Briefing: October 2022



The global accident rate for commercial flights dropped by 9.8 percent in 2021 over 2020 according to stats released by the International Civil Aviation Authority. The rate fell to 1.93 accidents per one million departures in 2021 down from 2.14 per million the previous year. The report covers all commercial fixed-wing operations in aircraft with a maximum takeoff weight of more than 5,700 kg. “These outcomes are very positive and encouraging, and reconfirm that air transport is the safest mode of transport even during the current global circumstances,” said ICAO Secretary General Juan Carlos Salazar.


The DeLand Sport Aviation Showcase is now the Aero Showcase and also has new management and new dates. The show, which will expand its focus from sport aviation aircraft and products to a broader range of gear and services, will be held Oct. 21-22 at DeLand Municipal Airport. The changes came a month after the show’s founder and driving force Jana Filip resigned to join the Aerospace Center for Excellence at Lakeland as the business development manager. “We are excited that a local company, Aero Affinity Holding Corporation, has decided to take over and rebrand this event which will now promote not only sport aviation but all aviation related activities at our airport,” said DeLand Mayor Robert Apgar.


A helicopter ambulance pilot who was fired after refusing two trips because of poor visibility has won a $188,000 settlement against his former employer. The unidentified pilot was let go by a Louisiana operator shortly after refusing to fly and a whistleblower investigation by the Department of Labor’s Occupational Health and Safety Administration found the company violated federal law that “protects employees who refuse to perform work assignments when they reasonably believe these assignments would cause them to violate aviation safety regulations.” The company, Metro Aviation, says it will fight the ruling, noting the FAA found no evidence that regs were violated. “We respectfully disagree with OSHA’s administrative determination and intend to seek a hearing before an administrative law judge who will consider all relevant evidence.”


The Air Force is considering how it might use eVTOLs and one of its first steps is figuring out pilot training. It has hired Massachusetts consulting company Aptima to determine which pilots might be best for the aircraft, considering the high level of automation most of them have. “The learnability study will help us not only understand the baseline pilot skills and competencies needed for proficient eVTOL flight, but also the impact of automation on pilot performance,” said Samantha Emerson, training, learning and readiness scientist at Aptima. She said more experienced pilots sometime don’t adapt well to riding along to monitor autonomous flight. “In fact, it may require an ‘unlearning’ and re-training of behaviors to prevent interference or conflict with automated operations,” she said.


There could soon be greater access to sustainable aviation fuel after the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. The Act, signed by President Joe Biden in August, contains major incentives for increasing production of the more climate-friendly kerosene. The provision will pay producers from $1.25-$1.75 per gallon to offset production costs based on how green the fuel is in terms of inputs and process. All major commercial and business aviation groups applauded the initiative but said there’s a lot of regulatory reform needed to get it into fuel tanks.


Court rules drone tracking rule is legal … USAF has picked Air Tractor for its new counterterrorism attack aircraft … Congressional subcommittee expresses outrage over continued use of 100LL … AirVenture posted record attendance for 2022 show … RAF throttling recruitment to meet diversity targets … See for breaking news in general aviation.


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