FAA allows pilots to conduct PA–28 fuel selector inspections

AskBob News - Tue, 04/10/2018 - 10:57

From AOPA News

The FAA has published a final rule that supersedes an airworthiness directive (AD) issued in January, and will allow owners of many Piper PA–28-series airplanes who hold at least a private pilot certificate to inspect their aircraft fuel-tank selector cover placards for proper positioning.

The new AD’s terms reflect the FAA’s consideration of AOPA's comments, and could save aircraft owners and pilots more than $763,000 in labor costs for the inspections, fleet-wide.


Since the AD was issued Jan. 23, its compliance deadline has been pushed back three times in response to successive alternative method of compliance (AMOC) requests from AOPA—first to allow for public comments to be reviewed, and now, to cover the time interval until the updated AD’s April 20 effective date.


Aircraft owners who elect to use AOPA’s global AMOC must first notify their appropriate principal inspector or manager of the local flight standards district office. After the AD’s April 20 effective date, aircraft owners can perform the initial inspection.

The AD arose “from a quality control issue that resulted in the installation of fuel tank selector covers with the placement of the left and right fuel tank selector placards installed in reverse,” according to the document, which adds that “the unsafe condition, if not addressed, could result in fuel starvation and loss of engine power in flight.”

AOPA’s comments noted that “we are unware of any accidents or incidents that have occurred as a result of improper placards. Many of the affected fleet have been in operation for decades and the owner/operator has likely verified the accuracy of the fuel selector and corresponding tank through fuel gauge readings over hundreds, if not thousands of hours.”

In its favorable response, the FAA noted that since it issued the AD, “we have determined that the owner/operator (pilot) holding at least a private pilot certificate will be allowed to perform the preflight check of the fuel tank selector placards.”

The inspection check must be entered into the airplane records to show compliance with the AD. If the inspection reveals that the placards are not properly installed, a temporary placard must be installed before further flight, with a permanent corrected placard replacement accomplished within the next 100 hours time-in-service.

Categories: News, US

No Kidding: ADS-B Deadline of Jan. 1, 2020, is Firm

FAA & FAASTeam News - Thu, 04/05/2018 - 11:38

No Kidding: ADS-B Deadline of Jan. 1, 2020, is Firm
Notice Number: NOTC7704


No Kidding: ADS-B Deadline of Jan. 1, 2020, is Firm

We have a sense of humor, too, but an April Fool’s joke that the Federal Aviation Administration is extending the ADS-B deadline is just that.

As stated in the final rule published with industry input in May 2010, all aircraft flying in designated controlled airspace – generally the same busy airspace where transponders are currently required – must be equipped with ADS-B Out avionics by Jan. 1, 2020. Only aircraft that fly in uncontrolled airspace, and aircraft without electrical systems, such as balloons and gliders, are exempt from the mandate.

Those who have already equipped understand that ADS-B is transforming the nation’s airspace by providing more precision and reliability than the current radar system, enhancing safety and increasing situational awareness.

Time is running out. There are only 21 months left until the deadline. If you have any questions about equipage – whether you need to or not, what equipment to get, etc. – please see the FAA’s Equip ADS-B website. For information about the transformational technology, visit the ADS-B website.

Categories: FAA/CAA, News, US

FAAST Blast — Week of April 2, 2018

FAA & FAASTeam News - Wed, 04/04/2018 - 15:58

FAAST Blast — AD Issued for Certain Bonanzas, Sun ‘n Fun 2018, How to Be a Weather Wingman
Notice Number: NOTC7703

FAAST Blast — Week of April 2, 2018 – April 8, 2018
Biweekly FAA Safety Briefing News Update

FAA Issues AD for Certain Bonanza Airplanes
The FAA last week issued an AD for certain Textron Aviation A36TC, B36TC, S35, V35, V35A, and V35B airplanes. AD 2018-06-11 adds a life limit to the exhaust tailpipe v-band coupling (clamp) that attaches the exhaust tailpipe to the turbocharger and requires an annual visual inspection. The AD, which is effective May 3, 2018, affects 731 airplanes of U.S. registry. For more details, go to

Sun ‘n Fun 2018
Get ready for some fun in the sun aviation style at this year’s Sun ’n Fun International Fly-In and Expo, scheduled to take place April 10-15, 2018, in Lakeland, Fla. The event features aerial performances, exhibits, and a wide variety of educational seminars (visit for more information).

