The FAA is Hiring Experienced Air Traffic Controllers

September 12th, 2016

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 FAA Press Release:

September 9, 2016- The Federal Aviation Administration is now accepting job applications from people with previous air traffic control experience. The FAA will accept the applications from Sept. 7 through Sept. 20, 2016.

Experienced air traffic controllers include eligible military air traffic controllers and others with air traffic controller certification.

The job vacancy announcement for the position of Air Traffic Control Specialist is now available on USAJobs.gov, the federal government’s official online job site. The job vacancy announcement provides the details about eligibility and the required qualifications. The FAA encourages applicants to ensure they meet all criteria before beginning the online application process.

Candidates must have 52 weeks of full-time air traffic control experience and air traffic certification or an air traffic control facility rating in a civilian or military air traffic control facility. More than 14,000 air traffic controllers work for the FAA.

To learn more, visit our Jobs page.

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HFI Offers Aviation Scholarships

September 6th, 2016

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Apply for an HFI Scholarship!

Helicopter Foundation International (HFI) annually offers scholarships for students preparing for careers in rotorcraft aviation. Apply today and become part of the industry of tomorrow!

The Bill Sanderson Aviation Maintenance Technician Scholarship promotes the choice of helicopter maintenance as a career. Bill Sanderson Scholarship winners attend a course from a selection offered by airframe and powerplant manufacturers.

The Commercial Helicopter Rating Scholarship is awarded to pilots who have already obtained their private license and are enrolled in a commercial helicopter rating program at an FAA-approved Part 141 school or international equivalent.

The Maintenance Technician Certificate Scholarship is awarded to mechanics or technicians who are enrolled in a maintenance technician certificate program at an FAA-approved Part 147 school or international equivalent.

The Michelle North Scholarship for Safety is awarded to a pilot who has already attained a commercial rating and demonstrates an outstanding aptitude for safe flying and aviation best practices.

The deadline to submit applications is Nov. 30, 2016. To learn more and apply, visithelicopterfoundation.org/scholarships. Questions? Contact HFI’s curator, Marty Pociask, at marty.pociask@rotor.org.

 Helicopter Foundation International is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to preserving the rich heritage of helicopter aviation, improving its safety, and educating the next generation.
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The FAA’s New Drone Rules Are Effective Today

August 29th, 2016

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Important Information About the FAA’s New Small Drone Rule

The Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) new comprehensive regulations go into effect today for routine non-recreational use of small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) – more popularly known as “drones.”

The provisions of the new rule – formally known as Part 107 – are designed to minimize risks to other aircraft and people and property on the ground. A summary is available here.

The FAA has put several processes in place to help you take advantage of the rule.

Waivers:

If your proposed operation doesn’t quite comply with Part 107 regulations, you’ll need to apply for a waiver of some restrictions. You’ll have to prove the proposed flight will be conducted safely under a waiver. Users must apply for these waivers at the online portal located at www.faa.gov/UAS

Airspace Authorization:

You can fly your drone in Class G (uncontrolled) airspace without air traffic control authorization, but operations in any other airspace need air traffic approval. You must request access to controlled airspace via the electronic portal at www.faa.gov/UAS, not from individual air traffic facilities.

You may submit your requests starting today, but air traffic facilities will receive approved authorizations according to the following tentative schedule:

Class D & E Surface Area                       October 3, 2016

Class C                                                October 31, 2016

Class B                                                December 5, 2016

We will try to approve requests as soon as possible, but the actual time will vary depending on the complexity of an individual request and the volume of applications we receive. You should submit a request at least 90 days before you intend to fly in controlled airspace.

Aeronautical Knowledge Test:

Testing centers nationwide can now administer the Aeronautical Knowledge Test required under Part 107. After you pass the test, you must complete an FAA Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application to receive your remote pilot certificate at: https://iacra.faa.gov/IACRA/Default.aspx

It may take up to 48 hours for the website to record you passed the test. We expect to validate applications within 10 days. You will then receive instructions for printing a temporary airman certificate, which is good for 120 days. We will mail you a permanent Remote Pilot Certificate within 120 days.

The new regulations don’t apply to model aircraft operations that meet all the criteria specified in Section 336 of Public Law 112-95 (which is now codified in part 101), including the stipulation they be operated only for hobby or recreational purposes.

Source: http://www.faa.gov/news/updates/?newsId=86305

The FAA Announces A New Center of Excellence

August 17th, 2016

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Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Michael Huerta announced that the agency has selected the University of Oklahoma and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University teams to lead the new Air Transportation Center of Excellence for Technical Training and Human Performance (COE TTHP). The COE will conduct research and development on technical training for air traffic controllers, aviation safety inspectors, engineers, pilots and technicians.

