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Safety News

NBAA, Industry Examine Fuel Contamination Hazards Following Second DEF Incident
Aug. 29, 2018
900EX was forced to return to the airport after the flight crew received multiple clogged fuel filter warnings on departure, followed by failure of the trijet's number 2 engine. NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen noted a similar fuel contamination event occurred last November. “This latest incident demonstrates such issues are not isolated occurrences and highlights the need to closely examine methods to mitigate and eliminate this potential hazard,” Bolen said. Read more about the latest incident
Fitness for Duty About More Than Physical Considerations
Aug. 28, 2018
Fitness for duty is an important consideration for all individuals serving in a safety-sensitive role in business aviation. This includes ensuring that employees are mentally and emotionally able to perform their roles responsibly, as well as in good physical health. “It’s everyone’s responsibility to identify when someone may not be on their game a particular day,” NBAA Safety Committee Chair David Ryan. “That’s not only because of business or safety concerns, of course, we should also care about the well-being of those we work with.” Learn more about fitness for duty considerations
Podcast: How Professionalism Supports the Five Foundations of Safety
Aug. 27, 2018
The business aviation industry emphasizes safety, but do you know how decisions about safety priorities are made? “We have five foundations of safety focused around professionalism, and if you’re acting as a professional in all aspects, safety is a byproduct of that,” said Marty Grier, senior manager, aviation at The Home Depot. “We do an annual safety survey to the NBAA membership to get their feedback, and that information is all brought into the annual risk assessment.” Grier describes the importance of professionalism as the core of the five foundations of safety in business aviation in this week’s NBAA Flight Plan podcast.
NBAA Flying Safety Awards Recognizes Members for Decades of Accident-Free Operations
Aug. 17, 2018
For 65 years, NBAA’s Flying Safety Awards have served as a testament to the high degree of professionalism and outstanding safety culture within member companies. In total, 1,137 companies and individuals earned awards this year for their accident/incident-free operations in 2017. These companies and individuals will be recognized at NBAA-BACE, Oct. 16-18 in Orlando, FL. Learn more about the NBAA Flying Safety Awards.
Tips for Avoiding Airport Construction Mishaps
August 13, 2018
For most business aircraft pilots, construction equipment and barricades are familiar sights as airports continue to improve and expand. However, aviators many not realize the level of preparation that goes into ensuring that such projects do not unnecessarily impact operations or pose a threat to aircraft or personnel. Pilots must not only check NOTAMs but also review airport guidance and communicate with controllers to safely avoid construction mishaps. Read more guidance for flight crews in the July/August 2018 issue of Business Aviation Insider.
Regional Safety Events Promote Networking and Data Sharing
June 29, 2018
Reflecting the industry’s commitment to safety, many regional business aviation groups have taken to hosting an annual safety day to promote education, networking and data sharing. Three such groups with upcoming events include the North Texas Business Aviation Association, Georgia Business Aviation Association and SoCal Aviation Association. NBAA encourages these types of safety events as a way for operators to increase personal and organizational vigilance, as well as improve safety practices and procedures. Read more about regional safety days.
Capital View: FAA's O'Donnell Gives Update on Industry Safety Efforts
June 18, 2018
Michael O'Donnell, a general aviation (GA) pilot and former GA airport manager, recently spoke with NBAA about his work as the former head of the FAA Office of Accident Investigation and Prevention, where his mission was to make air travel safer through investigation, data collection, risk analysis and information sharing. "The collaboration of government and industry over the last few years helped make 2017 the safest year ever for general aviation," he said. Read more in the May/June 2018 issue of Business Aviation Insider, NBAA's 10th Annual Safety Issue.
3 Tips for Flying in Areas of Volcanic Activity
June 11, 2018
Are you up to speed on flying in areas of volcanic activity? With several volcanoes currently active, including Kilauea in Hawaii and Fuego in Guatemala, now is a good time to brush up on your knowledge. Here are three tips for flying in areas of volcanic ash. “If you’re operating in an area with known volcanic activity, even if you plan your flight for a wide berth around volcanic ash, review company procedures and aircraft manufacturer recommendations regarding volcanic ash so you’re prepared for an unexpected encounter,” said John Kosak, program manager of weather for NBAA Air Traffic Services. Learn More.
Cabin Crews Concerned About Fatigue Affecting Safety
May 28, 2018
Flight- and duty-time limits for pilots are designed to ensure that flight crews are physically prepared to fly safely, and it's important to have similar standards for cabin crews. The industry is now taking a look at addressing fatigue among flight attendants and technicians, especially those who spend days flying through numerous time zones. May/June 2018 issue of Business Aviation Insider, the 10th Annual Safety Issue.
New Runway Condition Reporting Methodology Improves Airport Safety
May 14, 2018
Following years of government-industry collaboration, the FAA implemented the Takeoff and Landing Performance Assessment (TALPA) initiative, a new method of assessing wet airport surface conditions that utilizes a runway condition assessment matrix. TALPA received an extensive workout last winter as a series of powerful storms swept across the United States, resulting in some useful runway safety lessons for business aircraft operators. Learn more about TALPA in the May/June 2018 issue of Business Aviation Insider, the 10th Annual Safety Issue.
Professionalism, Ethical Behavior Leads to Safe Operations
May 7, 2018
What does professionalism have to do with safety? Everything, according to Jeff Wofford, group lead of the Professionalism Working Group of the NBAA Safety Committee. "The discipline and ethical behavior of professionalism go hand-in-hand with safety," he said. "You have to do the same thing every flight. There are no shortcuts." Learn more in the May/June 2018 issue of Business Aviation Insider, the 10th Annual Safety Issue.
Business Aviation Safety Summit to Feature Year-in-Review, Exhibitor Demos
April 13, 2018
In response to attendee demand, the 2018 Business Aviation Safety Summit (BASS) - which will be hosted by Flight Safety Foundation (FSF) in partnership with NBAA May 10-11 in Chicago, IL - will reintroduce the popular year-in-review session, a discussion of the previous year's aviation accidents and incidents. Learn more.
Safety in Focus for Pacific Northwest Business Aviation Association
April 12, 2018
For a decade, the Pacific Northwest Business Aviation Association (PNBAA) has been promoting the importance of safety in the industry. This year was no exception as the group hosted its Second Annual PNBAA Safety Officer Roundtable and 10th Annual PNBAA Safety & Security Day earlier this month. Learn more about PNBAA’s safety events.
New Advisory Standardizes Non-Towered Airport Flight Operations for All Users
April 11, 2018
As an added safety enhancement for the general aviation community, the NBAA Access Committee has worked with the other members of the FAA’s Aeronautical Charting Forum to standardize traffic pattern altitudes and procedures at airports without operating control towers. This effort has culminated with the new Advisory Circular (AC) and replaces two previous advisories. “No matter what a pilot flies they should read this AC, because it clearly presents the standards for operating at a non-towered airport,” said Richard Boll, a member of the NBAA Access Committee who participated in the ACF effort. Learn more about the AC.
NBAA Urges Members to Participate in 2018 FAA General Aviation Survey
March 5, 2018
Each year the FAA collects safety data through its General Aviation and Part 135 Activity Survey, and the agency recently sent out a request to aircraft owners for information on their operations in 2017. NBAA asks its members to contribute to this effort, which helps measure safety and influences government funding for general aviation. said Mark Larsen, CAM, NBAA senior manager of safety and flight operations. Learn more about the survey.
NBAA, Industry Coalition Calls for Full Contract Tower Funding
March 2, 2018
NBAA has joined eight other industry groups in asking Congress to fully fund the Contract Tower Program, which supports aviation safety at communities across the country, as part of the FAA FY 2019 appropriations bill. In a letter to lawmakers, industry leaders voiced support for language in the current version of the bill that calls for “not less than $172,000,000” in funding for the program. “The FAA Contract Tower Program has provided cost-effective and essential air traffic safety services for over three decades,” the groups stated. Read more about the group’s letter to Congress.
Capital View: NTSB's Sumwalt a Safety Champion
Feb. 26, 2018
Robert Sumwalt became chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board in August 2017, after serving 11 years as a board member and the vice chairman. In a recent interview with Business Aviation Insider, Sumwalt spoke about the importance of safety management systems and what an organization can do to promote safety culture. Read more in Business Aviation Insider.
Podcast: The Importance of Supplemental Oxygen
Jan. 8, 2018
While there are regulations that govern when pilots should use supplemental oxygen, experts say it’s more important to focus on how you feel in the cockpit, rather than the altitude. “Everyone is different and some people need oxygen [at a lower altitude] and some people can tolerate a little bit higher,” said Dr. Brent Blue, a senior aviation medical examiner, in this May 2017 edition of NBAA Flight Plan.
At GA Safety Summit, FAA Says 2017 May Be Industry's Safest Year Yet
Oct. 26, 2017
At the FAA's recent General Aviation Summit, the agency said 2017 may be the safest year ever for general aviation, and association leaders recognized the effectiveness of collaborative efforts in reducing accident rates. NBAA was among six general aviation associations at the meeting, which was the last summit conducted under outgoing FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. Sharing de-identified safety data between operators and with the FAA is providing greater insight on potential risks before they affect aircraft operations. Read more about the summit.
FAA Realigns Flight Standards for Consistency, Agility
Sept. 13, 2017
The FAA recently began a service-oriented effort to change the culture of its Flight Standards organization. The initiative, named the Future of Flight Standards, aims to facilitate critical thinking, interdependence and consistency to better serve aviation safety. "Part 91 operators have increasingly more contact with local inspectors for a number of reasons, including requesting letters of authorization and other operational requests," said Doug Carr, NBAA's vice president of regulatory and international affairs. “We hope the FAA's reorganization of the Flight Standards organization will address industry challenges, such as siloed and inconsistent interpretations of regulations and policies, and result in more consistent outcomes for operators across the country." Learn more about the realignment.
Podcast: NBAA Offers Event to Meet Needs of Single-Pilot Operators
Sept. 11, 2017
The NBAA Single Pilot Safety Standdown is set for Oct. 9, one day before the opening of NBAA-BACE, and the event promises to address the specific needs of single-pilot business aircraft operators. "We know that there's some uniqueness to the single-pilot business aviation operations, and so we have this event geared for that audience specifically," said Mark Larsen, NBAA senior manager of safety and flight operations. Listen to this week's NBAA Flight Plan podcast for more on the event.
NBAA Recognizes Members for Safe Operations
Aug. 18, 2017
NBAA announced its 2016 Flying Safety Award winners. In total, 1,311 companies and individuals were recognized for 13,534,905 hours of accident/incident free operations in 2016. Nine member companies were honored for 50-years of safe operations, and one member company was honored for 60 years of accident-free operations. Learn more.