The FAA will also host a series of safety forums between 8:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. each day at the FAA Safety Team’s National Resource Center. NTSB Board Member Dr. Earl Weener will speak about loss of control accidents and the FAA’s General Aviation and Commercial Division Manager, Brad Palmer, will discuss the agency’s efforts to enhance GA safety. Other forum topics include wilderness survival, BasicMed, UAS regulations, and ADS-B equipage. For updates to the safety forum schedule, go to And if you’re planning to fly to Sun ’n Fun, don’t forget to read the 2018 Sun ’n Fun Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) available here or go to

How to Be a Weather Wingman

Pilots: What if we told you that you could help be a good cockpit companion even when you’re not in the same plane? Better yet, how about if you had the power to potentially help save a fellow pilot’s life — maybe several pilots — with a simple click of the mic? Find out how by reading the article “How to Be a Weather Wingman — Pay It Forward with PIREPs” in the March/April 2018 flying companion-themed issue of FAA Safety Briefing. Download your copy or read online at You can also read a mobile-friendly version of this article at  


Produced by the FAA Safety Briefing editors,
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Categories: FAA/CAA, News, US

FAAST Blast — Week of Mar 5, 2018

FAA & FAASTeam News - Thu, 03/08/2018 - 09:45

FAAST Blast — LAANC Program Expanded, New Safety Briefing Live Broadcast Coming Soon, GA Survey, Flying Companions Issue
Notice Number: NOTC7656

FAAST Blast — Week of Mar 5, 2018 – Mar 11, 2018
Biweekly FAA Safety Briefing News Update

FAA Expands Drone Airspace Authorization Program
The FAA is expanding tests of an automated system that will ultimately provide near real-time processing of airspace authorization requests for unmanned aircraft (UAS) operators nationwide.

Under the FAA’s Part 107 small drone rule, operators must secure approval from the agency to operate in any airspace controlled by an air traffic facility. To facilitate those approvals, the agency deployed the prototype Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) at several air traffic facilities last November to evaluate the feasibility of a fully automated solution enabled by data sharing. Based on the prototype’s success, the agency will now conduct a nationwide beta test beginning April 30 that will deploy LAANC incrementally at nearly 300 air traffic facilities covering approximately 500 airports. The final deployment will begin on September 13. For more information, read the FAA news release here:

Announcing New FAA Safety Briefing Live Broadcast

Mark your calendars now for FAA Safety Briefing Live, which is coming your way starting at 1900 CT on Monday, March 12, 2018. The inaugural, streaming broadcast will introduce the March/April 2018 “GA Flying Companions” issue, and include interviews with several special guests. It will also be eligible for WINGS credit. For more details on how to access this presentation, go to

The GA and Part 135 Survey Has Been Cleared for Takeoff

Did you receive an email or postcard invitation asking you to complete the survey for your aircraft? The survey takes only 10-15 minutes and helps the FAA improve general aviation infrastructure and safety. Please complete the survey today online at or contact us at 1-800-826-1797 or

Flying Companions

The March/April 2018 issue of FAA Safety Briefing focuses on Flying Companions. Building on our previous companion-based edition in 2014, this issue is specifically designed for the friends and loved ones who join us in the air or might have an interest in doing so. Feature articles help regular or prospective passengers gain a better understanding of the world of general aviation and offer the tips, techniques, and resources needed to take a more active role during flight. Download your copy or read online at


Produced by the FAA Safety Briefing editors,
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Categories: FAA/CAA, News, US

It’s Official: Rotorcraft Pilot and Mechanic Shortage Verified

AskBob News - Thu, 03/01/2018 - 13:04

The results of a study forecasting the U.S. supply of rotorcraft pilots and mechanics over the next 18 years has been released, confirming what many in our industry suspected. Unless there are some fundamental changes in policy, outreach, scholarships, and access to financing, the helicopter industry faces large-scale deficits in the amount of available and qualified licensed and certificated pilots and mechanics.


The study projects a shortage of 7,469 helicopter pilots in the United States between 2018 and 2036. For maintenance technicians, the numbers are even more concerning. Our industry is projected to be short 40,613 certificated aviation mechanics in the United States between 2018 and 2036.


