329 FAA Reauthorization Act of 2024 and How It Impacts GA Pilots

In this episode, Max discusses the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2024 and the dozens of provisions that may impact GA pilots. Here’s are the main points covered:

Remote Towers: Rob Mark’s investigation into Remote Towers, discussed in episode 292 may be bearing fruit.  Section 621 mandates the FAA to create a program and publish milestones for the design and operational approval of remote tower systems. By the end of 2024, the FAA is required to expand this approval process to at least three airports, prioritizing airports without permanent control towers, those serving small and rural communities, and those newly accepted into the Contract Tower Program.

Airport Surface Situational Awareness: The FAA must deploy technologies like Airport Surface Detection Equipment to enhance situational awareness and prevent runway collisions, tracking both aircraft and vehicle movements.

Low-Altitude Routes for Vertical Flight: Section 627 emphasizes the need for additional rotorcraft, powered-lift aircraft, and low-altitude routes. Within three years, the FAA must start updating low-altitude routes and procedures to ensure safe operations, incorporating performance-based navigation and minimizing conflicts with other airspace users and communities.

Drones and UAS Regulations: The bill includes various references to drones and Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). Notably, drones can operate in Class G airspace up to 400 feet without prior FAA authorization, and above that with authorization. Section 930 directs the FAA to propose regulations for Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) operations within four months, setting standards for remote pilots and ensuring safety for manned aviation.

Section 800 General Aviation: Reexamination of Pilots: The FAA must notify pilots about reexaminations within a year, with restrictions on passenger operations if not conducted within 30 days.

GAO Review: A report on the implementation of the Pilot’s Bill of Rights.

Aircraft Privacy: The FAA must establish processes to withhold registration and identifiable information for private aircraft owners.

Registration Numbers: Ensures fair access to aircraft registration numbers, preventing automated systems from bulk reserving numbers.

Investigations: The FAA must finalize any investigation open for more than two years unless an extension is necessary, approved by senior FAA officials.

All Makes and Models Authorization: The FAA must reauthorize mechanics and inspectors to work on a wide range of aircraft types.

Response to Investigations: Individuals have at least 30 days to respond to FAA letters of investigation.

ADS-B Out Equipage Study: A study on the implementation and impact of ADS-B Out equipment, examining costs, benefits, and potential incentives for aircraft owners.

Off-Airport Operations: Section 809 prevents the FAA from enforcing regulations that would require a pilot to continue an unsafe landing, referencing the case of Trent Palmer who faced suspension for a low-altitude inspection pass.

Airshow Safety Team: Section 811 proposes the creation of an Airshow Safety Team to enhance safety at airshows and aerial events through non-regulatory measures and best practices.

Registration Validity: Allows aircraft to operate on expired registrations if a renewal application is in process.

Temporary Airman Certificate: Permits immediate issuance of a temporary certificate while awaiting a replacement.

LODA Exemption: Expands the Letter of Deviation Authority exemption for flight training in certain experimental aircraft.

BasicMed for Examiners: Allows examiners to administer tests if they meet BasicMed requirements.

FAA Process Improvements: Sections 816-819 aim to improve various FAA processes:

Designee Locator Tool: Enhancements to the public search function for locating FAA designees.

Registration Backlog: Reduces the aircraft registration backlog, ensuring applications are processed within 10 business days.

Part 135 Certificate Backlog: Establishes a timeline for processing Part 135 air carrier certificates.

Aircraft Conformity: Simplifies the conformity process for Part 135 operators.

Flight Instructor Certificates: Section 820 requires the removal of the expiration date on flight instructor certificates, replacing it with recent experience requirements, thus easing the burden on instructors who need to renew their certificates regularly.

Regulatory Consistency: Sections 821-823 address the consistency in the application of FAA policies and regulations, ensuring uniform interpretation and application across different regions and offices.

Other Provisions

MOSAIC Rulemaking: Modernization of Special Airworthiness Certification within 24 months.

Gyroplane Regulations: Excludes gyroplanes from certain rotorcraft fuel system requirements.

Logging Flight Time: Allows logging of flight time for certain public aircraft operations.

EAGLE Initiative: Continues efforts to eliminate leaded aviation gasoline by 2030.

BasicMed Expansion: Increases allowable weight and passenger limits for BasicMed aircraft.

ADS-B Data Use: Prohibits the FAA from initiating investigations based solely on ADS-B Out data.

Charitable Flight Exemptions: Validates exemptions for fuel reimbursement for charitable flights for five years, with provisions for rescinding exemptions under specific conditions.

