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The Latest FAA and Industry Updates

It’s important to stay up on industry news and regulatory announcements. Here are some of the latest from the November/December issue of the FAA Safety Briefing magazine.

Air worthiness directive for Beechcraft elevator balance weights

On August 20, an airworthiness directive (AD) was issued for more than 1,300 Beechcraft aircraft, models 58, 95-C55, E55, and 56TC, and Hawker Beechcraft models 58P and 58TC.

The AD was the result of reports that elevator balance weights were becoming loose or failing because the balance weight material was not strong enough and did not meet material specifications. The AD is requiring that certain Beechcraft get inspections of their elevator balance weights, and the replace if defective. View the FAA’s Regulatory and Guidance Library to view all ADs.

Airman Testing Group gives FAA recommendations

In September, the Airman Testing Standards and Training Working Group (ATST WG) submitted its report and recommendations for improving the FAA’s airman certification system. The ATST WG is made up of aviation professionals representing all major sectors of the industry. The goal of the research and recommendations is to improve airman training and testing. Read the Airman Testing Standards and Training Working Group’s recommendations to the FAA’s Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee.

Notices to Airman easier to read

In October, the format of Notices to Airmen (NOTAMs) were improved so they are easier for airmen to read. The changes bring the U.S. NOTAM system closer to International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) compliance.

Some of the changes include: Every NOTAM will have an effective and expiration time, and units of measure are reformatted. For example, 500 is now 500FT to clarify feet.

Read the NOTAM changes.

Small Airplane Revitalization Act of 2013 signed by the President

On November 27, 2013, the House of Representatives bill known as the Small Airplane Revitalization Act of 2013 was enacted after being signed by President Obama.

The objective of the bill is to ensure that the FAA advances the safety and continued development of small airplanes by reorganizing the certification requirements to streamline the approval of safety advancements.

While it may take a few years to see measurable safety improvements after it is signed into law, the end result will increase both affordability and safety for small GA aircraft. Review the Act.

Revised Glider Handbook now available online

A revised 2013 Glider Flying Handbook is now available online. The handbook, which replaces the 2003 version, is a technical manual for those preparing for a glider category rating, and for currently certificated glider pilots looking to improve their knowledge.

Detailed coverage of aeronautical decision-making, components and systems, aerodynamics, flight instruments, performance limitations, ground operations, flight maneuvers, traffic patterns, emergencies, soaring weather, soaring techniques, and cross-country flight are included in the updated handbook.

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