“This world-class, public-private partnership will help us focus on the challenges and opportunities of this cutting-edge field of research,” Administrator Huerta said. “We expect this team will help us educate and train aviation professionals well into the future.”

The academic team members all have nationally-recognized collegiate aviation-related education programs and core members also own and operate their own aircraft and airports. A partnership of principal investigators from the different universities will perform the research projects. The universities will engage senior faculty as well as graduate-level and undergraduate students in their research activities.

The FAA expects the COE will be fully operational and engaged in a robust research agenda within the next few months.

The FAA will take advantage of advancements in teaching, such as part-task training, modeling, immersive human-in-the-loop simulation, and adaptive learning technologies that are standard in other technical workforces. The COE will examine human factors issues such as changes in learner expectations and academic best practices for training a new generation of learners. The center also will research innovative training methods for this new generation. This includes new technologies such as mobile learning as well as new ways of collecting and managing training data.

The FAA’s Center of Excellence program is a long-term, cost-sharing partnership between academia, industry and government. Congress authorized Air Transportation Centers of Excellence under the Federal Aviation Administration Research, Engineering and Development Authorization Act of 1990. This legislation enables the FAA to work with center members and affiliates to conduct research in airspace and airport planning and design, environment and aviation safety, as well as to engage in other activities to assure a safe and efficient air transportation system.

The FAA has established 12 Centers of Excellence in critical topic areas focusing on: unmanned aircraft systems, alternative jet fuels and environment, general aviation safety, commercial space transportation, airliner cabin environment, aircraft noise and aviation emissions mitigation, advanced materials, general aviation research, airworthiness assurance, operations research, airport pavement and technology, and computational modeling of aircraft structures.

For more information about the FAA Centers of Excellence program, visit the COE web page at http://www.faa.gov/go/coe.

Source: The FAA Announces A New Center of Excellence

Aviation Maintenance School Awarding Scholarship to Student from Kochi, India

August 3rd, 2016

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The Aviation Institute of Maintenance will be awarding a scholarship to a select individual from Kochi, India. This will cover the tuition costs for the student’s Aviation Maintenance Technician program at the campus in the Norfolk, Virginia area.

NORFOLK, Va. (July 27, 2016) –The Aviation Institute of Maintenance (AIM) and the Norfolk Sister City Association of Norfolk, Va.  are partnering with Kochi, India to offer an Aviation Maintenance Technology Scholarship to a select individual from Kochi.  This scholarship will cover the cost of tuition for the recipient’s Aviation Maintenance Technician program at the AIM campus located in the Norfolk, Va. area, and the additional fees for their FAA certification exams. The estimated value of the scholarship is $46,800 USD.

“For decades, AIM has been teaching aviation maintenance professionals within the United States to help launch rewarding careers in aviation maintenance, while serving as a resource for the shortage of aircraft engineers throughout the country.” stated Dr. Joel A. English, Vice President of Operations of AIM.

The Norfolk Sister City Association (NSCA), a part of Sister Cities International, is a nonprofit citizen diplomacy organization that creates and strengthens partnerships between the City of Norfolk, Va. and international partner communities. Additional information about the NSCA can be found at http://www.norfolksistercities.org/.

“Through the Sister City partnership, we have the opportunity to serve India as a response to the global shortage of FAA-certified aircraft engineers.” said Dr. English. “We hope to become a worldwide partner in aviation maintenance training, and providing this training to a talented and intelligent member of the Kochi community is a benevolent entrance into aviation maintenance training, as well as a way to share business and cultural awareness between our communities.”

To be eligible for the scholarship, applicants must have completed the equivalent of a high school diploma, be fluent in English, and must submit a one page essay no later than November 1, 2016. Each applicants essay should showcase their academic promise, passion for the aviation maintenance industry, and occupational goals within the aviation field. Award decisions will be made by the Scholarship Committee, with the recipient announced November 15, 2016. Scholarship applications should be emailed to IntlBusSpec@AviationMaintenance.edu or mailed to the attention of International Business Specialist, Aviation Institute of Maintenance, 4455 South Blvd., Suite 200, Virginia Beach, VA, USA 23452.