The study results, commissioned by Helicopter Foundation International (HFI) and conducted by the University of North Dakota (UND), were released today, Feb. 28, at a press conference at HAI HELI-EXPO 2018 in Las Vegas. Allison McKay, HFI vice president, introduced the study, and two UND researchers, Dr. Elizabeth Bjerke and Kent W. Lovelace, reported the results. Recognizing the importance of this information, HFI is making available both the study results and an executive summary.


In addition to documenting the projected shortage, the study gathered information on how it is already changing operations. For example, more than 50 percent of surveyed operators said that the shortage of pilots and mechanics would definitely or probably interfere with their operation’s ability to grow over the next five years. Regional airlines are actively recruiting helicopter pilots — more than 500 transferred to fixed-wing operations in 2017 alone.


This shortage is an industry-wide problem, and fixing it will require efforts from many sectors, including government, industry, military, finance, insurance, and education. In the coming months, HFI and Helicopter Association International (HAI) will be recruiting stakeholders to collaboratively work on defining concrete next steps to combat the problem. If you would be interested in participating in this effort, please contact Allison McKay.


"Our industry needs to take a hard look at how we do things,” says Matt Zuccaro, HAI president and CEO. “We really don’t have a choice. These numbers show a future where the growth of our industry will be curtailed because operators won’t have the workforce they need. But we have the option to change that future by acting proactively now to recruit the next generation of pilots and maintainers.”


HFI Vice President McKay agrees. “The study results are certainly bad news for our industry. But the good news is that now we know the numbers — and now we can take steps to ensure the sustainability of our industry.”

Categories: News, US

EASA Reconsiders Part-Tagging For Repairs Subject To EU-U.S. Bilateral

AskBob News - Tue, 02/13/2018 - 09:28


The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) released a long-awaited notice of proposed amendment (NPA) that would relieve parts documentation requirements imposed on EASA-certificated, U.S.-based repair stations through the U.S.-EU bilateral agreement’s Maintenance Annex Guidance (MAG).

The MAG essentially requires an EASA Form 1 equivalent (i.e., an FAA Form 8130-3) for new parts, creating what industry deems an impossible situation since production approval holders (PAH) are not required to provide the document under FAA regulations. Previous efforts to persuade the European authority to recognize equivalent evidence of airworthiness fell flat.

Industry is particularly embattled by the regulation’s applicability to commercial parts—which are often produced and sold for nonaviation use in the U.S., and therefore sans the required 8130-3—further exacerbating an already tenuous situation.

In August 2016, the FAA published Notice 8900.380, providing an alternative path to compliance if the required

documentation cannot be obtained from the PAH. The notice confirmed a repair station’s privilege to inspect and approve a new part for return to service when it is not accompanied by Form 8130-3, so long as the repair station establishes traceability. The notice’s one-year expiration date was extended to August 2018 while the authorities endeavor to get the language incorporated into MAG Change 7.

Read More


Categories: News, US

What's In A Name? Alodine

AskBob News - Tue, 02/13/2018 - 09:20


Earlier this month, FAA sent out a Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (SAIB) clarifying that operators and MRO providers that rely on Alodine,a corrosion-protection and primer for certain metals, can safely use Bonderite for the same applications.

Both Alodine and Bonderite are made by Henkel. In fact, they are one and the same. Bonderite is simply the new brand name for Alodine. Aside from looping in the end-users—Henkel notes that Bonderite as "known as Alodine"—why did FAA take the step of issuing an SAIB? Because it has a number of regulatory-binding documents that call out Alodine specifically.

"The FAA has issued many [airworthiness directives (ADs)] and [alternative means of compliance, or AMOCs] that specifically call out for application of Alodine," the agency notes in the bulletin. "The unavailability of Alodine will make it difficult to comply with ADs or previously approved AMOCs that require the application of Alodine."

Such is the power of FAA's regulations—and the challenge

presented when the agency gets too specific in the rules that govern U.S. aviation.


In an ideal world, FAA's regulations set the basic parameters, and its guidance provides more specific guidelines on how the rules can be followed. When the rules get too specific, industry can be hamstrung, because it's much harder to change a regulation than to issue new guidance.

“The FAA should learn from this,” said Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA) executive director Sarah MacLeod. “When it calls out specific materials in a law, such as an airworthiness directive, a simple marketing change made by a company producing those materials can require bureaucratic backflips. This [new AMOC] is a fine fix, but the government needs to be more circumspect in proscriptive rulemaking.”

