Tag Archives: 40I

FAA Hiring Controllers Nationwide

A window of opportunity is available to U.S. citizens interested in becoming air traffic controllers. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is accepting applications nationwide from June 14-17. The job announcement may close prior to the 17th if the number of applications exceeds the FAAs needs.

Applicants must be U.S. citizens, speak English clearly and be no older than 30 years of age (with limited exceptions). They must have a combination of three years of higher education and/or work experience. They are also required to pass a medical examination, security investigation and FAA air traffic pre-employment tests. Agency staffing needs will determine facility assignments, and applicants must be willing to work anywhere in the U.S.

Accepted applicants will be trained at the FAA Academy in Oklahoma City, Okla.

Active duty military members must provide documentation certifying that they expect to be discharged or released from active duty under honorable conditions no later than 120 days after the date the documentation is signed.

Interested applicants should visitwww.usajobs.govto build their applications orwww.faa.gov/Jobsfor more information about air traffic controllers.

Source: FAAFAA Hiring Controllers Nationwide

Deep Weather app provides quick access to NWS forecast discussions

Pilots have access to more preflight weather resources available now than ever before thanks to mobile apps and the expansion of weather product offerings from the National Weather Service (NWS) and its Aviation Weather Service division. Many of these text forecasts and charts are integrated right into the popular all-in-one aviation EFB apps, viewable as selectable layers when planning a flight on an interactive map.

METARs, TAFs and radar imagery only scratch the surface though when it comes to the wide variety of data pilots should review before a flight. The challenge in working with this extensive library of weather data is first knowing what resources are available from the NWS, and then secondly where to find them. Most originate in some form on a government weather website, but the layout and organization of these sites leave a lot to be desired, making it difficult at times to find the specific chart, forecast or report you’re looking for.

You could rely on the Flight Service standard weather briefing in its latest digital form, but even this resource doesn’t include all the latest weather tools, like graphical forecasts for ceiling, visibility, turbulence or icing, Convective Forecasts or MOS precipitation forecasts. The end result is the need to review a variety of websites and mobile apps to thorougly brief the weather.

There are so many useful weather apps out there that many pilots keep a dedicated folder on their iPad to keep them all organized (check out our review of the 10 best weather apps if you’re looking to start or expand your collection). One of our favorite supplemental weather resources from the National Weather Service is the Area Forecast Discussion, which can be directly accessed in a free app called Deep Weather.

The Area Forecast Discussion is a text-based resource (not to be confused with the legacy Area Forecast) provides an easy-to-read narrative of the current and forecast conditions for regions around the U.S. It is written by the same meteorologists that produce the TAFs for each respective region and gives the background as to the larger-scale factors which are driving the weather.

TAFs are limited by both shorthand symbols and coverage to only 5 NM around the airport, and the Forecast Discussion can help fill in the blanks and give you a better feel for the confidence level behind each line of the TAF. They represent the “Story behind the weather story,” a glimpse behind the scenes of your current forecast, and provide lots of detail not found anywhere else.

For example, you’ll often see the code VCSH in a TAF, short for showers in the vicinity. This could mean anything from a passing light rain shower to the potential for thunderstorm buildups directly over the airport. The Area Forecast Discussion will shed some light on this vague forecast code, including a look at atmospheric stability, probability and expected precip coverage near the airport. It’s also great for those times you’re on the fence about making a flight after seeing low ceilings or visibilities in the TAF.

The Deep Weather app provides an easy-to-use interface that allows you to first choose an NWS forecast location from an interactive map:

It then breaks down the forecast into selectable sections: synopsis, near term forecast, short term forecast, long-range forecast and an aviation outlook:

Deep Weather is a free download from the app store and provides all the Area Forecasts Discussion data for the entire U.S., updated regularly throughout the day. For $4.99, you can upgrade to a premium version that includes a Dark Mode scheme, favorite stations list and pop-up weather glossary.

Deep Weather isn’t the only place to find this forecast data (it’s also in many of the popular EFB apps and on the NWS website), but you’ll find it convenient to have direct access to all forecast regions right from a dedicated app.

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Source: Ipad appsDeep Weather app provides quick access to NWS forecast discussions

5 quick Garmin Pilot tips

Garmin Pilot has grown substantially over the years to become a worthy competitor to ForeFlight, with complete charting options, powerful weather tools, and excellent flight planning features. Over the last year, though, Garmin has focused on making their app integrate seamlessly with Garmin panel-mount avionics, particularly with their Flight Stream line of wireless connections. We recently had the chance to log about 15 hours with the latest version of this setup, and came away impressed.

