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This Day in FAA History, April 18th

Full FAA Chronology at this link.

19390418: The minimum age requirement for a private pilot’s license was increased from 16 to 18 years. The rule change resulted from a protracted campaign by the father of Edward Mallinckrodt. In 1932, the 16-year-old Mallinckrodt took a friend on a flight that ended in an accident costing both their lives. The young man’s parents had been unaware that their son possessed a pilot’s license, since parental consent was not then required for pilot applicants (see December 7, 1933). The elder Mallinckrodt failed to convince the Department of Commerce that the age requirement should be raised to 18. Eventually, however, he enlisted the support of CAA board member Oswald Ryan, who pushed the reform through the Authority.

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This Day in FAA History, April 17th

Full FAA Chronology at this link.

19340417: As a result of recent developments connected with flying the air mail (see March 10, 1934), the Secretary of War appointed the Baker Committee to report on “the operation of the Army Air Corps and the adequacy and efficiency of its technical flying equipment and training for the performance of its mission in peace and in war.” Named for its chairman, former Secretary of War Newton D. Baker, the committee was composed of six civilian and five military members. It was directed to include in its report a study of the proper relationship between the Army and civil aviation.

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This Day in FAA History, April 16th

Full FAA Chronology at this link.

19380416: Denis Mulligan became Director of Air Commerce, succeeding Fred D. Fagg, Jr. (see February 28, 1937), who had resigned the previous day. Mulligan brought to this position broad experience in aviation, business, and law.

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This Day in FAA History, April 15th

Full FAA Chronology at this link.

19340415: Airport development with Federal aid was transferred to the Federal Emergency Relief Administration for completion of projects started under the Civil Works Administration. (See November 24, 1933.)
19480415: CAA conducted flight demonstrations at Washington National Airport with four types of aircraft equipped with crosswind landing gear developed by the agency through contracts with industry. CAA hoped that availability of the castered gear would encourage wider use of single-strip airports, substantially reducing the large landing areas required for multidirectional runways. On October 15, 1949, CAA’s official journal reported that, as a result of further tests, the agency had approved a new component for DC-3s equipped with a cross-wind undercarriage.

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This Day in FAA History, April 14th

Full FAA Chronology at this link.

19400414: The first Air Corps detachment assigned to Alaska arrived at Fairbanks.
19610414: The first FAA-sponsored International Aviation Research and Development Symposium, convened at Atlantic City, covered subjects relating to advances in electronics and their application to air navigation and air traffic control systems. Attendees included officials of some 20 foreign governments and representatives of the electronics and aviation communities.
19750414: FAA eliminated the proposed requirement for altitude reporting transponders (Mode C) on all aircraft operating in Group II Terminal Control Areas (TCAs) 45 days before it was to go into effect (see June 8, 1973 and January 29, 1987).

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This Day in FAA History, April 13th

Full FAA Chronology at this link.

19280413: Hermann Koehl, a German, and James Fitzmaurice, an Irishman, accompanied by one passenger, made the first nonstop east-to-west crossing of the Atlantic by airplane, flying from Ireland to a crash landing on Greenly Island, Labrador, in the Junkers W-33L Bremen.
19900413: A Federal court declared FAA’s rules of practice in assessing civil penalties not exceeding $50,000 to be invalid because the agency had failed to give public notice of the proposed rules or to allow a period of public comment (see December 30, 1987). FAA accordingly suspended the program, issued a rulemaking proposal, and followed this with a final rule effective August 2, 1990.

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This Day in FAA History, April 12th

Full FAA Chronology at this link.

19390412: President Roosevelt named Robert H. Hinckley of Utah, to be Chairman of the Civil Aeronautics Authority. He succeeded Edward J. Noble (see July 7, 1938), who resigned to become Executive Assistant to the Secretary of Commerce. Hinckley was serving as an original member of the Authority at the time of his appointment to the chairmanship. Previously, he had been Assistant Administrator of the Works Progress Administration and had been in charge of WPA activities in the West. Hinckley was Chairman of the Civil Aeronautics Authority at the time of the reorganization of June 30, 1940 (see that date). He became Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Air on July 8, 1940, and served in that post until July 1, 1942.
19450412: President Franklin D. Roosevelt died suddenly at Warm Springs, Ga. Vice President Harry S Truman took the oath as President.
19600412: FAA announced the start of a live test of the SAGE air defense system as a means of improving high-altitude air traffic control services.

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This Day in FAA History, April 11th

Full FAA Chronology at this link.

19570411: President Eisenhower transmitted to Congress an interim report by Edward P. Curtis, Special Assistant for Aviation Facilities Planning (see May 4, 1955). The report proposed the establishment of an Airways Modernization Board as a temporary organization to unite scattered responsibilities for system development and selection. Eisenhower stated that his Administration would submit legislation for the establishment of such a board and urged its early enactment.

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This Day in FAA History, April 10th

Full FAA Chronology at this link.

19360410: The President signed legislation that extended the jurisdiction of the Railway Labor Act to airline employees. The act guaranteed the right of collective bargaining and provided mechanisms, such as mediation and arbitration, for settling labor-management issues. It also provided for investigation of representation disputes and for certification of employee organizations as representatives of crafts or classes of carrier employees.
19530410: The U.S. Air Force decided to proceed with the production of SAGE (Semiautomatic Ground Environment), an electronic defense system developed by MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory. (See July 10, 1956.)
19700410: Some 3,000 air traffic controllers, all members of PATCO, engaged in a “sick-out” strike.

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This Day in FAA History, April 9th

Full FAA Chronology at this link.

19470409: CAA granted its first approval of the Air Forces’ Ground Control Approach (GCA) radar device for commercial planes, authorizing its use by Pan American Airways at Gander, Newfoundland. (See April 3, 1947, and July 11, 1947.)
19670409: The Boeing 737 made its first flight. On December 15, 1967, FAA type-certificated the airliner, a short-range jet transport with swept wings, wing-mounted twin engines, and a maximum capacity of 107 passengers, for operation with a two-man cockpit crew. The plane entered scheduled airline service on February 10, 1968.
19700409: Boeing 727-200 “stretch jets” were allowed to operate at Washington National Airport, initially on a temporary basis.