New FAA InFO Underscores Importance of 'Committed to Stop' Points
Aug. 11, 2017
In a recent "Information for Operators" (InFO 17009), the FAA informed operators of turbine-powered aircraft about the importance of establishing a point during landing where a go-around or rejected landing procedure would not be initiated, and the only option will be bringing the aircraft to a stop. The FAA said operators should establish committed-to-stop points, based on their own operations and type of aircraft, to eliminate ambiguity for pilots. Read more about the FAA's InFO.
Podcast: Why Your Flight Department Needs an ERP
July 24, 2017
How prepared is your flight department for an emergency? Pete Agur, founder and chairman of safety consulting firm VanAllen Group, said it’s important for flight departments to have emergency response plans (ERPs), not only in case of accidents involving fatalities, but any unusual situations. These could include, severe turbulence, losing a wheel in the mud or a bird strike, Agur said, adding it’s important to be prepared for any scenario. Listen now to learn more.
Training for Automated Flight Decks Is Essential
July 3, 2017
Automated systems can significantly reduce pilot workload and provide true automated flight, but these devices also can easily overwhelm their masters with their complexity. Training for automated flight decks and developing automation-oriented standard operating procedures can help pilots more effectively use these sophisticated systems. Learn more about training for automation in Business Aviation Insider.
Flight Crews: Managing an Inflight Medical Emergency
June 19, 2017
If a crewmember or passenger experiences a critical medical incident during a flight, the flight crew must know how to manage the inflight emergency to ensure the best possible outcome. Having a plan in place and undergoing comprehensive training are just two ways that pilots, flight attendants and frequent passengers can prepare themselves. Read more on managing inflight emergencies in Business Aviation Insider.
The Importance of Achieving Positive Tool Control
June 12, 2017
A pressing safety issue facing business aviation maintenance technicians, flight departments and MROs today is how to meet directives regarding positive control of all tools to help eliminate incidents and accidents due to foreign object damage. While new chip technology and full-drawer scanners are two solutions, the use of such technology should "assist, but not replace, personal discipline," advises NBAA Director of Technical Operations Eli Cotti. Learn more about tool control in Business Aviation Insider.
Former NBAA Safety Committee Chair Receives Flight Safety Foundation Award
May 8, 2017
Steve Charbonneau, former NBAA Safety Committee Chair, last week received the Flight Safety Foundation’s (FSF’s) Business Aviation Meritorious Service Award at the annual Business Aviation Safety Summit. FSF presented him the award, which recognizes outstanding service and contributions to business aviation safety. Learn more.
Podcast: A Different Way for Business Aviators to Manage Risk
April 10, 2017
Bob Gould, of Bravo Golf Aviation, has developed a practical way to look at risk management, and it starts with a simple question: “What would happen if…?” In other words, he said, aviation personnel can ask themselves if they did or didn’t perform a certain function, what would the outcome be? Gould will speak on this topic next month at a Professional Development Program course on risk management. Learn more.
BWI, SFO the Latest Airports to Implement Runway Status Lights
April 4, 2017
Pilots operating at 20 U.S. airports must be aware of a new, red-light system rolled out to improve runway safety and mitigate runway incursions. Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall (BWI) and San Francisco International (SFO) are the latest airports to implement runway status lights (RWSLs). "RWSLs are embedded in the pavement of runways and taxiways and provide a second layer of protection to alert pilots when a runway is unsafe to enter or cross or when it is not safe to initiate a take-off roll," said Jim Fee, FAA's manager of runway safety. Read more about RWSLs.
Podcast: NBAA Committee Issues New List of Business Aviation Safety Priorities
April 3, 2017
The way we think about business aviation safety continues to evolve, and the NBAA Safety Committee has again put together its list of Top Safety Focus Areas. For 2017, there are eight items on list, including loss of control inflight, runway excursions, distractions and risk-based training. "This is the list of things that really, truly challenge the industry from a safety perspective," said Safety Committee Chairman David Ryan. The committee also created "five foundations of safety," to compliment the Top Safety Focus Areas. These include: professionalism, risk management and fitness for duty. Learn more in this week's NBAA Flight Plan podcast.
Podcast: Regional Business Aviation Safety Events Growing in Popularity
March 20, 2017
Increasingly, local and regional business aviation groups are staging safety events as a service to members and stakeholders in the area. The Pacific Northwest Business Aviation Association (PNBAA), for example, is hosting its 2017 Safety and Security Day on April 6. The key to success, said PNBAA Director Brett Palmiero, is appealing to a diverse audience with topics of current interest in the industry. Listen to NBAA's Flight Plan podcast to hear more.
Safety Survey Provides Insight Into Industry Best Practices
Dec. 2, 2016
Most business aviation operators engage in annual risk assessment and profiling, according to the results of NBAA’s 2016 Business Aviation Safety Survey, now available exclusively to the association’s members. The survey provides an unparalleled look into the safety policies and concerns of business aviation flight departments. Learn more about the survey.
Flight Crews: Training Your Passengers for Emergencies
Nov. 30, 2016
Business aircraft passengers should be knowledgeable about the safety and medical equipment available and procedures for their use. To ensure this, some flight departments put their most frequent flyers through specialized training to ensure that they are in mental "Condition Orange" with a high awareness of their surroundings. Learn more about the safety benefits of training passengers for emergencies in the November/December 2016 issue of Business Aviation Insider.
NBAA Recognizes Members for Safe Operations
Nov. 22, 2016
NBAA recently recognized six member companies for more than 50 years of outstanding safe flying achievement, as well as hundreds more companies that have collectively compiled thousands of hours of safe flying. Learn more about NBAA's Flying Safety Awards.
NTSB Most-Wanted List Highlights Control Loss, Other Risks
Nov. 16, 2016
The NTSB's 2017-18 "Most Wanted" safety improvements list features 10 transportation-related priorities, including several that align with key risks identified by NBAA and other general aviation stakeholders. The list includes one item – loss of control in-flight (LOC-I) – dedicated specifically to general aviation. LOC-I is both on NBAA's list of Top Safety Focus Areas, and a top priority for General Aviation Joint Steering Committee (GA-JSC), which NBAA participates in as an industry member. Learn more about the NTSB's Most Wanted list.
NBAA Unveils New Association Safety Policy at Second Annual National Safety Forum
Nov. 3, 2016
The NBAA National Safety Forum, held on the closing day of NBAA-BACE, included a powerful reaffirmation of NBAA’s commitment to industry safety, and a detailed examination of the many potential links in the chain leading to a fatal accident. A new NBAA Safety Policy, outlining the association’s work to reduce the number of accidents involving business aviation aircraft, was signed by association officials. Learn more about NBAA's Safety Policy.
Learn About New Field Condition Reporting With Upcoming NBAA Webinar
Oct. 7, 2016
Industry feedback indicates some aviation stakeholders may not yet be familiar with significant changes in field condition reporting standards that went into effect this month. An Oct. 20 NBAA webinar: "Get Prepared for New Field Condition Reporting," will provide a thorough review of the new runway condition assessment matrix (RCAM) at the core of the revised takeoff and landing performance assessment practices. The RCAM assigns runway condition codes (of between zero and six, based upon objective measurements of the type and amount of surface contamination, for each third of the runway. Higher numbers indicate more favorable conditions. Learn more about register for the webinar.
Bolen: Enhancing Safety in Business Aviation is a 'Noble' Pursuit
Sept. 30, 2016
There is no more "noble purpose than to try and enhance safety, try to save lives and try to protect people," NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen said in his remarks this week at the opening of Bombardier's 20th annual Safety Standdown. NBAA, he noted, is a sponsor of the event, and safety, in fact, is one of the reasons the association was founded 69 years ago. "The pursuit of safety is a little bit like the pursuit of excellence, if you apply enough granularity, you realize you're never quite there," he said. "[The Safety Standddown] is an opportunity to see how far we've come" recognize that what we're doing is making a difference, and also see where we need to go. Read more about Bombardier's Safety Standdown.
NBAA Report Calls for Renewed Emphasis on Pre-Takeoff Flight-Control Checks
Sept. 22, 2016
NBAA has issued a report, regarding a fatal 2014 Gulfstream G-IV accident in Bedford, MA, which calls for a renewed emphasis on compliance with the pre-takeoff flight-control checks required by aircraft manufacturers. The accident prompted the NTSB to recommend that NBAA lead a study to measure the extent of non-compliance with before-takeoff flight checks. "This report should further raise awareness within the business aviation community that complacency and lack of procedural discipline have no place in our profession," said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. Read more about the report.
Providing Cabin Safety and Service When Far From Home
Aug. 29, 2016
When far away from home base, cabin crews are expected to deliver the same high level of safety and service despite being in places that may have different regulations and vendors, as well as fewer resources. To accomplish this requires preparation and research. Read NBAA's tips for flight crews in the July/August 2016 issue of Business Aviation Insider.
Podcast: RWSL Designed to Eliminate Runway Confusion, Improve Safety
Aug. 22, 2016
The Runway Status Lights (RWSL) system is likely coming to an airport near you soon, with 17 airports across the country scheduled to have RWSL by the end of 2017. RWSL is a fully automatic advisory safety system designed to reduce the number and severity of runway incursions, and prevent runway accidents while not interfering with airport operations. "This whole system runs in the background as an additional layer of safety," noted Bridget Gee, from the National Air Traffic Controllers Association. But it can also lead to confusion for pilots, who may receive instructions from ATC that are inconsistent with the lighting system. Gee advises, "If the lights are in conflict with ATC instruction, just don't go." Learn more about RWSL in NBAA Flight Plan podcast, sponsored by Jet Quest.
FAA Launches Survey on Runway Status Lights Program
June 15, 2016
The FAA is conducting a survey on its Runway Status Lights (RWSL) program to gather data and review the program. RWSL is an innovative system designed to provide direct indication to pilots and vehicle operators that is unsafe to enter a runway or begin a takeoff. Learn more.
Podcast: Breaking Patterns is Key to Preventing Pilot Human Error
June 6, 2016
In business aviation, pilots have to be smart, so how could two trained instructors flying together run out of gas mid-flight? Pat Daily, from Convergent Performance, attributes it to a person's "error fingerprint," something he says we all have. "Sometimes, even if they have that sense of unease, they will kind of bluster their way through it saying it's never going to happen, because it hasn't happened to them before." Daily will address this issue at an NBAA Professional Development Program course, Sept. 12 and 13 in Washington, DC. Listen to this week's NBAA Flight Plan podcast, sponsored by Jet Quest, for more on this issue.
