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Magellan Jets Blogs

The Magellan Jets blog is your go-to resource for all things related to private jet travel, the aviation industry, and even more. 

Need Supplemental Lift? 4 Things To Consider

Whether it’s for personal or business reasons, using supplemental lift can be a huge asset for all your travel needs. There is a lot to consider when choosing a provider which can make the process very daunting. Your time, money, and safety are important so make sure you choose a provider who meets the highest level of all your requirements. Here are 4 things Magellan Jets thinks you need to consider before choosing your supplemental lift provider.

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3 Things That Are Taking the Aviation Industry by Storm

Or, “A few things we are excited about from the most recent National Business Aviation Association’s (NBAA) convention and exhibition”. Being in the private aviation industry, we are always excited to stay in the know on all things aviation. Here are our top three:
1) HondaJet is here.
Yes, really. Private jet owners and enthusiasts will be thrilled to learn that after over 20 years of extensive research and development, the world’s most advanced light jet has arrived. Built around the pilot, with intiuitive touch-screen technology, it offers more spacial cockpit and greater visibility. Honda promises it is the fastest, most fuel efficient, and highest flying light jet in its class. Honda expects to receive the FAA certification very soon at which point it will start delivering the plane to customers.
Source: HondaJet

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Delay on Controversial Sleep Apnea Testing Policy

A few weeks ago you may have read my blog regarding FAA’s new policy to require obese pilots to undergo a sleep apnea test. Well, it seems there is now a delay on the controversial proposal concerning the screening. Below is an official statement sent out on behalf of the NBAA.

Washington, DC, Dec. 19, 2013 – The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) today welcomed the decision by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to delay its plans for implementing a controversial new policy for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) screening for pilots until the agency has had an opportunity to hear from industry stakeholders on the matter.

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Aviation Executives Rally at Capitol Hill

On Thursday, Air-traffic controllers, airline pilots and airport executives rallied with a group of leaders from several aviation organizations to protest the government shutdown that occurred on Oct.1st. About 200 aviation group representatives held the rally to call on Washington policymakers to find a path forward so that vital aviation services can resume.
While the shutdown has not immediately impacted aviation safety, the longer the shutdown remains in effect the more risk we are creating. Capt. Sean Cassidy, first vice president of the Air Line Pilots Association, said He cited burned-out runway lights and problems with radar displays that need to be replaced as risks. Pilots continue to anonymously report safety issues from their flights to the Federal Aviation Administration, but Cassidy says the shutdown hinders the government review of them to spot safety concerns.
NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen joined the rally as well to discuss reopening the FAA. Since the start of the shutdown, NBAA has continually called upon decision-makers in Washington to promptly find a path for reopening the FAA.
The link below is a video clip from the rally held at Capitol Hill.
Video: Ed Bolen remarks on Capitol Hill (click the link and then enter password “digital”):

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FAA Update: “N” Number restrictions for operators

Finally, the FAA has instituted a policy that simplifies the process for operators, confirming that a written request asking for the data to be blocked will be sufficient. The FAA notice spells out the exact information that must be included in the request, such as the aircraft registration number and the requestor’s contact information. Two years ago, the US Congress passed legislation that would allow operators to restrict access to aircraft “N” numbers. The new FAA policy puts the legislation into play. Dan Hubbard – Senior Vice President of Communications – NBAA stated “NBAA has long maintained there are real concerns involved in such tracking, with regard to corporate competitiveness, personal security and privacy — none of which should have to be surrendered just because someone boards his or her own airplane,” The association is “satisfied” with the FAA’s final policy. NBAA also had asked the FAA to allow the association to collect the opt-out requests and submit them en masse to the FAA, but the FAA declined that request. Please see the policy below.

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FAA Signs Deal With Air Traffic Controllers

Late last month, the FAA signed a three-year deal with the National Air Traffic Controllers Association valued at $669 million. A new contract for Natca had been a top priority of the Obama administration after years of impasse in negotiations with the union that represents about 20,000 employees.

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Boston airport lays first Green Runway

This weekend, Boston’s Logan International Airport expects to nearly finish the first runway in the nation repaved with an environmentally friendly material called warm-mix asphalt. The asphalt is heated to a lower temperature than normal, burning less fuel and emitting less carbon. Airport operator Massport says on this project that means a cut of 4,000 tons of carbon dioxide and 400,000 gallons of diesel fuel. The last batch of the asphalt will be laid on Runway 9/27 this weekend, though the runway won’t reopen until later this year. The $12.5 million project began in July. Some European airports have used warm-mix asphalt, but it had to pass Federal Aviation Administration testing before Logan could use it.

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New rules coming to Fight Pilots’ Fatigue?

Crowded skies and exhausted pilots are a bad mix, the airline industry and pilot unions agree, but they’re struggling over what to do about it. The airlines want to schedule some pilots with less-taxing flights – fewer takeoffs and landings – but for longer, not shorter, hours in the cockpit. The unions say they won’t agree to more hours for those pilots in exchange for fewer hours for pilots who fly as many as a half dozen short flights a day or take off at odd times. That was the main sticking point in an otherwise harmonious effort over the past month and a half to rewrite flying-time rules that in many cases are a half-century old and predate recent scientific findings concerning fatigue. The advisory committee on pilot fatigue was expected to deliver its recommendations to the Federal Aviation Administration late Tuesday. Committee members said the FAA had asked them not to make their recommendations public.