We often get asked, “If I have a panel full of Garmin, does that mean I should use Garmin Pilot for my EFB app?” There’s no simple answer – remember that ForeFlight connects to Garmin avionics for flight plans and ADS-B weather, for example – but we think it’s definitely worth a serious look. Below are some examples of the deep integration possible with a Flight Stream and Garmin panel-mount avionics (in this case a Garmin GTN 750 navigator and a G600 TXi glass panel).

1. Display pressure altitude, heading and indicated airspeed. While most EFB apps offer a synthetic vision display, Garmin Pilot goes a step further when using FlightStream and a TXi panel. Instead of GPS-derived groundspeed, track, and altitude, the app will display complete panel information. Note the IAS and HDG labels in the screenshot below – if they aren’t showing up, tap the Menu button, then choose the last option. Having this information means your iPad will match your panel exactly. No more altitude showing off by 200 feet.

If you prefer steam gauges, Garmin Pilot offers that option as well:

2. View cell tops and movement with SiriusXM Weather. ADS-B weather is a fantastic tool, delivering subscription-free radar, lightning, METARs, and so much more. But SiriusXM goes even further, with additional weather products not available over ADS-B. One example that’s helpful this time of year is the storm cell layer. This shows the echo tops and direction of movement (the orange arrows below), which is helpful for determining whether that yellow radar return is just rain or something convective, and whether your course is a good one. You can even tap on the storm cell for complete details. While ForeFlight can display ADS-B weather from a Garmin panel, it cannot show SiriusXM weather like this.

3. Set FBO preference to show fuel price on airports. The Airport page is a great place to learn about your destination, and one area Garmin Pilot has been improving lately is FBO information. You can check prices for a variety of services, including fuel. One nice feature is the Preferred Fuel Provider option under the Preferences tab. If you often visit the same airport and have a preferred FBO, you can choose that one as a permanent option. Then, when you view fuel prices on the Airport page or the Map page, you’ll be viewing your preferred FBO’s price.

4. Target trend traffic. In addition to weather, ADS-B offers an increasingly valuable traffic picture. We’ve always thought Garmin does this best, with both a map layer and a dedicated traffic page. One detail that many pilots miss is that Garmin Pilot offers both Absolute vector and what they call TargetTrend. Absolute is the standard picture – where is that airplane going?

Compare that to TargetTrend, which shows your relative closure. In this case, you can see that airplane is actually moving away from you at 90 degrees. This becomes very important in the traffic pattern when two airplanes of varying performance are operating, because you can instantly see if a target is converging. It’s not always intuitive. Note that TargetTrend should be on by default; if not, tap the blue text under Motion Vector at the top left.

5. Create exceedance alerts. If you like to monitor your flying in a data-driven way, or if your company has specific SOPs, you can use Garmin’s flexible suite of alerts to keep you within limits. Go to the Settings page, then Alerts. From here you can create a wide variety of Exceedance Alerts, which include pitch/roll, speed, or engine values if your airplane is equipped with Garmin’s new EIS display. These are simple to set up, so play around with them and see if one makes sense for your flying.

Bonus tip. If you are connected to the panel via Flight Stream, Garmin now has a consolidated dashboard under the Connext page. This shows which devices are talking to your iPad and what features are available, including flight plan transfer, ADS-B, SiriusXM, and more. If you suspect something isn’t working, this should be the first place you visit.

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Source: Ipad apps5 quick Garmin Pilot tips

Apple announces iOS 13 and iPadOS – what pilots need to know

Apple kicked off their annual developer’s conference this week with an information-packed keynote, focused on sharing the new software updates coming out for their various platforms later this year. As usual, the majority of the focus was on the next big update for mobile devices, called iOS 13.

Apple also debuted a new operating system with exclusive features for the iPad, called iPadOS. While these won’t be available for your devices until September, here’s a sneak peak at the features pilots can look forward to when these updates are made public.

Highlights from iOS 13

As with any major iOS release from Apple, there are hundreds of updates and feature changes, ranging from an all-new Reminders app and a Dark Mode, to small Control Center tweaks that make everyday interactions more powerful.

We’ve been using a beta of iOS 13 for a day now alongside our app development team, and this beta feels surprisingly polished. What’s most noticeable is that just about every control and interface has been refined with additional usability, from the sharing feature to daily interactions with the Mail and Messages app. Here are our first impressions and the features we think pilots will find most useful.

