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Posts Tagged ‘FAA’

FAA has barred pilots and air traffic controllers from the taking Chantix, Pfizer’s smoking cessation drug.

From latimes –

“Aviation officials said they were not aware of any accidents involving
Chantix. The FAA generally places tight restrictions on the use of
mood-altering medications by pilots; antidepressants, for example, are
banned.”

From wsj blog

“Up to this point, Chantix has been under scrutiny primarily for potential psychiatric trouble,
with reports of agitation and suicidal thinking in some patients. But
the drug has remained popular, with sales of $277 million in the first
quarter of this year, making it a bright spot for the company.”

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RWSL
Logan Airport plans to install runway status lights (RWSL) to test new technology by MIT.
From bizjournal

“RWSL is an automated, all-weather safety backup system for pilots,
airport vehicle operators and air-traffic controllers intended to
prevent accidents without interfering with airport operations. The
system was developed at Lincoln Laboratory under the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration‘s Runway Incursion Reduction Program.”


F.O.D Sensor Tested

FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) is testing a sensor that can detect “foreign object debris” or F.O.D. that can damage airplane engines on take off.

From NYtimes

“In less than a minute, a computer in the control tower half a mile
away sounded an alarm in a mechanical voice: “F.O.D. Alert, F.O.D.
Alert.” The camera at the edge of the runway automatically
zoomed in on the pen nearly 75 feet away, and in the image on the
computer screen in the control tower, the computer drew a red box
around it to highlight its location”

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I have started questioning FAA’s objective of “Regulating civil aviation to promote safety“.

From AtwOnline

US FAA said that more than five years have elapsed since it conducted
assessments on 103 system designs at eight airlines, exceeding the
timeframe during which the reviews were supposed to have taken place
and the latest in a string of admissions by the agency regarding lapses
in its airline oversight.

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As pointed earlier FAA could have let the Airlines perform the MD80 wiring inspections without grounding any planes. But seems there was a discord between FAA’s regional and Washington DC office, where the former would have allowed AA to fly the schedule, while the DC office said “No”. So, let me understand this, there was no need for groundings, and the passengers did not really have to face the chaos?
From ATWonlone

“AA Chairman and CEO Gerard Arpey has said there “wasn’t a safety of flight issue” with the MD-80s and that the carrier “applied for an alternate means of compliance with FAA” that would have allowed it to keep operating its schedule but was “rejected” and forced to ground the aircraft. The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that AA’s report to Peters claimed that the carrier had a “handshake agreement” with regional Dallas FAA officials to conduct inspections and make wiring repairs without grounding aircraft but that FAA headquarters abruptly overruled the local officials, forcing it to cancel flights with little notice to passengers.”

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Before you start reading this, let me make this clear – No, this is not going to affect your flight :).

FAA inspectors (for American Airlines) have given the carrier a deadline of May 30th 2008 to complete 19 overdue inspections.

Inspections are for –

  • Inspecting manuals and programs (to ensure Federal regulations)
  • Have nothing to do with the aircraft’s inspections

The lax in Southwest Airlines inspections that resulted in a fine and then a senate hearing seems to have caused FAA to tighten supervision.

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Midday, Saturday April 12th 2008 American Airlines has only 3 MD-80s were awaiting final approval from the Federal Aviation Administration. Gerard Arpey, AMR’s and American Airline’s Chief Executive, personally apologized the week of chaos and cancellations.

It seems like FAA’s congressional hearing has caused them to pull the strings around airlines and they seem to have been successful in showing they are no one gets away with a directive violation on their planes.

It does remind me of the boss of this small company where I worked couple of years back. Every time my boss’s boss would find something wrong with him, my boss would turn around and find everything wrong with us 🙂 .

On second thoughts, we all want to fly on safe planes.

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American Airlines announced that it is canceling as many as 500 flights today (Tuesday, April 8th 2008) to re-inspect (same inspections as done earlier) its MD-80 aircrafts.

Reason as Reported
here
Allied Pilots Association said that – “the Federal
Aviation Administration randomly inspected 10 MD-80s on Monday to make
sure the jets had been properly inspected and modified. Of the 10, nine
did not pass the audit, the union said.
” It seems like the inspections done earlier were not done satisfactorily.

Problem –
From a news release that the
inspections are “to ensure precise and complete compliance with the
Federal Aviation Administration’s airworthiness directive related to
the bundling of wires in the aircraft’s wheel wells
.
I wonder, is this inspection so important that it cannot be done at the end of day?

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