Proper Planning Essential to Mitigating Runway Excursions
May 23, 2016
While most runway excursion accidents are survivable, these events account for a large number of fatalities due to their high rate of occurrence. Being aware of excursion precursors and dispelling misconceptions can help operators understand and prevent these accidents from occurring. Learn more about resources to help members prevent runway excursions in the May/June 2016 issue of Business Aviation Insider.
Risk Assessment Tips and Tools for the Single Pilot
May 16, 2016
Although owner-flown business aircraft have been on the market for decades, advances in cockpit technology now enable single pilots to operate some of the most complex aircraft available today. But along with those expanded capabilities, single pilots must also manage risk and other factors in order to operate those aircraft safely. Learn about the risk assessment tools available to transform owner-pilots into super aviators in Business Aviation Insider.
Podcast: Flight Management Systems Can Help, or Challenge Single-Pilot Operators
May 9, 2016
While a flight management system (FMS) is designed to make things easier for a pilot, it can also make flying more difficult. An FMS helps a pilot keep track of where they are, fuel burn, weather and traffic conditions and more, but, "if you're so overly focused on how to do the FMS, it takes away a lot of your time from flying the airplane and managing it," said pilot Long Nguyen. Also, he said, FMS can vary from airplane to airplane, so pilots must take the time to familiarize themselves with a system before take-off. Learn more about FMS in this week's NBAA Flight Plan, sponsored by Jet Quest. NBAA Flight Plan podcast
Podcast: Training Critical to Avoiding Runway Excursions
May 2, 2016
Disaster can strike quickly in an aircraft, and solid training can be the key to avoiding disaster – especially when it comes to takeoffs. "The decision to go is almost always the correct decision to make versus the abort decision," said Dann Runik, executive director of Advanced Training Programs at FlightSafety International. "The survivability data is on the side of those who decide to go." NBAA Safety Committee member Ben Kohler, who heads up the Technical Excellence Working Group, added that most emergencies will happens so fast there's no time to think. "When you do make the decision to continue the take off or reject, muscle memory is critical, and that comes from good training," he said. Listen to this week's NBAA Flight Plan podcast, sponsored by JetQuest, for more on avoiding runway excursions. NBAA Flight Plan podcast
FAA, NBAA Recognize Advances, Opportunities to Improve Safety
March 31, 2016
NBAA's Chief Operating Officer Steve Brown and other industry leaders participated in the FAA's annual General Aviation Safety Summit March 31 in Washington, DC, where Brown reemphasized the need to use data to address current limitations in business aviation training and operations. "The FAA's General Aviation Safety Summit is an excellent opportunity for industry and government to take the community's safety pulse and focus attention on the safety priorities that various industry groups have determined for the general aviation industry," said Brown. Read more about the fatigue management guide.
Updated Business Aviation Fatigue Management Guide Endorsed by ICAO
March 22, 2016
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) recently endorsed a business aviation fatigue management guide that contains recommendations originally made by NBAA and the Flight Safety Foundation. "We are pleased that ICAO has endorsed this comprehensive guide, which now provides a global guide for best practices addressing fatigue in business aviation," said Doug Carr, NBAA vice president of regulatory and international affairs. Read more about the fatigue management guide.
FAA Proposes New Part 23 Airworthiness Certification Standards
March 14, 2016
The FAA is proposing to revamp the certification process for small aircraft, moving away from prescriptive design requirements and instead instituting a new system of performance-based airworthiness standards. The notice of proposed rulemaking replaces the current weight and propulsion classifications of small airplane regulations with both performance- and risk-based standards for aircraft weighing less than 19,000 pounds and seating 19 or fewer passengers. The goal of the NPRM is to reduce certification costs while increasing safety. Learn more.
Tools Available to Help Operators Quantify, Mitigate Fatigue Hazards
March 1, 2016
Fatigue mitigation, which has been an NBAA Safety Committee Top Safety Focus Area, continues to be a challenge for on-demand flight operations. However, Daniel Mollicone, CEO of Pulsar Informatics, said there are a number of tools that flight departments can use to reduce the hazards of fatigue. Mollicone will address this topic at the 61st annual Business Aviation Safety Summit, set for May 5 and 6 in Austin, TX. Learn more.
MU2 Safety Seminars to Be Held in April
Feb. 24, 2016
Mitsubishi MU-2 owners, operators and prospective buyers are invited to participate in the 2016 series of safety seminars called PROP – the Pilot's Review of Proficiency. The seminars will be held in three cities – Dallas, Tucson and Cincinnati – during the month of April, offering discussions on operations, safety, maintenance and airspace considerations. "PROP provides a forum for subjects that are picked by owners and operators in our annual survey," said Patrick Cannon, president of Turbine Aircraft Services in Addison, TX. The seminars started in 1982 to improve the safety record of the MU-2. Learn more about PROP 2016.
NBAA Offering Guide on Runway Excursion Prevention
Feb. 18, 2016
The NBAA Safety Committee has produced a new guide to help flight departments reduce the risks of runway excursions, a common type of accident in business aviation. The guide – Reducing Business Aviation Runway Excursions – explains how to identify potential causes of runway excursions and how to lessen those risks, beginning with an assessment of a department’s risk exposure. “The NBAA guide is an easy-to-read document that provides all of the information in one place, so it gives pilots and flight departments a handy tool they can use to scrub their operations to improve safety,” said Ben Kohler, head of the NBAA Safety Committee’s Technical Excellence Working Group. Read more about the new guide and download it today.
Some Countries Requiring Mosquito Treatment for Business Aircraft in Wake of Zika Virus
Feb. 16, 2016
As the mosquito-borne Zika virus spreads worldwide, some health and aviation authorities have begun targeting business aircraft to be treated with insecticide – similar to requirements that have been in place for commercial aircraft arriving from certain points of origin. The most prominent to date is Italy, which has reported several recent cases of the Zika virus affecting people who returned from trips to South America and the Caribbean. Other countries taking precautions include: Costa Rica, China, Russia, Australia and New Zealand.Read more about concerns surrounding the Zika virus.
Engaging Employees is Key to Workplace Safety, Expert Says
Jan. 27, 2016
Companies – including those in business aviation – can improve their safety culture by treating employees as partners, rather than subordinates, and giving them a seat at the table in the decisions that affect them, according to Dr. John Izzo, an expert in corporate leadership and employee engagement. Creating a safer environment also requires that individual employees "step up," by taking responsibility for their work and not making excuses, said Izzo, who will discuss how to create highly engaging, positive workplaces when he speaks at NBAA's Leadership Conference, Feb. 22 to 24 in San Antonio, TX. Learn more.
Regional Events Help Educate Members on Aviation Safety Issues
Jan. 7, 2016
Several regional business aviation groups – including those in California, Washington, DC and Chicago – have scheduled aviation safety days this spring, as a means of highlighting the importance of safety to the business aviation community. "Aviation safety days are an excellent tool for education and raising organizational awareness concerning important aviation safety issues," said Steve Hadley, NBAA's director of regional programs. "NBAA encourages these events as a way to increase personal and organizational vigilance while helping improve safety practices and procedures." Read more about upcoming safety events around the country.
General Aviation Airports Included in FAA's Runway Incursion Mitigation Inventory
Dec. 22, 2015
Several popular general aviation airports may participate in a new FAA Runway Incursion Mitigation (RIM) program that will provide funding for the mitigation of runway incursions at facilities that have complex runway-taxiway geometry. There are 77 airports in the inventory, several with more than one frequent point of incursion. "We commend the FAA for leading this important national undertaking," said Peter Korns, NBAA’s manager of operations. Learn more about the FAA's RIM program.
NBAA Takes Next Step to Collaborate With NTSB to Learn From Fatal 2014 Accident
Dec. 11, 2015
NBAA provided its initial response plan to the NTSB recommendation that calls for NBAA to work with business aviation flight operations quality assurance groups to analyze existing data for compliance with required pre-departure flight control checks. The association’s plan calls for the creation of a project team to conduct this analysis and produce a report with its results. Interested individuals are invited to volunteer by Dec. 21. Learn more about NBAA’s response to the NTSB recommendation.
NBAA Safety Committee Conducting Risk Assessment Survey
Dec. 8, 2015
NBAA's Safety Committee is reaching out to all business aviation personnel for participation in its 2016 Risk Assessment Survey. And this year, the group is making an extra effort to reach out to single-pilot operators, as well as dual-pilot operators who may not function in a traditional flight department arrangement. "Looking at the responses we received last year, we could see that a lot of them came from larger, more mature flight departments," said NBAA Safety Committee member Paul Ratte. "While that's certainly great, and we want that to continue, we'd also love to see some more responses from smaller business aviation operations." Take part in the 2016 Risk Assessment Survey.
NTSB Safety Seminar to Focus on ATC in Washington, DC Airspace
Nov. 24, 2015
NBAA is encouraging business aircraft pilots who fly in airspace near Washington, DC to attend an upcoming NTSB safety seminar focusing on air traffic control and general aviation. The event will be held Dec. 12 at the agency's training center in Ashburn, VA. The free seminar will provide an opportunity to hear from local FAA air traffic controllers about policies and procedures necessary to navigate the complex airspace around the Washington, DC terminal area. "Every pilot can benefit from better understanding local procedures and learning more efficient ways to navigate complex and busy airspace in which they regularly fly," said Doug Carr, NBAA's vice president of regulatory and international affairs. Learn more about the NTSB seminar.
Alone in the Cockpit - A Video about Loss of Control Inflight
Nov. 16, 2015
With loss of control in flight (LOCI) accidents resulting in more fatalities in business and commercial operations than any other category of accident over the last decade, reducing LOCI is a priority of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and aviation professional organizations across the globe. The NBAA Safety Committee Single Pilot Safety Working Group produced this video and story of John, a single owner-pilot who finds himself in a loss of control situation. Watch the video.
Five Questions for Incoming NBAA Safety Committee Chairman Steve Charbonneau
Nov. 10, 2015
Steve Charbonneau, incoming chairman of the NBAA Safety Committee recently outlined his priorities for the committee, saying its mission is to promote safety as "the cornerstone value" of business aviation. "Our primary value lies in our safety leadership role. Our committee is not only comprises talented safety leaders and experts; it has the ability to represent the Membership with all of the other stakeholders concerned with business aviation safety," he said. "We work with our partners to identify and develop the NBAA Top Safety Focus Areas, and we coordinate and influence action concerning those issues." Learn more about the NBAA Safety Committee.