Categories: News, US

FAAST Blast — Week of Feb. 05, 2018

FAA & FAASTeam News - Fri, 02/09/2018 - 09:52

FAAST Blast – NPRM Issued for Textron Airplanes, Maintenance Placards, How to Talk Like a Pilot
Notice Number: NOTC7607

FAAST Blast — Week of Feb. 05, 2018 – Feb. 11, 2018
Biweekly FAA Safety Briefing News Update

NPRM Issued for Textron Aviation Airplanes

The FAA last week proposed to issue a new airworthiness directive (AD) that would affect certain (Cessna) Textron Aviation 172/182/206/207/210 airplanes. A report of cracks found in the lower area of the forward cabin doorpost bulkhead prompted this notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). This condition is determined to be the result of metal fatigue. If not addressed, it could lead to failure of the wing in operation, which could result in loss of control.

The AD would require repetitive inspection of this area for cracks and would require owners to make any necessary repairs in accordance with the applicable Cessna service kit. The FAA estimates that this proposed AD affects 14,653 airplanes of U.S. registry. For more details on the inspection and repair requirements of this NPRM, as well as instruction for submitting comments, go to The comment period closes on March 19, 2018.

Maintenance Placards

The General Aviation Joint Steering Committee (GAJSC) has identified that attempting to fly in an aircraft currently undergoing maintenance, and not yet returned to service, is a causal factor in a number of fatal GA accidents. This month’s #FlySafe topic suggests adopting informal lock out/tag out procedures to ensure pilots are aware of un-airworthy aircraft conditions. See the fact sheet here:

How to Talk Like a Pilot

Pilots: How would you rate your aviation communication skills? Are you precise, yet concise? Courteous and classy? For important tips and techniques to improve your aviation lingo, have a look at the article, “How to Talk Like a Pilot” in the Jan/Feb 2018 issue of FAA Safety Briefing. Download your copy or read online at: You can view a mobile-friendly version of this article at


Produced by the FAA Safety Briefing editors,
Address questions or comments to:
Follow us on Twitter @FAASafetyBrief or

Categories: FAA/CAA, News, US

Your ADS-B Questions Answered: Get the Facts Here Notice Number: NOTC7602

FAA & FAASTeam News - Thu, 02/08/2018 - 14:32

Question: Is ATC actually using ADS-B? I asked a controller to verify that my equipment was operating properly and she told me she did not have that information. How else can I verify that my equipment is operating properly?

Answer:  The FAA provides a free, easy way to check your Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) performance. The ADS-B Performance Monitor (APM) captures all the broadcast ADS-B information in U.S. airspace.  The APM captures your aircraft’s ADS-B broadcast automatically, every time you fly. To verify the performance of your system, request a Public ADS-B Performance Report (PAPR) after any flight. Make your request by going to:

You may do this anytime, at no cost. The PAPR will identify any erroneous information your equipment broadcasts. You can take the report to your avionics installer who can help rectify any issues. We encourage operators to check the performance of your ADS-B equipment after installation and annually thereafter.

ATC first began using ADS-B at selected sites in the United States in 2010, and the FAA has steadily expanded integration and use throughout the NAS. There are still some TRACONS in the NAS that require modernization to be able to utilize ADS-B, but the FAA is on track to enable ADS-B use at these remaining facilities before the 2020 mandate. 

The FAA’s ADS-B network collects your broadcasted ADS-B information and passes it to the ATC automation system. ADS-B data is then combined with other surveillance data (where available), to create a single track of your aircraft for the controller’s display.

ADS-B messages contain many different information elements that are combined and simplified for presentation to ATC in a way that supports their primary mission of maintaining safe separation of aircraft. This simplified presentation tells a controller whether an aircraft is equipped with ADS-B and whether ADS-B is contributing to the presentation. It does not give the controller any insight into how well the ADS-B is performing or if all information elements comply with the requirements of the ADS-B mandate. Therefore, we discourage pilots from asking controllers for ADS-B performance details since this can add to workload and frequency congestion.

Don’t Get Left in the Hangar. Equip Now!

There’s only 23 months remaining before the January 1, 2020 ADS-B Out equipage deadline.

