Tuesday, October 23, 2007

FAA History Lesson -- October 23



From the FAA Historical Chronology, 1926-1996...

”Oct 23, 1972: Effective this date, FAA tightened the safety operating standards for large airplanes, and for turbine-powered airplanes with more than one engine, in private carriage. The new requirements included: survival and radio equipment for extended overwater operations; provisions regarding minimum altitudes; passenger briefings; a fuel reserve of 30 minutes for Visual Flight Rules operations; icing equipment; a flight engineer and a second-in-command pilot on certain airplanes; a flight attendant on an airplane with over 19 passengers on board; and an aircraft inspection program. The new rule was part of a series of actions following an accident on Oct 2, 1970 (see that date and Jan 3, 1973.)“

In case you have forgotten already, on October 2, 1970, the aircraft carrying the Wichita State University football team crashed. That was shortly followed by another crash involving the Marshall University football team in West Virginia.

It’s driving me nuts because I can’t find a book I read that involved these two crashes. It was written by someone that was a couple of steps down from the FAA Administrator. He’d been working on tightening up the regulations governing charter flights (and being ignored) when these two crashes occurred. If I remember correctly, he got canned for putting a sandwich on his expense voucher or some such nonsense. If that rings any bells with anybody (the book, not how the FAA acts when they’re caught with their pants down) drop me a note.

Don Brown
October 23, 2007

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