Leadership Survey Reveals the Year's Top Business Aviation Safety Concerns
Nov. 9, 2015
The NBAA Safety Committee's Risk Assessment Team this year transformed its annual Top Safety Focus Areas into data-driven project by launching the first-ever Business Aviation Leadership Safety Survey. Intended to be an annual exercise, the 2015 survey targeted a diverse group of business aviation leaders to gather their opinions on safety practices, perceptions and concerns. NBAA found that while 81 percent of respondents rated the safety culture in their flight organizations to be excellent or very good, they also identified several top areas of concern for business aviation safety, including fatigue and approach-and-landing risks. The 2016 survey will be launched later this month, but in the meantime, operators can review a report on the 2015 survey results.
Procedural Non-Compliance: Learning the Markers and Mitigating the Risks
Oct. 30, 2015
Studies and safety audit data show that flight crews intentionally deviating from standard operating procedures make, on average, three times more errors. They also mismanage more errors and find themselves in more undesirable aircraft situations. However, flight crews that learn to recognize the markers of procedural non-compliance can correct unprofessional behavior before it leads to a deviation from standard operating procedures. NBAA's Safety Committee has developed a new resource to help operators learn the markers and mitigate the risks of procedural non-compliance. Review the safety resource.
Eye-Opening Information About Sleep
Oct. 26, 2015
One of the hottest topics in business aviation is how to balance a day of flying with the need for much-needed rest. Dr. Steven Altchuler, from the aerospace medicine team at the Mayo Clinic, has several recommendations to help flight crews adjust to work hours that often extend beyond 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For example, "Ideally you want to set your watch and you want your body to live on that watch time wherever the sun happens to be at any point in time," he said. Learn more in this week's NBAA Flight Plan podcast.NBAA Flight Plan podcast
Technology, Situational Awareness Key to Reducing Loss of Control Accidents
Oct. 19, 2015
A recent forum held by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) focused on the various factors behind what presiding board member Earl Weener termed "the single biggest threat to general aviation in the United States" – loss of control (LOC) accidents. "Since 2008, in the United States, almost 3,000 people have died in fixed-wing general aviation crashes. And almost half of those deaths involved loss of control," said Weener. "Not every crash is preventable... but many, many are." Loss of control is on the NTSB's "Most Wanted List" of safety improvements, and NBAA's Safety Committee identified LOC as one of its Top Safety Focus Areas for 2015. Read more about the NTSB forum on preventing loss of control accidents.
Bolen: Business Aviation Safety is Cooperative, Ongoing Effort
Oct. 9, 2015
Addressing participants last week at the opening session of the 2015 Bombardier Safety Standdown, NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen said that aviation safety isn't the responsibility of just one manager or department. "For our safety efforts to be most effective, a safety focus must be engrained in the work of all vocations within business aviation," he noted. Just as aviation safety is a cooperative effort for everyone – from pilots and cabin crew to schedulers, dispatchers and maintenance technicians – its effectiveness is enhanced through cooperation beyond individual flight departments and associations. Read more of Bolen's comments from the Bombardier Safety Standdown.
Presentation Proposals Sought for Business Aviation Safety Summit
Sept. 25, 2015
NBAA and the Flight Safety Foundation have issued a call for papers for the 61st annual Business Aviation Safety Summit (BASS), which is scheduled for May 5 and 6, 2016 in Austin, TX. BASS is a forum for the examination of safety matters that are top-of-mind for business aviation operators. Among the suggested topics for the next summit are: fitness for duty, recruiting new pilots and procedural non-compliance by business aircraft operators. The deadline for submission of abstracts is Oct. 5. Read more about BASS.
FAA Asks Operators to Increase Safety Margins When Landing on Wet Runways
Sept. 22, 2015
A recent FAA Safety Alert for Operators (SAFO) emphasizes the need for flight crews to take a conservative approach when landing on water-slickened surfaces, going beyond the manufacturer's published landing distances and advisory data, and even the agency's own prior guidance on the matter. Last year, the FAA published Advisory Circular 91-79A, which offered information to assist pilots with identifying, understanding and mitigating the risk factors that lead to runway overruns on landing. That was followed by a SAFO calling on turbojet aircraft operators to add a margin of at least 15 percent above the manufacturer's published dry-runway landing distances when landing on wet runways. Read more about the FAA SAFO.
Operators Should Review New, Official Icing Holdover Times
Aug. 14, 2015
Ice and snow may be the last thing on your mind during the summer, but cold weather and icing conditions will be here before you know it. Now is a good time to prepare for safe winter flying and review the FAA's recently issued 2015-2016 Holdover Times and Allowance Guidance. Holdover time is the estimated period for which anti-icing or deicing fluid will prevent the accumulation of ice, snow or frost on the aircraft. “Several factors should be considered when determining what type of deicing or anti-icing procedure you should follow, including aircraft size and type, current and forecasted weather and your planned operation,” said Peter Korns, NBAA's operations project manager. Read more about holdover times.
New FAA Video Promotes Bird Strike Reporting
July 15, 2015
The FAA has released a new video to encourage reporting of aircraft collisions with birds and other wildlife. The video, titled the "2015 Wildlife Hazard Management and Strike Reporting Update," explains how strike reporting helps reduce wildlife hazards at airports. Gary Cooke, who chairs NBAA's Bird Strike Working Group, said that business aviation is often more vulnerable to bird strikes. "Business aviators often operate high-performance aircraft into and out of many rural and non-certified airports, and many of these airports lack a wildlife hazard management plan that helps to mitigate the risks to aviation," he said. Read more about wildlife strike reporting.
NBAA Joins with FAA, Others in Fly Safe Campaign
June 17, 2015
The FAA recently joined with 16 general aviation organizations and stakeholders, including NBAA, to launch the "Fly Safe" national safety campaign to educate pilots about factors contributing to accidents and methods for avoiding them. The campaign will run through December, with a new safety topic highlighted each month on the FAA website. Its focus areas were determined from the work of the GA Joint Steering Committee (GAJSC) – on which NBAA serves – following analysis of fatal accidents and the development of safety recommendations. Read more about the Fly Safe campaign.
First-Ever NBAA Alaska Safety Workshop Addresses Needs of Local Operators
May 11, 2015
NBAA Chief Operating Officer Steve Brown and NBAA Northwest Region Representative Kristi Ivey were among the business aviators in Alaska for the Association's first-ever Alaska Business Aviation Safety Workshop at Landmark Aviation in Anchorage on May 1. "We asked our Members in Alaska what NBAA could do in terms of effective outreach," said Ivey, in describing NBAA's continuing work to understand how best to support the industry in the state. "Again and again, we heard they wanted a safety event." In addition to safety discussions, the workshop included vital information on border crossings between the U.S. and Canada – crossings that are quite frequent for operators in Alaska, among other topics. Listen to this week's NBAA Flight Plan podcast for more on NBAA's Alaska Safety Workshop.
Business Aviation Safety Summit Coming This Month
May 4, 2015
In an operational environment that has seen vast improvements over the past half-century, where will business aviation turn to continue to improve flight safety? The answer may be found in the upcoming Flight Safety Foundation Business Aviation Safety Summit (BASS), which takes place May 13 and 14 in Weston, FL. NBAA jointly produces the annual safety summit, and Association Members will speak on a number of BASS panels, including NBAA Safety Committee Member Dr. Quay Snyder, who will discuss fitness for duty, and Safety Committee Chairman Steve Charbonneau, who will address the Aviation Safety Information and Analysis Sharing program. Listen to this week's NBAA Flight Plan podcast for more on BASS.
NTSB's Latest Safety Alerts Draw Lessons from GA Accident Reports
April 16, 2015
The need for general aviation pilots to remain vigilant while operating aircraft immediately following maintenance is among the lessons highlighted in four safety alerts issued earlier this month by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). "Although these alerts primarily target recreational general aviation pilots, they also offer the opportunity for professional flight departments and their crew members to pause, reflect on these examples, and glean the information that may be appropriate and applicable to them," Mark Larsen, NBAA senior manager of safety and flight operations. Read more about the latest NTSB safety alerts.
AOPA Offering New Airplane Transition Training Course
April 3, 2015
The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association is offering a free course aimed at helping pilots transition safely into unfamiliar aircraft. The course, which is titled "Transitioning to Other Airplanes," is available online. The General Aviation Joint Steering Committee recommended the development of a training course as a result of several years of safety analysis. Peter Korns, NBAA's operations project manager, served on the committee's Loss of Control Working Group, which called for improved aircraft transition training after examining a number of fatal accidents in which pilots were flying aircraft or using equipment they were not familiar with. "Transitioning to new or unfamiliar aircraft or equipment can present a number of challenges for pilots, even those with many years and hours of flying experience," Korns said. Read more about the new course.
Proposed Flight-Tracking, Recorder Requirements in Focus at Recent ICAO Conference
Feb. 10, 2015
Earlier this month at an International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) safety conference, attendees discussed the possibility of requiring aircraft operators to track their airplanes and outfit them with automatically deployable flight recorders , but the proposed regulations, as currently written, will not affect the vast majority of business aircraft operators. High-profile airline mishaps over the past five years, combined with the July 2014 downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine and other safety issues, prompted ICAO to convene the second High-Level Safety Conference (HLSC2015), which was held Feb. 2 to 5 in Montreal, Canada. Read more about the ICAO conference.
NBAA Webinar on Jan. 28 Examines Impact of Leadership on Safety Culture
Jan. 8, 2015
A flight department's safety culture hinges more on how its leaders handle people issues than on the policies and procedures that make up its safety management system (SMS), said Bob Hobbi, president and CEO of ServiceElements. As a co-chair of NBAA's upcoming Leadership Conference, Feb. 24 to 26 in Tucson, AZ, Hobbi will discuss "The Impact of Leadership on Safety Culture" in a live webinar with Chris Broyhill, transportation director for Exelon Business Services, on Jan. 28 at 1 p.m. (EST). "If you don't have the leadership that supports it, SMS is just a program, and it won't do much for you," said Broyhill. Learn more about the webinar and register today.
Ebola Update Webinar Slated for Jan. 14
Dec. 31, 2014
While the immediate Ebola threat in the United States may have subsided, several countries in West Africa are still struggling to cope with the deadly disease, and flight departments conducting operations in that region must still take precautions. For those who missed the informative Ebola education session held at NBAA's convention in October, NBAA will be offering an Ebola update webinar on Wednesday, Jan. 14, starting at noon (EST). The one-hour session is titled "Best Practices: Ebola and Business Aviation." Presenters are scheduled to include Dr. Paulo M. Alves, vice president of aviation and maritime health for MedAire; Dr. Quay Snyder, president & CEO of Aviation Medicine Advisory Service; and Michael Ott, aviation safety manager at Phoenix Air Group, the company whose specially-equipped Gulfstream transported Ebola-infected Americans back to the U.S. for treatment. Register for the webinar today.