For more information, please visit the Equip ADS-B website

Questions about equipping? Please see our FAQs or contact us at

Categories: FAA/CAA, News, US

AD affects 14,653 Cessnas

AskBob News - Wed, 02/07/2018 - 13:05

The FAA has proposed an AD involving 14,653 U.S. Cessna 172, 182, 206 and 210 models after cracks were found in the lower area of the forward cabin doorpost bulkhead. That's where the wing strut attaches and the AD requires repetitive inspections of the area. After one owner reported finding cracks, more inspections revealed them in about 50 more aircraft. "It has been determined that the cracks result from metal fatigue," the AD says.  READ MORE 

Categories: News, US

FAA General Aviation Awards

FAA & FAASTeam News - Fri, 01/26/2018 - 16:31

We are very excited to announce the selection of Area Honorees for the 2018 General Aviation Awards. This year the FAA reorganized offices and no longer has “Regions” per se.  For our purposes, we divided offices into areas according to which time zone they are located.  Here are our 2018 Area Honorees:

District Office             Honoree                          Category
Kansas City, MO   Christopher Hope               Flight Instructor
Nashville, TN        Catherine Cavagnaro         FAASTeam Representative
North TX               Lloyd Timmons, II               Aviation Technician
Baltimore, MD       Helen Woods                     Flight Instructor
Baltimore, MD       C. William "Bill" Pancake   Aviation Technician
Boston, MA            Paul Carroll                       FAASTeam Representative
Denver CO            Ken Fukayama                  Flight Instructor
Scottsdale, AZ       Brent Crow                        FAASTeam Representative
San Jose               Eric Alan Cook                   FAASTeam Representative
Las Vegas             Dan Christman                   Flight Instructor
Las Vegas NV       Jon "Dave" Monti               Aviation Technician

Let's put the Area Honorees into their proper perspective.  Considering that the U.S. has five time zones, being selected to represent an Area places these people in the top five of all the flight instructors, maintenance technicians, avionics technicians or FAASTeam representatives nationwide.

This is only a step in the goal to be named the National Honoree, but it is a HUGE step and no small matter. Congratulations to our Honorees and good luck in the national competition.  National Honorees are scheduled to be chosen by January 30.

For questions or more information contact 
Arlynn McMahon, Chairman
General Aviation Awards Committee
2009 National Flight Instructor of the Year

Categories: FAA/CAA, News, US

FAAST Blast — Week of Jan. 22, 2018

FAA & FAASTeam News - Thu, 01/25/2018 - 10:26

FAA Safety Team | Safer Skies Through Education

FAAST Blast — Super Bowl NOTAM, AD Issued for Piper Fuel Tank Selector Placards, How to Talk Like a Pilot
Notice Number: NOTC7579

FAAST Blast — Week of Jan. 22, 2018 – Jan. 28, 2018
Biweekly FAA Safety Briefing News Update


Special Air Traffic Procedures for Super Bowl LII

In anticipation of a large number of aircraft operating in the Minneapolis−St. Paul metropolitan area during the week of Super Bowl LII, special security provisions will be in effect for this event including (but not limited to) Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFRs), two−way communication, and discrete transponder requirements. Pilots are encouraged to check NOTAMs frequently to verify they have the most current information. TFR information is normally disseminated by a FDC NOTAM 3 to 5 days prior to the event. Once published, text and graphic depictions of restrictions may be found at You can also read about the FAA's flight restrictions, notices, and published routes at


AD Issued for Piper Fuel Tank Selector Placards

The FAA this week issued an Airworthiness Directive (AD) that applies to certain model Piper PA-28s. AD 2018-02-05 requires inspecting the fuel tank selector cover to verify that the left and right fuel tank selector placards are located at the proper positions and replacing those that are improperly located with new placards. The AD, which goes into effect on Feb. 7, 2018, was prompted by a quality control issue at the manufacturer that resulted in the installation of the fuel tank selector covers with the left and right fuel tank selector placards improperly located. For more details, see the AD at


How to Talk Like a Pilot

How would you rate your aviation communication skills? Are you precise, yet concise? Courteous and classy? For important tips and techniques to improve your aviation lingo, take a look at the article, “How to Talk Like a Pilot” in the Jan/Feb 2018 issue of FAA Safety Briefing. Download your copy or read online at: You can view a mobile-friendly version of this article at


Produced by the FAA Safety Briefing editors,
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Follow us on Twitter @FAASafetyBrief or

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Categories: FAA/CAA, News, US

Your ADS-B Questions Answered: Get the Facts Here

FAA & FAASTeam News - Wed, 01/24/2018 - 12:34

FAA Safety Team Notice Number: NOTC7575

Question: Will the January 1, 2020 ADS-B Out compliance date be extended? And is it true that the airlines have been allowed to delay their installation?   


