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FAA Fall News and Safety Update

FAA Fall News and Safety Update, October 2014We all know how important it is to stay aware of industry news and regulatory announcements. To make your busy life a little easier, here’s some of the latest information you should know from the September/October issue of the FAA Safety Briefing magazine.

Unleaded Aviation Gas Program Gains Momentum

In July, the FAA received nine replacement fuel proposals for further evaluation in the Piston Aviation Fuels Initiative (PAFI), which is an industry-government initiative designed to help the GA industry transition to an unleaded aviation gasoline.

The FAA is assessing the viability of the candidate fuels to determine what fuels will be part of the first phase of laboratory testing at the FAA’s William J. Hughes Technical Center starting in September. The goal is for government and industry to work together to have a new unleaded general aviation fuel by 2018.

There are approximately 167,000 GA aircraft in the US that rely on 100 low lead aviation gasoline for safe operation. It is the only remaining transportation fuel in the US that contains the addition of lead, a toxic substance, to create the very high octane levels needed for high-performance aircraft. Most commercial airplanes do not use leaded gas.

GA Surveys Wrapping Up in September

Data collection for the 36th annual General Aviation and part 135 Activity Survey (GA Survey) for calendar year 2013 will close in mid-September. If you received a postcard invitation in the mail and were selected to participate, please make sure to complete the survey. Contact FAA’s partner Tetra Tech with any questions at 800-826-1797 or email

Also, the deadline for comments for the FAA Safety Awareness, Feedback, and Evaluation (SAFE) program’s GA pilot survey is September 22. More than 2,000 GA pilots were randomly selected to respond to questions on a variety of topics ranging from regulations, certification, safety, and training.

The SAFE program is one of the tools FAA’s Flight Standards Service uses to keep current with aviation safety issues and concerns. It receives feedback from five external stakeholder groups within the aviation community, including GA pilots, aviation maintenance technicians (AMTs), commercial and ATP-rated pilots, repair station managers, and air carrier managers.

To learn more about the SAFE program, contact Edward Kleinschmidt at or 202-267-4265.

Help Understanding “Climb Via” Phraseology Available

In April, the FAA began using "climb via" phraseology for route transitions and/or the assignment of standard instrument departure (SID) and area navigation (RNAV) SID procedures containing speed and altitude restrictions.

There has been confusion and several pilot deviations that have resulted in altitude busts since the change. Additional information has been developed to aid in pilot training:

  • “Climb Via” Informational Video
  • Climb Via, Descend Via, & Speed Clearances Frequently Asked Questions
  • Information for Operators (Climb Via, Descend Via, & Speed Clearances)

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