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Safety News

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.