On December 21 in Washington, D.C., the FAA announced a new, more stringent rule on pilot flight duty and rest requirements for passenger carriers operating under Part 121. When Colgan Air Flight 3407 crashed near Buffalo nearly three years ago, attention was cast upon the working conditions of regional airline pilots. This led to the stricter rule which requires pilots to have a minimum of 10 hours of rest before each flight duty period, which is an increase of two hours over previous rules. Additionally, the final rule limits the number of hours a pilot can fly weekly and monthly. Lastly, it extends the length of consecutive hours off in a seven-day period from 24 to 30. Before each and every mission, the pilot needs to sign off on a form saying that they are stable and capable of safely flying the aircraft. If the pilot is ever too fatigued to fly, it is their responsibility to let the carrier know.
The only exception to this new regulation is all-cargo carriers. The reason which was given stated that “their compliance costs significantly exceed the quantified societal benefits.” FAA officials have disclosed that the projected cost for cargo operations is $306 million (with one fatal all-cargo accident costing anywhere between $20 and $32 million). This exception has caused an uproar from flight safety organizations who have challenged the FAA with a petition to review this rule in the U.S. Court of Appeals.
On Thursday, September 29, a drug sweep was conducted in Ridley Park, which is just outside of Philadelphia, PA. In this sweep, there was a raid on a Boeing plant which houses 5,400 employees. From the raid, more than three dozen individuals were arrested and 37 are facing the charges of illegal drug distribution and attempted drug possession. This raid was the direct result of several years of undercover investigation, which ensued when Boeing called the police to report suspicious activity on their property. The workers at the plant are in charge of building aircraft for Boeing’s Defense, Space and Security unit. Examples of the specific models they have worked on are the H-47 Chinook helicopter and the V-22 Osprey. Boeing officials have declined to comment on the raid.
West Africa has recently established their first private aviation school. The school has been named the Mish Aviation Flying School. The school’s objective is to train Senior High School graduates into Commercial Pilots. While the plan to build the Mish School originated in 2006, it was not until this year that the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority approved the mission to train the students to reach the commercial flying level.
Captain Ibrahim Mshelia, the C.E.O. of Mish Aviation, is confident that the school will be fully operational in September 2011. He has stated that selecting Ghana as the school’s location was no accident. Ghana is known for its abundant oil and gas; an industry which thrives because of aviation. Additionally, Ghana is an English-speaking country, and English is the primary language used in aviation.
Mish Aviation Flying School is already getting bombarded with inquiries from over 40 countries. Capt. Mshelia is cautious that they screen all candidates very carefully. He stated, “We are working closely with the security agencies in Ghana.” The Mish School is shaping up to be a wonderful institution which will surely promote advancements in aviation in Africa at a quick rate.
Ognjen Milatovic, a professor at the University of North Florida recently boarded a US Airways flight with a bagel and bag in hand, simply minding his own business. The bag, containing his snack, a hat and a set of keys, was placed in the overhead bin. Unknowingly to Milatovic though, his fellow passengers deemed the bag a suspicious package, unaware of the relatively harmless contents inside.
Before the plane ever departed, passengers approached flight attendants fearful for their own safety, who then in turn contacted the authorities. When questioned, Milatovic became understandably irate, unsure of how his bag could be considered remotely dangerous. Taken off the flight, Milatovic’s day was certainly ruined.
The next time you’d like to eat your own bagel or travel outside of the prying and ever-increasingly suspicious public eye, turn to Magellan Jets for the highest level of discretion and privacy. Magellan will arrange for your private jet, with your preferences.
Apple’s Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs had some trouble in Japan while trying to board his private jet. Jobs was returning home to the U.S. from a family vacation in Kyoto, Japan when security officials detected Shuriken (Ninja stars) in his carry-on luggage. A security scan at Kansai International Airport discovered the weapons and he was barred from taking them aboard his private plane. It is required at some airports that all luggage be scanned whether you are flying commercial or private. Jobs reportedly said it wouldn’t make sense for a person to try to hijack their own plane. Security at the airport disagreed and demanded he remove the stars. Jobs, clearly aggravated, later swore to officials he would never visit Japan again. While it’s hard to believe that Steve Jobs would follow up on that threat, considering that Japan is one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world and a huge consumer of his products, his frustration is understandable.
Many people mistakenly believe that because they are on board a private flight, the typical security regulations don’t apply to them. Technically, the same standards apply to all flights, private or commercial. The caveat is that on a private flight there just isn’t as much oversight, so usually there aren’t any questions asked. Passengers should still be aware of the requirements and prohibited items listed on the TSA Website.