This Day in FAA History: January 13th

Full FAA Chronology at this link.

19610113: An FAA directive gave the Bureau of Research and Development full responsibility for the improvement and modification of air navigation aids, communications, and related equipment used in the Federal airways system. While continuing to procure, install, and maintain such facilities, the Bureau of Facilities and Materiel, which had previously shared or performed certain R&D functions, would henceforth provide only required “immediate” engineering support.
19700113: Blanche Stuart Scott, often considered the first American woman to pilot an airplane, died. In September 1910, Scott made her first solo flight in a Curtiss Pusher at Hammondsport, N.Y. According to some accounts, however, the flight was an unintentional one caused by wind lifting her taxiing aircraft off the ground. Later that year, Bessica Faith Raiche became the first American woman to make an undisputedly intentional solo airplane flight.
19740113: Scheduled airline service began at the new Dallas-Fort Worth Regional Airport, which had been dedicated on September 22, 1973. Decentralized in design, the $700 million complex was the world’s largest airport. (See September 1965.)
19820113: A Boeing 737 operated by Air Florida crashed near Washington National Airport shortly after taking off during snowfall. The aircraft hit a bridge, killing 4 persons in vehicles, and plunged into the icy Potomac River. Of the 79 persons aboard the jet, only four passengers and one flight attendant survived. The National Transportation Safety Board determined that the probable cause of the crash was the crew’s failure to use the engine anti-icing system during ground operation and takeoff, their decision to take off with snow/ice on the airfoil surfaces, and the captain’s failure to abort takeoff when his attention was called to anolomous engine instrument readings. Contributing to the accident were: prolonged delay between deicing by ground crew and takeoff, during which the aircraft was exposed to continual snowfall; the known pitchup characteristics of the 737 when the leading edge was contaminated by even small amounts of snow or ice; and the crew’s limited experience in jet transport winter operations. As a result of the accident, FAA and the aviation industry took a number of actions to increase awareness of cold weather hazards and the proper response to them. (See December 12, 1985.)
19910113: An “interim geographic adjustment” gave an eight percent pay raise to 5,933 FAA employees at facilities in the New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco areas. The adjustment did not result in raises for those already receiving local special pay rates of more than eight percent, or for those already receiving a 20 percent retention allowance under the Pay Demonstration Project (see June 18, 1989).
19990113: FAA proposed mandatory tests for potential cracks in valves in some 737 rudder power control units (PCUs). The NPRM entailed an airworthiness directive that would apply to all Boeing 737-100 through -500 series aircraft. This AD was proposed in response to the PCU supplier’s discovery of cracks in a component of a valve assembly. In addition, cracks had been found by operators before they installed valves in their aircraft. The proposed rule would order operators to perform tests on their PCUs to detect cracks in a joint in the servo valve that regulates the intake of hydraulic fluid to the PCU. Analysis had shown that a single crack in one leg of the component was not in itself an unsafe condition. A crack in both legs, however, could have caused the component to break apart and jam the valve assembly. If a crack were found during the test process, the AD required the operator to replace the defective valve with a modified valve. (See March 14, 1997; May 3, 1999.)
20140113: Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx appointed 10 new members to the FAA Management Advisory Council (MAC). The new members included: Steve Alterman, president, Cargo Airline Association; Bill Ayer, former chairman, Alaska Air Group; Montie Brewer, former president and CEO, Air Canada; Ray Conner, vice chairman, The Boeing Co., and president and CEO, Boeing Commercial Airplanes; Craig Fuller, president, the Fuller Co. and former president, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association; Jane Garvey, Meridiam Infrastructure/MITRE board member and former FAA administrator; Mayor Michael Hancock, City of Denver, CO.; Lee Moak, president, Air Line Pilots Association; John “Jack” Potter, president and CEO, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority; and, Gwynne Shotwell, president and COO, Space X. Created by the Federal Aviation Reauthorization Act of 1996, the MAC met quarterly to assess and advise FAA on carrying out its aviation safety and air travel efficiency mission. Panel members served three-year terms in a volunteer capacity and retained their private sector positions. By law the MAC has 13 members. The new appointments joined the three incumbent council members: Department of Transportation Acting Deputy Secretary Victor Mendez; Department of Defense Brig. Gen. Steven M Shepro; and Paul Rinaldi, president, National Air Traffic Controllers Association. (See July 11, 2001.)
