FAA Rejects 750-Hour FO Exemption
The FAA has denied Republic Airways’ request that graduates of its in-house training program called Leadership in Flight Training (LIFT) be allowed to become first officers with 750 hours of flight experience rather than the mandatory 1500 hours for most candidates. The agency allows military or ex-military pilots to take the right seat with 750 hours because of the high level of training they get in the military. In its application for a similar exemption for its LIFT graduates, Republic argued it would match or exceed the military standards and that pilots would be trained from the outset for the airplane they would end up flying. But the FAA decided Republic didn’t make its case well enough. “The FAA finds that the supporting materials and LIFT historical data does not sufficiently support Republic’s claim that the Republic R-ATP Program is sufficiently comparable to the training program of a military branch to warrant a reduction in flight hours.”
Company Says Electric Airliner Is ‘Useable’
Swedish startup Heart Aerospace says its new 30-seat hybrid-electric regional airliner is a plane “the industry can actually use” and Air Canada has become its launch customer. The airline hopes to be using the ES-30 on feeder routes as early as 2028. “We have designed a cost efficient airplane that allows airlines to deliver good service on a wide range of routes,” said Anders Forslund, founder and CEO of Heart Aerospace. “With the ES-30 we can start cutting emissions from air travel well before the end of this decade.” The aircraft will have a battery-only range of 125 miles and an onboard turbine generator will double that range. It will have a standard airliner interior with overhead bins and two-plus-one seating.
Most Civilian GPS Uses Unharmed By 5G Signals
A study by the National Academy of Sciences says GPS devices used in commercial and recreational aviation should not be seriously affected by a new 5G cellular network that will operate in an adjacent frequency band. However, the group does say that signals from Iridium satellites used by the U.S. military, including some for national security programs, could be seriously affected by interference from the 5G if the equipment is within 2401 feet of a cell transmitter. Ligado, which is behind the cell network, says the study confirms its assertions that a small minority of devices will be affected. But Iridium, which is most at risk, says the study confirms the fears of the GPS industry that harmful interference will occur.
Unleaded 100-Octane Fuel Approved
General Aviation Modifications Inc.’s 100 octane unleaded fuel has been granted supplementary type certificate approval in all piston aviation engines. The STC came after more than a decade of development and lobbying by GAMI principal George Braly. “This is a big day for the industry,” said Braly. “[It] means that our industry will be able to go into the future and prosper, and provide the essential infrastructure for this country for everything from Angel Flights to critical training of our future airline pilots.” GAMI started working on the fuel in 2009.
Better Laser Strike Coordination Needed
The Government Accountability Office says the FAA needs to do a better job of preventing laser strikes on aircraft. The GAO says that since a joint committee of the FAA, FBI and FDA (which has regulatory oversight of handheld lasers) the FAA hasn’t been able to effectively gather data on strikes because it can’t see the reports investigated by the other agencies. “By not routinely seeking updates from agencies, FAA does not provide Congress with a complete picture of laser incident investigations and enforcement actions as required.” The GAO recommended the FAA spearhead the reestablishment of the joint committee.
Air France pilots suspended for flight deck fight … Piedmont Airlines signing laid off pilots with no interviews … Embraer and L3 collaborate on “agile” tanker based on KC-390 … Instructor and homebuilt pioneer Budd Davisson inducted into EAA Hall of Fame … A forgotten engine intake plug caused F-35B crash off carrier … See AVweb.com for breaking news in general aviation.