Av Hazard publicizes safety and operational concerns to help prevent accidents but it works only if we hear from you. Use the postage-free Av Hazard card to describe the hazard and return it to Pro Pilot. To obtain an official FAA review send NASA an ASRS form. For immediate action, call the airport, FBO, ATC, FSDO or the 24-hour FAA Safety Hotline at 800-255-1111. Note: Telephone numbers for all US Towers and ARTCCs are published in Ac-U-Kwik and Pilots Express Airport/Heliport/FBO directories. To report safety concerns outside the US, contact ICAO HQ at 514-954-8219 or via fax at 514-954-6077. ICAO has worldwide telephone and fax numbers to expedite Av Hazard reports to civil aviation authorities.
Paper or plastic
The time has come and gone for exercising your pilot privileges with an FAA issued paper pilot certificate. According to CFR Part 61.19(g) (under “duration of pilot certificates”), “the holder of a paper pilot certificate issued under this part may not exercise the privileges of that certificate after Mar 31, 2010.” FAA began issuing plastic pilot certificates in Jul 2003 as a result of the Sep 11 attacks and the resulting Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004. The original law would have required plastic pilot certificates to have pictures on the actual certificate, but was later changed. Currently, a pilot must have with their pilot certificate an acceptable form of photo ID in his/her physical possession or readily available in the aircraft when exercising the pilot privileges. Acceptable forms of photo ID while flying can be found in CFR Part 61.3(a)(2).
- This rule does not affect ground instructor, mechanics (Part 65) or certificates issued under Part 63. These paper airmen certificates are valid until Mar 31, 2013, and then must be converted to plastic in order to continue to exercise the privileges of that certificate. The process to have a new pilot certificate issued can be completed online or through the mail with instructions found at faa.gov/licenses_certificates/airmen_certification/ certificate_replacement/. The airman must open an account with FAA, which only takes a few minutes. With the rising number of identity theft cases, it is also recommended to change your pilot certificate number from your SSN to a randomly selected number. Once the deadline passes for all paper airmen certificates, airmen will have to request and receive the plastic certificates before exercising the privileges of that certificate. Airmen who are not actively flying do not need to replace their paper certificate until they plan to resume flying.
NTSB updates “wanted” list
Recently, NTSB met for the annual review of its “Most Wanted List” and the new top item was a direct result of the Colgan accident near Buffalo NY. NTSB expects FAA to take action on improving oversight of pilot proficiency for Part 121 carriers. One of the findings in the above accident was that Colgan Airlines was not aware of the captain’s failure of previous check rides. Other top items still on the NTSB hit list (graded as unacceptable progress by FAA) are NTSB’s recommendations for requiring image recorders in the cockpit, reduced dangers to aircraft flying in icing conditions and improved safety requirements for EMS. NTSB actually downgraded (from unacceptable to acceptable, progressing slowly) progress on improving runway safety and acknowledged some progress by FAA on this issue.
- In addition, NTSB is recommending immediate cockpit warnings of probable collisions or incursions, specific ATC clearance for crossing each runway and requiring all operators to install moving map displays or an automatic alert if a pilot attempts to take off from a taxiway or the wrong runway. Another unacceptable progress item listed by NTSB recommends FAA reduce accidents and incidents caused by human fatigue in the aviation industry. This would include setting working hour limits for flightcrews, mechanics and ATC personnel based on fatigue, sleep and rest requirements. For more information on the Most Wanted list, go to ntsb.gov.
Resetting circuit breaker hazard
After lengthy research, FAA issued a Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (SAIB) on Dec 23, 2009 recommending new practices on resetting circuit breakers in flight. In the past, most pilots have been trained to push any circuit breaker in once while in flight, should one pop. Now, the SAIB advises pilots, owners, operators and maintenance personnel to reconsider resetting the circuit breaker procedure for GA aircraft. According to FAA, only circuit breakers for essential equipment needed at the time should be reset in flight.
- Best practices are recommended for tripped circuit breakers along with inspection and maintenance of electrical systems and older wiring in the bulletin. FAA now recommends only resetting tripped circuit breakers for essential systems and then only once. Circuit breakers should be allowed to remain open for at least 1 minute and reset only if there is no evidence of heat, smoke or burning and the system is needed for the operational environment. Compliance with the SAIB should not be in contradiction to any flight or ops manual for the aircraft being flown. For more information about recommendations, refer to FAA AC 120-80, Inflight Fires. For a copy of the SAIB, visit faa.gov/aircraft/safety /alerts/SAIB/.