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Archive for the ‘FAA / NTSB’ Category

NTSB Study on Drug Use in Aviation Shows Upward Trend in Use of Potentially Impairing Medications

First Step in Understanding Drug Use and Accident Risk

​WASHINGTON – In a study adopted today on the prevalence of drug use by pilots who died in crashes, the NTSB found an upward trend in the use of both potentially impairing medications and illicit drugs. Almost all of the crashes – 96 percent – were in general aviation.

“I think that the key take-away from this study for every pilot is to think twice about the medications you’re taking and how they might affect your flying,” said NTSB Acting Chairman Christopher A. Hart. “Many over-the-counter and prescription drugs have the potential to impair performance, so pilots must be vigilant to ensure that their abilities are in no way compromised before taking to the skies.”

The study analyzed toxicology results for 6,677 pilots who died in aircraft accidents between 1990 and 2012. None of the pilots who died in large airline accidents had recently used illicit drugs, though some had been using potentially impairing medications.

Over the period studied, the proportion of pilots testing positive for drugs with impairment potential nearly doubled from about 11 percent to almost 23 percent. The most common impairing drug was a sedating antihistamine (diphenhydramine) found in many cold and allergy medications as well as sleep aids.

Study authors emphasized that it could not be stated with certainty that more pilots are actually flying impaired. While the study noted that the greater use of medications pointed to an increasing risk of impairment, it stressed that further research is needed to better understand the relationship between drug use and accident risk.

Since 1990, the NTSB cited pilot impairment as a cause or contributing factor in about 3 percent of fatal accidents, a figure that was relatively stable over the study period.

Importantly, the study explained that it was difficult to ascertain whether a pilot who tested positive was actually impaired at the time of the accident. However, the study did say that increasing numbers of accident pilots chose to fly after taking potentially impairing drugs, suggesting that some pilots are either unaware of the risks that such drugs present or consider such risks acceptable.

Illicit drug use was relatively uncommon among the study population, increasing from 2.4 percent of pilots who died in accidents in the 1990s to around 4 percent by 2012, largely due to increasing marijuana use.

The study included 6 safety recommendations, all related to gathering better information about impairment in transportation or urging better dissemination of information on potentially impairing drugs to pilots and others.

In addition to the safety recommendations, the NTSB issued a safety alert urging pilots to consult medical professionals about the potentially impairing effects of any drug that they are taking, carefully read medication dosing instructions, and to refrain from flying if they feel impaired in any way.

The complete report will be available in several weeks. An abstract is available.

Read the rest of this entry »

Pilot Insights – Who’s Flying?

Pilot Insights – Who’s Flying?
Notice Number: NOTC6069

Tell me if this situation sounds familiar:  You are flying with a friend in her aircraft.  All is well until you set up for landing and hear ATIS is calling for some strong gusty crosswinds. Although you have more total flight time than your friend, she has a lot more experience in this particular plane. Not dissuaded by the rough winds, your friend executes a safe, albeit scary landing. After exiting the runway, you each say, “I never would have done that if I was by myself, but I figured you knew what you were doing.” Read the rest of this entry »

FAA to review aviation footage from manned and unmanned aircraft aka drones

Heads up fellow aviators, especially guys and gals with “drones”.

The FAA has issued the below notice to it’s inspectors to begin the process of reviewing published internet content from Aviators of both maned and unmanned aircraft.

The following is an excerpt from the official notice found here: Read the rest of this entry »

Air Disasters: Breakup Over Texas

In a blink of an eye, a commuter plane carrying 11 passengers from Laredo to Houston plummets to Earth, dropping thousands of feet in mere seconds. The aircraft slams into a farmer’s field with an impact so violent, the wreckage is not even recognizable as an airplane. What caused the crash of Continental Express Flight 2574? Was it human error? Mechanical failure? An act of terrorism? Read the rest of this entry »

Preflight those electrons

3-4-2015 10-28-04 AMPreflight those electrons
Notice Number: NOTC5875

There are so many items that need attention before we fly – airplane condition, weather conditions and our own health conditions, just to name a few. But, now we have an entirely new group of items to check due to our fascination with all things electronic. And, all of the electronics that we take with us need our attention too.

Here are some things that need to be done before the electronics go into the flight bag: Read the rest of this entry »

EAA reacts to FAA announcement on medical certificate rulemaking

FAA-MedicalCertificate-0112aAgency announces initiative after strong EAA/AOPA push on exemption, legislation

EAA AVIATION CENTER, OSHKOSH, Wis. — (April 2, 2014) — The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) is calling the Federal Aviation Administration’s announcement to begin a formal rulemaking process on expanding medical self-certification for pilots a good initial step, and supports any initiatives to modernize the aviation medical certification system for recreational flying. Read the rest of this entry »

Shell Announces Lead Free Option to 100LL Avgas

Shell_Aviation_Lab_2As you are probably aware, the 100LL issue has been plaguing the general aviation industry for years. With the threat of additional EPA regulations on the horizon this product couldn’t come fast enough. Unfortunately, we will have to wait a bit longer as the new product will be subject to “a strict regulatory approvals process” that will likely take a year or more.

