FAAST Blast — Week of Apr 16 – Apr 22, 2012
FAA Safety Briefing News Update
Bulletin Cautions Pilots on Proper Use of Airplane Seat Restraints
On April 16, 2012, the FAA issued a Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (SAIB) advising pilots of an airworthiness concern relevant to all airplanes equipped with a seat restraint system. A 2011 NTSB study of inflatable restraint systems revealed that in some accidents the restraints were not used correctly (i.e, passengers inadvertently fastened the wrong restraint or did not position the restraints properly). Both the FAA and NTSB contend these safety issues apply to any type of restraint, and that when these systems are used improperly, it could impair their life-saving benefits. The SAIB contains a diagram illustrating the correct way to fasten and position both a three- and four-point inflatable restraint system and recommends referring to your aircraft’s POH for specific instructions. The FAA also reminds aircraft operators that it is the PIC’s responsibility to ensure that all passengers are instructed on the proper use of the seat restraint system and to fasten them prior to take off. The SAIB is available here: http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgSAIB.nsf/(LookupSAIBs)/CE-12-27?OpenDocument
FAA Charts to Reflect Overflight Restrictions for West Coast Sanctuaries
The new 2012 FAA VFR aeronautical charts are being updated to provide additional information for aircraft operations in the vicinity of Monterey Bay, Channel Islands, Gulf of the Farallones, and Olympic Coast National Marines Sanctuaries. In accordance with existing National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) regulations, flight operations below the charted altitude for each sanctuary may harass or disturb marine mammals and seabirds and therefore, violate NOAA regulations (15 CFR Part 922, as amended at 77 FR 3919, Jan. 26, 2012).
The FAA has worked with NOAA to accurately depict the sanctuary boundaries on the affected aeronautical charts and have included a notation that references the NOAA regulations. Look for these additions on the Seattle Sectional, Los Angeles Sectional & Terminal Area Chart (TAC), San Francisco Sectional & TAC, and World Aeronautical Charts (WAC) CF-16 & CG-18 to be released by the FAA in 2012.
Take Your Preflight to the Next Level
While loss of control flights lead the pack when it comes to GA fatal accidents, NTSB accident data from 2000-2009 shows poor preflight inspections caused or contributed to 156 GA accidents and 41 fatalities. One way of shoring up your preflight skills is to follow the steps of an “advanced preflight,” a concept that FAA Airworthiness Inspector Steve Keesey outlines in the March/April 2012 FAA Safety Briefing. “Advanced preflight is a program that helps aircraft owners and pilots become more aware of all the safety-related data pertaining to their aircraft,” says Keesey. “In addition, it focuses on being more aware of who maintains your aircraft, and how to apply a detailed approach to your preflight based on a review of the aircraft’s maintenance history.”
For more on how an advanced preflight can increase your chances of a safe flight, be sure to read the article on page 18 (http://www.faa.gov/news/safety_briefing/.)
Produced by the FAA Safety Briefing editors, http://www.faa.gov/news/safety_briefing/
Address questions or comments to: SafetyBriefing@faa.gov.
Follow us on Twitter @FAASafetyBrief or www.twitter.com/FAASafetyBrief