Improved Performance

iOS 13 is designed to be faster and more efficient all-around. FaceID unlock time is 30% faster and apps will launch twice as fast on iOS 13. Apps are packaged more efficiently in the App Store (up to 50%) and updates are 60% smaller.

Why it matters: Apple has shifted its focus in recent years to software refinements that allow you to get more life out of your older iOS devices. These include both performance and battery life improvements that will extend the life and usefulness of the iPad or iPhone that may be a few years old now.

Dark Mode

There is a new Dark theme appearance option available, that intelligently inverts the colors of the native Apple iOS apps and compatible third-party apps.

Why it matters: Aviation apps like ForeFlight have offered dark themes for awhile now, while other apps like Garmin Pilot rely on a dark theme by default. Many prefer this view since it’s easier on the eyes in low light conditions, and will allow you to view your non aviation apps with a similar style in the cockpit. It should improve battery life as well due to the lower level of brightness required by the display.

No App Download Restrictions

Apple previously prevented you from downloading apps or app updates over cellular data that were over 200MB size – this restriction has been removed in iOS 13.

Why it matters: This provides additional flexibility for the times you’re away from WiFi and need to install a critical app update using your Verizon or AT&T data connection. Or maybe just install a new iPad game right before your airline flight lifts off (we’re not here to judge).

WiFi and Bluetooth Menus in Control Center

You can select a different WiFi network or Bluetooth device right from the Control Center by long-pressing on the WiFi and Bluetooth buttons.

Why it matters: A necessary part of iPad preflight is connecting to wireless accessories, and now you can select the right one without leaving your primary EFB app.

QuickType Keyboard

Apple finally added the swipe-to-type entry method when using the on-screen keyboard, allowing you to drag your finger around to various letters when entering text.

Why it matters: This method can be easier to enter short lines of text like airport IDs or routing in your aviation app when flying through turbulence since you can leave your finger pressed against the screen the entire time for greater precision and control.

Location Sharing Control

When opening an app that requests to use your location for contextual data (like a weather or map application), you now have the option to allow the app to use your location only once. It will then prompt you the next time you launch the app with the same set of options.

Why it matters: Apps using your location while running in the background can shorten battery life for functions you may not need, in addition to privacy concerns. This is helpful when using your device outside of aviation and opening infrequently used apps.

iPadOS

While the core functionality of the iPad has its roots in the iPhone’s operating system, Apple recognized that there are enough differences now that it needs its own OS. During the WWDC Keynote presentation, Apple announced that the iPad will now run a modified version called iPadOS (technically referred to as iPadOS 13).

This means that the iPad gets all the iOS 13 features debuted Monday, plus the following new features:

New Home Screen Layout

Apple decreased the size and spacing between icons, allowing you to display 30 apps on your home screen now, in addition to what’s shown in the dock (it was previously 20). You can also show the Today View with app widgets on the home screen when in landscape orientation.

Why it matters: We’ll likely see app developers take advantage of widgets more now since they can remain constantly in view. It’d be great to show the latest METAR/TAF here, or details about an upcoming flight from your EFB app.

USB Drive and SD card support

The Files app can transfer files to or from a connected USB drive or SD card when using a USB reader in the new iPadOS.

Why it matters: This could allow you to update GPS database cards right from your iPad, without the need for third-party specialty systems or dragging your laptop out to the airplane each month.

Split View Enhancements

You can use the split view feature to open two copies of the same app, quickly switch between multiple copies of slideover apps and switch between multiple versions of split view configurations when you swipe up from the bottom of the screen.

Why it matters: Apple is making great strides in furthering the multitasking features to further enable its use as a laptop replacement. Running two apps side-by-side allows you to get more out of your current aviation apps when used on the ground. In this example, Sporty’s Pilot Training app is showing an Instrument quiz on one side and the Instrument Flying Handbook from its FAA Library in the other.

New Text Shortcuts

iPadOS includes new shortcuts you can use to interact with text on the screen. Simply drag your finger across a line of text to select it, double tap a word to select just it, triple tap to select a sentence, and use four taps to select a paragraph. Copying and pasting is simplified too – copy the text with a three-finger pinch, and then un-pinch to paste it in a new location.