Shell’s new lead-free formulation comes after 10 years of exhaustive R&D, as well as successful initial testing, carried out in the last two months by two original equipment manufacturers.

Xinsheng (Sheng) Zhang, Vice-President of Shell Aviation, said: “We are proud of this first for Shell Aviation. This advanced product is the latest milestone in our long history of innovation. We believe that with industry support, a stringent approvals process can be completed for this new lead-free product within a short time-frame. We look forward to working alongside our technical partners and authorities to progress the necessary approvals needed to make this product a reality for use in light aircraft engines of all types.”  Read the rest of this entry »

Learning lessons the hard way. Commercial Pilot Checkride gone bad

IMG_1635My life has been a bit of a blur lately. First it was my signoff for the commercial flight test back in June. Followed by examiner availability issues, then an annual inspection for the aircraft.

At the same time I needed to prepare for our flight to Oshkosh for EAA AirVenture 2013. I needed an Instrument Proficiency Check and to change channels back to my IFR cross-country flying methods (no lazy eights en-route).

I finally gave up on scheduling the examiner that my school normally uses and decided to call my local DE with whom I did my Instrument flight test.

We booked the test at first for last week, then moved it twice for weather but finally it all came together –or so I thought-.  Read the rest of this entry »

Flying with firearms? Check out this guide from Lucy Gunner

ammobaggage-1024x678General Aviation Guide to Flying with Guns and Ammo

A while ago Lucky Gunner sent me a link to this site. At the time, I wasn’t considering the possibility of owning a firearm but things have changed and I have added a new hobby to my life.

That being said, I live in NJ so that means waiting over 3 months for the paperwork to go through.

Check out the video and their site. Read the rest of this entry »

GA News: Pilot’s Bill of Rights Signed Into Law

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), a member of the Senate General Aviation Caucus and certified flight instructor with more than 10,000 flight hours, today announced that his Pilot’s Bill of Rights (S.1335) has been officially signed into law. Inhofe has worked to pass the legislation for the past year.  In the Senate where the bill enjoyed co-sponsorship by 65 other Senators, the measure passed by unanimous consent in June.  The House passed the measure by a voice voteRead the rest of this entry »

Pilot Professionalism by Robert Sumalt NTSB (Video)

Pilot Professionalism by Robert Sumalt of the NTSB at the University of North Dakota.

It’s a bit long but well worth the time. A must watch for any pilot weather you fly a Piper Cub or a Boeing 747.


Read the rest of this entry »

Socata TBM-700 N731CA crash on RT 287 Morristown NJ

Updates on the crash on RT 278 near Morristown NJ.

  • According to reports a Socata TBM 700 crashed shortly after departing Teterboro KTEB.
  • Authorities have reported 5 deaths with no injuries on the ground.
  • According to the a flight track on FlightAware the TBM departed TEB and lost radar contact at approximately 10:15 local time at an altitude of about 16,000 feet.

My hart goes out to the families. RIP.. Read the rest of this entry »

The Hudson River midair collision NTSB Report

It’s been more than a year since the tragic midair collision over the Hudson River that claimed the lives of 9 people and it has been on my mind ever since. I for one love the scenic flight up the Hudson River. It was my first destination in a small airplane back in the spring of 2001 and I even flew down the Hudson during my introductory flight a few weeks later. Read the rest of this entry »

ADS-B Out Mandate (AOPA Video)

This is something that has gotten my attention especially since we are in the initial phases of upgrading our Cessna 182RG avionics.
Source credit AOPA:;&WT.mc_sect=tts
The FAA on May 27 published its final rule mandating what owners will be required to have on board their aircraft in order to operate in the new satellite-based air traffic control system known as NextGen. By 2020, Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast Out (ADS-B Out) will be required equipment in all airspace that currently requires a transponder. Read the rest of this entry »

FAA Finalizes Changes in Hudson River Airspace

Manhatten_SmallFor Immediate Release
November 16, 2009
FAA Finalizes Changes in Hudson River Airspace to Enhance Safety

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today finalized a federal rule, effective November 19, 2009, that will enhance safety by separating low-altitude, local aircraft flights over the Hudson River from flights transiting through the river airspace.
“Better separation of aircraft means a higher margin of safety,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “These new rules will ensure that aircraft can operate safely in the busy Hudson River airspace.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Amanda Michelle (Younkin) Franklin 3/14/1986 – 5/27/2011 Click for information on Amanda