Category Archives: FAA

FAA finalizes Boeing 777 safety directives after fan blade failures

From Reuters:

“The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said on Wednesday it is finalizing three safety directives for some grounded Boeing 777 planes with Pratt & Whitney 4000 engines that will allow them to return to service.”

Reporting by David Shepardson; editing by Grant McCool

FAA announces an estimated 78 percent of the U.S. commercial fleet to perform low-visibility landings at airports where wireless companies deployed 5G C-band

FAA issued this update:

The FAA issued new approvals Thursday that allow an estimated 78 percent of the U.S. commercial fleet to perform low-visibility landings at airports where wireless companies deployed 5G C-band. This now includes some regional jets.

Airplane models with one of the 13 cleared altimeters include all Boeing 717, 737, 747, 757, 767, 777, 787, MD-10/-11; all Airbus A300, A310, A319, A320, A330, A340, A350 and A380 models; and some Embraer 170 and 190 regional jets.

The FAA is working diligently to determine which altimeters are reliable and accurate where 5G is deployed in the United States. We anticipate some altimeters will be too susceptible to 5G interference. To preserve safety, aircraft with those altimeters will be prohibited from performing low-visibility landings where 5G is deployed because the altimeter could provide inaccurate information.

U.S. airlines warn of ‘catastrophic’ disruption from 5G rollout

From BBC:

“The 10 biggest US airlines have warned that the impending switch-on of 5G mobile phone services will cause “major disruption” to flights.”

“Airlines fear C-band 5G signals will disrupt planes’ navigation systems, particularly those used in bad weather.”

Read the full article:

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-60036831

FAA statements on 5G:

On January 16, 2022, the FAA cleared an estimated 45 percent of the U.S. commercial fleet to perform low-visibility landings at many of the airports where 5G C-band will be deployed on Jan. 19.

The agency approved two radio altimeter models that are installed in a wide variety of Boeing and Airbus planes. This combination of aircraft and altimeter approval opens up runways at as many as 48 of the 88 airports most directly affected by 5G C-band interference.

As of Jan. 5, none of the 88 airports would have been available for landing during low-visibility conditions. The wireless companies agreed to create buffer zones for six months around airports where transmitters are in close proximity. They also agreed to delay deployment until Jan. 19 while the FAA reviewed new data detailing the location and power of wireless transmitters in all 46 U.S. markets where this service will be deployed.

Even with these new approvals, flights at some airports may still be affected. The FAA also continues to work with manufacturers to understand how radar altimeter data is used in other flight control systems. Passengers should check with their airlines if weather is forecast at a destination where 5G interference is possible.

The airplane models approved include some Boeing 737, 747, 757, 767, MD-10/-11 and Airbus A310, A319, A320, A321, A330 and A350 models. FAA expects to issue more approvals in the coming days.


 

FAA 5G Statement issued on January 14, 2022

The Federal Aviation Administration will require operators of Boeing 787s to take additional precautions when landing on wet or snowy runways at airports where 5G C-band service is deployed.

During the two-week delay in deploying new 5G service, safety experts determined that 5G interference with the aircraft’s radio altimeter could prevent engine and braking systems from transitioning to landing mode, which could prevent an aircraft from stopping on the runway.

The Airworthiness Notification requires crews to be aware of this risk and to adopt specific safety procedures when landing on these runways.

The directive affects 137 aircraft in the United States and 1,010 worldwide.

 


 

FAA 5G Statement issued on January 13, 2022

The FAA is working to determine which radar altimeters will be reliable and accurate with 5G C-Band deployed in the United States. Since the agreement with the wireless companies was reached, the agency has made progress to safely reduce the risk of delays and cancellations as wireless companies share more data and manufacturer altimeter testing results arrive. The FAA expects to provide updates soon about the estimated percentage of commercial aircraft equipped with altimeters that can operate reliably and accurately in the 5G C-Band environment. Aircraft with untested altimeters or that need retrofitting or replacement will be unable to perform low-visibility landings where 5G is deployed, as outlined in Notices to Air Missions (NOTAMs) published at 0000 EST Thursday, January 13, 2022.

