessels must first coordinate with the USN or USCG point of contact identified in the website linked above.

In a separate Special Notice Advisory NOTAM, also effective today, the FAA strongly advises drone operators to remain clear of DOD and Department of Energy (DOE) facilities and mobile assets, as well as USCG vessels. This Special Notice applies nationwide and alerts operators who ignore this caution and conduct drone flights perceived to be a safety or security threat to these facilities and mobile assets could face a reaction by security forces that results in the interference, disruption, seizure, damage or destruction of their aircraft.

Information can be found here on these two NOTAMs, and all of the locations currently covered by 99.7 restrictions. This website also provides an interactive map, downloadable geospatial data, and other important details. Additional information, including frequently asked questions, is available on the FAAs UAS website.

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