No Change in FAA Drug and Alcohol Testing Rates for 2015
Dec. 18, 2014
The FAA has determined that the random drug and alcohol testing rates for the aviation sector will remain unchanged in 2015. According to a recent FAA announcement, the minimum testing rates will continue to be 25 percent of safety-sensitive employees for drugs, and 10 percent of safety-sensitive workers for alcohol. "The FAA's announcement is good news for aviation safety," said Brian Koester, NBAA's project manager of operations. "The low positive test rates for drugs and alcohol underscore the aviation industry's commitment to preventing accidents and injuries resulting from the misuse of drugs or alcohol." Learn more.
FAA Issues Safety Alert on Flap Configurations
Dec. 11, 2014
A recent FAA safety alert urges flight departments to raise awareness of aircraft misconfigurations on takeoff with an emphasis on flap position. The Aviation Safety Information Analysis and Sharing program recently concluded an analysis of flap misconfiguration events. While such misconfigurations are rare, they do occur. "It is imperative that flightcrews exercise discipline in the use and the execution of operational checklists to prevent aircraft misconfigurations on takeoff," according to the FAA. Read more about the safety alert.
NBAA Advocates for Business Aviation in Work With NTSB
Dec. 5, 2014
For years, NBAA has represented the business aviation community in working collaboratively with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to help enhance aviation safety. That tradition continued on Dec. 3, when an NBAA delegation spent several hours at NTSB's headquarters in Washington, DC. Some 20 representatives from the Association toured NTSB's upgraded facilities, including NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen; Doug Carr, NBAA's vice president of regulatory and international affairs; Mark Larsen, NBAA's senior manager of safety and flight operations; and members of NBAA's Board of Directors and Associate Member Advisory Council. "NBAA maintains regular communication with NTSB staff, and the crux of those conversations involve finding common ground and working together on all aspects affecting the safety of our Members," said Larsen. Read more.
NBAA's Carr: Aviation Regulators Worldwide Must Use Data to Improve Safety, Not to Penalize
Nov. 21, 2014
Doug Carr, NBAA's vice president of regulatory and international affairs, told attendees at a recent European aviation event that pilots and other aviation professionals must have confidence that operators and safety regulators will use safety reports and other information to improve safety and not to penalize individuals. Carr spoke at the Central Europe Private Aviation (CEPA) CEPA EXPO 2014: Business Growth Through Aviation, which was held Nov. 19 to 20 in Prague, Czech Republic. During the event, Carr also discussed a number of other safety topics, including safety data analysis, a review of 2013 business aviation accidents and the merits of developing a positive safety culture. Read more about Carr's presentation at CEPA EXPO 2014.
NBAA Access Committee Contributes to Newly Unveiled Flight Path Monitoring Guide
Nov. 13, 2014
Ineffective pilot monitoring of flight paths has been cited as a factor in a number of aviation accidents, so the Active Pilot Monitoring Working Group, a joint FAA/industry effort, was established in 2012 to study monitoring strategies and create practical guidelines to improve the effectiveness of monitoring. The group, which included Rich Boll and Nat Iyengar from NBAA's Access Committee, recently released its Practical Guide for Improving Flight Path Monitoring, which includes 20 recommendations to improve pilot monitoring. Iyengar urged all aircraft operators to review the report and implement the recommendations in their own operations. Read more about the report.
NBAA's Doug Carr to Promote Safety at European Aviation Event
Oct. 27, 2014
Doug Carr, NBAA's vice president of regulatory and international affairs, will discuss current trends in business aviation safety during the upcoming Central Europe Private Aviation Convention (CEPA EXPO 2014). This year's meeting, titled "Business Growth Through Aviation," is slated for Nov. 19 and 20 in Prague, Czech Republic. "We appreciate the opportunity to attend international regional events like CEPA EXPO 2014," said Carr. "This type of event provides a great venue to share with attendees the latest developments in business aviation safety." Learn more about Carr's presentation at CEPA EXPO.
FAA Clarifies Stance on Ebola Virus
Oct. 13, 2014
With the Ebola virus a possible threat to those in the aviation industry, as well as the traveling public, the FAA has clarified its authority and provided guidance as part of its effort to protect the health and welfare of flight crews and passengers. According to the FAA, any decision to restrict flights between the United States and other countries due to public health and disease concerns would be an interagency decision. So far, both the World Health Organization and the CDC have not recommended general travel restrictions to or from countries affected by Ebola. Read more about the FAA's statement on Ebola.
Bolen to Annual Standdown Attendees: Keep Safety Priority One
Oct. 9, 2014
NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen told attendees at the 18th annual Bombardier Safety Standdown held last week in Wichita, KS, that while business aviation's safety record is excellent, it is not perfect and everyone in the industry should continue striving to improve it further. "As part of my responsibilities at NBAA, I go around country advocating for business aviation, telling people who we are and why we are important," Bolen told attendees. "A key part of that story always begins with our commitment to safety. We have an excellent record, but it is not perfect. Because it is not perfect, we do events like this." Read more of Bolen's remarks from the Bombardier Safety Standdown.
Single-Pilot Operations a Top Safety Focus Area
Oct. 6, 2014
Because owner-pilots wear so many hats, single-pilot operations are among the 2014 Top Safety Focus Areas of the NBAA Safety Committee. "The safety record is not as good as it could be" for single-pilot operations, according to NBAA Safety Committee member Jim Lara, an ATP-rated pilot with 12,000 hours as pilot-in-command, who has spent much of his flight time as a single pilot. As the committee noted on its Top Safety Focus Area web page, "Owner-flown aircraft face unique challenges: often a lack of guidance, financial support, and clear procedures allow the pilot to use personal discretion without a set standard to measure against." Listen to this week's NBAA Flight Plan podcast for more on single-pilot operations safety.
Addressing Talent Pipeline Challenges in Business Aviation
Sept. 22, 2014
The NBAA Safety Committee has identified concerns about the talent pipeline in business aviation as one of its 2014 Top Safety Focus Areas, as flight departments around the country look to attract more young people to careers in business aviation and keep them in these jobs. "My first reaction is that these [issues] are definitely distractors for flight departments," said David Ryan, director of flight operations for MedImpact and secretary of the NBAA Safety Committee. In addition to the daily challenges of trying to meet the operational needs of the department, he said operators will have a hard time dealing with employees who spend two to five years becoming familiar with the operation only to leave for another job. Listen to this week's NBAA Flight Plan podcast for more on attracting and keeping talented people in the business aviation industry.
FAA Outlines Support for Angle-of-Attack Indicators in General Aviation Aircraft
Aug. 27, 2014
A recent Information for Operators bulletin issued by the FAA emphasized the agency's support for the voluntary installation of angle-of-attack (AOA) indicators onboard general aviation aircraft, in conjunction with airspeed indicators and stall warning systems, as an important step toward reducing fatal inflight loss-of-control accidents caused by aerodynamic stalls. Doug Carr, NBAA's vice president for regulatory and international affairs, welcomed the availability of AOA indicators across a wider spectrum of general aviation. "It is our strongly held belief that greater available information, and the proper training for pilots to disseminate that information, will help pilots to avoid stalls," he said. Learn more about the FAA's bulletin on AOA indicators.
Preventing the Unintended Safety Consequences of Public Policy
Aug. 25, 2014
The government regulates the National Airspace System (NAS) with the intent of promoting safety, but what happens when the regulations themselves might adversely impact safety? NBAA's Safety Committee has named public policy as one of its top Safety Focus Areas, to bring attention to the unintended consequences legislative and regulatory actions may have on business aviation safety. "NBAA Members are totally focused on safety, and we don't want to see programs that might unintentionally encourage us to act against safety," said NBAA Vice President, government Affairs Dick Doubrava. Listen to this week's NBAA Flight Plan podcast for more on ensuring policy proposals don't interfere with business aviation safety.
NBAA Welcomes Congressional Letters of Support for Federal Contract Towers
Aug. 15, 2014
As Congress moves toward determining federal funding levels for fiscal year 2015, and begins work on FAA reauthorization legislation, aviation stakeholders are expressing renewed concerns about the preservation of 252 federal contract towers (FCTs). Lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate recently sent letters to FAA Administrator Michael Huerta reiterating congressional support for the program. Fifty-five senators signed a letter imploring Huerta to consider "all perspectives" in what appears to be an effort to streamline tower operations as the agency continues to deal with budget pressures. A similar letter, signed by 114 House lawmakers, reiterated the Senate's call for greater transparency from the FAA regarding its intentions for the contract tower program. Read more about the call to preserve FCTs.
Regional Business Aviation Groups Plan Summer Safety Events
July 15, 2014
Several regional business aviation groups are providing in-depth safety programming in the coming weeks. Georgia, Southern California and Tampa Bay are among the regional groups holding aviation safety education events over the summer, several of which are building up a strong annual tradition. Other opportunities will be available in Cincinnati, OH; Seattle, WA; San Diego, CA; and Atlanta, GA. Read more about summer aviation safety events.
Mastering Cockpit Technology Essential for Safe Operations
June 16, 2014
Flight management systems technologies, especially when newly adopted, can be major distractions for flight crews, cause runway incursions and lead to confusion in flight, according to the NBAA Safety Committee, which has named technology management as one of its 2014 Top Safety Focus Areas. &lduo;When pilots step into a new avionics suite, it’s not an evolution, it’s a transformation,” said Gray Stone Advisors Principal James Lara, a member of the NBAA Safety Committee. “In order to make that leap, you really need to have significant study and professional instruction to be competent and safe.” Listen to this week’s NBAA Flight Plan podcast for more on the importance of understanding cockpit technology.
FBI’s $10,000 Laser-Attack Reward Program Expanded Nationwide
June 11, 2014
The FBI will take nationwide a program that offers up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest of those who aim a laser at an aircraft. The reward is available for 90 days in all 56 FBI field offices. A test of the program in a dozen cities in February showed a 19 percent drop in “lasing” of aircraft in those areas, according to the bureau. Doug Carr, NBAA vice president, regulatory and international affairs, said, “We’re pleased to see the FBI expand this effective program to all airports after the successful initial public awareness campaign.” Read more about the FBI’s expanded laser attack reward program.
New International Standard for Business Aviation Ground Handling Launched
May 21, 2014
The International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) and the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) last week announced the creation of the International Standard for Business Aircraft Handling (IS-BAH), during EBACE2014. IS-BAH follows the structure of IBAC’s successful International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations program, and also leverages the NATA Safety 1st Ground Audit Program. "The IS-BAH program will help ensure registered ground handling organizations are conducting their operations under a set of standardized best practices," said Jim Cannon, IBAC's IS-BAO program director. "It will also help business aircraft operators using those facilities verify that the organization has incorporated SMS processes." Learn more about IS-BAH.