About Aviation Institute of Maintenance

Aviation Institute of Maintenance is the United States’ largest family of aviation maintenance schools, with headquarters in Virginia Beach, Va. Students learn the skills necessary to become successful in one of the world’s fastest growing industries, aviation maintenance, and the free Human Factors certification course and it’s Sister City Scholarship Program are examples of the school’s passion and commitment to the international aviation industry.  AIM graduates are trained to meet the increasing global demands of commercial, cargo, corporate and private aviation employers.  AIM’s campuses are located in the following major metro areas: Atlanta, Philadelphia, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Washington, D.C., Kansas City, Mo., Oakland, Calif., Orlando, Fla., and Norfolk, Va.  Learn more at: www.AviationMaintenance.edu.

General Aviation Medical Reform Now Law

July 16th, 2016

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Down to the wire before the FAA extension was to expire, third class medical reform was passed by the Senate and now signed into law by President Obama on Friday, July 15, 2016. Years for work went into pushing for the reforms by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA): “We did it together! Medical reforms are now the law, and that’s a big win for general aviation. This is the most significant legislative victory for general aviation in decades,” said AOPA President Mark Baker. “These reforms will provide relief to hundreds of thousands of pilots from an outdated, costly and unnecessarily burdensome system. This legislation will strengthen the private pilot-private-physician relationship and improve awareness of medical issues throughout our community. It will help pilots save time, money and frustration.”

FAA Extension, Safety and Security Act of 2016 gives the FAA a year to translate the new law into regulations although some say this might come as early as six months. Medical reform includes pilot self-certification as well as online aeromedical training every two years which will replace medical exams. Part of the third class medical reform allows a pilot to see a regular personal physician every 4 years instead of an examination with an AME (Aeromedical Examiner) and then to self-certify well-being before each flight.

Additionally, according to AOPA “Under the reforms, pilots who have held a valid medical certificate any time in the decade prior to July 15, 2016, may not need to take another FAA medical exam. The 10-year lookback period applies to both regular and special issuance medicals. Pilots whose most recent medical certificate was revoked, suspended, withdrawn, or denied will need to obtain a new medical certificate before they can operate under the reforms. Pilots who have never held an FAA medical certificate, including student pilots, will need to go through the process one time only.”

It’s a big win for General Aviation!

Source:

https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/all-news/2016/july/15/medical-reform-becomes-law

Rebate Will Help Bring NextGen Safety Technology to Airplanes Now

June 9th, 2016
Cold weather safer skies

Cherokee Six over the Sawtooth Mountains by Jeremy Roberts

FAA Offers Incentive to General Aviation Aircraft Owners to Equip Aircraft with Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B)

WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and Deputy Administrator Michael G. Whitaker announced a $500 rebate incentive for General Aviation (GA) aircraft owners who equip their aircraft with required avionics technology.  Accelerating compliance is critical to ensuring that pilots, manufacturers, and retail facilities have adequate time and capacity to equip aircraft in a timely and efficient manner, ahead of a 2020 regulatory deadline.

Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) is a foundational element of the FAA’s NextGen program, which consists of a suite of technologies that are modernizing the nation’s air traffic control system. ADS-B transforms aircraft surveillance using satellite-based positioning.

“This announcement signals our commitment to NextGen, which has played an important role in   ensuring that our airspace is safe and efficient for the American people,” said Secretary Foxx.  “We are focused on achieving its full potential, and by working with our General Aviation community, I’m confident we can successfully integrate aircraft and technology into the national airspace system.”

The rebates will be available this fall, and the FAA will announce the specific date soon. In the meantime, the FAA has published information regarding the goals and structure of the program, and is encouraging aircraft owners to look at the available equipment on the market and to schedule an installation appointment with a qualified installer starting in the fall of 2016.  Aircraft owners will only qualify for the rebate if the installation is scheduled after the FAA begins offering the rebates.

The FAA published a final rule in May 2010 mandating that aircraft flying in certain controlled airspace be equipped with ADS-B by Jan. 1, 2020.  That airspace is generally the same busy airspace where transponders are required.  Aircraft that fly only in uncontrolled airspace where no transponders are required, and aircraft without electrical systems, such as balloons and gliders, are exempt from the mandate.

“We’re calling on all aircraft owners who plan to fly in busy airspace to equip with ADS-B before the deadline,” said Administrator Huerta.  “Owners who wait too long to equip may not be able to get an installation appointment before the deadline. This limited-time rebate provides an incentive for early retrofitting, and will help draw attention for the urgent need for owners to comply so that they can continue to fly their aircraft in 2020.”

The $500 rebate will help offset an owner’s cost to equip U.S.-registered, fixed-wing, single-engine piston aircraft with avionics that comply with FAA technical standard orders and meet the rule requirements. The FAA is not offering rebates for software upgrades for aircraft already equipped, for new aircraft, or for aircraft for which the FAA already has paid or committed to upgrade. The FAA will be able to distribute 20,000 rebates – one rebate per aircraft owner.  The FAA is encouraging owners of fixed-wing, single-engine piston aircraft to apply as soon as the program is launched this fall because the rebates are available on a first-come, first-served basis for one year, or until all 20,000 rebates are claimed, whichever comes first. The FAA estimates that as many as 160,000 aircraft need to be equipped by the deadline.