20170113: The Department of Transportation (DOT) issued two guidance documents emphasizing federal law guaranteed all passengers the right to fly free from discrimination. The documents superseded prior non-discrimination guidance issued by DOT and were developed in collaboration with representatives of airlines and civil rights organizations. The first document, “Guidance for Airline Personnel on Nondiscrimination in Air Travel,” contained example scenarios to help airline employees and contractors understand their legal obligation not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, or ancestry in air travel. The second document, “Passengers’ Right to Fly Free from Discrimination,” used a question-and-answer format to assist the flying public understand their rights when flying on commercial airlines.
20210113: FAA Administrator Steve Dickson signed an order directing a stricter legal enforcement policy against unruly airline passengers in the wake of recent incidents. Effective immediately, the agency would pursue legal enforcement action against any passenger who assaulted, threatened, intimidated, or interfered with airline crew members. The policy would be in effect through March 30, 2021. Passengers who interfered with, physically assaulted, or threatened to physically assault aircraft crew or anyone else on an aircraft faced stiff penalties, including fines of up to $35,000 and imprisonment. FAA subsequently extended the zero tolerance order. (See July 13, 2021.)
20220113: FAA awarded $5 million in Aviation Maintenance Technical Workers Workforce Development Grants to organizations that will teach technical skills and prepare participants to pursue aviation maintenance careers. (See January 19, 2021.) Grant recipients included
* Macon County School District, Tuskegee, AL
* Pima County Community College District, Tucson, AZ
* North Orange County Community College District, Anaheim, CA
* San Bernardino Community College District, San Bernardino, CA
* International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Washington, DC
* DLK Aviation Inc., Kennesaw, GA
* Iowa Western Community College, Council Bluffs, IA
* Southern University at Shreveport, Shreveport, LA
* Dutchess Community College, Fairview, NY
* Guilford County School System, High Point, NC
* Columbus State Community College, Columbus, OH
* Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK
* Pennsylvania College of Technology, Williamsport, PA
* South Carolina Department of Education, Charleston, SC
* Wisconsin Department of Transportation, Madison, WI
20220113: FAA awarded $5 million in Aircraft Pilots Aviation Workforce Development Grants to accredited higher-education institutions, high schools, state and local governments, and flight schools. Grantees can use the funding to create and deliver curriculum designed to prepare students to become aircraft pilots, aerospace engineers, or unmanned aircraft systems operators. (See January 19, 2021.) Grant recipients included
* Florida State College at Jacksonville, Jacksonville, FL
* Northwestern Michigan College, Traverse City, MI
* Elizabeth City State University, Elizabeth City, NC
* University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND
* County of Scottsbluff School District #16, Gering, NE
* Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology, Flushing, NY
* Aerotrek Flight Academy, LLC, Wadsworth, OH
* Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission, Oklahoma City, OK
* Harrisburg University of Science & Technology, Harrisburg, PA
* Spartanburg County School District #5 (James. F. Byrnes High School), Duncan, SC
* South Carolina Department of Education, Columbia, SC
* Florence School District One, Florence, SC
* Crowley Independent School District #912, Crowley, TX
* Utah State University, Logan, UT
* Randolph Macon Academy, Front Royal, VA
* Old Dominion University Research Foundation/Virginia Space Grant Consortium, Norfolk, VA
Grantees could use the funds to establish new educational programs; provide scholarships or apprenticeships for individuals pursuing employment in the aviation maintenance industry; conduct outreach about careers in the aviation maintenance industry to primary, secondary and post-secondary school students; and support educational opportunities related to aviation maintenance in economically disadvantaged areas.