FAA issues InFO for all operators concerning Painting of Pitot Tubes
InFO 09012, Painting of Pitot Tubes,
is forall air operators. This InFO informs aircraft operators of the potential for pitot-static system malfunctions after an aircraft is repainted. An InFO contains valuable information for operators that should help them meet certain administrative, regulatory, or operational requirements with relatively low urgency or impact on safety.
FAA maintains standard instrument currency requirements for pilots
Instrument-rated pilots won’t need to perform more tasks to maintain their currency. In its final rule of an overhaul of FAR Part 61, 91, and 141, the FAA decided to maintain the existing instrument currency requirements. The FAA also extended the duration of student pilot certificates and changed the definition of cross-country.
In 2007, the agency had proposed to add requirements that would have dramatically increased the amount of time and, consequently, cost required to stay instrument current. It would have required pilots to perform precision and nonprecision approaches; fly a missed approach; hold at a “radio station,” intersection, or waypoint; and conduct a one-hour cross-country flight, in addition to the current requirements.
The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) had filed comments opposing changes to the instrument currency requirements.
“The FAA made the right decision in upholding the current instrument currency standards,” said Robert Hackman, AOPA senior director of regulatory affairs. “The time and cost burden of the proposed changes would have outweighed any marginal safety benefit, which the FAA did not show would exist even with the additional requirements.”
Under the new rule, pilots may choose to complete the instrument currency requirements in an aircraft and/or through use of a flight simulator, fight training device, or aviation training device.
The FAA also changed the duration of student pilot certificates to match the duration of a third-class medical certificate. For student pilots under 40, their student certificate will now be valid for 60 calendar months, the same as their third-class medical. For those over 40, the student certificate will remain valid for 24 calendar months as it is now; this time frame already coincides with the 24-calendar-month limit of a third-class medical certificate for those over 40.
“While many student pilots do not realize there is a difference between their student pilot certificate and medical certificate because they are often issued on the same piece of paper, this will help prevent them from needing to get a new student certificate if they are in training for more than two years,” said Hackman.
Another change to the regulations that should be of interest to pilots is the change in the definition of “cross country” listed in the aeronautical experience regulations. The FAA changed the definition in these regulations from “at least 50 nautical miles” to “more than 50 nautical miles.” While this change may seem minor, one mile can make a big difference, according to Hackman.
“For many pilots, the cross country flight to an airport is not a choice between an airport that is 50 nm or 51 nm away,” Bell said. “The choice is between an airport that is 50, 75, or 100 miles from the departure airport. These extra miles directly translate into additional costs for the pilot and provide no additional training benefit, as the skills required to fly 50 miles are the same needed to fly 75 miles.”
The changes to FAR Part 61, 91, and 141 go into effect in 60 days.
August 19, 2009
Industry Drug and Alcohol Testing Program
14 CFR Part 120 Final Rule Update
On May 14, 2009, FAA issued a final rule under 14 CFR Part 120 that became effective on July 13, 2009. This new part amends 14 CFR Part 121, including appendices I and J, Part 135, Part 61, 63, and 65, as well as Part 91 to combine all areas regarding the industry drug and alcohol testing requirements into a single part. Please note that no new requirements were added to this regulation.
The “AOPA has been working with the FAA for four years on the transition from paper to electronic ADs and SAIBs,” said Leisha Bell, AOPA director of aircraft and environmental affairs. “Our goal is to ensure the transition goes smoothly and that the FAA continues to mail paper copies of emergency ADs.”
The free e-mail system, called GovDelivery, was announced in 2007 and allows you to subscribe to all published documents or only those pertaining to a specific product make and model. The service sends ADs and SAIBs to the e-mail address of each affected subscriber within minutes of publication.
The FAA stopped mailing paper ADs and SAIBs for transport airplanes and engines on transport airplanes in September 2007. Mailed paper ADs and SAIBs for transport rotorcraft and rotorcraft engines will end Oct. 1, 2009; all other rotorcraft and rotorcraft engines Jan. 1, 2010; and all aircraft, engines, and propellers March 1, 2010. Since 2006, the AOPA has maintained that the transition to an electronic AD system should not be rushed. AOPA members reported glitches with the early version of the electronic AD system, and the association worked with the FAA to address those problems. A glitch in the early system caused an AD for Airbus evacuations slides to be sent to over 19,000 subscribers to the service. The AOPA is collecting feedback from users on their experience with the electronic AD system. Once you start using the service, contact AOPA's Pilot Information Center at 800/USA-AOPA to let us know how it is working for you.
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