Category Archives: FAA

Former Delta executive nominated to head the FAA

AOPA issued this statement:

The White House announced today that longtime Delta Air Lines executive Steve Dickson is its nominee to lead the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Pending Senate confirmation, Dickson will succeed Dan Elwell, who has been serving as acting administrator for the past 14 months, following Michael Huerta’s retirement from the agency.

 

Dickson was with Delta for 27 years, retiring in 2018 as senior vice president of global flight operations. During his tenure with the airline, he was responsible for training, technical support, and regulatory compliance for more than 13,000 pilots. He is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy and flew F-15s during his military career.

 

News of Dickson’s nomination has generated positive feedback from industry officials and stakeholders, including AOPA President and CEO Mark Baker. Baker worked alongside Dickson on the NextGen Advisory Committee, which has been instrumental in prioritizing air traffic control modernization initiatives.

 

In the past, Dickson has been outspoken against ATC privatization, calling it “reckless” as it would disrupt the progress of NextGen implementation.

 

Baker commented, “Steve Dickson is a solid choice to lead the FAA.  His in-depth knowledge of our aviation system, keen awareness of general aviation as well as the challenges before us make him the right choice to lead the agency.  I am hopeful the Senate will move to confirm Mr. Dickson as quickly as possible.”

 

“We also commend Acting Administrator Dan Elwell for his unwavering commitment and dedication to serving the nation, the FAA, and the aviation industry. He’s done a great job in that role,” added Baker.

 

As FAA administrator, Dickson will guide a $17.5 billion dollar budget and oversee 47,000 employees. Should he be confirmed by the Senate, Dickson would serve a five-year term.

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The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has reversed its course from yesterday, and will now ground all U.S. registered Boeing 737-8 MAX 8s and 737-9 MAX 9s. This will effectively ground all MAX airplanes. The FAA claims to have “new evidence”. Either way, they are now in agreement with the rest of the world.

Statement:

The FAA is ordering the temporary grounding of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft (PDF)operated by U.S. airlines or in U.S. territory. The agency made this decision as a result of the data gathering process and new evidence collected at the site and analyzed today. This evidence, together with newly refined satellite data available to FAA this morning, led to this decision.

The grounding will remain in effect pending further investigation, including examination of information from the aircraft’s flight data recorders and cockpit voice recorders. An FAA team is in Ethiopia assisting the NTSB as parties to the investigation of the Flight 302 accident. The agency will continue to investigate.

 


 

FAA Administrator takes “no action” at this time, will continue to review

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator, Daniel K. Elwell has issued this statement:

Boeing also issued this statement:

Safety is Boeing’s number one priority and we have full confidence in the safety of the 737 MAX. We understand that regulatory agencies and customers have made decisions that they believe are most appropriate for their home markets. We’ll continue to engage with them to ensure they have the information needed to have confidence in operating their fleets. The United States Federal Aviation Administration is not mandating any further action at this time, and based on the information currently available, we do not have any basis to issue new guidance to operators.

From Wikipedia:

Daniel Elwell is the Acting Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in addition to running the Next Generation Air Transportation System.

Appointed by President Donald Trump to become a FAA Deputy Administrator in June 2017, Elwell was promoted to Acting Administrator on January 7, 2018.

Elwell graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in International Affairs from the United States Air Force Academy. He moved on to Williams Air Force Base where he earned his pilot wings.

Elwell was a Command Pilot for the U.S Air Force and U.S Air Force Reserve. Elwell fought in the Operation Desert Storm in a combat capacity. Elwell eventually reached the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He retired soon after.

For 16 years, Elwell was a commercial pilot for American Airlines. Elwell also had a role of American Airlines’s Managing Director for International and Government Affairs. He also served served as a legislative fellow for the late Senator Ted Stevens. While working for Senator Stevens, Elwell was part of other aviation safety programs in Alaska, including the Capstone Program in the Yukon–Kuskokwim Delta, as well as the installation of real-time weather cameras at remote airfields and mountain passes.

