TDiFH Uncategorized

This Day in FAA History: June 15th

Full FAA Chronology at this link.
19470615: President Harry S Truman appointed a Special Board of Inquiry on Air Safety, headed by CAB Chairman James M. Landis. The action followed a series of three DC-4 airline accidents that claimed the unpredecented total of 145 lives between May 29 and June 13, 1947. On August 15, Landis suggested that the Civil Aeronautics Board immediately hold hearings on airline crew complement to determine whether a flight engineer was required on all four-engine air transports in scheduled domestic passenger service. Between October 6-8, CAB held such hearings, and as a result, in April, 1948, adopted the so-called 80,000- pound rule. Effective December 2, 1948, (subsequently extended to March 31, 1949), all airplanes certificated for a maximum takeoff weight of more than 80,000 pounds were required to carry an airman holding a flight engineer’s certificate. Airmen with a pilot’s or a mechanic’s background could qualify for the certificate. By the end of 1949, the airlines had divided into three groups in implementing the rule. Pan American, Eastern, TWA, American, Chicago & Southern, Continental, National, Northwest, and Western used people with mechanical backgrounds as flight engineers. Braniff, Capital, Delta, Northeast, and Panagra employed pilots. United Air Lines used both pilots and mechanics. (See February 21, 1947 and October 24, 1955.)
19580615: CAA began using Greenwich mean time for all domestic air traffic control operations.
19600615: Regulations became effective that required applicants for a student or private pilot (class 3) medical certificate to take their medical examinations solely from FAA-designated aviation medical examiners. Applicants for airline transport pilot (class l) and commercial pilot (class 2) medical certificates were already required to be examined by designated medical examiners. During the past 15 years, however, student and private pilot applicants had been permitted to receive their physical examinations from any registered physician. (See June 1, 1945).
19610615: Following installation of distance-measuring equipment (DME) on the entire jet fleet of American Airlines, FAA began using DME air traffic control procedures for the first time on a nationwide basis. While these procedures had been in effect since January 1960, their use had been limited by the small number of DME-equipped civil aircraft. (See December 16, 1960, and July 1, 1963.)
19700615: FAA, the Civil Air Patrol (CAP), and the Air Force signed a memorandum of understanding setting forth the relationship between CAP wings and State and Regional Defense Airlift (SARDA) organizations. According to the agreement, the CAP would function as an arm of SARDA during a national emergency.
19710615: FAA moved its Southeast Asian International Field Office (IFO) from Manila, Republic of the Philippines, to Agana, Territory of Guam. (The Manila office was officially closed June 30, 1971.) This IFO provided aviation services to Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Vietnam, Thailand, Nauru, the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, and Guam.
19720615: Effective this date, FAA lowered the numbers of flight attendants required on airliners with certain seating capacities. One flight attendant was now required for planes with 10-50 passenger seats, while on larger aircraft the ratio would be one attendant for every 50 passenger seats or additional fraction of 50 seats. The previous rule had established a standard that began with one attendant for planes with 10-44 passenger seats (see June 7, 1965). FAA stated that the change was made possible by upgraded safety requirements for transport category aircraft adopted in recent years (see May 1, 1972).
19740615: FAA launched Operation Ground Assist, a 30-day general aviation safety program, to raise the level of safety consciousness among general aviation pilots and ground personnel with safety responsibilities. The program was designed to help reverse a continued rise in the number of accidents in personal flying. It entailed visits to selected general aviation airports by FAA field personnel, who looked for unsafe practices, made suggestions, and encouraged a candid exchange of ideas between airmen and the aviation agency.
19910615: The Philippines’ Mt. Pinatuba erupted, damaging airports within that country and emitting a huge ash cloud that disrupted aircraft operations over a wide area. Ash damaged at least 17 airliners in flight, most at distances over 600 miles from the volcano. The eruption lent urgency to the First International Symposium on Volcanic Ash and Aviation Safety, held on July 8-12 in Seattle. FAA, one of the symposium’s sponsors, reported on its work to improve volcanic hazard notification procedures. The problem was illustrated again when Alaska’s Mt. Spurr erupted on August 18, 1992, depositing almost a quarter inch of ash on Anchorage airport. One of the airport’s runways reopened the following afternoon, and the other reopened on August 20. Later FAA actions to combat this hazard included a December 1996 warning to airliners to avoid the Pavlov Volcano in the Aleutian Islands. (See December 14, 1989.)
