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Updated: 33 min 4 sec ago

FAA allows pilots to conduct PA–28 fuel selector inspections

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.

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Categories: News, US

FAA allows pilots to conduct PA–28 fuel selector inspections

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

It’s Official: Rotorcraft Pilot and Mechanic Shortage Verified

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.”

field_vote: 0No votes yet
Categories: News, US

It’s Official: Rotorcraft Pilot and Mechanic Shortage Verified

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

Tue, 02/13/2018 - 09:28

MRO-Network

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

 

field_vote: 0No votes yet
Categories: News, US

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

Tue, 02/13/2018 - 09:28

MRO-Network

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

Tue, 02/13/2018 - 09:20

MRO-Network

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.”

field_vote: 0No votes yet
Categories: News, US

What's In A Name? Alodine

Tue, 02/13/2018 - 09:20

MRO-Network

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

AD affects 14,653 Cessnas

Wed, 02/07/2018 - 13:05

AVweb
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 

field_vote: 0No votes yet
Categories: News, US

AD affects 14,653 Cessnas

Wed, 02/07/2018 - 13:05

AVweb
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