Answer: The FAA has consistently demonstrated its commitment to the January 1, 2020 ADS-B Out compliance date.


The rule was published in May 2010, nearly ten years in advance to allow ample time for the production and installation of equipment on aircraft and complete deployment of the ATC ground network (completed in 2014). ADS-B is currently used by ATC in all but the smallest facilities where integration with the automation is on track to support the compliance date.


Equipment options are varied and plentiful; there are approved ADS-B systems for almost all aircraft types. Manufacturers share this information with the FAA which is available through a searchable database at


The rumor that airlines have been given a delay to the January 1, 2020 ADS-B Out compliance date is not true. Exemption 12555 allows the use of older GPS equipment until 2025, but still requires that operators install and operate rule-compliant ADS-B Out equipment by January 1, 2020.


With all this in place, there is no need and no reason to expect a delay in the compliance date of January 1, 2020.


Don’t Get Left in the Hangar. Equip Now!


There’s only 24 months remaining before the 2020 ADS-B Out equipage deadline.


For more information, please visit the Equip ADS-B website


Questions about equipping? Please see our FAQs or contact us at

Categories: FAA/CAA, News, US

FAA Asks Industry To Help Improve MRO Guidance

AskBob News - Tue, 01/23/2018 - 12:14

FAA is establishing a working group to review all repair station guidance and recommend ways to better align it with the agency's rules that govern maintenance organizations.

The effort,  set up under FAA's Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC), gives industry the opportunity to weigh in on the myriad advisory circulars, policy statements, and other guidance that FAA leans on to enforce its Part 145 regulations. The rules apply to the 4,800 FAA-certified repair stations, including 800 located outside the U.S.

Read More on MRO Network

Categories: News, US

FAA Safety Team Government Shutdown

FAA & FAASTeam News - Mon, 01/22/2018 - 09:55

Government Shutdown
Notice Number: NOTC7573

The FAASTeam is currently shut down because of a lapse in appropriations. This prohibits FAA employees from being available to facilitate, present, or attend safety seminars. We will also not have access to our system to cancel meetings. There is potential that you will arrive at a safety meeting, and find there is no one to provide the meeting.

We are very grateful for the support of our FAASTeam Representatives. Any safety meeting that is produced by our Representatives who are not FAA employees may continue.

We ask for your patience, and apologize for the inconvenience. The FAASTeam will reopen once funding has been restored.

Categories: FAA/CAA, News, US

CALLBACK 456 - January 2018

ASRS Callback - Wed, 01/17/2018 - 13:30
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Issue 456 January 2018 Webster’s definition of “mode” as “a particular functioning arrangement or condition” is useful and descriptive in an aviation sense. A specified operating mode in an aircraft system is generally characterized by a unique list of active functions for a named condition, or “mode.” Most aircraft systems employ multiple modes of operation, each with distinct functions, to accommodate the wide range of needs that exist in the current operating environment.

Ever-increasing mode complexities dictate that pilots be intimately familiar with a multitude of operating modes and functions. Regardless of which systems are operated, and especially while operating automation that directly controls an aircraft, mode awareness, mode selection, and mode expectation can all present hazards that must be managed. These hazards may be clearly evident, but they are often complex and difficult to perceive.

ASRS has received reports suggesting that pilots may be unaware of a current operating mode or may be unaware of what functions are available in a particular mode. Many pilots have experienced the “What is it doing now?” syndrome at some time or other. Typically, the aircraft is in, or transitions to, a mode that the pilot has not selected. Additionally, the pilot may not have recognized that a transition has occurred. The aircraft then does something autonomously that the pilot does not expect, which usually causes confusion and increases hazard potential.

This month CALLBACK shares reports that reveal some mode awareness, mode selection, and mode expectation problems involving aircraft automation that are frequently experienced by the Mode Monitors and Managers in today’s aviation environment. Fast and Furious On departure, an Air Carrier Captain selected the required navigation mode, but it did not engage. He immediately attempted to correct the condition and subsequently experienced how fast a situation can deteriorate when navigating in the wrong mode.■ I was the Captain of the flight from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA). During our departure briefing at the gate, we specifically noted that the winds were 170 at 6, and traffic was departing Runway 1. Although the winds favored Runway 19, we acknowledged that they were within our limits for a tailwind takeoff on Runway 1. We also noted that windshear advisories were in effect, and we followed required procedure using a no–flex, maximum thrust takeoff. We also briefed the special single engine procedure and the location of [prohibited airspace] P-56. Given the visual [meteorological] conditions of 10 miles visibility, few clouds at 2,000 feet, and scattered clouds at 16,000 feet, our method of compliance was visual reference, and we briefed, “to stay over the river, and at no time cross east of the river.”