NBAA and the Association's Safety Committee Promoting a Positive Safety Culture
May 19, 2014
The NBAA Safety Committee lists what it calls a "positive safety culture" as one of its 2014 Top Safety Focus Areas, and it is actively developing materials and strategies to help Member Companies push forward in the creation and development of such a culture. "It's leadership accepting, encouraging and acknowledging the employees' decision to do the right thing," said NBAA Safety Committee member Bill Grimes, vice president of safety for CitationAir, a division of Textron. Listen to this week's NBAA Flight Plan podcast for more on developing a positive safety culture.
NBAA Safety Committee Working to Define Professionalism
April 28, 2014
Among the Top Safety Focus Areas listed by the NBAA Safety Committee, "professionalism" is often the most difficult to define. "That's exactly what the Professionalism Working Group has been focused on," said Marty Grier, Sr., maintenance manager at the Home Depot flight department and member of the NBAA Safety Committee. Listen to this week's NBAA Flight Plan podcast for more on the importance of maintaining professionalism.
NBAA's Free Webinar Will Help Operators Manage Weather Risk
April 24, 2014
New weather forecasting technologies and probabilistic weather information, which can help operators determine the risk of flying into thousands of airports worldwide, will be the topic of a free NBAA webinar taking place this week. "Managing Weather Risk" is set for 1 p.m. (EDT), on April 29, and NBAA Members can register for the session right up until start time. The one-hour webinar, sponsored by Jeppesen, is an opportunity for pilots, schedulers and dispatchers to learn how to look at the probabilities of a disruptive weather event at a particular airport and decide whether a flight there is worth the risk. Learn more about the webinar and register today.
FAA Launches Demo General Aviation Safety Program in Phoenix Airspace
April 15, 2014
A year-long study by the FAA will serve as a test bed for extending the benefits of safety trends analysis, through the use of flight data management tools already employed by many Part 121 and Part 135 operators, to general aviation pilots across the country. The GA Data Demonstration Project offers pilots operating within 40 nautical miles of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport the chance to submit flight data to the agency’s Aviation Safety Information Analysis and Sharing program. The newly formed General Aviation Issues Analysis Team will disseminate the aggregated data and make recommendations for improving operator safety. Team member Steve Charbonneau, vice chairman of the NBAA Safety Committee, called the project "a critical first step" toward greater collaboration between GA operators and the FAA to reduce accident rates. Learn more about the new safety program.
Fitness for Duty Vital to Successful Business Aviation Operations
April 14, 2014
Ensuring fitness for duty – physically, mentally, emotionally and cognitively – is one of the most important aspects of a pilot’s job, and so crucial that NBAA’s Safety Committee has listed it among its Top Safety Focus Areas. Committee members, working closely with the NTSB, FAA, safety experts and Members, will focus intently on various issues that fall under the term “fitness for duty,” providing the industry with information and guidelines for avoiding or mitigating the myriad of issues that can impact duty fitness. Listen to this week’s NBAA Flight Plan podcast for more on what it means to be fit for duty.
NTSB Urges Pilots to Check, Confirm Destination Airports
April 3, 2014
Following two well-publicized incidents within two months, the latest National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Safety Alert urges pilots to check and confirm their destination airport before committing to landing. NBAA encourages its members to review the recommendations presented in the alert, said Mark Larsen, senior manager of safety and flight operations, and to review and amend as necessary their standard operating procedures to incorporate the NTSB recommendations. Read more about the safety alert.
NBAA Safety Committee Sets Sights on New Focus Areas
March 31, 2014
Following the announcement earlier this year of the NBAA Safety Committee's 2014 Top Safety Focus Areas, the committee and its associated working groups are working to develop products, resources and tools to help Member Companies elevate safety standards and best practices within their operations. These efforts are being carefully designed within the construct of the 10 identified focus areas – issues within business aviation that committee members believe require greater attention and increased vigilance across all aspects of flight operations. Listen to this week's NBAA Flight Plan podcast for more on the series of podcasts and articles that will highlight each of the safety focus areas.
New Helicopter Regulations Aimed at Reducing Accidents
March 6, 2014
Focusing on four factors common to helicopter accidents – weather, loss of control, controlled flight into terrain/obstacles and night operations – the FAA recently published a final rule establishing new operational, training and equipment requirements among FAR Part 91, 120 and 135 specialized medical operations. The new requirements, which become effective on April 22, establish flight rules and enhance communication, training and on-board safety equipment requirements for helicopters. Air ambulance operations have come under increased public scrutiny from government officials, in the wake of 62 accidents and 125 fatalities between 1991 and 2010. Read more about the FAA’s new regulations.
FAA Issues Final Part 121 Rule on Personal Use of Electronic Devices
March 4, 2014
The FAA has issued a final rule, effective April 14, which prohibits FAR Part 121 flight crews from using "a personal wireless communications device or laptop computer for personal use while at their duty station on the flight deck while the aircraft is being operated." Though the FAA's rule does not directly impact business aircraft operations, NBAA and its Safety Committee remain strong advocates for better management of personal distractions and the elimination or reduction of associated risks. Read more about the FAA's final rule.
All Pilots Should Become Familiar With AOA Indicator
Feb. 12, 2014
Now that the FAA has streamlined the procedures for certification of angle of attack (AOA) indicators, the next step is to gain greater awareness of what information can be derived from them, said Tim Short, a flight instructor and former military pilot who now flies for ExpressJet. Instruction in AOA indicator use generally requires three to five hours in the cockpit, as well as some ground instruction. NBAA Flight Plan has the story.
NBAA Opposes FAA Proposal Removing Average Weight Figures
Feb. 3, 2014
NBAA last week submitted comments to the FAA on its draft version of Advisory Circular 120-27F, Aircraft Weight and Balance Control. This version of the advisory circular no longer contains provisions allowing operators the use of standard average passenger and baggage weights that the FAA has published in previous versions of this advisory circular, and which are used by business aviation operators. Learn more about NBAA’s comments to the FAA proposal.
NBAA Members Contribute to Safety Recommendations For FAA Regarding Automated Cockpits
Jan. 31, 2013
Technology and the associated automation play an increasingly important role in the cockpits of transport-category aircraft, and a joint FAA/industry working group, which included NBAA Members, recently published a final report that includes recommendations designed to mitigate the risks associated with automated cockpits. The report, titled “Operational Use of Flight Path Management Systems,” makes 18 recommendations that address its 28 findings based on worldwide data from accidents, incidents, normal operations and interviews with manufacturers, operators and training organizations. Read more about the FAA report.
NTSB’s 2014 'Most Wanted' List Includes Items That Apply to Business Aviation
Jan. 17, 2013
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released its "Most Wanted" list of transportation improvements for 2014, with three of the 10 focus areas having application to business aviation. Two of the priorities on the 2014 list – eliminating distractions caused by personal electronic devices and identifying and communicating hazardous weather to general aviation pilots – are areas addressed by NBAA's Safety Committee in its Top 10 safety focus areas, noted Committee Chairman Eric Barfield. "The Safety Committee has worked hard to communicate the importance of incorporating these safety practices into the goals and mission statements of Member Company flight departments," he added. Learn more about the NTSB's 'Most Wanted' list.
FAA Requests Comments on Draft of Weight and Balance Standards
Nov. 18, 2013
The FAA recently issued a new draft version of Advisory Circular 120-27, Weight and Balance Control, that is available for public review and comment until Dec. 7. This draft version removes the standard average passenger and baggage weight data that the FAA has previously provided, which many Part 91, 125 and 135 operators have utilized in lieu of actual weights of passengers and baggage. NBAA encourages Members to review and comment on the draft version. Review the draft Advisory Circular.
Required OSHA Training Offered in Nov. 20 Webinar
Nov. 14, 2013
NBAA will present a 90-minute webinar on Nov. 20 that will allow participants to satisfy mandatory Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) training requirements that go into effect on Dec. 1. Specifically, OSHA's new Hazard Communication Standard is designed to bring the U.S. into compliance with new international requirements for labeling and handling instructions related to hazardous materials. OSHA published the requirements in the Federal Register in March 2012. The webinar will begin at 1 p.m. EST, and the cost to participate is $49 per person. Learn more about the webinar.
Aviation Groups Urge Congress to Preserve Contract Towers in FY14
Nov. 1, 2013
Recognizing the importance of contract air traffic control towers in America's aviation system, NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen joined with 11 other aviation leaders this week in calling on members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees to include language in pending legislation to preserve the FAA contract tower program through fiscal year (FY) 2014. In an Oct. 28 letter sent to the lawmakers, Bolen and the other signatories urge the inclusion of language in H.R. 2610, the FY2014 Transportation, HUD, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, appropriating at least $140 million in guaranteed funding for the contract towers through FY2014, regardless of any subsequent actions towards passing a federal budget. Read more about the request to preserve contract towers.
NBAA Supports Annual Safety Standdown, NBAA Member Receives Prestigious Award
October 10, 2013
NBAA once again showed its support for Bombardier's Safety Standdown USA, which was recently held in Wichita, KS, with the participation of Doug Carr, the Association's vice president of safety, security, operations & regulation. "Safety Standdown is one of two must-attend business aviation safety events that NBAA supports every year. NBAA and Bombardier have enjoyed a long and positive relationship working together to promote aviation safety and professionalism," said Carr. "Safety Standdown isn't an academic seminar. The information provided at this event can be integrated into a flight department the minute attendees return home." Read more about the safety standdown.
Carr Represents NBAA at Regional Training Day Event in Colorado
October 5, 2013
Doug Carr, NBAA's vice president of safety, security, operations & regulation, represented NBAA last week at the Colorado Aviation Business Association's (CABA) Annual Fall Industry Training Event in Denver, CO. Carr introduced attendees to the NBAA Safety Committee Top 10 Safety Focus Areas, which the NBAA Safety Committee created to identify areas in need of additional attention from the business aviation community. "NBAA views local and regional organizations like CABA as critical to our safety efforts," said Carr. "Events like the CABA Annual Fall Industry Training Event provide the Association opportunities to interact with NBAA Members, which helps ensure the Association remains focused on issues that reflect the needs of business aviation." Read more about the training day.
'Behavioral Drift' Threatens the Safety of Flight Operations
September 9, 2013
When the NBAA Safety Committee put together its list of Top 10 safety concerns earlier this year, the potential threat of "deteriorating professionalism" was on the committee's radar. "In aviation, we all have a very defined set of procedures," explained committee member and CitationAir Vice President for Safety Bill Grimes. "As the established norms of an organization are eroded away, they're replaced by work-arounds that eventually set new standards. People start cutting corners to get the job done." Listen to this week's NBAA Flight Plan podcast for more on how to maintain professionalism in your organization.
