This Day in FAA History: May 26th

Full FAA Chronology at this link.
19610526: FAA Administrator Halaby disclosed his intention to decentralize the agency’s operational responsibilities and broaden the authority of regional executives. He selected FAA’s Region One, with Headquarters in New York, for the pilot program, and chose Oscar Bakke, head of the Bureau of Flight Standards, to develop the program and to submit a transition plan which would be used as a model for reorganization of the other regions. Bakke assumed the title of Assistant Administrator for the Eastern Region, effective July 1 (see that date).
19650526: In the U.S. Army’s closely contested light observation helicopter competition, the Hughes Model 369 (YOH-6A) was announced the winner over two other entries, the Bell 206 (OH-4A) and the Fairchild-Hiller 1100 (OH-5A1). During 1964, FAA had type-certificated all three of these new turbine-powered light helicopters, which were expected to expand civil use of rotorcraft.
19700526: Effective this date, FAA prohibited persons from operating any moored balloon, unmanned free balloon, kite, or unmanned rocket in a manner interfering with aircraft operations. The rule was in response to an attempt by certain individuals to disrupt aircraft operations at two airports in California by flying kites or balloons, the sizes of which were not covered by Federal regulation.
19810526: FAA banned any new long-haul airline flights to or from Washington National Airport pending issuance by the Department of Transportation of a new Metropolitan Washington Airports Policy. The ban preserved a policy, begun in 1966 and continued voluntarily, under which nonstop flights to and from National were limited to a perimeter with a 650-mile radius, with certain exceptions. FAA acted to preserve National’s traditional role as a short-haul airport in the face of a decision by three carriers–American, Pan Am, and Braniff–to inaugurate nonstop flights into National from Houston and Dallas, each of which would have exceeded 1,000 miles. (See September 1, 1966, and December 6, 1981.)
19870526: A new FAA regulation required airline operators to equip all large passenger aircraft with protective breathing equipment (PBE) for flight attendants to use in fighting in-flight fires, and to provide training in PBE use. The rule applied the same performance standards to this equipment as to the PBEs already required for cockpit crew members. FAA had proposed the rule in October 1985 in response to National Transportation Safety Board recommendations and to several in-flight fires. FAA originally gave airlines two years to comply with the regulation, but subsequently granted extensions to January 31, 1991, for PBE installation and to July 31, 1992 for training. (See March 29, 1985.)
19910526: All 223 persons aboard an Austrian Lauda Air flight died when their Boeing 767 crashed after takeoff from Bangkok, Thailand. On June 6, FAA confirmed that the thrust reverser on one engine was found fully deployed among the wreckage (and a Thai government report later stated that uncommanded deployment of a thrust reverser was the accident’s probable cause). Beginning on July 3, 1991, FAA issued a series of directives requiring deactivation of the thrust reversers on 767s powered by Pratt & Whitney PW4000 series engines, as well as inspections and adjustments for these and certain other Boeing aircraft. In October, Boeing announced that it had received FAA approval for design changes to the aircraft affected by the reverser deactivation order. Subsequent actions stemming from the crash included a Boeing program, undertaken in 1992, to install an additional locking device to keep reversers properly stowed on nearly 2,000 of its aircraft.
19940526: Enactment of the Airport Improvement Program Temporary Extension Act of 1994 (P.L. 103-260) renewed FAA’s authority to award Airport Improvement Program grants, the legislative mandate for which had lapsed on September 30, 1993. The new act authorized FAA to make grants through June 30, 1994 (see August 23, 1994). The law provided for the gradual phasing out of compensation that certain FAA employees had received under the Pay Demonstration Project after that project’s termination on June 17, 1994 (see June 18, 1989, and April 1, 1996). It also placed a temporary freeze on increases to certain airport fees charged to airlines and required DOT to study reforming the air traffic control system.
20100526: FAA awarded Boeing, General Dynamics, and ITT contracts worth up to $4.4 billion under the System Engineering 2020 (SE-2020) contract. Under the contract the three companies would conduct large-scale demonstrations, including the use of aircraft as flying laboratories, to see how NextGen concepts, procedures, and technologies could be integrated into the current national airspace system. The FAA would work with the companies to develop and demonstrate new procedures in four dimensions, adding the element of time to the current three-dimensional profile of an aircraft’s latitude, longitude, and altitude. Other work to be performed included the development and rollout of modernized weather services. (See April 8, 2010; October 21, 2010.)
20200526: Chile’s LATAM Airlines Group, the largest carrier in Latin America, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. LATAM’s CEO Roberto Alvo cited coronavirus-related travel restrictions as the primary reason for bankruptcy.
20200526: Waco Aircraft delivered its first YMF-5F open cockpit biplane on amphibious floats after receiving FAA certification.
20210526: FAA issued the final rule for the Pilot Records Database, which required air carriers and certain other operators to report pilots’ employment history, training, and qualifications to the database. The rule also required air carriers and certain operators to review records contained in the database when considering pilots for employment. (See March 30, 2020.) The database included the following information
* FAA pilot certificate information, such as certificates and ratings
* FAA summaries of unsatisfactory pilot applications for new certificates or ratings
* FAA records of accidents, incidents, and enforcement actions
* Records from employers on pilot training, qualification, and proficiency
* Pilot drug and alcohol records
* Employers’ final disciplinary action records
* Pilot records concerning separation of employment
* Verification of pilot motor vehicle driving record
The rule took effect 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. Additional actions and timelines to support implementation of the rule included:
* Six months after the rule was published, operators had to begin reviewing FAA records electronically in the database instead of submitting a form requesting records
* One year after the rule was published, operators had to begin reporting and reviewing records to the database
* Operators had three years and 90 days to transition and fully comply with the rule
20220526: FAA issued a rule to improve and modernize training requirements for aviation maintenance technician schools (AMTS). The previous AMTS requirements were almost 50 years old, which limited schools from aligning curriculums with modern industry standards.