September 12, 2008
AOPA Publications staff
An FAA-appointed team that reviewed the agency’s certification process for the Eclipse EA500 found the very light jet was subject to the proper safety regulations—but the FAA should improve its policies and internal communications.
“This review tells us that while we made the right call in certifying this aircraft, the process we used could and should have been better coordinated,” said Robert Sturgell, the FAA’s acting administrator. “These recommendations will be invaluable as we continue certifying these new types of aircraft.”
Jerry Mack, a former Boeing executive, headed the review team that looked into certification of the EA500’s trim, flaps, cockpit displays, and stall speeds. The team made six recommendations that the FAA said it will adopt, including improving communication between the responsible FAA offices.
The FAA is currently evaluating certification applications for eight VLJ types.
A new FAA policy on obstructive sleep apnea that addresses many of the concerns raised by AOPA is scheduled to take effect March 2.
AOPA and the National Business Aviation Association have jointly filed an amicus, or friend of the court, brief in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals as part of the ongoing legal battle over the future of Santa Monica Municipal Airport.
AOPA worked with the flight training industry and FAA to quickly resolve a problem that suddenly put many rating applications on hold.
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