The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released a new list of pilot, air traffic and citizen reports of possible encounters with unmanned aircraft (UAS). The reports cover November 13, 2014 through August 20, 2015.
Because pilot reports of unmanned aircraft have increased dramatically over the past year, the FAA wants to send a clear message that operating drones around airplanes and helicopters is dangerous and illegal. Unauthorized operators may be subject to stiff fines and criminal charges, including possible jail time.
Every flight has some level of risk. It’s up to the airman to review that risk in advance and then develop the appropriate risk mitigation strategies. One of the best ways of doing this is by using a Flight Risk Analysis Tool or FRAT. FRATs are generally easy-to-use, visual tools that can help pilots proactively identify hazards and make better go/no go decisions for every flight. Using a FRAT to put everything on paper allows you to graphically depict risk limits free from the pressure of an impending flight or maintenance task. It also sets the stage for managing risk through proactive mitigation strategies that are documented.
The FAA Safety Team (FAAST) has produced an easy-to-use FRAT — found here http://go.usa.gov/3sJWA — that will get you started in effective safety risk management. The FAAST FRAT is a simple automated spread sheet that will run on a Windows or Mac system. Just download the appropriate file for your computer and you’re in business.
Wildlife strike reporting for both commercial and general aviation airports continues to increase, according to a new report by renowned wildlife expert Dr. Richard A. Dolbeer. At the request of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Dolbeer recently published the wildlife report, which shows that 47 percent of the wildlife strikes that occurred from 2009 to 2013 were reported to the FAAs National Wildlife Strike Database. That number is up from 42 percent for the previous reporting period of 2004 to 2008.
The report concludes that the FAAs proactive continuing outreach actions with its aviation industry and government partners have improved the quantity and quality of voluntary wildlife strike reporting. The report also highlights a decrease in the number of damaging strikes, greater reporting of birds of all sizes, and the decrease of damaging strikes within the airport environment. Other findings note a decrease in the average bird size involved in strikes, and an increase in the number of reports that identify the bird species.
The report concludes that the level of reporting is adequate to track national trends in wildlife strikes, so mandatory reporting is not necessary at this time. It also provides a scientific basis for the FAA to develop policies and guidance to mitigate wildlife strikes; and the reporting process complies with International Civil Aviation Organization standards.
The FAA is requesting comments on the removal of the current exception for gliders from the transponder requirement for aircraft in the National Airspace System (NAS). This is part of an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) that is being conducted in response to recommendations from members of Congress and the NTSB. For more information on the ANPRM or how to comment see: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-06-16/pdf/2015-14818.pdf
June 30- The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has posted the second video designed to further enhance airport safety. Entitled The 2015 Wildlife Hazard Management and Strike Reporting Update, the video outlines the benefits of wildlife hazard strike reporting and how airport operators use the information to reduce wildlife strikes at airports.
The video also discusses the FAAs collaborative partnerships with other federal agencies and organizations to reduce wildlife strikes, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Smithsonian Institutions Feather Identification Lab, and Bird Strike Committee-USA. To view the video, go to: http://www.faa.gov/airports/safety-video-series/.
The FAA launched the safety information video series last year to provide the airport community with information to help them continue to operate the nations airports safely and efficiently. Please visit faa.gov/airports and sign up to receive an e-mail alert when FAA releases a new safety video and the topic.