On March 9, 2020, the Interim Investigation Report (“Report”) into the March 10, 2019, crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, a Boeing 737-8 (MAX) was issued.  The Ethiopian Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau’s (“Bureau”)138 page Report devotes approximately two pages to a description of the pilot’s/copilot’s experience, hours, etc., and one page to Ethiopian Airlines training program.  There is virtually no analysis anywhere in the 138 pages of the crew’s performance. … Read More

Changing a light bulb in a commercial passenger aircraft is not so simple of a task as running down to the local aircraft parts store and picking up a couple of “Made in China” 60-watt generic light bulbs and popping in a replacement.  Not only is the replacement light bulb subject to FAA approval and regulatory oversight under 14 CFR Part 21, but so are the maintenance facility and the aircraft mechanic changing the light bulb.  … Read More

The future of drones is finally here!  After an 18 month delay, the FAA has released a draft of the new rules for remote identification of unmanned aircraft.  The draft rule weighs in at over 300 pages, and provides a comprehensive roadmap for the full implementation of the Remote ID system.

The proposed Remote ID system relies heavily on third party service providers, which are expected to collect identification and location data from UAs in-flight in real-time.… Read More

On April 25, 2011, in response to a number of high profile incidents, the DOT published the “Enhancing Airline Passenger Protections” rule to put hard limits on what constitutes an acceptable tarmac delay for a loaded passenger plane.  The rule required carriers to adopt contingency plans for such delays, and limit delays to three hours for domestic flights and four hours for international flights. … Read More

In Parts I & II of this article, we discussed current developments in electric and hybrid-electric aircraft.    We touched on battery technology and even discussed transport category aircraft that I might be flying on when I finally retire….sadly in 2043, if I’m lucky.  In this third installment, we discuss the FAA Part 23 certification process and its application to electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft, Amendment 64, and the certification challenges facing much of the eVTOL aircraft currently in development.… Read More