This comprehensive legislation aims to modernize aviation regulations, improve safety, enhance efficiency, and ensure fair processes across various aspects of aviation.

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Episode #292 Remote Towers with Rod Mark
FAA Reauthorization Act of 2024
AOPA’s Summary of GA Related Provisions

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328 Buying a Plane and Crashing on Way Home – N8924Y Piper Twin Comanche

Few tragedies are more poignant than the loss of a pilot on what should have been a routine flight. Many pilots dream of buying their own airplane. But for some pilots, this dream turns into a nightmare all too soon. They never make it home. Instead, they crash along the way, their hopes and aspirations shattered in an instant. This scenario, sadly, is not uncommon. A quick search of the NTSB database reveals numerous accidents involving recently purchased aircraft, many of which occurred shortly after the new owners took possession.

One such tragedy involved the crash of N8924Y, a Piper Twin Comanche, and serves as a sobering reminder of the risks inherent in aviation. The pilot, Rob Prestininzi, had recently acquired the aircraft and was flying it home when disaster struck. The circumstances surrounding the crash share eerie similarities with other accidents of its kind: a long day of flying, fatigue, the pressure to reach a destination, limited experience in the aircraft make and model, and challenging nighttime conditions.

In the case of N8924Y, the pilot’s journey began at Savannah Hardin County Airport in Tennessee, where he picked up the aircraft after a friend had flown him there earlier in the day. Despite encountering various issues, including a landing gear problem and deteriorating weather, the pilot pressed on with the flight. As darkness fell, he found himself struggling to troubleshoot the landing gear issue while simultaneously hand-flying the aircraft and communicating via cell phone.

Tragically, the aircraft ultimately stalled and crashed, claiming the life of the pilot. The NTSB investigation revealed a series of factors that contributed to the accident, including the pilot’s failure to monitor airspeed, the presence of a burned-out landing gear indicator bulb, and the challenges of troubleshooting the issue in low-light conditions.

One of the most haunting aspects of the accident is the realization that it could have been prevented. Had the pilot been more experienced in the aircraft or taken steps to address the landing gear problem earlier in the flight, the outcome might have been different. Additionally, the pressure to complete the journey and the reluctance to deviate from the original plan likely clouded the pilot’s judgment and contributed to his decision to press on despite the challenges he faced.

As aviators, we must recognize the importance of maintaining situational awareness and making sound decisions, especially when faced with adversity. It’s essential to prioritize safety above all else and be willing to reassess our plans in the face of changing circumstances.

The tragic loss of Rob Prestininzi serves as a somber reminder of the need for constant vigilance and adherence to best practices. It highlights the dangers of get-home-it-is, which under the right circumstances can affect any of us. His memory lives on as a cautionary tale for pilots everywhere, urging us to learn from his mistakes and strive to be better, safer aviators.

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327 N84R Beech A36 Crash in KY – Pilot Breaks multiple FAA Rules + GA News

Max discusses a tragic accident that involved a 55-year-old physician who crashed his Beech A36 aircraft, N84R, at Tucker Guthrie Memorial Airport in Harlan, Kentucky, on November 3, 2022. The pilot departed from Knoxville at around 9:32 a.m. with the purpose of attending scheduled appointments at a medical office near the destination airport.

Despite low instrument flight conditions at the time of arrival, the pilot did not file a flight plan, communicate with ATC, or receive a weather briefing before departure. Upon arrival in the airport area, he announced over the CTAF his intention to circle for landing. However, subsequent flight track data revealed that the airplane completed a total of three approaches to the runway, none of which were consistent with the published instrument approach procedure, and all were conducted in low instrument flight conditions.

Witness accounts and flight track data suggested that the pilot routinely landed at the airport under similar weather conditions in the past, displaying a pattern of circling approaches not consistent with published procedures. Additionally, the investigation revealed that the pilot was not instrument current and had a history of conducting circling maneuvers in instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) without clearance.

The NTSB’s final report identified the pilot’s hazardous anti-authority attitude as a contributing factor to the accident, along with his decision to fly into IMC without proper clearance or adherence to established procedures. Furthermore, toxicology testing revealed the presence of methamphetamine and phentermine in the pilot’s system, both of which are substances prohibited by the FAA for pilots due to their potential to impair judgment and performance.

The NTSB emphasized the importance of recognizing and countering hazardous attitudes, such as anti-authority, through adherence to regulations and good decision-making practices. It also highlighted the necessity of effective risk management and honest self-assessment, particularly regarding medical fitness and proficiency in flying. Psychological factors such as risk-taking tendencies, normalization of deviance, and overconfidence were also discussed as potential influences on the pilot’s decision-making process.