NBAA Analyzing OSHA's Final Flight Attendant Workplace Regulations
August 30, 2013
The FAA on Aug. 26 issued a final policy on the application of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations to aircraft flight attendants. When the rule was proposed in Dec. 2012, NBAA along with the NBAA Flight Attendants Committee, developed comments raising several concerns and suggesting a more systemic and workable approach for business aircraft operators to respond to OSHA regarding workplace safety in the cabin. The ramifications of the final rule are unclear, but operators have six months to develop programs for complying with OSHA regulations, for conditions including noise and bloodborne pathogens. NBAA is studying the policy and will provide guidance to Members on meeting this timeframe. Learn more about OSHA regulation of flight attendant safety and view NBAA's comments.
NBAA2013: Single-Pilot Safety Standdown Helps Prevent Accidents, Save Lives
August 6, 2013
Like any experienced pilot, Jeff Greenberg understands the ultimate value of aviation safety training and education is in the number of accidents prevented and lives saved. He took to the Internet this month to encourage members of the aviation groups to which he belongs, including the Citation Jet Pilots Owner Pilot Association, to participate in this year's Single-Pilot Safety Standdown. The all-day seminar, jointly sponsored by Cessna, will be held on Oct. 21, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Nevada, the day prior to the official opening of NBAA's Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA2013). Read more about the Single-Pilot Safety Standdown.
Business Aircraft Accident Rates Mixed in First Half of 2013
July 29, 2013
The first half of 2013 saw a mixed record when it came to business aviation safety, with accident rates down, but an increase in fatalities, according to the latest report from aviation safety experts Robert E. Breiling Associates Inc. The U.S. business jet fleet experienced seven accidents during the first six months of the year, compared to 10 during the same period in 2012. However, the number of fatal accidents increased to three resulting in nine fatalities, compared with two fatal accidents and nine fatalities during the first half of 2012. Read more about accidents rates in and outside the U.S. for the first half of 2013.
New NTSB Videos Focus on Five Foes of GA Safety
July 22, 2013
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has published the first of five planned general aviation (GA) safety videos on its YouTube channel, and each of the short presentations focuses on one of five leading causes of GA accidents. The videos, part of a two-step offensive that began in March 2013 with five safety alerts, offer strategies and resources to help pilots and mechanics better identify and reduce the risks involved. Learn more about the top GA safety risks.
New OSHA Regulations Require Widespread Training of Personnel
July 19, 2013
New regulations from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandate the training of thousands of flight department employees by Dec. 1 to educate them on how to identify and protect themselves from hazardous chemicals used in the workplace. OSHA has revised its Hazard Communication Standard to bring the U.S. into compliance with the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals. The new standards incorporate new labeling elements and a standardized format for safety data sheets, which were formerly known as material safety data sheets. Read more about the new OSHA regulations.
NBAA, Others Join With FAA to Warn Pilots of Potential Impairment From Common Medications
July 18, 2013
NBAA joined with other aviation groups and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in an open letter to pilots that includes guidelines they should use to determine whether they are fit to fly. "Industry and government both share concerns that some general aviation pilots are taking impairing medications while operating aircraft without fully understanding their adverse effects," read the letter signed by FAA Administrator Michael Huerta, NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen, and leaders of 10 other aviation groups. Get tips on how pilots can combat potential problems with medication.
Could Technology Be a Hindrance to Your Operation?
July 1, 2013
When Jim Lara, secretary of NBAA's Safety Committee, had a new up-to-date avionics suite installed in his Baron last December, he faced a task even more daunting than selecting, installing and paying for the glass cockpit components: learning how to operate them. "I'm a pretty inquisitive guy and I'm pretty patient. But the documentation for the system that we put in our aircraft was 1,200 pages. That's a lot of reading," said the principal of Gray Stone Advisors, based in Knoxville, TN. Learn More.
Task Saturation: How Much Is Too Much?
July 17, 2013
Task saturation has been named by the NBAA Safety Committee to its list of the top 10 threats to business aviation safety. "Task saturation is having too much to do without enough time, tools or resources to do it," said Eric Barfield, director of operations at Hope Aviation Insurance and chairman of the NBAA Safety Committee. "That can lead to an inability to focus on what really matters." Instances of task saturation in business aviation are on the rise, he noted, possibly as a lingering effect of the recent recession. Listen to this week's NBAA Flight Plan podcast for more on task saturation and how to avoid it.
FAA Follows Recent Industry Safety Meeting With Letter Offering Summer Tips
May 23, 2013
As pilots across the United States prepare for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend – and, with it, the unofficial start to the summertime flying season – Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Michael Huerta made a personal appeal to the general aviation (GA) community to stay safe, and “make sure you're ready – really ready – to fly.” Review Huerta's letter to the GA community.
FAA Meets With NBAA, Other Groups About Cutting Accident Rates
May 20, 2013
With better training practices and cockpit instrumentation, the general aviation (GA) community saw accident rates fall to record lows over the last decade. But to the frustration of operators and regulators, rates have not continued their downward trend. To stay ahead of this trend, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is meeting with NBAA and other organizations included in a General Aviation Coalition to refocus on safety efforts. The FAA's goal is a 10-percent reduction in the accident rate. In 2012, the rate for all general aviation was 1.1 accidents per 100,000 flight hours. The agency's goal is to reach 1.0 accidents per 100,000 flight hours by 2018. Read more about efforts to improve safety.
Safety a Major Focus at EBACE2013
May 15, 2013
As business aircraft operators gather at the Palexpo Convention Center in Geneva, Switzerland from May 21 to 23 for the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE2013), safety will be a major focus of EBACE programming. On Monday, May 20, the EBACE Safety Workshop will provide critical safety information corresponding directly to human performance. "Eight out of 10 aviation accidents are caused not by mechanical failures, but by human failures. This workshop focuses specifically on human performance issues," said Brian Humphries, president of the European Business Aviation Association, which along with NBAA, hosts EBACE. Read more or listen to this week's NBAA Flight Plan podcast.
Mayors Echo Congressional Call For Keeping Towers Open
May 6, 2013
Community leaders from around the country have written FAA Administrator Michael Huerta to ask that he reconsider closing air traffic control towers at airports in their communities. The letter, released last week by the Alliance for Aviation Across America, was supported by 70 officials who wanted "to express our deep concerns about the FAA's current plans to close air traffic control towers at our community airports in order to comply with sequestration, or mandatory budget cuts to agencies. The closing of these towers will have a significant impact on our economy and local communities." The mayors and community leaders said the closure of control towers would not only impact the economies of their cities, but also would set back critical services. Read more or listen to this week's NBAA Flight Plan podcast.
EBACE Safety Workshop to Address Human Factors in Reducing Accidents
May 2, 2013
A one-day seminar before the upcoming European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE2013) will challenge common perceptions about industry safety and best practices, and provide critical information and training related to human performance factors. The EBACE Safety Workshop will take place on May 20, the day before EBACE2013 launches at the Palexpo convention center in Geneva, Switzerland. The EBACE Safety Workshop will include sessions presented by experts on the various subjects and safety methodologies, offering their insights, knowledge, critical information and training directly related to human performance factors. Read more about the EBACE Safety Workshop.
FAA: Contract Air Traffic Control Tower Closures to Begin April 7
March 29, 2013
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has announced its schedule to end funding to 149 federal contract towers (FCTs) in three phases over the next six weeks, with the first set of closures to occur April 7. According to the FAA, 24 FCTs will lose federal funding on that date, followed by 46 additional facilities on April 21. The remaining towers on the list will be shuttered on May 5. FAA officials took into account some of the concerns raised by NBAA and other stakeholders, as 40 towers originally slated for closure will now remain open. Read more about the upcoming FCT closures.
Planning Is Key for Handling In-Flight Emergencies
March 25, 2013
With more than 600 million flight operations worldwide annually, and an increase in medical tourism, flight crews must be prepared for medical emergencies, according to Paulo Alves, president-elect of the Airlines Medical Directors Association and vice president of aviation health for MedAire. "This is a dynamic situation," Alves said. In 2012 alone, MedAire responded to more than 24,000 in-flight medical emergencies on commercial, charter, business and other types of flights. Listen to this week's edition of the NBAA Flight Plan podcast to learn more about responding to in-flight medical emergencies.
EASA Revises Safety Guidance on Volcanic Ash Clouds
March 22, 2013
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) recently issued updated guidance for flying in airspace contaminated with volcanic ash. The European Union authority revised its previous May 2011 safety information bulletin, taking a more assertive stance after aircraft manufacturers expressed concerns about potential ash-related engine or other aircraft damage. "Manufacturers have determined that aircraft engines are by far the most susceptible aircraft parts to volcanic ash," according to the most recent EASA guidance. Read more about the new safety guidance.
Operating Into a Non-Towered Airport? Tips and Tools Are Available
March 18, 2013
As the aviation community confronts the closure of ATC towers resulting from sequestration, some business aviation pilots may find themselves in a circumstance that they've trained for time and again, yet may also find unfamiliar: operating to and from airports they've flown to hundreds of times before, but now without an operational tower. A new white paper from NBAA offers tips and resources that could be useful if flying into a non-towered airport is part of your next mission. Review the tips here.
NTSB Issues New Safety Alerts on Decision-Making and Risk Management
March 14, 2013
On March 12, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued five new safety alerts for general aviation, with two focused on decision-making and risk management for pilots and maintenance technicians. “We think that, in particular, these two NTSB safety alerts can be helpful for small business flight departments and light business aircraft members of NBAA,” said Doug Carr, the Association's vice president, safety, security, operations & regulation. “They don’t always have a support mechanism for difficult safety-driven decisions. For them, the entire flight or maintenance responsibility relies on one person." Read more about the new safety alerts.
Solar Activity Peak in Mid-2013 Could Impact Aviation
March 8, 2013
Experts say solar activity could reach its cyclical peak in the second half of 2013, causing a possible increase in space-weather-related events. Space weather refers to solar activity like geomagnetic or solar radiation storms that can affect the performance of certain aerial navigation systems, including ground stations and satellites. Solar activity runs in 11- to 14-year cycles, and "space-weather forecasting is still in its infancy, so we don't always have much warning for specific events," said Emilien Robert, an expert on space weather with Eurocontrol, the European organization for the safety of air navigation. "But we do know that the probability of a special event happening is higher during this period." Read more about the coming space weather peak.
Flight Safety Foundation Promotes Global Information Sharing
February 13, 2013
For years, operators in the U.S. have collected and used flight operations quality assurance (FOQA) data to improve safety. Now, the Flight Safety Foundation (FSF) has launched a new program to promote sharing aviation safety information derived from operational data – just like FOQA – worldwide. The program was announced in November 2012, and already organizations in Singapore, Indonesia, Brazil and some Caribbean countries have expressed interest in gathering this kind of data and sharing it with FSF. Read more about FSF’s program.
