Regulatory Reform

Regulatory Reform

Regulatory reform. The phrase alone generally tends to make one cringe. Why? Because when we hear it, we expect more regulation, and regulation by its very nature creates limits, prohibitions, and/or requirements on how we conduct ourselves and our businesses in the course of operating aircraft for a living.

I'll readily admit I don't spend a lot of time (nearly none) keeping up on proposed reform. But I can. And so can you, by subscribing to and regularly reading the Federal Register, in which all federal agencies must publish their rulemaking actions (unless emergency in nature) for public review.

In…

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TCAS Resolution Advisory in IMC

TCAS Resolution Advisory in IMC

We were in Morristown, NJ (MMU) for a trip to Bedford, MA (BED). It was a relatively short flight and our last leg of the day. We would be at the hotel before dark and would be the end of a great day of flying.

The weather at Morristown was 500 broken, 1000 overcast with 3 miles visibility in light rain and mist. The weather at Bedford was clear.

We departed from MMU and checked on with New York Approach. We were vectored on course and cleared to 3000 feet. Level at 3000, we were still in IMC conditions. We…

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Medical Divert Procedures

Medical Divert Procedures

Mayday, Mayday, Mayday!!

You are cruising along at FL410, and you have just crossed 30 West eastbound to Dublin, Ireland. So far, everything has been uneventful and you have about three hours remaining in your flight. You are actually becoming bored and ready to get to your destination, when suddenly you hear on guard, "Mayday, Mayday, Mayday!! (call sign) is declaring a medical emergency!! We are 25 degrees west and deviating 15 miles North of Track Bravo at Flight Level 370. We are attempting to receive a clearance to Keflavik. If unable to receive clearance to Keflavik, we are descending…

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Dry Ice Dangers

Dry Ice Dangers

I was doing some research for a Part 135 Operator regarding dry ice. In the process, I discovered that there have been very few reported incidents involving carbon dioxide incapacitation aboard aircraft resulting from the sublimation of dry ice.

In the incidents that have been reported, the aircrew recognized symptoms of air contamination and took appropriate precautions to avoid any serious consequences. The incidents that have occurred demonstrate that maintaining adequate input and proper circulation of fresh air into the cabin environment is the single most important precaution that can be taken when dry ice is transported.

In the absence…

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Human Factors and ADS-B

Human Factors and ADS-B

Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B) is fundamental to the foundation in the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen). The FAA mandate is to install ADS-B Out equipment for aircraft flying in US airspace by January 1, 2020 (above 10,000 feet or in Class B or C airspace); however, aircraft operating in some countries' airspace must already be compliant.

A human factors evaluation of the ADS-B system has shown the technology can significantly improve pilot awareness.

Human factors always are of some concern, even when equipment operates properly. One notable concern is that pilots using ADS-B cockpit displays, particularly in…

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It’s All Greek To Me - Multiple Language Users on the Same Frequency

It’s All Greek To Me - Multiple Language Users on the Same Frequency

Until January 2008, ICAO's standards and recommended procedures (SARPs) required only that aviation personnel in contact with international flight operations master a set of words and phrases known as "ICAO Radio Telephony Phraseology." As you might imagine, there is a significant difference between a relatively limited set of technical aviation terms and true language fluency and proficiency, especially in a language as large, nuanced, and complex as English.

The International Civil Aviation Organization has decreed that from January 1, 2008, all Air Traffic Controllers and Flight Crewmembers engaged in or in contact with international flights must be proficient in…

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