Ultimately, the probable cause of the accident was determined to be the pilot’s decision to continue visual flight into IMC during an approach to land, resulting in controlled flight into terrain. The NTSB’s findings underscored the critical importance of adherence to regulations, proper training, and vigilant risk management to ensure aviation safety and prevent avoidable accidents.

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326 How to Get a Job Towing Gliders – Interview Jason Stephens + GA News

Max talks with Arizona Soaring President and Chief Flight Instructor Jason Stephens and eight time Nation glider aerobatic champion about what it takes to become a glider towplane pilot. Surprisingly, you can tow gliders with just a Private certificate, though most operators will probably want their prospective tow pilots to have a commercial rating. Most new tow pilots will  probably be required to have at least a couple hundred hours of total experience. And since most tow planes are taildraggers, they’ll also need a taildragger endorsement.

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TBM-850 crash at Raleigh-Durham airport
Arizona Soaring

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325 N51FM SR22 Crash at Paso Robles – When to fly the Hold at an IF/IAF

Max talks about the accident of N51FM, a Cirrus SR22T at Paso Robles, CA, and emphasizes the importance of understanding approach procedures, particularly when starting an approach from an IF/IAF fix with a racetrack. The accident involved a pilot who failed to follow correct procedures, leading to a crash, though fortunately, all occupants survived. Max breaks down the mistakes made by the pilot and discusses the implications for instrument pilots.

The flight began in Scottsdale, AZ, with the aircraft flying towards Paso Robles after a stop at Big Bear, CA. The host highlights deviations from standard procedures during the approach to Big Bear and the subsequent flight to Paso Robles. The pilot’s missteps include flying the traffic pattern in the wrong direction and excessive speeds that deviated from Cirrus standard operating procedures.

The crucial part of the flight occurs when the aircraft receives clearance for an RNAV (GPS) approach to Paso Robles, specifically to the combined IF/IAF waypoint HOVLI. The host emphasizes the importance of understanding approach segments and when to fly holds at IF/IAFs. In this case, the pilot was required to fly a holding pattern at HOVLI due to the direction of approach. However, the pilot failed to adhere to this requirement, leading to subsequent errors.

After receiving clearance for the approach, the pilot failed to fly the hold at HOVLI, resulting in being significantly above the required altitudes for subsequent fixes. The aircraft’s approach becomes unstable, with including reaching the Vne speed of 208 knots on the approach, and a descent rate that reached 2300 feet per minute. Fortunately, the pilot decided to circle back to runway 19, but instead lined up for runway 13, and then crashing between the two runways.

Max analyzes the human factors that may have influenced the pilot’s decision-making, including pressure to complete the flight, risk perception, and overconfidence. The importance of recognizing and mitigating these human factors is emphasized, highlighting the need for robust training and a safety-oriented mindset.

The accident serves as a cautionary tale, highlighting the consequences of deviating from standard procedures and the importance of maintaining situational awareness and decision-making abilities, especially in challenging situations. The host encourages pilots to prioritize safety, utilize resources effectively, and be willing to execute a go-around when necessary.

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RNAV (GPS) 19 approach to KPRB, Paso Robles, CA

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324 13 Ways to build flight time with Rob Mark – Part 2 + GA News

Max talks with Rob Mark about thirteen different ways a pilot can build flight time. These jobs may be attractive to weekend pilots who are looking for a fun flying activity, or for pilots who are looking to reach the 1500 hours required for an ATP and an airline job. This is Part 2 of a two episode series.

In Part 2, we discuss Part 91 and Corporate flying, Air tours, Banner towing, time building programs, glider towing, working as a CFI, and flying a personal airplane. We also discuss the illegal P-51time, which has nothing to do with warbirds.

And I want to mention one other resource for pilots who are looking for low time pilot jobs.  I mentioned the Road to 1500 website where you can learn about a lot of these jobs. And just a couple of weeks ago, Ivan Rabarison, who runs that website, began offering what he calls the Ultimate Low Time Pilot Jobs Database, which sells for  $29.99. I haven’t seen it, but apparently it includes minimum hour requirements to apply, location, website, contact information and in some case information about pay, work schedules and more. So it sounds like a fairly efficient to help find these jobs.