Mixed Picture for General Aviation Fatalities in 2012
February 4, 2013
Though U.S. business jets flown by full-time crew last year added a fourth year to their fatality-free run, a new preliminary analysis of business aviation accidents showed that the total number of business jet accidents inched up, according to Bob Breiling, of Robert E. Breiling & Associates. During the same period, the total number of U.S. turboprop accidents decreased, noted Breiling. Also recently released was the National Transportation Safety Board's preliminary statistics for 2011, which showed some marked improvements in business aviation safety. Read more of the latest safety statistics.
NBAA Weighs in on OSHA Proposals for Business Aircraft
January 28, 2013
NBAA submitted comments on Jan. 22 raising questions about a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposed-policy to allow Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) oversight of aircraft cabin workplace safety issues. The proposed policy, required by the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, could potentially establish OSHA oversight of certain occupational safety and health requirements such as recordkeeping, blood borne pathogens, noise, sanitation, hazard communication, anti-discrimination and access to employee exposure/medical records for employees on aircraft in operation, other than flight deck crew. Read more about the FAA’s proposal.
NBAA Helping EASA Develop On-Demand Crew Rest Rules
January 23, 2013
In a move that could change the way crew rest is regulated in the European Union, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has invited NBAA to take part in the formulation of new rules that would, for the first time, differentiate rest requirements for charter operators from those that cover scheduled air carriers. Right now, EASA regulations on crew rest have a one-size-fits-all flavor, said NBAA Vice President for Safety, Security, Operations & Regulation Doug Carr. They make no allowances for the very different nature of the on-demand charter business when compared to scheduled airline operations. Carr is one of 10 people in the working group, which has been created to tackle the issue of creating crew-rest regulations for European on-demand operators between now and the end of October. Read more about the issue of crew rest regulations.
NBAA Supports NTSB Battle Against Distraction
December 13, 2012
Eliminating distractions in all forms of transportation is one of the National Transportation Safety Board's Top 10 priorities for 2013, and NBAA fully supports the effort, said Doug Carr, NBAA's vice president, safety, security & regulation. Distractions are never-ending temptations, and resisting each of them depends on "discipline and professionalism, which are the hallmarks of what we in business aviation do," said Carr. Read more about combating distractions.
GAO Study Lauds Data-Driven Approach to Improving GA Safety
October 16, 2012
A general aviation safety study conducted by the Government Accountability Office showed the safety record for business aviation led other GA segments, and "was the least common type of operation to be involved in general aviation accidents." Corporate operations accounted for less than 1 percent of fatal general aviation accidents despite comprising 14 percent of annual GA operations, according to the study. "These numbers are examples that while our industry is held to the same regulations as general aviation, corporate operations, as defined in the report, have an accident rate equivalent to the scheduled airlines, which have to deal with a substantially higher regulatory burden," said Doug Carr, NBAA vice president of safety, security, operations & regulation. Read more about the safety study.
FAA Clarifies Definition of Aircraft Approach Categories
October 1, 2012
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has released SAFO 12005 to ensure aircraft operators and pilots are aware that an aircraft is certified for only one approach category – according to maximum certificated landing weight – and that the category remains fixed despite day-to-day operational changes in landing weight. The aircraft approach category used during an instrument approach is determined by the aircraft's Vref at the maximum certificated landing weight or 1.3 Vso at the maximum certificated landing weight, and pilots must not use lower-than-certificated categories when conducting instrument approaches. Review further details and view the SAFO.
DOT Asks FAA to Do More to Reduce Bird Strikes
September 21, 2012
A recent Department of Transportation report says collisions between birds and airplanes occur five times more often now than in 1990, and calls on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to do more to solve the problem – offering the agency 10 recommendations to ensure it is working to reduce wildlife hazards at or near airports. The FAA said it agreed with most of the recommendations, but did not concur with a request to change the reporting of bird strikes from voluntary to mandatory. The agency said it will continue to perform spot checks of airports’ strike records during annual inspections. Wildlife strikes are not new threats to aviation safety, but in the past two decades wildlife strikes have steadily increased from 1,770 reported in 1990 to 9,840 reported in 2011. Read more about bird strikes.
IS-BAO Session Slated the Day Before Seattle Regional Forum
August 24, 2012
Anyone planning to attend NBAA's Regional Forum on Sept. 20 in Seattle, WA, is invited to attend an International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO) open forum on Sept. 19, to learn about IS-BAO audit preparation, the registration process, safety management systems and more. The IS-BAO event will be held from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the King County International Airport/Boeing Field (BFI) Terminal Meeting Room in Seattle, WA. Learn more about the IS-BAO session.
Regular Safety Checks a Best Practice in GA Catering
July 30, 2012
Needles found in turkey sandwiches on recent commercial airline flights highlight the need for safety checks when it comes to catering on all flights, including general aviation. “Commercial aviation caterers have stringent regulations that cover food preparation, handling and safety,” said Paula Kraft, founder and managing partner of Atlanta-based Catering Consultants. In general aviation, there are no regulatory standards to meet or to be complied with, she added. Business aviation-specific trained flight attendant/flight technicians can mitigate these risks associated with food safety, as they understand its importance. Listen to this week's NBAA Flight Plan podcast for more about safety measures needed in GA catering.
Key Jet and Turboprop Segments Report Zero Fatalities in First Half of 2012
July 19, 2012
During the first half of this year, business jets and turboprops flown by professional crews suffered no fatalities, not just in the United States but worldwide, according to the latest figures compiled by Robert E. Breiling Associates, of Boca Raton, FL. In addition, the total number of accidents involving U.S.-registered business aircraft declined during the first half of 2012, but the overall number of related fatalities increased, according to the report. Read more about the report.
OEI Planning – There's Another Way
July 16, 2012
Many operators are unaware there are alternative procedures for OEI takeoff planning, but NBAA's Domestic Operations Committee has authored a white paper titled, "One Engine Inoperative Takeoff Planning and Climb Performance." Its objective: "To promote operator knowledge, operator application and operator training issues surrounding transport airplane takeoff performance, Part 91 and 135 operators alike, specifically showing that the current practice of planning for OEI takeoff obstacle avoidance and compliance with TERPS criteria is inadequate and potentially dangerous." Read more about OEI planning.
Safety Alert Issued on Cockpit Weather Radar Displays
June 25, 2012
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has issued a safety alert warning pilots of potentially misleading age indications of weather radar images displayed in cockpits. These mosaic radar images are created by weather service providers using data collected from various NEXRAD ground sites. The age indicator associated with the mosaic image and displayed in the cockpit does not show the age of the actual weather conditions as detected by the NEXRAD sites, but instead shows the age of the mosaic image created by the service provider. Weather conditions depicted on the mosaic image will always be older than the age indicated on the display. The NTSB warns that in some extreme situations, the actual age of the displayed radar mosaic could reach 15 to 20 minutes. Review the NTSB safety alert.
ASRS Marks 1 Million Anonymous Reports
June 18, 2012
The NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) recently marked its 1 millionth report - a testimony to the system's ability to keep a promise and its worth in improving air safety. ASRS, which has been in existence for 36 years, is an anonymous reporting system that sometimes allows flight crew, cabin crew, controllers, dispatchers and mechanics the ability to not only point out safety issues, but in some cases, mitigate FAA punitive action. ASRS Program Director Linda Connell said aviation professionals also can use the reports in familiarizing themselves with new airports and procedures, discovering safety challenges before they become critical. Learn more.
This Storm Season, Watch for Hurricane Updates from NBAA Air Traffic Services
June 11, 2012
As hurricane season begins to intensify, now is a good time to review what information and guidance to expect from NBAA Air Traffic Services (ATS) before, during and after these storms. Once the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) begins to have its hurricane telephone conferences (telcons) among aviation stakeholders to coordinate response procedures, NBAA ATS will begin issuing hurricane updates to the business aviation community via the Association's Airspace Alerts subscriber list, as well as via its new @NBAA_ATS Twitter account. Read more about ATS's role in hurricane updates.
Start of Hurricane Season a Good Time to Review Emergency Plans
June 4, 2012
Even before the Atlantic hurricane season officially got underway June 1, two named storms were formed, with one – Tropical Storm Beryl – dumping rain over much of the Southeast over Memorial Day weekend and into the last week of May. Fortunately, Michael Peery, general manager of Signature Flight Support at Georgia's Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport (SAV), was prepared. As he watched the remnants of Beryl dump sheets of rain on his ramp, ground crews handled incoming and departing traffic efficiently despite of the deluge. Beryl was a great opportunity for Peery to test the latest iteration of his emergency operations plan before hurricane season officially got underway. Read more about hurricane preparedness.
Incident Demonstrates Importance of Sterile Cockpit Procedures
May 9, 2012
An April 2012 Australian Transport Safety Bureau report on a May 2010 incident involving an Australian airliner has once again reinforced the importance of following "sterile cockpit" procedures and minimizing distractions during critical phases of operations. According to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau's report, the cockpit crew of the Jetstar Airbus A320 became distracted by the captain's cell phone during an approach to land in Singapore. Learn more.
NBAA Comments on Proposed Changes to Emergency Certificate Actions
April 23, 2012
Due to the work of NBAA and a coalition of aviation associations, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is working to revise several regulations dealing with its review of emergency certificate actions taken by the FAA. While some of the proposed changes are positive, in comments on a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) issued in February, NBAA expressed concern that the NTSB still assumes FAA allegations to be true during emergency proceedings. To ensure a fair review and due process, NBAA believes that it is unfair for NTSB to make a factual presumption of FAA allegations in advance of the hearing. Learn more.

Other Web Sites

FAA Office of Accident Investigation (AAI)
Provides preliminary accident and incident reports during the last 10 business days.
FAA Accident Lessons Learned Site
Features lessons learned from airline/air transport accidents that have occurred.
NTSB Aviation Accident Database
Search for aviation accidents and selected incidents within the United States from 1962 and later.
FAA Aviation Safety Information Analysis and Sharing (ASIAS) System
Allows operators to search through numerous government databases and aviation safety studies.
NASA Icing Training Online Courses
This web site contains free icing training courses and resources for pilots who want to learn more about aircraft icing and what they can do about it.
Flight Safety Foundation
An independent, nonpolitical, nonprofit, international organization offering an objective view of aviation safety developments.
Robert E. Breiling Associates, Inc.
Compiles and analyzes business aircraft accidents dating to the introduction of business jets. Offers summaries of aircraft accidents and analysis of aircraft from specific aircraft manufacturers.