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Articles for category Regulatory




Sep
10
2018

WHO’S ON FIRST… THE OWNER OR THE MECHANIC?

Posted by jhadmin

In aviation, there are some topics that never seem to remain settled. For instance, does the responsibility for the inspection and maintenance of an aircraft fall to the owner/operator or the mechanic? Simple. The owner or operator. However, this hierarchy still gets twisted around occasionally. The reasons vary on both sides of the fence. They range from simple misinformation or misinterpretation of the FARs to intentional motives in pursuit of an external agenda. Follow along as we delve into the available guidance and provide a balanced, one-stop-shop approach to who’s in charge of maintaining an aircraft. [Read More...]



Tags: Aircraft Maintenance Responsibility Helicopter Maintenance Part 91.403
Categories: categoryRegulatory



Jul
30
2018

FAA Inspector Wanted: Experience Required, but Rarely Utilized!

Posted by jhadmin

Periodically, I have the privilege of assisting Part 135 operators with temporary management and training position services. My role may include providing instructor and/or check-pilot services for their Part 135 operating certificate. In many cases, the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) inability to support an operator training and checking program is driven by their FAA inspector’s lack of experience and/or currency in the aircraft operated by the Part 135 certificate holder. A few weeks ago, I was working with an operator to become their Part 135 instructor and check pilot. Following the guidance provided within FAA Order 8900.1, we requested an initial cadre approval and set the process to move forward. That letter was crafted and submitted in October 2017. Once our principal operations inspector (POI) received the request, we were notified that the office did not have adequate staff to conduct pilot proficiency checks in the requested aircraft make and model, so an FAA inspector from another office would conduct the checks. [Read More...]



Tags: FAA FAA Inspectors Federal Aviation Administration Rotorcraft Checkride
Categories: categoryRegulatory categoryOpinion-Editorial categoryTraining



Nov
20
2017

Helicopters and Airports: Can We Land Anywhere?

Posted by jhadmin

I was talking to a local helicopter pilot that had recently obtained his private pilot helicopter certificate. We were chatting about his experience during his checkride. He said, “I was surprised that the DPE asked so many questions on airport signage when we’re able to land just about anywhere on the airport.” That comment caused me to to pause and consider: Is his perception of helicopter operations at airports accurate? [Read More...]



Tags: Helicopter airport landings helicopter airport operations helicopters and runways Rotorcraft Checkride
Categories: categoryTraining categoryRegulatory



May
30
2017

A Tremor in the Force

Posted by jhadmin

On December 22, 2016 a State District Court judge in Austin upheld a ruling, giving the State of Texas the right to regulate fees paid to air ambulances for transporting patients covered by Workers' Compensation Insurance. On the surface it doesn’t look like that ruling affects the American HAA (Helicopter Air Ambulance) industry, but it could prove to change the fabric of the industry. The ruling has the potential to create a negative ripple effect in our industry, if successfully argued and used as a precedent in other State class-action lawsuits currently filed against for-profit HAA providers. Air medical companies have legally operated under the umbrella of the 1978 Airline Deregulation Act. This Act was originally crafted to remove government control of airfares as a way to promote healthy competition. This gave the consumer a choice of which airline they patronize based on a price they would be willing to pay. Air ambulance patients do not have a choice -- and are not told what the air ambulance company will charge until after the transport, which is the core of the legal argument. In July 2015, over a dozen clients in Oklahoma City were billed thousands of dollars for an air ambulance transport. The clients asked a judge to certify a lawsuit as a class action, naming several air ambulance companies in that suit. The claim: “They’re making profit margins [of] in excess of 750%, huge profit margins they’re trying to get from the average public.” [Read More...]



Tags: HAA My Two Cents Randy Mains
Categories: categoryRegulatory categoryHelicopter Sectors categoryOpinion-Editorial



Feb
21
2017

WHAT IS AIRWORTHY?

Posted by jhadmin

Ever wonder how many times you signed your name and A&P number after the word “airworthy.” For me, it’s in the thousands. So, how does a mechanic define it? For some, the definition is rigid: the aircraft must be in like-new condition with a pristine record trail. For others, it’s a gray area of personal decision, defined by an aircraft’s use, age, and regulatory compliance. Regardless of interpretation, the airworthy condition of an aircraft is the core function of a mechanic. Yet, an official FAA definition of this fundamental word is lacking within our maintenance regulations and guidance material. Let’s try to find one. The Basics Numerous articles, papers, and FAA documents offer various descriptions of airworthy. The common accepted version today requires an aircraft to conform to its type design and to be in a condition for safe operation. Looking to the Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs), essential terms and their definitions are usually given at the beginning of a chapter, part, or section, along with an applicability clause. FAR Part 1, Definitions and Abbreviations, applies to “Subchapters A through K of this chapter,” so it seems it would be a logical place to find a definition for airworthy, since our Part 43 falls under Subchapter C. Unfortunately, the definition is not listed in FAR Part 1, or Part 43, or Part 65 for that matter. Given its significance, you would think airworthy, or airworthiness, would have its own part in the FARs. [Read More...]