Why it matters: Pilots have always loved the multitasking features in the airplane since they allow for quick manipulation with minimal heads-down time. These new text enhancements are a welcome update, especially when dealing with long routing or the manual entry of IFR procedures.

Availability and Compatibility

iOS 13 will debut mid-September for public download, although Apple is likely to open a Public Beta program next month if you want to try it out ahead of time. It is compatible with the following devices:

iPhone

  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8
  • iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone 7 Plus
  • iPhone 6S
  • iPhone 6S Plus
  • iPhone SE

iPad

  • iPad Pro (12.9-inch)
  • iPad Pro (11-inch)
  • iPad Pro (10.5-inch)
  • iPad Pro (9.7-inch)
  • iPad (sixth generation)
  • iPad (fifth generation)
  • iPad mini (fifth generation)
  • iPad mini 4
  • iPad Air (third generation)
  • iPad Air 2

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Source: Ipad appsApple announces iOS 13 and iPadOS – what pilots need to know

FAA Breaks Ground for New Air Traffic Tower at GSO

The U.S. Department of Transportations Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) held a groundbreaking ceremony today for a new Air Traffic Control Tower and Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) at Piedmont Triad International Airport (GSO) in Greensboro, N.C. The agency will invest $61 million in the new facility.

This investment in infrastructure and technology will place the airport in an excellent position for future growth, said Michael OHarra, Regional Administrator of the FAAs Southern Region. The new facility will enable air traffic controllers to provide the safest and most efficient service to Piedmont Triad area travelers for decades to come.

It has been 45 years since the current Air Traffic Control Tower was put into service, said Steve Showfety, Chairman of the Piedmont Triad Airport Authority. Today we are turning a page. This new tower will give us the modern infrastructure we need to live up to the vision of our master plan and will allow the Piedmont Triad International Airport to continue to add new passenger service, serve our current tenants and also add new tenants who will bring investment and jobs to the community.

The new control tower will be 180 feet tall, topped by a 550-square-foot tower cab to accommodate up to eight positions for air traffic controllers. The 15,650-square-foot base building will anchor the new tower and will house the Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) with up to 10 radar positions for air traffic controllers. The TRACON controls airspace within a 60-mile radius of the airport, which includes 20 general aviation airports. It will be equipped with the latest technology for communications and navigation.

Construction began in April 2019, and the FAA expects to commission the facility in 2022. Total cost is $61 million: $41 million for construction and $20 million for equipment and installation, cabling, telecommunications, and construction of a new communications transmitter/receiver. The cost of demolition of the existing facility and disposal of the equipment also is included in the total.

North Carolina is the only state where the FAA is building two new air traffic control facilities. The FAA will commission the new 370-foot-tall tower at Charlotte Douglas International Airport in summer 2020.

The GSO tower will allow air traffic controllers to manage flights safely and efficiently at North Carolinas third busiest airport. Greensboro Tower controlled 85,700 flights and the TRACON handled 150,000 radar operations in the 12 months ending on April 30, 2019.

A total of 46 FAA employees work at Greensboro Tower 31 in Air Traffic and 15 Technical Operations employees who install and maintain 266 facilities at Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Burlington and Martinsville, Va., airports.

The FAA awarded the construction contract to Archer Western Construction, LLC, of Chicago, Ill., in October 2018. The new facility will replace the existing 90-foot-tall tower that has been in operation since 1974.

Source: FAAFAA Breaks Ground for New Air Traffic Tower at GSO

FAA Issues Waiver to Fly Drones With Parachutes

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced today that it issued Hensel Phelps Construction Company of Washington, D.C., a Part 107 waiver on June 1 to operate a DJI Phantom 4 drone, equipped with a parachute, over people.

A waiver is required to operate a drone contrary to the rules in part 107, which is the small unmanned aircraft rule.

The FAA did not certify or approve the parachute that will be used; however, the FAA determined that the waiver application sufficiently met the standard design specification (ASTM 3322-18) and that the proposed small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS) operation could be safely conducted under the terms and conditions of a waiver.

Thiswaiver represents the first time the FAA has collaborated with industry in developing a publically available standard, worked with an applicant to ensure the testing and data collected acceptably met the standard, and issued a waiver using an industry standard as a basis to determine that a proposed sUAS operation can be safely conducted under the terms and conditions of a waiver under Part 107.

This process is scalable and available to other applicants who propose to use the same drone and parachute combination. The FAA will require each applicant to provide the testing, documentation, and statement of compliance listed in ASTM3322-18 in their applications using the same drone and parachute combination.