“ADS-B provides the General Aviation community with increased safety, efficiency, and situational awareness,” said Whitaker. “We’re getting closer to the 2020 deadline, and we need 100 percent equipage in the required airspace to realize the full benefits of this NextGen technology.”

General aviation and air taxi aircraft equipped with ADS-B Out enjoy more efficient spacing and optimal routing in some non-radar environments, including busy airspace in the Gulf of Mexico, mountainous regions of Colorado, and some areas in Alaska.  ADS-B improves life-saving search-and-rescue with accurate and timely last-reported positions.  General aviation pilots may also benefit from air traffic control services outside radar coverage.

The FAA is continuing to work with stakeholders such as the Aircraft Electronics Association, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, and others to inform and educate the aviation community about the ADS-B requirements.

More information about equipping and the rebate program is available on FAA website.

Contact: Tammy Jones, Paul Takemoto or Alison Duquette
Phone: 202-267-3883

Source: http://www.faa.gov/news/press_releases/news_story.cfm?newsId=20435

More great ADS-B videos like the one above from Garmin here.

FAA Student Pilot Certificate Rule Change as of April 1, 2016

April 1st, 2016

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Effective April 1, 2016 is a new rule by the FAA which changes the way student pilots are issued their pilot certificates. No longer will a student pilot get their certificate from an Aviation Medical Examiner, but will instead apply either through a FAA-designated pilot examiner, a CFI, an airman certification representative associated with a Part 141 flight school, or in person at FSDO. This is because the student pilot and medical certificate are no longer the same document. Here is what you need to know from the FAA:

Student Pilot’s Certificate Requirements

When do I need a student pilot certificate?

Before you can fly solo. You don’t need a student pilot certificate to take flying lessons.

Am I eligible for a student pilot certificate?

You are eligible if:

  • You are at least 16 years old. If you plan to pilot a glider or balloon, you must be at least 14 years old.
  • You can read, speak, and understand English

How do I get a student pilot certificate?

You must complete an application through the Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application (IACRA) website or by paper using FAA form 8710-1 and submit it to a Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), an FAA-designated pilot examiner, an airman certification representative associated with a part 141 flight school, or a certificated flight instructor. The authorized individual will process your application and submit the required documents to the Airmen Certification Branch. Once, reviewed by Airman Certification Branch, the student pilot certificate will be mailed to the address provided by you on the application.

How long will it be before I receive my student pilot certificate by mail?

In approximately three weeks. Utilizing the Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application (IACRA) will minimize this time.

How do I get a medical certificate?

Aviation Medical Examiners (AME) will continue issuing aviation medical certificates. A list of AMEs in your area can be found at http://www.faa.gov/licenses_certificates/medical_certification.

How long are my student pilot certificate and my medical certificate valid?

Student pilot and medical certificate are no longer the same document, therefore, refer to 14 CFR 61.23 for complete information on duration of a medical certificate.

After April 1, 2016, Student pilot certificates do not expire; the certificate will be surrendered and superseded upon successful completion of the higher certification. Student pilot certificates issued prior to April 1, 2016, will expire according to their expiration date, either 24 or 60 months from the date of issuance.

Can I renew my student certificate or medical certificate?

No, but you can get a new one.

With a new student pilot certificate, is my flight instructor still required to place endorsements on it?

No. All solo endorsements are placed in the student logbook and are no longer required to be on the student pilot certificate. Any previous endorsements on a paper student pilot certificate should be maintained as part of the required training record.

If I solo in more than one make or model of aircraft, must I have an endorsement for each on my logbook?

Yes. Your flight instructor must make this endorsement before you solo in each make or model of aircraft. A list of endorsements can be found in the current addition of Advisory Circular 61.65.

Does the endorsement to solo allow me to make solo cross-country flights?

No. You also have to get a cross-country flight endorsement from your flight instructor.

Must I carry my student pilot certificate and medical certificate with me when I am piloting an aircraft in solo flight?

Yes.

Is there a charge for the student pilot certificate?

There is no change for application made directly to the Flight Standards District Office (FSDO). However, an FAA-designated pilot examiner, an airman certification representative associated with a part 141 flight school, or a certificated flight instructor can charge a reasonable fee for processing an application for student pilot certificates.

Ready to become a pilot?