Taxi out was normal, and we were issued a takeoff clearance [that included the JDUBB One Departure] from Runway 1. At 400 feet AGL, the FO was the Pilot Flying and incorrectly called for HEADING MODE. I was the Pilot Monitoring and responded correctly with “NAV MODE” and selected NAV MODE on the Flight Control Panel. The two lights adjacent to the NAV MODE button illuminated. I referenced my PFD and noticed that the airplane was still in HEADING MODE and that NAV MODE was not armed. Our ground speed was higher than normal due to the tailwind, and we were rapidly approaching the departure course. Again, I reached up and selected NAV MODE, with the same result. I referenced our location on the Multi-Function Display (MFD), and we were exactly over the intended departure course; however, we were still following the flight director incorrectly on runway heading. I said, “Turn left,” and shouted, “IMMEDIATELY!” The FO banked into a left turn. I observed the river from the Captain’s side window, and we were directly over the river and clear of P-56. I spun the heading bug directly to the first fix, ADAXE, and we proceeded toward ADAXE.

Upon reaching ADAXE, we incorrectly overflew it, and I insisted the FO turn right to rejoin the departure. He turned right, and I said, “You have to follow the white needle,” specifically referencing our FMS/GPS navigation. He responded, “I don't have a white needle.” He then reached down and turned the Navigation Selector Knob to FMS 2, which gave him proper FMS/GPS navigation. We were able to engage the autopilot at this point and complete the remainder of the JDUBB One Departure. I missed the hand–off to Departure Control, and Tower asked me again to call them, which I did. Before the hand–off to Center, the Departure Controller gave me a phone number to call because of a possible entry into P-56. Back to Basics An ERJ-145 Crew failed to detect a change in their vertical navigation mode during descent. When it was eventually discovered, corrective action was taken, but large deviations from the desired flight path may have already compromised safety.
■ This event occurred while being vectored for a visual approach.… The First Officer (FO) was the Pilot Flying and I was Pilot Monitoring. ATC had given us a heading to fly and a clearance to descend to 3,000 feet. 3,000 was entered into the altitude preselect, was confirmed by both pilots, and a descent was initiated. At about this time, we were also instructed to maintain 180 knots. Sometime later, I noticed that our speed had begun to bleed off considerably, approximately 20 knots, and was still decaying. I immediately grabbed the thrust levers and increased power attempting to regain our airspeed. At about this time, it was noticed that the preselected altitude had never captured and that the Flight Mode Annunciator (FMA) had entered into PITCH MODE at some point. It became apparent that after the aircraft had started its descent,… the altitude preselect (ASEL) mode had changed to pitch and was never noticed by either pilot. Instead of descending, the aircraft had entered a climb at some point, and this was not noticed until an appreciable amount of airspeed decay had occurred. At the time that this event was noticed, the aircraft was approximately 900 feet above its assigned altitude. Shortly after corrective action was begun, ATC queried us about our climbing instead of descending. We replied that we were reversing the climb. The aircraft returned to its assigned altitude, and a visual approach was completed without any further issues.

[We experienced a] large decrease in indicated airspeed. The event occurred because neither pilot noticed the Flight Mode Annunciator (FMA) entering PITCH MODE. Thrust was added, and then the climb was reversed in order to descend back to our assigned altitude. Both pilots need to reaffirm that their primary duty is to fly and monitor the aircraft at all times, starting with the basics of heading, altitude, airspeed and performance.
“We Must Watch it…Like a Hawk”A B737 crew was caught off-guard during descent. The threat was real and had been previously known. The crew did not realize that the aircraft’s vertical navigation had reverted to a mode less capable than VNAV PATH.From the Captain’s Report:
■ While descending on the DANDD arrival into Denver, we were told to descend via. We re-cruised the current altitude while setting the bottom altitude in the altitude window. Somewhere close to DANDD intersection, the aircraft dropped out of its vertical mode, and before we realized it, we descended below the 17,000 foot assigned altitude at DANDD intersection to an altitude of nearly 16,000 feet. At once I kicked off the autopilot and began to climb back to 17,000 feet, which we did before crossing the DANDD intersection. Reviewing the incident, we still don’t know what happened. We had it dialed in, and the vertical mode reverted to CWS PITCH (CWS P).