Source: FAAFAA Issues Waiver to Fly Drones With Parachutes

ADS-B weather adds new product, faster radar updates

One of the promises of ADS-B datalink weather (technically called FIS-B) was that it would improve over time, with new weather products and better performance coming out free of charge. In spite of some pilots’ skepticism about an FAA-sponsored program, that promise has largely been fulfilled. Last fall, the FAA added lightning, cloud tops, Center Weather Advisories, and turbulence forecast maps to the weather feed.

Over the last month, tens of thousands of pilots flying with subscription-free ADS-B weather have seen even more new products appear. These don’t require any new hardware, just an update to the latest version of ForeFlight.

First up is the freezing level graphic, which is part of the new G-AIRMET product that’s being delivered over FIS-B. This shows up as a layer on ForeFlight’s Maps page, and is the familiar isotherm depiction. Freezing level charts are helpful for finding a potentially ice-free cruising altitude.

The most important weather product for most pilots is radar, and that’s also new. The picture and the overall functionality is really the same, but it’s now being sourced from the Multi-Radar/Multi-System radar (MRMS) product. The National Severe Storms Laboratory describes MRMS as “a system with automated algorithms that quickly and intelligently integrate data streams from multiple radars, surface and upper air observations, lightning detection systems, and satellite and forecast models.” The goal is a more accurate radar image. You can learn more at their website.

One other potentially nice upgrade with MRMS is faster update rates. As reported by Scott Dennstaedt, “it’s likely the age of the MRMS radar mosaic you now see in the cockpit will be newer than the legacy radar product it used to broadcast.” In our initial testing this seems to be the case, with timestamps about 2-4 minutes old. As always, datalink radar remains a big picture tool, not a way to pick through storms, but fresher data is always better.

Remember, there’s nothing you need to do as a pilot. Just turn on your Stratus or Sentry and select the radar layer.

One weather product was promised last year but still isn’t quite ready for primetime: icing forecast layers. This is a forecast, so less useful for real-time decision-making than radar or METARs, but it’s a very accurate product that would be nice to have. While the FAA announced its availability, you won’t find it in most apps right now. We talked to Jason Miller at ForeFlight, who said there are some issues with the FIS-B data feed: “we decided it’s more confusing and misleading than helpful. It’s a known issue in the feed and will hopefully be resolved this year.”

Neither of these changes represents a fundamental shift in the world of ADS-B; more than anything, all the action with FIS-B weather products is a vote of confidence in the system. With faster updates and new weather tools, pilots can make smarter in-flight decisions.

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Source: Ipad appsADS-B weather adds new product, faster radar updates

FAA Now Accepting Applications to Its Contract Tower Program

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today resumed accepting applications to the FAA Contract Tower (FCT) program, as called for under the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018. Contract towers are air traffic control towers that are staffed by employees of private companies rather than by FAA employees.

Like most federal investments, the agency is required to perform a benefit-cost analysis (BCA) on each contract tower to determine whether or not it is eligible for participation in the FCT program. In order to be admitted into the FCT program, the safety and efficiency benefits of a tower must exceed its costs. The FAA will calculate an official benefit-cost ratio associated with each applicant, and the types of volume and activity that it supports. The agencys BCA calculations comply with congressional direction on specific changes to costs and benefits in the model. The processing of each application is expected to take at least three months.

There are currently 256 contract towers in the FCT program. Airports interested in applying should contact the Program Implementation Manager (PIM) in their service center.

The phone number for the Eastern Service Center PIM is 404-305-7153.
The phone number for the Central Service Center PIM is 817-222-4261.
The phone number for the Western Service Center PIM is 206-231-2892.

Source: FAAFAA Now Accepting Applications to Its Contract Tower Program

Electronic flight bag legal briefing for pilots – 2019 edition

ACs

ACs
The best reading is in some Advisory Circulars from the FAA.

Each year we publish a plain-language review of the FARs and Advisory Circulars pertaining to the use of iPads and electronic flight bags in the cockpit. This is great information for pilots looking to make the transition from paper charts to an iPad, but should also be reviewed by experienced iPad pilots as well. We like to think of it as another step in maintaining pilot currency by staying up with the legalities of using digital devices in flight.

We continue to get questions about whether an iPad is “legal” for aviation use. The definition of “legal” depends on what type of flying you do and what you’re using your iPad for, so there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Here we’ll cover the applicable Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs) and Advisory Circulars (ACs). But first one suggestion: don’t get caught up in all the minutiae.

