Briefing: January 2023


Pilots and Emotional Intelligence

Pilots tend to have lower emotional intelligence scores than the rest of the population and researchers are looking at what that means for training and culture at aircraft operations. “Overall, the findings show that pilots tend to have lower trait EI scores, indicating less confidence and reliance on their emotional world, with all the advantages and disadvantages this might entail, since high scores are not considered universally adaptive and desirable in trait EI theory,” researchers wrote in the study, which was reported in Nature. The pilots and twice as many non-pilots were given standard tests to measure their emotional intelligence and scored a lot lower on three of four parameters: well-being, emotionality and sociability. Pilots and the others scored similarly on self-control.

eVTOL Airworthiness Standards Proposed

The FAA set a benchmark of sorts for the certification of eVTOL aircraft. It published airworthiness criteria for Joby’s five-place aircraft. The document, which had a 30-day comment period, gave Joby a roadmap to certification with detailed requirements covering all technical and operational aspects of its development. Although the document applies only to Joby’s aircraft, it will likely become a template for the certification efforts of dozens of companies developing similar aircraft.

TSA Lets Boxcutters On Plane

The TSA admitted its procedures failed, allowing a passenger to board a plane with two boxcutters. TSA agents found one of the boxcutters during screening and removed the blades but gave the blades back. The agents missed the other razor knife in his carry-on. The passenger cleared screening at Cincinnati for a flight to Tampa in mid-November. The employees directly involved were sent for retraining and all other TSA agents got a refresher course in what is allowed in the cabin and how to properly use the equipment to spot things that aren’t allowed. The passenger began threatening others on the plane mid-flight and the crew diverted to Atlanta while a couple of veterans helped cabin crew subdue the man. He was arrested in Atlanta.

MAX Pilots Lose Boeing Suit

A federal judge ruled that Boeing doesn’t have to pay for the career disruption experienced by pilots because of the grounding of 737 MAX aircraft in 2019. Thousands of pilots were training for the new aircraft when two fatal crashes caused world aviation authorities to ban them from their airspace. The class action suit alleged that they were financially harmed by Boeing because of the grounding but the judge said that was too much of a reach. “Stretching causation to cover people who weren’t on the [crashed 737 MAX] planes would expand the boundaries of liability much too far,” Seeger wrote in the judgment quoted by Simple Flying. “…when you think about a defective plane, and the problems that could ensue, lost income by people who don’t crash probably isn’t at the top of the list.”

Oxygen Boost Method Researched

A renowned airshow and warbird pilot is helping researchers determine if a common device used to prevent sleep apnea can help oxygenate the blood of pilots flying at higher altitudes. Doug Rozendaal proposed the idea to test bilevel positive airway pressure equipment as a supplemental method to improve pilot performance. Rozendaal, who crisscrosses the country in his Baron to run his business, said he normally flies about 8000 feet to ensure adequate blood saturation but he’d rather fly closer to the non-oxygenated limit of 12,500 feet to take advantage of winds and to dodge weather. The study is being done by doctors and researchers at MercyOne North Iowa Medical Center and the Mayo Clinic.


The FAA mandated tail inspections of De Havilland Otters after fatal Washington crash … Cracks in Continental 500-series cylinders prompts scrutiny … An electric Robinson R44 flew between two airports … FAA reminds pilots of see-and-avoid responsibilities … The Air Force flew a refueling mission with a single pilot in a KC-46 … Stolen Rotax engines may have ended up in Iranian drones … FAA says more 5G disruptions are possible … See for breaking news in general aviation.


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