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Aviation industry told to brace for 8-pound birds

With environmental protection measures giving rise to the number of birds, federal safety officials in the US have called for the construction of planes that can withstand attacks by 8-pound creatures. According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), current airframe design standards were devised in the 1970s and need to be strengthened to meet the demands of skies shared by birds and aircraft. A Tuesday NTSB vote recommends that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ensure that the airframes of tomorrow be able to withstand a collision with a 4-pound bird and that the plane tails be able to withstand the impact of 8-pounders. The recommendation comes in response to five people losing their lives in Oklahoma on March 4, 2008 when a business jet collided with a flock of white pelicans, which can weigh up to 30 pounds. According to investigators, striking the pelicans caused severe damage to one wing of the Cessna Citation 500 and knocked out the power in one engine. They further pointed out that the plane could have continued to fly using its other engine, but not with the wing damage. In another incident last January, US Airways Flight 1549 ditched into the Hudson River after it struck a flock of Canadian geese following takeoff from New York’s LaGuardia Airport. It was dubbed the “Miracle on the Hudson” when all 155 people aboard survived. The risk of bird-aircraft collision is on the increase. On one hand, populations of most large avian species in North America have been increasing due to environmental protection. The species now have average weights double or triple current airframe impact standards. On the other hand, air traffic has increased dramatically which means more planes and more large birds sharing the skies and increasing the crashing risk.

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IG report accuses FAA of inadequate charter oversight

In a report on the on-demand Part 135 charter industry issued last week, the Department of Transportation Inspector General (IG) concluded that the “FAA does not effectively target inspections to higher-risk on-demand operators” nor provide enough inspector oversight of charter operators in comparison with Part 121 airlines. The IG suggests that if Part 135 on-demand and Part 121 regulations were similar, then some notable accidents might not have occurred. While the IG audit notes that “the number of fatalities from on-demand operations makes it imperative that FAA take action to address these issues,” the IG was not able to analyze Part 135 versus 121 accident rates to support its concerns. The IG audit, said the Regional Air Cargo Carriers Association, does not place “enough emphasis on the inherently-more-risky 135 environment.”
Much of the flying is done in foul weather, on demanding schedules, in relatively unsophisticated aircraft, with a single-pilot. And according to National Air Transportation Association president Jim Coyne, “The IG largely conducts an apples-and-oranges comparison. Part 121 is very homogenous with regard to the types of aircraft and operations. Part 135 contains every possible mission profile and includes single-engine pistons up to large cabin jets. Of course the requirements are going to be different.”

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New FAA Chief Counsel

WASHINGTON – Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Randy Babbitt has announced the appointment of David Grizzle as the new FAA chief counsel. “David Grizzle has top-level experience and I’m looking forward to having him on the team,” Babbitt said. “He understands the challenges of leading a diverse, international organization, as well as the complex interaction between governmental processes and our ultimate stakeholders, the American people.” Grizzle comes to the FAA following a 22-year career with Continental Airlines, Inc. From 2005 to 2008 he served as senior vice president of customer experience, where he was charged with developing and implementing new operating strategies and improving product deficiencies and services. From 1986 to 2004 Grizzle served in many other leadership positions at the airline, including senior vice president of marketing strategy and corporate development, where he headed up a group of 150 finance, planning, operations and marketing professionals. From 2004 to 2005, Grizzle was tapped by the U.S. Department of State and took leave from Continental to serve as the transportation and infrastructure coordinator and attach© for the Afghanistan Reconstruction Group, Kabul, Afghanistan. In Afghanistan, he worked with the FAA and other government organizations to accelerate reconstruction efforts for air and surface transportation projects as well as power, and telecommunications. Prior to his career at Continental, Grizzle served as vice president of administration and general counsel for New York Air, Inc. from 1984 to 1986. From 1978 to 1984 he practiced law at several New York-based law firms, including as a partner at Kellner, Chehebar, Deveney&Grizzle from 1983 to 1984.

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And the Chosen One is…..Randy Babitt!

Randy Babitt was confirmed by the senate for a five-year term as Administrator of the FAA. The Air Transport Association’s PResident and CEO James May said he is looking forward to working with Randy and cannot wait to start implementing the new air traffic control system set to go into effect of the next few years. They could use a guy like him in Indonesia….

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Airline Mechanics Who Can’t Read English

It has recently been revealed that there are serious flaws in the way FAA licenses mechanics who fix planes. There is evidence that there has been problems testing mechanics for years and that questionable licenses have been given out. Now there is evidence that there have been low-wage mechanics hired who cannot even read English. Twenty-one people died when the U.S. Airways Express crashed in Charlotte in 2003. The plane went out of control at takeoff. One reason for the crash was that the cables were incorrectly connected to the plane’s control surfaces. Repairing and maintaining airplanes is complicated and have many manuals. Its hard to stick to those manuals when you can’t read them. FAA has some serious explaining to do.

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People Upset by FAA’s Sly Move to Conceal “Bird” Accident Records

The FAA has proposed to the government to restrict access to bird strike accident reports. They plan to block all public access for bird collisions like the one that brought down the plane in the Hudson in January. The proposal went virtually unnoticed and is essentially approved. The FAA claims that the goal of this move was to prevent the public from being “mislead” by the data.

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