The short answer is that the iPad is absolutely a legal replacement for paper charts in the cockpit (at least for most Part 91 GA flying).

Here are some regulations and documents that cover electronic devices and iPads:

FAR 91.21, Portable electronic devices (PEDs)

  • This applies only to air carriers and IFR flights
  • Covers almost all electronic devices–not just EFBs
  • Pilots must determine that the PED won’t interfere with the navigation or communication systems
  • The determination must be made by the PIC or operator of the aircraft

AC 91-21.1D, Use of Portable Electronic Devices Aboard Aircraft

  • This Advisory Circular is a complement to FAR 91.21
  • It mostly pertains to airlines and the use of PEDs by passengers (think cell phones and laptops).
  • It also suggests methods to confirm that a PED is not interfering with avionics, and recommends that part 91 operators read AC 91-78 (below) for compliance.
  • This AC also points out that cell phones and LTE-enabled iPads, while prohibited from use in flight by FCC regulations, are allowed to be used in aircraft while on the ground (ie, for picking up a clearance or filing a flight plan).

AC 91-78, Use of Class 1 or Class 2 Electronic Flight Bag (EFB)

IMPORTANT: This is the advisory circular that states it’s legal for FAA Part 91 GA piston aircraft pilots to use the iPad with current data as a paper chart replacement.

  • Aimed at Part 91 operators, VFR or IFR
  • EFBs can be used in all phases of flight in lieu of paper when:
    • The EFB is the functional equivalent of the paper material
    • The EFB data is current and valid
  • A backup data source is suggested, but is not required. Note that this backup can be another electronic device.
  • Users should undergo an evaluation period to make sure they know how to use the EFB before eliminating paper charts.
  • “The in-flight use of an EFB/ECD in lieu of paper reference material is the decision of the aircraft operator and the pilot in command.”

Download AC 91-78 here

AC 120-76D, Guidelines for the Certification, Airworthiness and Operational Use of Electronic Flight Bags (EFB)

IMPORTANT: This advisory circular does not apply to FAA Part 91 GA piston aircraft operations, but should still be referenced as guidance when using the iPad as a paper chart replacement.

What’s new in revision “D”

AC 120-76 was updated to the “D” revision on 10/27/2017 and supersedes version “C”, which was in place since May 2014. Here’s a quick summary of the major changes:

  1. The update removes Part 91F (Large and Turbine-Powered Multiengine Airplanes) operators from needing to comply with AC 120-76, meaning the primary guidance for this group reverts back to AC 91-78.
  2. Pilots are now permitted to display ownship (your GPS-based aircraft symbol) on an EFB during all phases of flight. Previously pilots were only authorized to display ownship while taxiing.
  3. EFBs are now grouped into 2 categories, “portable” or “installed”. An iPad is an example of a portable EFB, whereas an installed EFB is incorporated into the aircraft type design. Class 1, 2 or 3 EFB classifications have been eliminated.
  4. Type A and B EFB application groupings have been reorganized based on the criticality of the function they perform in flight. Type C applications have been eliminated from the AC.