Elwell was named Vice President of the Aerospace Industries Association in 2008 where he stayed until 2013. Elwell was a civil aerospace manufacturer representative in this capacity where he was an advocate for various companies.

Elwell joined Airlines for America (A4A) in 2013 where he was the Senior Vice President for Safety, Security, and Operations. Elwell left this role in 2015.

Elwell also served as the Senior Advisor on Aviation to Secretary Elaine Chao.

FAA Issues Emergency Airworthiness Directive (EAD) for CFM56-7B engines

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued an Emergency Airworthiness Directive (EAD) that requires operators to inspect fan blades on certain CFM56-7B engines within 20 days.

The directive is based on a CFM International Service Bulletin issued today and on information gathered from the investigation of Tuesday’s Southwest Airlines engine failure. The inspection requirement applies to CFM56-7B engines. Specifically, engines with more than 30,000 total cycles from new must complete inspections within 20 days.  The EAD becomes effective upon publication. The engine manufacturer estimates today’s corrective action affects 352 engines in the U.S. and 681 engines worldwide.

Southwest Airlines issued this short statement:

Southwest Airlines Company acknowledges the issuance of Emergency Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2018-09-51 by the Federal Aviation Administration to airlines operating CFM56-7B engines. The existing Southwest Airlines maintenance program meets or exceeds all the requirements specified in the Airworthiness Directive.

Photos: Southwest Airlines.

Boeing’s statement on U.S. Federal Aviation Administration settlement

Boeing (Chicago, Seattle and Charleston) issued the following statement following the settlement announcement by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration:

Boeing logo (medium)

Boeing appreciates the dedication of both the Federal Aviation Administration and Boeing personnel who worked to reach the agreement announced on December 22. This agreement reflects Boeing’s deep and shared commitment to safety, quality and compliance – a commitment that has helped make travel on large commercial airplanes the safest means of transportation in history.

Boeing believes that this agreement not only fairly resolves announced and potential civil penalty actions – most of which date back years, and two of which were previously announced in 2012 and 2013 – but also will further enhance Boeing’s self-correcting quality and compliance systems. Under the terms of the agreement, Boeing has agreed to pay $12 million and make additional quality and compliance process improvements. Many of the improvements listed in the agreement have already been implemented or are in the process of implementation.

As a company we take responsibility for our actions, and we will never compromise on our commitment to quality and compliance – a commitment that is one of the core reasons we build the best airplanes in the world. We are actively working on the areas identified in the agreement and see this as another way to continually improve our compliance system.

Previously the FAA issued this statement on December 22:

FAA logo-1 (color)

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration today announced a comprehensive settlement agreement with Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA) that resolves multiple pending and potential enforcement cases.

Under the agreement, BCA pledged to implement and improve several certification processes to further enhance the airworthiness and continued compliance of all BCA products.

“It is imperative that everyone complies with our aviation system’s high safety standards,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “This agreement is an important step toward ensuring that Boeing fully meets all applicable compliance standards going forward.”

“Compliance requires all certificate holders to develop and implement internal controls that ensure they’re operating according to the highest standards,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. “Boeing has agreed to implement improvements in its design, planning, production and maintenance planning processes, and has already implemented several of these improvements.”

BCA’s obligations commit the company to meeting specific performance targets. They are designed to enhance BCA’s early discovery and self-disclosure of potential regulatory compliance problems, as well as the timely development and implementation of effective corrective actions.

The company also must make an immediate payment to the United States Treasury in the amount of $12 million and faces stiff penalties for failing to follow through on its commitments.

BCA’s obligations include:

Improved Management Oversight and Accountability

  • Implement the Safety Management Systems (SMS) plan BCA has developed to meet internationally accepted standards, throughout the company’s activities.
  • Use the FAA’s safety analysis modeling, in addition to BCA’s proprietary risk modeling, to assess all identified compliance issues.
  • Comply with a new Regulatory Compliance Plan, which requires BCA to assign each compliance matter to a manager-level employee for resolution and accountability.
  • Require review of the regulatory compliance performance of BCA managers.

