This Day in FAA History: February 5th

Full FAA Chronology at this link.

19700205: Effective this date, FAA required manufacturers to make a maintenance manual available to their customers at the time of aircraft delivery. The manual was to contain information that the manufacturer deemed essential to proper maintenance.
19730205: FAA Administrator John H. Shaffer established the Executive Committee (EXCOM) to review and establish agency policies. A year later, in a move intended to increase accountability among managers, Administrator Butterfield suspended the EXCOM, as well as the Agency Review Board and the Regulatory Council. Citing the three committees’ usefulness in promoting communication and orderly decision making, Acting Administrator James E. Dow reinstated them in April 1975. On August 31, 1977, however, Administrator Langhorne Bond abolished the EXCOM, and on December 9, 1977 abolished the Agency Review Board. Bond also discontinued the Regulatory Council. (See January 24, 1989.)
19880205: Effective this date, FAA issued the first noise certification standards for new helicopter types and banned modifications to current helicopters types that would increase noise levels.
19970205: A series of incidents and developments began involving U.S. Air Force (USAF) and U.S. commercial aircraft. Two USAF F-16 fighter jets reportedly were involved that day in a near midair collision with a Nation’s Air Express 727 off the New Jersey coast. February 7, an American Eagle pilot reported that four Air Force jet fighters came close to his aircraft off the coast of Maryland; the Air Force temporarily halted all training operations off the East Coast as a precaution; the FAA asked controllers at three air route traffic control centers and the military controllers at the Virginia Capes station to review procedures regarding the military areas off the East Coast. February 10, two more, relatively minor, incidents became known and the USAF widened the suspension to include the Gulf of Mexico. February 11, the training resumed after the USAF informed pilots on the dangers of close encounters with airliners. February 19, the media reported that the USAF had concluded that although the pilot in the Nations Air incident had broken no rules, in the future, its pilots would query controllers before intercepting unknown aircraft detected in flight. February 26, the Navy stated that a military controller’s failure to follow proper procedures had caused the Nations Air incident.
20020205: FAA proposed new certification requirements for light-sport aircraft, pilots, and repairmen. Previous FAA regulations had not addressed the sport pilot segment of general aviation. The proposal defined light-sport aircraft as simple, low-performance, low-energy aircraft that would be limited to
* 1,232 lbs. maximum weight,
* Two occupants,
* A single engine (non-turbine),
* Stall speed of 39 knots,
* Maximum airspeed of 115 knots, and
* Fixed landing gear.
FAA also included two new categories in the sport aircraft proposal – weight-shiftcontrol aircraft and powered parachutes. (See September 1, 2004.)
20030205: FAA awarded contracts to ITT Industries, Inc., and Harris Corporation valued at $16 and $21 million, respectively, over a 20-month period for the initial phase of Next Generation Air/Ground Communications (NEXCOM). By integrating data link with digital voice, NEXCOM would make more efficient use of the available frequency spectrum, and accommodate additional air traffic control sectors and new runways to support continued industry growth. The existing air/ground communications system had been used for air traffic control for more than 50 years. (See July 15, 2002; March 18, 2004.)
20140205: FAA simplified design approval requirements for a cockpit instrument called an angle of attack (AOA) indicator. AOA devices, common on military and large civil aircraft, could be added to small planes to supplement airspeed indicators and stall warning systems, alerting pilots of a low airspeed condition before a dangerous aerodynamic stall occurred, especially during takeoff and landing. An angle of attack represents the angle between a plane’s wing and the oncoming air. If the angle of attack became too great, the wing could lose lift. If a pilot failed to recognize and correct the situation, a stall could lead to loss of control of the aircraft and an abrupt loss of altitude.