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FAA Hiring Controllers April 19-22
FAA Controller Hiring Website
FAA From the Flight Deck Videos and Handbooks
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323 13 Ways to build flight time with Rob Mark – Part 1 + GA News

Max talks with Rob Mark about thirteen different ways a pilot can build flight time. These jobs may be attractive to weekend pilots who are looking for a fun flying activity, or for pilots who are looking to reach the 1500 hours required for an ATP and an airline job. This is Part 1 of a two episode series.

In Part 1, we discuss Part 135 Charter flying, Part 135 Cargo flying, flying skydivers, Pipeline Patrol, working as a Ferry Pilot and working as an Aerial Survey Pilot. We also talked briefly about aerial photography. In Part 2, we discuss seven additional ways that pilots can build flight time.

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2024 GUIDE FOR AVIATION MEDICAL EXAMINERS
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322 N960LP TBM 960 Truckee crash; Robinson helicopter factory tour + GA News

Max talks about the details of the crash of a TBM 960, N960LP, at Truckee, California last weekend. He also talks in detail about his factory tour last week of Robinson Helicopter.

The pilot, by all accounts well trained and experienced in the aircraft. The flight originated from the Centennial Airport, south of Denver, and lasted about 3 hours and 15 minutes. Weather at the time the pilot flew the approach was ½ mile visibility and snow with clouds scattered at 300 feet and overcast at 700 feet. However the approach minimums were 1 mile visibility and the MDA is 582 feet AGL. So the clouds were approximately 120 feet above minimums, and the visibility was ½  mile….less than the minimums.

Max talks about how the pilot flew the instrument approach more or less successfully, though he descended more than 200 feet below the minimums, and he started his turn for the missed approach 1.3 miles beyond the missed approach point. While he flew the approach with the autopilot, he flew the missed approach by hand, and lost control.

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Robinson Helicopter Company Factory Tour video
#227 My Near-Fatal Icing Incident
#233 What You Need to Know about Advisory Glide Slopes
Truckee Airport Procedures and Noise Abatement

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321 Sleep Inertia and False Glide Slope – Air India Flight 812 Crash

Max talks about two critical factors, sleep inertia and false glide slopes, which played significant roles in an Air India Express accident. Despite being unrelated phenomena, they converged to contribute to the crash of Flight 812 in 2010. Air India Express, a low-cost airline operating in India, experienced its first fatal crash during this flight.

The aircraft, a Boeing 737, was returning from Dubai to Mangalore, India. However, the cockpit voice recorder revealed that the captain had been asleep for a significant portion of the flight, awakening only shortly before the crash. Compounded by issues such as inadequate descent planning and reliance on visual cues due to radar unavailability, the crew found themselves on an unstabilized approach, ignoring multiple warnings and calls for a go-around from the first officer.

The aircraft ultimately overshot the runway, impacting various structures and resulting in numerous fatalities. Investigation highlighted the captain’s failure to discontinue the unstable approach as the primary cause, with contributory factors including sleep inertia and improper descent planning.

Max also talks about the technical aspects of false glide slopes, explaining how they can mislead pilots during instrument approaches. He emphasizes the importance of proper altitude management and approach verification to avoid tracking false glide slopes, which can lead to catastrophic consequences. Examples from aviation incidents and personal experiences underscore the criticality of adhering to correct procedures, particularly during instrument approaches.

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University of Southern California
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320 The Secret to Making Better Landings with Data – Chuck Cali + GA News

There are three secrets to making great landings. Unfortunately, nobody knows what they are. That’s an old joke but fortunately, there is a proven way to make better landings, and that’s by collecting data on your landings. Host Max Trescott talks with Chuck Cali about how you can collect data for your landings and compare it with other pilots. The techniques apply to anyone flying a modern glass cockpit, such as the G1000. Chuck has analyzed 40,000 Cirrus landings and concluded that pilots could be doing a better job, especially during the flare and touchdown.

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Online Version of the Seminar Coming Soon – Register for Notification

Check out our recommended ADS-B receivers, and order one for yourselfYes, we’ll make a couple of dollars if you do.

Get the Free Aviation News Talk app for iOS or Android.

Check out Max’s Online Courses: G1000 VFR, G1000 IFR, and Flying WAAS & GPS Approaches. Find them all at: https://www.pilotlearning.com/

Social Media
Like Aviation News Talk podcast on Facebook
Follow Max on Instagram
Follow Max on Twitter
Listen to all Aviation News Talk podcasts on YouTube or YouTube Premium

“Go Around” song used by permission of Ken Dravis; you can buy his music at kendravis.com

If you purchase a product through a link on our site, we may receive compensation.