Briefing: February 2022


United Aviate Academy Begins Training

United Airlines is now officially in the flight-training business with the first few classes at its Aviate flight academy now going through their training. United launched the school as part of its answer to the continuing pilot shortage. The school is based at Phoenix Goodyear Airport in Arizona and puts its candidates through an intense one-year program that can launch them on a career in United flight decks. When they graduate, the students move on to “partner universities, professional flight training organizations and United Express carriers on their way to becoming United pilots.” The airline hopes to put 500 students a year through the academy and Chief Pilot Mary Ann Schaffer says it bodes well for the airline’s future staffing. “The facility ensures we have the resources to expand our training capabilities and that the next generation of aviators will receive industry-leading training toward their goal of becoming a pilot for United Airlines,” she said.

NOTAMs Now Notices To Air Missions

The FAA took another step to eliminate gender-specific terminology from its many documents by changing the words behind NOTAM to Notices to Air Missions, which, in addition to being “inclusive of all aviators and mission,” is a more accurate description of the service, the FAA said. The name change required 32 pages of amendments to regs and other relevant passages in the huge lexicon of FAA documents. The changes also brought NOTAMs in line with ICAO terminology and included some housekeeping changes, such as renaming Las Vegas Airport after Harry Reid.

Sully To ICAO

“Miracle on the Hudson” Captain Chesley (Sully) Sullenberger was confirmed as the U.S. ambassador to the International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO) by the Senate. Since the famous ditching, the investigation and the movie that followed, Sullenberger has been an outspoken safety advocate and frequent television news expert on aviation stories but the ICAO gig is likely to take him out of that lane. The focus of the U.N. agency is largely on reducing aviation’s carbon footprint and the Biden administration has prioritized reducing net carbon emissions by aircraft.

Australia Asks For Cessna Spar Inspection Changes

Australian authorities asked Textron to change inspection scheduling on strutless Cessnas to catch potential issues with high-time and rough-service aircraft. In 2019, a P210 used by an aerial survey company on daily low-level missions crashed after the carry-through spar failed. The country’s Air Transportation Safety Board said the aircraft was in compliance with safety bulletins that required an eddy current inspection of the beam every three years that was changed in 2011 from an earlier regimen that based inspections on hours flown. “Had the previous flight-hour based eddy current inspection schedule remained in place, it is almost certain that the fatigue crack within the wing spar carry-through would have been detected before this accident occurred,” ATSB Chief Commissioner Angus Mitchell said.

Improper Towing Caused PA46 Runway Incident

Operators of high performance Piper singles are advised to ensure ground towing is done correctly. The NTSB has raised concerns about at least six puzzling nose-gear failures in which the bolts holding the vertical shaft of the nose gear to the steering mechanism have sheared on landing, causing the wheels to turn 90 degrees to the direction of travel and a subsequent runway excursion. A recent final report on an incident at Titusville, Florida involving a PA46 determined “the airplane was towed beyond the left turn limits at some point before the accident flight, which fractured one or two of the steering horn attachment bolts.”


An Malta Air crew safely landed their 737-800 after flying through a flock of herons in Bologna … A stowaway survived a 2.5 hour flight from Guatemala to Miami in the gear well of a 737 … Boeing says its Starliner crewed space capsule will be ready for a test mission by May … United flew passengers on a 737 with one engine burning 100 percent sustainable aviation fuel … NASA selected 10 astronaut candidates from 12,000 applicants … See for breaking news in general aviation.


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