AirworthyCondition_02.jpg  AirworthyCondition_03.jpg  AirworthyCondition_04.jpg  AirworthyCondition_05.jpg 

Tags: Helicopter Airworthiness Helicopter Maintenance Helicopter Mechanics
Categories: categoryTraining categorySafety categoryRegulatory



Nov
28
2016

PERSONAL PILOT LIABILITY INSURANCE: DON’T FLY WITHOUT IT

Posted by jhadmin

SkyWest pilot and designated pilot examiner (DPE) Tony Fizer remembers the costly hangar mishap as if it were yesterday. “A fellow pilot I knew was assigned to fly a Citation CJ3 business jet for a friend,” Fizer says. “Unfortunately, he struck the hangar door with a wingtip on the way out. Suddenly, there it was: $30,000 in damages to the door and wing, right in front of everyone there! My pilot friend said they were glancing around with looks that implied, OK, so who’s going to pay for this? Hearing about it afterward, I was not only glad that it wasn’t me, but also glad that I would have been covered, thanks to my personal pilot liability insurance, if I had been responsible.” As someone who frequently flies not just his own aircraft, but also many others for his clients, Fizer knows that things can go wrong. He protects himself by purchasing personal pilot liability insurance. (The insurance product he chooses is XINSURANCE, offered by Evolution Insurance Broker through Prime Insurance Company.) “I know that my insurance company has my back should I get into a situation where someone tries to hold me personally liable,” Fizer says. “Pilots need coverage in today’s litigious world, just in case.” [Read More...]



Tags: Pilot Liability Insurance
Categories: categoryRegulatory categoryOpinion-Editorial



Oct
17
2016

MX BY THE BOOK – Part 2

Posted by jhadmin

Though inspection is part of the FAA definition of maintenance, I kept it separate for three reasons: One, inspections have their own set of performance rules in Part 43. Two, in the course of aircraft maintenance, other than inspection, the mechanic selects the reference. In the case of an inspection program, the owner/operator selects the reference under authority in Part 91. And three, once an inspection program/reference has been selected, the mechanic is required by regulation to follow that reference. I’m sure everyone agrees the inspection process is an expensive recurring cost in maintaining an aircraft. And although it would be unwise for an owner/operator not to consult with a mechanic prior to selecting an inspection program, it happens. Even though a mechanic may know a more efficient program to follow, Part 43.15 mandates the mechanic to follow the selected inspection program. [Read More...]



Tags: Aircraft Inspections Helicopter Maintenance
Categories: categoryRegulatory categoryTraining



Sep
26
2016

Maximum Performance Takeoff — Into IMC?

Posted by jhadmin

A few months ago I was visiting a large helicopter flight school. While touring the school, I had the opportunity to sit in on a ground school class. The students were training toward their helicopter instrument rating, so the material being presented was on that topic. My initial impression was very positive. I thought: Wow, these young aviators are getting a great education in a highly standardized, quality-based training environment. The portion of the course I was observing was covering takeoff considerations during IMC conditions and the regulatory requirements identified in Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR) 91.175. All was going well ... and then I heard these words: “An instrument takeoff (ITO) is nothing more than a maximum performance takeoff into IMC.” Initially I thought I misheard the instructor, but it became quickly apparent that I had indeed heard correctly. [Read More...]



Tags: Rotorcraft Checkride
Categories: categoryCareer Development categoryTraining categorySafety categoryRegulatory



Sep
20
2016

REGULATORY IMPACTS ON HELICOPTER FINANCING - LEASING

Posted by jhadmin

“One of my great ambitions before I die is to fly in an aircraft that is on an airline's balance sheet.” – Sir David Tweedie at the Empire Club of Canada, 25 April 2008 With that statement, Sir David Tweedie changed the world. For nearly a decade, the U.S. Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) labored to create a new set of accounting standards governing leases. In the first quarter of this year, FASB finally released Topic 842 on leases, and IASB released IFRS 16 on leases. Let’s not rewrite the hundreds of pages that have already been written about the new standards, but do note that you can find some of the best at www.elfaonline.org/Issues/Accounting/. (Look especially for articles by Bill Bosco, who has very clear explanations.) The major takeaway is that now leases have to appear on corporate balance sheets. So why is this important to helicopters? While it's a truism that the oil industry drives the helicopter industry, it’s seldom mentioned—but just as true—that the availability of capital equally drives the helicopter industry. [Read More...]



Tags: Aircraft Leasing
Categories: categoryRegulatory categoryHelicopter Sectors



Aug
29
2016

U.S. Helicopter Safety Team Supports FAA Revisions to Autorotation Testing

Posted by jhadmin

The United States Helicopter Safety Team is offering a supportive voice to recent changes made by the Federal Aviation Administration in its Practical Test Standards (PTS) for helicopter instructors. (https://www.faa.gov/training_testing/testing/test_standards/media/FAA-S-8081-7B.pdf) “The revision provides examiners a path to mitigate some risks associated with the Flight Instructor PTS requirements to demonstrate proficiency in the touchdown portion of an autorotation,” explains Raj Helweg, USHST industry co-chairman and chief pilot of Air Methods. “If a CFI applicant has proven competence with this touchdown portion of an autorotation prior to the evaluation, these revised test standards offer flexibility and a greater margin of safety by eliminating the requirement to repeat these maneuvers during the practical test.” [Read More...]



Tags: Auto Rotations US Helicopter Safety Team
Categories: categorySafety categoryTraining categoryRegulatory


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