 

Boeing to pay at least $17 million to settle enforcement cases on 737

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has made this announcement:

The Boeing Company will pay at least $17 million in penalties and undertake multiple corrective actions with its production under a settlement agreement (PDF) with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The FAA found that the Chicago-based manufacturer installed equipment on 759 Boeing 737 MAX and NG aircraft containing sensors that were not approved for that equipment; submitted approximately 178 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft for airworthiness certification when the aircraft potentially had nonconforming slat tracks installed; and improperly marked those slat tracks.

“Keeping the flying public safe is our primary responsibility. That is not negotiable, and the FAA will hold Boeing and the aviation industry accountable to keep our skies safe,” said FAA Administrator Steve Dickson.

Boeing will pay the $17 million penalty within 30 days after signing the agreement. If Boeing does not complete certain corrective actions within specific timeframes, the FAA will levy up to $10.1 million in additional penalties. The corrective actions include but are not limited to:

  • Strengthening procedures to ensure that it does not install on aircraft any parts that fail to conform to their approved design.
  • Performing Safety Risk Management analyses to determine whether its supply-chain oversight processes are appropriate and whether the company is ready to safely increase the Boeing 737 production rate.
  • Revising its production procedures to enable the FAA to observe production rate readiness assessments, the data on which the company bases the assessments, and the results of the assessments.
  • Taking steps to reduce the chance that it presents to the FAA aircraft with nonconforming parts for airworthiness certification or a Certificate of Export.
  • Enhancing processes to improve its oversight of parts suppliers.

The FAA will continue its oversight of Boeing’s engineering and production activities and is actively implementing oversight provisions from the 2020 Aircraft Certification, Safety, and Accountability Act.

Federal Aviation Administration adopts stricter unruly passenger policy

FAA Administrator Steve Dickson has signed an order (PDF) directing a stricter legal enforcement policy against unruly airline passengers in the wake of recent, troubling incidents.

The FAA has seen a disturbing increase in incidents where airline passengers have disrupted flights with threatening or violent behavior. These incidents have stemmed both from passengers’ refusals to wear masks and from recent violence at the U.S. Capitol.

“Flying is the safest mode of transportation and I signed this order to keep it that way,” Administrator Dickson said.

Historically, the agency has addressed unruly-passenger incidents using a variety of methods ranging from warnings and counseling to civil penalties. Effective immediately, however, the FAA will not address these cases with warnings or counseling. The agency will pursue legal enforcement action against any passenger who assaults, threatens, intimidates, or interferes with airline crew members. This policy will be in effect through March 30, 2021.

Passengers who interfere with, physically assault, or threaten to physically assault aircraft crew or anyone else on an aircraft face stiff penalties, including fines of up to $35,000 and imprisonment. This dangerous behavior can distract, disrupt, and threaten crew members’ safety functions.

The FAA has initiated more than 1,300 enforcement actions against unruly passengers during the past 10 years, including recent cases for allegedly interfering with and assaulting flight attendants who instructed them to wear masks.

While the FAA does not have regulatory authority over aviation security or no-fly lists, the agency works closely with federal law enforcement and national security partners on any reported security threats that may impact aviation safety.

Watch a video message from Administrator Dickson:

Reuters: FAA in final stages of Boeing 737 MAX review; could approve as early as November 18

From Reuters:

“The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration is in the final stages of reviewing proposed changes to Boeing Co’s 737 MAX and expects to complete the process in the “coming days,” the agency’s chief told Reuters on Monday.”

Read the full report.

 

Washington Post: After two faulty Boeing jets crash, the Trump administration blames foreign pilots

Opinion by Dana Milbank of the Washington Post. To read the column CLICK HERE

From Wikipedia:

Daniel Kevin 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 the FAA Deputy Administrator in June 2017, Elwell was promoted to Acting Administrator on January 7, 2018.

Videos:

FAA issues a new AD for all Boeing 787 Dreamliners

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued this airworthiness directive (AD):

We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for all The Boeing Company Model 787 series airplanes. This AD was prompted by reports of hydraulic leakage caused by damage to aileron and elevator actuators from lightning strikes. This AD requires an inspection or records check to inspect for certain parts, detailed inspections of aileron and elevator power control units (PCUs), and applicable on-condition actions. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.

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.