View of Whiteplains Plantation

View of Whiteplains Plantation
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Friday, January 30, 2015

FAA Safety Team | Safer Skies Through Education

FAA Safety Team | Safer Skies Through Education
Notice Number: NOTC5825

FAAST Blast — Week of Jan 26 – Feb 1, 2015
Biweekly FAA Safety Briefing News Update

FAA To Issue New Sleep Apnea Guidance             On March 2, the FAA will issue new medical guidance to Aviation Medical Examiners (AMEs) that incorporates industry and Congressional feedback balanced with the FAA and NTSB’s safety concerns about pilots flying with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). The FAA is not changing its medical standards related to OSA; however, it is revising the screening approach to help AMEs find undiagnosed and untreated OSA.
            The new guidance will improve safety and pilot health by reducing the burdens and disincentives that may have prevented some pilots from seeking an OSA evaluation and treatment. Pilots will be able to continue flying while they are evaluated and as they begin treatment, if needed. Based on industry feedback on the FAA’s draft guidance, the new guidance does not rely on a body mass index (BMI) score. Instead, the risk for OSA will be determined by an integrated assessment of history, symptoms, and physical/clinical findings.
            The FAA plans to publish the new guidance in the FAA Guide for Aviation Medical Examiners on March 2, 2015. For more information, visit or see the FAA’s sleep apnea fact sheet here.

Alert Issued for Banner Towing in Vicinity of Parasail Operations            On January 16, the FAA issued a Safety Alert for Operators (SAFO) that highlights regulations, guidance, and best practices for safe aircraft banner tow operations in the vicinity of parasail operations. The alert was spurred by two recent midair collisions between banner tow aircraft and parasail rigs in flight as well as an NTSB special investigative report on parasailing safety.
            The FAA and U.S. Coast Guard share responsibility in mitigating the risk of collision between parasails and banner tow aircraft and both agencies strongly encourage communication and cooperation between the two in areas where these operations occur in close proximity. The FAA also encourages both parasail and banner tow operators to be familiar with the applicable regulations under 14 CFR section 91.311 and 14 CFR part 101, and to review the recommended actions outlined in the SAFO found here:

ATC Mic’d Up!             For the Jan/Feb 2015 edition of FAA Safety Briefing we turned the “mic” over to various air traffic controllers — the people who keep us safely separated — and boy did they have a lot to say! From tips on truly understanding the airspace in which we fly, to suggestions on how to effectively communicate with the tower, “Straight Talk: Featuring Air Traffic Control” provides great insight into the world of ATC. Check it out at

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