19920615: FAA awarded contracts to the Wilcox and Raytheon corporations to design and develop advanced versions of the Microwave Landing System. Each vendor was to produce six to twelve first article test systems. Following successful completion of this phase, full scale production was planned with the same contractors in 1996. (See June 21, 1991, and June 2, 1994.)
19980615: Department of Transportation Secretary Slater and National Air Traffic Controllers Association President Michael McNally announced a new labor agreement between FAA and NATCA. September 9, NATCA members voted to approve the new contract. August 28, FAA and NATCA formally signed the new five-year pact in which a federal labor union negotiated wages, for the first time, with a government agency. (See January 7, 2003.)
19980615: FAA completed construction of NAS infrastructure management System (NIMS) facility located in Reston, Virginia. The facility was used to evaluate human factors, validate various commercial-off-the-shelf products and interfaces that comprise NIMS, and to develop, verify, and refine initial operational procedures. (See April 28, 1997.)
20090615: Senior officials from U.S. airlines, pilot unions, and FAA agreed on several major actions to improve safety programs and pilot training. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt hosted the “Call to Action” to identify immediate steps to strengthen and improve pilot hiring, training, and testing practices at airlines that provided regional service as well as at the country’s major air carriers. The participants agreed on best practices for pilot record checks that would result in a more expansive search for all records available from a pilot’s career. The airlines and unions would also review existing pilot training programs over the next several months to see how they could be strengthened. Airline and union officials recommended developing pilot mentoring programs that would expose less experienced pilots to the safety culture and professional standards practiced by more senior pilots. The programs could pair experienced pilots from the major airlines with pilots from their regional airline partners. To address concerns about pilot fatigue, Babbitt said FAA would start the rulemaking process to rewrite the rules for pilot flight and duty time to incorporate recent scientific research about the factors that lead to fatigue. Babbitt also asked airlines to operate safety reporting systems, such as Flight Operations Quality Assurance (FOQA) and the Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP), to provide better data about safety issues. In addition, FAA and industry representatives agreed to hold as many as 10 similar meetings throughout the country to assure that every carrier and pilot union had the opportunity to commit to these actions and to identify and share best practices. (See December 14, 1995; November 23, 2009.)
20150615: Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Bill Shuster (R-PA), announced he was drafting legislation to create a federally chartered, but independent, not-for-profit corporation to operate and modernize the U.S. air traffic control system. Some airlines, industry officials, and lawmakers expressed support for privatization proposals, and Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx responded to Shuster’s announcement, saying, “This country deserves a serious conversation about the future of our transportation system.” (See February 3, 2016.)
20160615: Culminating five years of work, FAA replaced the practical test standards (PTS) for the private pilot certificate and the instrument rating with the new airman certification standards (ACS). ACS improved upon the PTS by adding aeronautical knowledge and risk management elements that supported each PTS skill task.
20160615: Bombardier Commercial Aviation announced FAA and the European Aviation Safety Agency had certificated the CS100 aircraft.
20160615: Space X’s attempt to land a Falcon 9 rocket booster on a drone ship at sea failed. It was SpaceX’s eighth attempted sea landing, and the fifth time that the rocket did not survive. Before this mission, the company had landed three Falcon 9 boosters in a row over the course of the previous three months. (See January 17, 2016; September 1, 2016.)
20220615: FAA proposed a rule, Airplane Fuel Efficiency Certification, to require more fuel efficiency for subsonic jet aircraft, large turboprop, and propeller aircraft or for new aircraft manufactured after January 1, 2028. The proposed rule was part of the U.S. Aviation Climate Action Plan, hoping to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. aviation by 2050. The proposal also aligned with the ICAO CO2 emission standards and EPA regulations. (See April 22, 2022.)