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August 30, 2004

FAA Order 8110.4C, Type Certification, Revisions Proposed

Following the recent flurry of proposed revisions to orders affecting parts and systems manufacturing, on August 25, 2004 the FAA published a Notice of availability and request for public comment in the Federal Register proposing revisions to FAA Order 8110.4C, Type Certification. A copy of the proposed revised order is available from the FAA online here

The revised order contains the responsibilities and procedures the FAA must follow to certify civil aircraft, aircraft engines, and propellers, as required by specific parts of Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR). It also incorporates information, in some cases in its entirety, from FAA Order 8110.44, Conformity Inspection Notification Process; FAA Order 8100.5, Aircraft Certification Directorate Procedures; FAA Order 8110.48, How to Establish the Certification Basis for Changed Aeronautical Products and incorporates a revised type certification process model that is supposedly a more accurately depiction of the complexities of the process.

Comments may be sent via U.S. Mail to: Federal Aviation Administration, Aircraft Certification Service, Aircraft Engineering Division, Room 815, 800 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20591. ATTN: Madeleine Miguel, AIR-110; via personal delivery to: Federal Aviation Administration, Room 815, 800 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC, 20591, or via e-mail to: 9-AWA-81104-Comments@faa.gov with "Draft Order 8110.4C, Type Certification" in the subject line. Comments are due no later than September 20, 2004.

If you have questions or need further information, you can contact Madeleine Miguell, Aerospace Engineer, Federal Aviation Administration, Aircraft Certification Service, Aircraft Engineering Division, Certification Procedures Branch, AIR-110, Room 815, 800 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20591. Telephone (202) 267-3777, Fax (202) 267-5340, or e-mail at: maddie.miguel@faa.gov.

Posted by Greg

August 27, 2004

FAA Proposes Revisions to Order 8110.42, Parts Manufacturer Approval Procedures

In a Notice of availability and request for public comment published in the Federal Register on August 25, 2004, the FAA is seeking comments on its proposed revision to Order 8110.42, Parts Manufacturer Approval Procedures. A copy of the proposed order is available from the FAA online here. Order 8110.42 provides "procedures for the evaluation and approval of replacement and modification parts for use on type-certificated products".

According to the FAA, "the draft order clarifies policy, language and simplifies format". It is not intended to change policy. However, the draft order includes "examples, expands on the test and computation method and provides more guidance on reverse engineering". It also contains new appendices relating to roles of Designated Engineering Representatives in the design approval process, appendices that list the varied uses of "critical" in the context of aircraft parts, and appendices that provide guidance on statistical sampling in a quality system.

Comments to the proposed order may be sent via U.S. Mail to: Federal Aviation Administration, Aircraft Certification Service, Aircraft Engineering Division, Room 815, 800 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20591. ATTN: John Milewski, AIR-110; personally delivered to: Federal Aviation Administration, Room 815, 800 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC, 20591; or sent electronically with the title of the document: "Comments FAA Order 8110.42, Parts Manufacturer Approval Procedures". Comments are due no later than September 24, 2004.

Posted by Greg

August 26, 2004

FAA Proposes Modifications To Airport Improvement Program Grant Assurances

On Tuesday the FAA published a Notice of modification of Airport Improvement Program grant assurances in the Federal Register for public comment. The AIP grants are provided to airport sponsors for airport planning, airport development, noise compatibility planning or noise mitigation. "Upon acceptance of the Airport Improvement Program (AIP) grant by an airport sponsor, the assurances become a contractual obligation between the airport sponsor and the Federal government."

According to the Notice, "Modifications to the AIP grant assurances are primarily being made to remove grant assurances that govern the application and implementation of an AIP project that expires with the completion of the project and place them as grant agreement conditions or as certifications as part of the application process." New proposed assurances are also explained and discussed in the Notice.

