FAA and NASA celebrate the transfer of new technology

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is optimistic about a National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA)-developed technology that promises to increase capacity and reduce delays, fuel burn and emissions.

The FAA, NASA and others from the aviation industry today celebrated the transfer of a technology developed by NASA that will be used by the FAA and airlines.

The new technology, called Flight Deck Interval Management (FIM), integrates with another technology called Terminal Spacing and Sequencing (TSAS) to improve the use of performance-based procedures to make it more efficient to land in congested terminal airspace.

FIM will provide air traffic controllers more precise information as they work to space aircraft coming in on approach. Controllers receive visual aids on their screens that help them execute clearances and conform to sequencing schedules to help aircraft arrive on time. The controller informs the pilot of the aircrafts trajectory and the pilot enters the information into the FIM system.

The information is processed for the pilot through a satellite based navigation tool called Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B). With this information, the pilot assesses what speed to fly to enable them to do a performance based procedure into the airport.

The combined FIM and TSAS tools will provide numerous benefits.

Using performance-based operations, aircraft will spend less time in the air burning fuel and emissions. When aircraft burn less fuel, it saves money for the airlines. Passengers benefit because theres a better chance their flights will arrive on time.

The FAA, NASA and industry are working together under a project called Air Traffic Management Technology Demonstration 1 or ATD-1 to bring new technologies to market that are designed to improve arrival times. FIM is one of the technologies that stems from that partnership. Boeing, Honeywell and United Airlines participated in the FIM development and flight test which involved two aircraft from Honeywells flight test fleet as well as a United 737.

Source: FAAFAA and NASA celebrate the transfer of new technology

FAA Targets UAS Violators for Enforcement

Pilots of unmanned aircraft (drones) who interfere with fighting wildfires, law enforcement efforts, or other first responders, such as medical flights, now are more likely to face serious civil penalties, even for first-time offenses.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has provided guidance for agency personnel who handle possible drone violations to refer all cases involving interference with first responders to the FAA Chief Counsels office for possible enforcement action.

In July 2016, Congress authorized the FAA to impose a civil penalty of not more than $20,000 for anyone who operates a drone and deliberately or recklessly interferes with wildfire suppression, law enforcement, or emergency response efforts.

Under FAA guidance, inspectors generally use non-enforcement methods, including education, for correcting unintentional violations that arise from factors such as flawed systems, simple mistakes, or lack of understanding. However, given the potential for direct and immediate interference with potentially life-saving operations where minutes matter, offenders will immediately be considered for enforcement actions. Enforcement actions can include revocation or suspension of a pilot certificate, and up to a $20,000 civil penalty per violation.

Deterring interference with first responders is critical, particularly as drone use expands exponentially. Firefighting aircraft trying to contain a wildfire have to suspend flights when a drone enters the area to avoid a possible mid-air collision. A drone flying over a crime scene or accident site can hamper police or medical aircraft operations. Ultimately, interference by a drone can cost lives.

The FAAs rules for flying unmanned aircraft are clear. Pilots can save themselves and others serious problems by following them to the letter. Dont let your decision to fly cause someone else to die.

Source: FAAFAA Targets UAS Violators for Enforcement

House passes long-term FAA reauthorization bill

H.R. 302, a $90-billion, five-year FAA reauthorization bill, passed in the House of Representatives by a vote of 398 to 23 on Sept. 26. The legislation addresses industry workforce programs, aviation safety, drone integration, and other issues, but to the relief of all general aviation, it makes no mention of so-called air traffic control privatization.

Source: aopaHouse passes long-term FAA reauthorization bill

How to preflight your iPad in less than 5 minutes

ipadpreflight-2016The iPad is now standard equipment for most pilots’ flying, whether as a primary reference for digital charts or as a performance calculator. Something that important demands a quick pre-flight check, just like the airplane and the pilot. You wouldn’t take off without checking how much fuel you have on board – why would you take off without making sure your iPad is airworthy?

That doesn’t mean the iPad is unreliable; on the contrary, in our experience, it’s been the exact opposite. But you still want to find out about any issues with your iPad while you’re on the ground (and have an internet connection). This shouldn’t take more than five minutes.

You’ll want to create a checklist that works for your apps, accessories and your airplane. Customize it so that you’ll actually use it before every flight. With that in mind, though, here’s a basic checklist to consider that applies to most apps:

  1. Battery charged on iPad. It’s a good habit to always take off with a full charge (it takes 4-6 hours to charge a drained battery). Just because you have a cigarette lighter doesn’t mean it always works. Here are some tips for charging your iPad.
  2. Battery charged on accessories. If you fly with an external GPS or  ADS-B weather receiver, these devices should also start out with 100% battery life. Most of them have about the same life as iPad, so the easiest plan is to simply charge your wireless accessories alongside your iPad.
  3. Backup power plan in place. While your battery should be 100%, it’s always smart to have a plan B. A dead battery (usually pilot-induced) is the most likely failure scenario. Backup battery packs or charging cables are cheap insurance. Make sure they are available and accessible.
  4. Run the application once. Especially if you’ve updated the app, check to make sure it won’t crash or lock up on initial start-up. This is rare, but it has happened in the past. You might even consider turning off automatic app updates in the Settings app.
  5. Load routes, plate binders and favorite airports. Using these features is a big time-saver in flight, but only if you take the time to do this on the ground. You should know your expected route before engine start, so enter that and adjust any other route settings in your navigation app so you are ready to go when you get to the airplane.
  6. Databases installed and current. Almost every pilot makes this mistake once. Just because you were looking at the charts at home with the benefit of an internet connection does not mean they will be saved for offline use in the cockpit. Make sure your chart coverage areas are appropriate for your route and double check by using the app without an internet connection (see this tip). ForeFlight’s “Pack” feature is another way to verify your charts are downloaded.
  7. Turn off wireless functions that aren’t needed. Every iPad has Bluetooth and WiFi, and some models have LTE cellular radios as well. But unless you’ll need them in flight, we strongly recommend you turn these wireless radios off, as they drain the battery and lead to interference. Only leave on the feature that you need for any accessories (e.g., Bluetooth for a remote GPS).
  8. Clean the screen and adjust the screen brightness. The screen backlight is the #1 user of battery power on the iPad, so set the brightness level to less than 100% if conditions permit. Lowering the screen even to 70 – 80% can add an extra hour or more of battery life. Having a clean screen, as simple as it sounds, can allow you to use a lower brightness setting.

Once you get used to your iPad checklist, you’ll find that this process takes just a few minutes. Customize it to your own flying, but make sure you’re doing some type of regular pre-flight before you blast off on your next flight.

The post How to preflight your iPad in less than 5 minutes appeared first on iPad Pilot News.

Source: Ipad appsHow to preflight your iPad in less than 5 minutes

Aircraft Maintenance: Cockpit lighting repair and improvement

In the last segment, we covered the different types of panel lighting and the importance of adequately lighting the instruments, controls, and everything else the pilot needs to be able to identify in the cockpit to minimize heads-down time searching for the right switch. However, the reality is that many older general aviation aircraft have terrible panel lighting.

Source: aopaAircraft Maintenance: Cockpit lighting repair and improvement