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A site devoted to aviation law, safety and security.

February 28, 2005

Cockpit Voice Recorder/Flight Data Recorder NPRM Published Today

The FAA's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking proposing revisions to the rules relating to cockpit voice recorders and flight data recorders discussed in my February 25, 2005 post were published in the Federal Register today. To view the NPRM as published, click here.

Posted by Greg

Student Pilot Convicted For Falsifying Application for Student Pilot License and Airman Medical Certificate

Although you don't hear of it too often, pilots can and do get convicted of felonies for making false statements on medical and airman applications, and also for illegal conduct in connection with their operation of an aircraft. In this case, a student pilot was convicted of a felony and sentenced to five months in jail, five months home confinement, and three years supervised release for falsifying an FAA application for a student pilot license and accompanying airman medical certificate by failing to disclose a prior drug conviction.

The Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General ("DOT OIG") investigates and prosecutes these types of cases. The FAA assists by providing testimony in the trial and sentencing phases of the case on implications for aviation safety from the charged offenses. For more information regarding cases that have been or are being prosecuted by the DOT OIG you can review a list on their website here.

Posted by Greg

February 25, 2005

FAA Proposes Upgrades To Cockpit Voice Recorders And Flight Data Recorders

The FAA yesterday issued a Press Release regarding proposed rules to require upgrades to existing and future Cockpit Voice Recorders (CVR's) and Flight Data Recorders (FDR's). They also released a Fact Sheet summarizing the major changes in the proposed rules.

The NTSB issued a Statement regarding the proposed rules that supported the changes included in the proposed rules that the NTSB has been recommending for quite some time. However, the statement also encouraged the FAA to adopt "other crucial flight recorder recommendations that are still on the Most Wanted List." Those recommendations include "rectifying the unacceptable FDR data sampling and filtering issues that impeded the investigation of the Airbus A-300-600 involved in the American Airlines Flight 587 accident" and installation of cockpit image recorders.

The proposed rule would apply to newly manufactured airplanes and helicopters and would require some retrofits to existing aircraft. Specifically, "manufacturers of airplanes and helicopters certificated for 10 or more seats, scheduled service airlines, non-scheduled service airlines and other operators of airplanes with 10 or more seats would be affected." Although a copy of the notice of proposed rulemaking will not be published in the Federal Register until February 28, 2005, it can be reviewed at the FAA's website here.

Comments to the proposed rules will be due by April 29, 2005 and can be submitted via any of the methods provided in the proposed rule.

Posted by Greg

February 24, 2005

FAA Amends Rules For Civil Penalty Actions And Appeal Of EAJA Fee Request Decisions

On February 18, 2005, the FAA published a Final Rule amending some of the procedural regulations regarding civil penalty actions and appeals of intial decisions on EAJA fee applications. Additionally, the rule formalizes the existing separation between the the Deputy Chief Counsel for Policy and Adjudication and the Assistant Chief Counsel for Regulations, or an attorney on her staff, in order to comply with 14 CFR 13.202(3), which provides that an attorney supervised in a civil penalty action by an adviser to the Administrator in that civil penalty (or a factually related) action shall not prosecute that action.

With respect to civil penalty actions, the FAA Civil Penalty Hearing Docket has been moved and is now located in Room 2014 of the Wilbur Wright Building, 600 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington,DC 20591. If you want to hand-deliver a document for filing or would like to review the documents in a file, you need to go to the above address. If you want to send a package via courier to the Hearing Docket, you should address the package as follows: Hearing Docket, Federal Aviation Administration, 600 Independence Avenue, SW., Wilbur Wright Building--Room 2014, Washington, DC 20591; Att: Hearing Docket Clerk, AGC-430. If you want to file a document via U.S. Mail you should use the following address: Hearing Docket, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20591; Att: Hearing Docket Clerk, AGC-430, Wilbur Wright Building--Room 2014.

Under the final rule, the rules governing appeals of EAJA initial decisions, 14 CFR 14, are also amended to make it "clear to the parties that the procedural rules in 14 CFR part 13, subpart G, govern any appeal from an initial decision concerning a fee application under the EAJA when the underlying action was governed by 14 CFR part 13, subpart G."

For more information regarding civil penalty actions, you can go to the FAA's Civil Penalty Website.

Posted by Greg

February 23, 2005

Bill To Extend Bonus Depreciation For Two Years Introduced

The Bonus Depreciation Extension Act of 2005 (HR 364 IH) was recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congressman Wilson from South Carolina. HR 364 IH would reinstate the 50% bonus depreciation that expired January 1, 2005 and extend it for another two years to January 1, 2007. HR 364 IH has been referred to the House Ways and Means committee for further consideration.

If passed, this legislation would provide further fuel for the continuing growth of new aircraft deliveries, as well as capital upgrades and improvements to existing aircraft. However, last year's legislation to extend the "placed in service" deadline for the expired bonus depreciation to January 1, 2006 was a tough sell. Although it did finally pass, it will be interesting to see whether HR 364 IH will have the political support needed to reinstate the 50% bonus depreciation.

Posted by Greg

February 22, 2005

Aviation Law Discussions Is Back On-Line

After a month of down-time, Aviation Law Discussions is back on-line. For the past year we have been using Blogger to publish the site. However, in January we encountered technical difficulties with our use of Blogger. When it became apparent that we could not resolve the issues, we made the decision to internalize publication of the Aviation Law Discussions site.

As of today, the site is back up and running. In the future, you can expect to receive regular updates regarding aviation law, safety and security. If you have any particular topics you would like to see addressed, please send an e-mail to info@aerolegalservices.com.

Posted by Greg

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