This Day in FAA History: February 9th

Full FAA Chronology at this link.

19340209: Postmaster General James A. Farley, carrying out the wishes of President Roosevelt, announced the cancellation of all existing air mail contracts, effective midnight, February 19, 1934. His action followed disclosures made by a special Senate investigating committee chaired by Senator Hugo L. Black (D-Ala.) and investigations made by Farley himself. The general basis for cancellation of the air mail contracts was the charge that competitive bidding had been bypassed and contract awards had been made as a result of collusion in a series of conferences of operators with Postmaster General Walter Folger Brown (see May 19, 1930). The following day, noting that the air mail contracts had been canceled and that the continuing need for air mail service had created an emergency, President Roosevelt issued an Executive order directing the Secretary of War to make available the planes and pilots necessary to carry the air mail during the emergency. In response to the President’s Executive Order, the Army Air Corps began carrying the air mail when the contracts expired. (See March 10, 1934.)
19400209: A CAA order established a system under which qualified private persons were designated as flight examiners and empowered to conduct flight tests and written examinations for private pilot certificates. This permitted CAA inspectors to “spot check” trainees rather than examine each applicant. Such delegation of authority to private individuals was new (with the exception of the medical examiner program: see February 28, 1927), and it began a trend. Another step in CAA’s growing use of designees was an order on December 17, 1940, authorizing the appointment of representatives to perform certain regulatory functions regarding the manufacture of military aircraft for export. On August 1, 1941, CAA announced the appointment of its first 50 aircraft inspection representatives to facilitate clearance of civil airplanes for flight after they had been repaired. As the United States entered World War II, a CAA order of December 8, 1941, gave broad authority to the Director, Safety Regulation, to designate persons outside of the agency to make examinations, tests, inspections, or reports. (See January 15, 1946.)
19500209: A CAA Program Planning Staff report recommended that Congress establish a government corporation to operate Washington National Airport and any other Federal airport established in the Washington, D.C. area in the future. The recommendation, first put forward a year earlier by the Hoover Commission, died only to be revived more than three decades later. (See January 29, 1971, and October 30, 1986.)
19630209: The Boeing 727 first flew. On December 24, 1963, FAA certificated the 727, a three engine jet airliner of short/medium range with a basic capacity of 94 and a maximum capacity of 119 passengers. The plane entered scheduled airline service with Eastern Air Lines on February 1, 1964, and achieved worldwide popularity. By 1988, U.S. air carriers alone were operating 1,246 of the 727s.
19690209: The Boeing 747, the first of the wide-body jetliners, made its initial flight. On September 30, 1968, Boeing had unveiled the large subsonic jet, which was powered by four Pratt & Whitney JT9D-3 turbofan engines, each rated at 43,500 pounds of thrust. The plane had a maximum takeoff weight of 710,000 pounds and a maximum payload of 220,000 pounds. Its seating capacity ranged up to 490 passengers, although most airlines planned a seating configuration in the 350-365 range. FAA certificated the 747 on December 30, 1969. Pan American World Airways, which on April 13, 1966, had placed the first order for the 747s at a cost of $525 million for 25, became the first airline to operate the new wide-body as the 747 entered service with a takeoff from New York for London on January 22, 1970. Trans World Airlines inaugurated the first transcontinental 747 service, between Los Angeles and New York, on February 25, 1970.
19930209: Lt. Gen. Elwood R. Quesada died at the age of 88. Quesada had been FAA’s first Administrator (see November 1, 1958).
19980209: George Donohue, FAA associate administrator for research and acquisitions withdrew his nomination to be the FAA deputy administrator and informed Department of Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater that he planned to leave the agency. (See June 11, 1997.)
19990209: Working in partnership with the aviation industry, FAA announced it had reached an agreement with pilots and airlines regarding procedures affecting the conduct of land and hold short operations (LAHSO). The agreement dealt with runway surface and weather minima, training, visual aids, landing distance, and rejected landings. Highlights included
* Air carriers would conduct LAHSO only on dry runways until such time as the manufacturers had provided actual demonstrated landing distance figures on wet runways for the aircraft in question.
* FAA would issue a flight standards handbook bulletin specifying that before an air carrier could conduct LAHSO, it must provide a pilot training program for the LAHSO procedure.
* Use of LAHSO would not be authorized on a runway lacking electronic or visual vertical guidance (i.e., an improved LAHSO lighting configuration).
* For each type of aircraft with LAHSO, the runway landing length would be the greater of the simultaneous operations on intersecting runway category length or FAA approved aircraft flight manual distance plus 1000 feet.
To ensure that the appropriate level of safety was maintained, only LAHSO configurations which did not require a rejected landing instruction, or for which a rejected landing instruction was published, were to be used by air carrier aircraft. (See July 14, 2000.)
20010209: Effective this date, FAA amended the procedures for assessment and adjudication of civil penalties in space transportation. Previous regulations provided little guidance for the FAA in the prosecution of civil penalties. The new rules provided more detail on the procedures FAA must use to assess civil penalties and on the respondents’ rights to adjudication. The rules also provided more detailed procedures to be used in the adjudication. (See November 28, 2000; April 3, 2002.)