Since our software is not the best and we have no aural warnings of VNAV SPD or CWS P, alas, we must watch it ever more closely—like a hawk. From the First Officer’s Report:
■ It would be nice to have better software—the aircraft constantly goes out of VNAV PATH and into VNAV SPEED for no reason, and sometimes the VNAV disconnects for no reason, like it did to us today.“Mode Changes are Insidious”A B737-800 Captain became distracted while searching for traffic during his approach. Both he and the First Officer missed the FMA mode change indication, which resulted in an altitude deviation in a terminal environment. From the Captain’s Report:■ Arrival into JFK, weather was CAVU. Captain was Pilot Flying, First Officer was Pilot Monitoring. Planned and briefed the visual Runway13L with the RNAV (RNP) Rwy 13L approach as backup. Approach cleared us direct to ASALT, cross ASALT at 3,000, cleared approach. During the descent we received several calls for a VFR target at our 10 to 12 o’clock position. We never acquired the traffic visually, but we had him on TCAS. Eventually Approach advised, “Traffic no factor, contact Tower.” On contact with Tower, we were cleared to land. Approaching ASALT, I noticed we were approximately 500 feet below the 3,000 foot crossing altitude. Somewhere during the descent while our attention was on the VFR traffic, the plane dropped out of VNAV PATH, and I didn’t catch it. I disconnected the autopilot and returned to 3,000 feet. Once level, I reengaged VNAV and completed the approach with no further problems.
From the First Officer’s Report:■ FMA mode changes are insidious. In clear weather, with your head out of the cockpit clearing for traffic in a high density environment, especially at your home field on a familiar approach, it is easy to miss a mode change. This is a good reminder to keep instruments in your cross check on those relatively few great weather days.
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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 456 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.
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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 »November 2017 Report Intake: Air Carrier/Air Taxi Pilots 4,928 General Aviation Pilots 1,174 Controllers 469 Flight Attendants 401 Military/Other 284 Dispatchers 199 Mechanics 144 TOTAL 7,599 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 456

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Categories: News

SAE International Launches New Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul Information Products, Addressing Rapid Growth of MRO Industry

AskBob News - Tue, 01/09/2018 - 10:05

SAE International has introduced new Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul (MRO) Information Products in response to dramatic changes affecting the MRO landscape, including the recent influx of available aircraft data, new manufacturing methods and business models. Featuring technical insights and detailed guides to repairing advanced materials and detecting predictive data patterns, the MRO Information Products were created in support of independent MRO’s, mainline carriers and OEM’s to help them capitalize on new developments in data management and advanced materials to deliver cost-effective maintenance faster.

“The MRO industry is experiencing a fascinating period of rapid growth across the globe, especially in the Asia-Pacific region,” says Frank Menchaca, Chief Product Officer for SAE International. “In fact, according to Oliver Wyman’s 10-year outlook for the commercial airline transport fleet and the associated MRO market, Asia is forecasted to host almost 40% of the global aircraft fleet by 2027, making it the central location of global fleet activity. SAE International saw a need for dependable resources that can help MRO professionals not only keep up with their competition, but with the speed at which their industry is developing, and that’s exactly what our MRO Information Products aim to provide.”

The MRO Information Products will be available for instant access through SAE MOBILUS, the technical resource platform created by the international automotive and aerospace mobility community to provide a critical advantage to develop the future of aerospace engineering. Along with standards, technical papers, books and case studies, the MRO Information Products will also include complimentary white papers and graphical information pieces.

The MRO Information Products, published by SAE International, can be accessed through an annual standards subscription, an annual non-standards subscription or a custom subscription that can be tailored to meet individual organization needs.

1.888.875.3976 (U.S. and Canada) | 1.724.772.4086 (Outside North America)

SAE International is a global association committed to being the ultimate knowledge source for the engineering profession. By uniting over 127,000 engineers and technical experts, we drive knowledge and expertise across a broad spectrum of industries. We act on two priorities: encouraging a lifetime of learning for mobility engineering professionals and setting the standards for industry engineering. We strive for a better world through the work of our charitable arm, the SAE Foundation, which helps fund programs like A World in Motion® and the Collegiate Design Series™.


Categories: News, US