The Notice includes a table that compares the existing assurances (available online here) with the proposed modified assurances, as well as a description of the modified and new assurances. An interesting new addition is the requirement that an airport operator who agrees to allow an aircraft owner to construct a hangar "will" grant the aircraft owner a "long-term lease for the hangar that is subject to such terms and conditions on the hangar as the airport owner or operator may impose." Other new assurances relate to competitive access for air carriers and non-discrimination against disadvantaged business enterprises.

Comments to the proposed modifications may be delivered or mailed to the FAA, Airports Financial Assistance Division, APP-500, Attn: Mr. Kendall Ball, Room 619, 800 Independence Ave., SW., Washington, DC 20591 no later than September 23, 2004. If you have questions or would like further information you can contact Mr. Kendall Ball, Airport Improvement Program Branch, APP 520, Airports Financial Assistance Division, Room 619, FAA, 800 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20591, Telephone (202) 267-7436.

Posted by Greg

August 25, 2004

Cabotage And International Operations By Corporate Aircraft

A corporate client recently asked me about whether Canada had any regulations restricting his ability to fly to Canada in his corporate aircraft, pick up a passenger and then fly on to another city in Canada. The question raises the issue of "cabotage", which is the flying of passengers and goods within the same foreign country. For an answer to his question and a more detailed explanation of the rules and regulations relating to cabotage and international operations by corporate aircraft please read my latest article here.

Posted by Greg

August 20, 2004

IRS Publishes Air Transportation Excise Tax Regulations

On August 10, 2004, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) published Temporary and Final excise tax regulations and a related Notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register. The regulations detail the requirements of persons who receive payments for air transportation subject to excise tax when the person liable for the tax refuses to pay it. They apply to people who receive payments that are subject to the excise tax and the people who are responsible for those taxes.

The temporary regulations require that a collector (such as a Part 135 charter operator) report to the IRS a taxpayer's refusal to pay the excise tax. The report is due by the due date of the return on which the tax would have been reported but for the taxpayer's failure to pay. The regulations become effective October 1, 2004.

Posted by Greg

August 19, 2004

Ice Detection System Advisory Circular Issued

On Tuesday, August 18, 2004, the FAA published Notice of issuance of advisory circular for "AC 23.1419-2C, Certification of Part 23 Airplanes for Flight in Icing Conditions" in the Federal Register. This AC "applies to the approval of airplane ice protection systems for operating in the icing environment defined by Part 25, Appendix C". It provides acceptable means for complying with the ice protection requirements of FAR Part 23. Applicant's for type certificates, supplemental type certificates or amendments to existing type certificates will want to reference this AC when seeking approval under FAR 23.1419.

The AC does not provide the only means of compliance and, as with all AC's, is not mandatory and is not a regulation. A copy of the AC is available here.

Posted by Greg

August 12, 2004

Instrument Practical Test Standards Revised

In April, 2004, the FAA updated and revised the Practical Test Standards ("PTS") for the Instrument Rating. The new standards become effective October 1, 2004. Of interest to CFII's is a substantial change in the requirements for administering and Instrument Proficiency Check ("IPC").

Currently, a CFII has discretion regarding what PTS tasks he or she can require for a pilot to demonstrate instrument proficiency. This discretion allows a CFII to be flexible in order to accommodate/address a pilot's strengths/weaknesses, as well as the pilot's aircraft, instrumentation and intended missions. That is, the CFII is allowed to decide what tasks the pilot needs to accomplish in order to show the CFII that the pilot can competently operate in the instrument environment.

The revised PTS will now require completion of specific tasks including holds, unusual attitudes, intercepting nav-aids and dme-arcs, precision, non-precision and circling approaches, partial- panel and review of instruments and aircraft equipment. One of the concerns with the revised PTS is the removal of the CFII's discretion. This seems to convert what used to be a learning experience tailored to a pilot and his or her needs into what is more closely akin to an actual check-ride.

Another concern is the requirement that an IPC candidate now perform a circling approach. Unfortunately, this eliminates the opportunity for an IPC candidate to fully complete an IPC using a computer-based trainer such as an Advanced AD. Although an Advanced AD will still qualify for completion of a majority of the IPC requirements, if it does not have a wide, wrap-around display, a circling approach will be impossible and this portion of the IPC will need to either be demonstrated in an aircraft or in a simulator that is equipped for such an approach.