How To Choose A Flight Training School

Make an informed decision on which flight training school is right for you:
  • Get some experience – contact multiple schools to see what feels right for you.
  • Distance to the airport – make sure the airport is close enough that you can make the trip at least two times per week. If just getting to the airport is tough for you, you’re probably not going to make it through pilot training.
  • Facility – clean, organized, and welcoming offices, hangars, and bathrooms say a lot about how a company operates.
  • Fleet – take a look at the school’s aircraft. Do they look maintained, or run down? The condition of the aircraft often indicates the overall quality of flight training you’ll receive.
  • Instructors – try to meet as many of the instructors as possible before making a purchasing decision. Often, you’ll “click” with a certain instructor, and that can really pay off down the road.
  • Payment options – it’s generally a good idea to buy “block” time if the flight training school offers a good discount. However, don’t buy too much time in advance. Avoid schools that require you to “pay 100% up front” as this is a huge red flag.

There are many things to consider when becoming a pilot! Check out our resource center and over 2,500 schools worldwide! Clear skies!

Source: http://www.faa.gov/pilots/become/student_cert/

 

FAA Proposes Rule to Overhaul Safety Certification Standards

March 9th, 2016

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Rule Would Streamline Approval of New Technologies

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today proposed a rule that overhauls the airworthiness standards for small general aviation airplanes. The FAA’s proposal, which is based on industry recommendations, would reduce the time it takes to get safety enhancing technologies for small airplanes into the marketplace while also reducing cost.

“This proposal would improve safety, reduce costs, and leverage innovation to ensure the highest level of safety is designed and built into small airplanes,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “General aviation is vital to the U.S. economy, and this proposal would benefit manufacturers, pilots, and the general aviation community as a whole.”

The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (PDF) restructures the existing certification standards and replaces the current prescriptive design requirements in Part 23 with performance-based standards that maintain the same level of safety. It would add new certification standards to address general aviation loss of control accidents and in-flight icing conditions. The proposal establishes performance- and risk-based divisions for airplanes with a maximum seating capacity of 19 passengers or less and a maximum takeoff weight of 19,000 pounds or less.

“This proposal would streamline how we approve new technologies for small piston-powered airplanes all the way to complex high-performance executive jets,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. “The FAA’s collaboration with industry and international partners reflects a performance-based, flexible approach which would accommodate today’s rapidly changing aviation industry and technological advances now and in the future.”

The proposal responds to the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 and the Small Airplane Revitalization Act of 2013, which directed the FAA to streamline the approval of safety advancements for small general aviation aircraft. It also addresses recommendations from the FAA’s 2013 Part 23 Reorganization Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee.

The FAA estimates that the overall economic impact would be cost beneficial. This proposal would affect airplane manufacturers, engine manufacturers, and operators of affected equipment.

The FAA recently published one of the largest proposed revisions to its regulations in history – known as the Part 23 Reorganization. This video highlights how the newly proposed rules will help streamline the approval of new technologies in type-certificated airplanes through a new performance-based regulatory structure utilizing consensus-based industry standards – from both an industry and FAA perspective:

http://www.faa.gov/tv/?mediaId=1258

 

FAA Urges Airlines to Assess Lithium Battery Risks

February 10th, 2016

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February 9- The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today issued a safety alert to U.S. and foreign commercial passenger and cargo airlines, urging them to conduct a safety risk assessment to manage the risks associated with transporting lithium batteries as cargo. The FAA also is issuing guidance to its own inspectors to help them determine whether the airlines have adequately assessed the risk of handling and carrying lithium batteries as cargo.

FAA battery fire testing has highlighted the potential risk of a catastrophic aircraft loss due to damage resulting from a lithium battery fire or explosion. Current cargo fire suppression systems cannot effectively control a lithium battery fire. As a result of those tests, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and aircraft manufacturers Boeing and Airbus have advised airlines about the dangers associated with carrying lithium batteries as cargo and also have encouraged them to conduct safety risk assessments.

Hazardous materials rules currently ban passenger airlines from carrying lithium-metal batteries as cargo. In addition, a number of large commercial passenger airlines have decided voluntarily not to carry rechargeable, lithium-ion batteries. The safety risk assessment process is designed to identify and mitigate risks for the airlines that still carry lithium batteries and to help those that don’t carry them from inadvertently accepting them for transport.

The FAA’s Safety Alert For Operators (SAFO) (PDF) encourages airlines that previously conducted safety assessments to reevaluate them in light of new evidence from the agency’s recent lithium battery fire tests.

Source: http://www.faa.gov/news/updates/?newsId=84785