Internal Auditing

  • To improve its internal audit processes, audit teams will be required to report directly to BCA’s Vice President of Quality, and conduct audits across all processes (Engineering, Supplier Management, Production, Modification, Repair and Customer Support) at all sites.
  • Assess the effectiveness of its internal auditing systems.
  • Appoint audit team members with appropriate technical expertise to assess the extent of regulatory compliance.
  • Conduct an evaluation of regulatory compliance procedures among different facilities and programs.
  • Implement risk-based criteria for selecting the subjects of audits.

Enhanced Supplier Management

  • To determine whether incomplete work is being accepted, conduct an initial set of audits of its suppliers, analyze the results and consult with the FAA on audit findings.
  • Based upon risk analysis, conduct a second, more extensive set of audits, again reporting the results to the FAA and providing the FAA with a summary of any corrective actions.

Quality and Timeliness Regulatory Submissions

  • Meet progressively more stringent performance metrics in the quality and timeliness of its written submissions to the FAA.

Specification Simplification

  • Annually for the next five years, review and simplify at least 15 process specifications used in the design, build, delivery and support of BCA products.

First-Article Verification

  • Implement improvements to processes to ensure that assembly installations that have been affected by process or design changes continue to conform to type design.

Stampings and Other Verification Records Accuracy

  • Conduct mandatory training of all manufacturing and quality employees who exercise stamping approval authority, and conduct recurrent training at least every 24 months.
  • Conduct mandatory training of all engineering employees on their regulatory compliance obligations.
  • During each year of the agreement, conduct at least three internal audits of each product line and at least one audit of each BCA fabrication site.
  • Prevent any repeat findings of improper stamping.

Corrective Action Development, Implementation and Sustainment

  • Apply the “Boeing Problem-Solving Model” to a wide variety of analyses that BCA submits to the FAA.
  • For future violations that the FAA identifies, conduct a second, follow-up audit within 12 months of the original incident to ensure that corrective actions were effective at the time and continue to be effective.

BCA’s Reporting Obligations

  • Report to the FAA at least annually about the effectiveness of BCA’s regulatory compliance activities, including a final and comprehensive report after the fifth year of the agreement.
  • Report to the FAA each quarter the results of any internal audits pertaining to safety management, regulatory compliance, corrective action implementation and sustainment, process compliance and conforming products.

BCA will face up to $24 million in additional penalties over the next five years if it fails to implement its obligations under the agreement.

The performance period for BCA’s commitments begins Jan. 1, 2016 and will continue for five years unless the FAA and BCA agree to an extension.

The agreement settles two initiated cases and 11 other matters that were opened during the last several years.

The first initiated case involved BCA’s tardiness in developing information for the installation of fuel tank flammability reduction equipment on Boeing 747 and 757 aircraft.

The second initiated case involved the company’s insufficient corrective action after discovering that a supplier had been providing incorrectly shaped fasteners. The FAA did not allege that these issues created unsafe conditions.

The uninitiated matters involved allegations of delays in submitting required safety information, production quality control problems, and failures to implement corrective actions for those production problems.

The FAA issues an AD for possible Boeing 747-8 and 747-8F “divergent flutter during a high g-load maneuver in combination with certain system failures”

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) (Washington) has issued this airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Boeing 747-8 and 747-8F series aircraft. The FAA estimates there are eight aircraft impacted on the U.S. registry.

According to Boeing, all of the costs of this AD may be covered under warranty, thereby reducing the cost impact on affected individuals.

Here is the statement:

FAA logo-1 (color)

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain The Boeing Company Model 747-8 and 747-8F series airplanes. This AD was prompted by an analysis, which indicated that in a limited flight envelope with specific conditions, divergent flutter could occur during a high g-load maneuver in combination with certain system failures. This AD requires replacing the lateral control electronic (LCE) modules, replacing the inboard elevator power control packages (PCPs), installing new external compensators for the PCPs, and revising the maintenance or inspection program. We are issuing this AD to prevent certain system failures from resulting in divergent flutter, and subsequent loss of continued safe flight and landing.

Read the full AD: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Nick Dean/AirlinersGallery.com.

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