Posted by Greg

August 11, 2004

FAA To Continue To Pay For Airlines' War Risk Insurance

In a Notice of Extension of Aviation Insurance published in the Federal Register today, the FAA states that it will continue to pay for war risk insurance for U.S. Flag air carriers through December 31 of this year. The FAA was originally reviewing/renewing the war risk insurance on a 60 day basis, but Presidential Order 2004-13 issued on December 11, 2003 delegated authority to it to grant extensions through August 31, 2004 and now, through the end of this year.

For more information on the FAA's insurance program, including links to the the enabling statutes etc., you can check out the FAA's insurance program website here or you can contact Helen Kish, Program Analyst, APO-3, or Eric Nelson, Program Analyst, APO-3, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Ave., SW., Washington, DC 20591, telephone 202-267-9943 or 202-267-3090.

Posted by Greg

August 10, 2004

Interesting Safety Information

I just received the Spring 2004 R & D Review from the FAA. This is a quarterly newsletter from the FAA's Air Traffic Organization and Development Office. Although the newsletter primarily covers research and development efforts into safety related products and programs, this latest issue contained some statistics that I thought were very interesting. Did you know?:

Over 195 people have been killed worldwide as a result of bird strikes since 1988.

U.S. civil aircraft operators reported over 5,900 bird strikes in 2003.

Over 600 civil aircraft collisions with deer were reported in the U.S. from 1990 to 2003.

An estimated 80% of bird strikes to U.S. civil aircraft go unreported.

A 12 pound Canada goose struck by a 150-mph aircraft at lift-off generates the force of a 1,000 pound weight dropped from a height of 10 feet.

Here in Minnesota, with large goose and deer populations, these statistics really hit home. Especially when you consider that the 5,900 bird strikes in 2003 were only 20% of the actual bird strikes. Add to that the upcoming fall migratory season, and you have a safety situation that pilots should recognize and take actions to avoid or minimize.

What can you do? Before taking off, wait for that flock of gulls to clear from the area off the departure end of the runway. Change course to steer clear of airborne, migrating geese. Be vigilant when landing or departing during early morning or evening twilight to avoid deer that may want to share the runway or taxiway with you. These minimal precautions can help you avoid becoming a bird or animal strike statistic.

Posted by Greg

August 06, 2004

DOT Revises SIFL Rates

If an employee flies on an employer-provided aircraft for non-business purposes, the value of that transportation is potentially taxable to the employee. This is also true for the employee's family members or a non-employee guest. The Standard Industry Fare Level (SIFL) rate is used to meet the Internal Revenue Service Rules Section 1.61-21(g) requirement that the value of the transportation is calculated and then taxed as a benefit to the employee or non-employee guest.

The SIFL rate is calculated based upon distance and rate per mile and is performed on a per-flight, per-person basis. A flight equals "the distance in statute miles from where the individual boards the aircraft to where the individual deplanes." The revised rates for July 1, 2004 through December 31, 2004 are: 0-500 miles=$0.1926/mi.; 501-1,500 miles=$0.1469/mi.; over 1,500 miles =$0.1412/mi.; and a Terminal Charge of $35.21.

Posted by Greg

August 04, 2004

Carrying Firearms On Aircraft

A client recently asked me what rules and regulations deal with carrying firearms on aircraft. As usual, my lawyerly answer was "it depends". What does it depend upon? Well, for starters, what type of firearm? Will it be carried concealed or on the person (e.g. using a concealed carry weapon "CCW" permit), or will it be in checked luggage? What type of aircraft? Is it a commercial flight or a private flight? Is the flight interstate or intrastate?

The answers to these questions dictate whether or how you can transport firearms on an aircraft. For more information on this subject and a discussion of the applicable rules and regulations, please click here to read my latest article.

Posted by Greg

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