Key Points from AC 120-76D

  • The AC starts out with who’s required to comply with the guidance and who needs authorization:
    • “It is intended for all operators conducting flight operations under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 91 subpart K (part 91K), 121, 125, or 135 who want to replace required paper information or utilize other select applications as part of EFB functionality.” This is the line that shows most general aviation pilots are not affected by this AC.
  • EFB Definition:
    • An EFB hosts applications, which are generally replacing conventional paper products and tools, traditionally carried in the pilot’s flight bag. EFB applications include natural extensions of traditional flight bag contents, such as replacing paper copies of weather with access to near-real-time weather information.
  • 2 types of applications
    • Type A apps have a failure condition classification considered to be no safety effect and do not substitute for or replace any paper, system, or equipment required by airworthiness or operational regulations; and
    • Type A application examples: FARs, noise abatement procedures, service bulletins, airworthiness directives, etc.
    • Type B apps have a failure condition classification considered minor and may substitute or replace paper products of information required for dispatch or to be carried in the aircraft.
    • Type B application examples: flight planning apps, electronic charts, checklists, performance data, etc.
  • 2 types of EFBs
    • Installed: Hardware supporting EFB applications are “installed” when they are incorporated into aircraft type design under 14 CFR part 21, or as a proper alteration under 14 CFR part 43.
    • Portable: All other components supporting EFB functionality are considered “portable,” regardless of how often they are removed from the aircraft. These devices are typically consumer commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) electronic devices functionally capable of communications, data processing (e.g. iPad).
      • Portable EFBs can be temporarily connected to an existing aircraft power port for battery recharging.
  • Testing/compliance required (this must all be documented and kept on board the aircraft, but is only required for commercial operators when seeking FAA approval and replacing paper with an EFB)
    • Interference testing
      • The AC provides a process (listed as Method 2) by which you can self-test the device
    • Electrical power source
      • Battery-powered EFBs having aircraft power available for recharging the EFB battery are considered to have a suitable backup power source.
      • Useful battery life must be established and documented for battery-powered EFBs. Each battery-powered EFB providing Type B EFB applications must have at least one of the following before departing:
        • An established procedure to recharge the battery from aircraft power during flight operations
        • A battery or batteries with a combined useful battery life to ensure operational availability during taxi and flight operations to include diversions and reasonable delays considering duration of flight.
    • Lithium-ion battery
      • Requires safety and testing standards to be in the cockpit (UL, IEC)
    • Decompression testing (pressurized aircraft)
      • This is not required to be completed on your actual EFB or iPad; you just need proof that a representative device has successfully completed this testing
    • Stowage and mounting of EFB
      • Stowage requires an inherent means to prevent unwanted EFB movement. EFB stowage is required for all portable EFBs not secured in or on a mounting device
  • Develop operational policies for EFB use
      • They’re mainly looking for how you’ll use the EFB in all phases of flight, and a documented plan of action in the event of EFB failure
  • Geo-referencing is allowed, as long as you have another display in the cockpit
    • You may overlay EFB own-ship position on an EFB only when the installed primary flight display, weather display, or map display also depict own-ship position.
    •  The AC recommends using position data from an installed GNSS source. Portable equipment is more likely to experience signal blockage, signal degradation, and performance degradation.
    • For airport map applications, the applicant should choose a database with an accuracy of 5 meters or less (ForeFlight well exceeds this accuracy).
    • Remember, this does not apply to Part 91 operations

Download AC 120-76 here

While the FAA made some improvements in this AC over previous versions, it can still come across as fairly confusing. It represents a complex, 35 page document that is often difficult to follow and requires a good deal of work for operators to fully comply with. If you’re flying under part 91 subpart K (part 91K), 121, 125, or 135 and are looking for assistance in complying with this AC when seeking FAA approval, check out Sporty’s iPad EFB Approval program.

In the end, the key point here is that you as PIC are responsible for ensuring that your iPad (or other PED) does not interfere with your airplane and provides a reliable source of data. This does not have to mean lots of tests and paperwork for part 91 operators.

Our suggestion? Take a safety pilot and go flying with your tablet on a nice VFR day.

Check out our flow chart below for a great summary of the rules:

The post Electronic flight bag legal briefing for pilots – 2019 edition appeared first on iPad Pilot News.

Source: Ipad appsElectronic flight bag legal briefing for pilots – 2019 edition

FAA Extends Comment Period on Rulemaking to Streamline Commercial Space Activities

WASHINGTON TheFederal Aviation Administration(FAA) is extending the public comment period for 45 days to July 30 for a proposed rulethat would streamline federal commercial space transportation requirements for launch and reentry operators and maintain safety during launches and reentries. The proposed rule follows the National Space Councils 2018 ‘Space Policy Directive 2’, which called on the Secretary of Transportation to review and revise the Departments commercial space launch and re-entry licensing regulations. It will expand access to the economic, scientific, and educational benefits of traveling to space. It will also support U.S. industry efforts to expand commercial services to a variety of domestic and international markets.

The proposed rule was published in the Federal Register on April 15, and the original comment period was scheduled to close on June 14. Due to the rules breadth, significant impact, length and complexity, more than 50 commenters requested that the FAA extend the comment period. This extension addresses those comments.

The proposed rule advances proposals by the Streamlined Launch and Reentry Licensing Requirements Aviation Rulemaking Committee, which is made up of commercial space and aviation leaders from government and industry. Formed by the FAA over one year ago, the Committee discussed and put forward proposals and recommendations to the agency. The proposed rule is a result of that effort.

The extension notice is in todays Federal Register.

Source: FAAFAA Extends Comment Period on Rulemaking to Streamline Commercial Space Activities