Raised Retirement Age Will Keep Pilots in the Air

It looks like the FAA will soon be raising the mandatory retirement age for commercial pilots from 60 to 65, extending the life of a pilot’s career for the first time in 50 years.

Recent changes to the international regulations took place in November, allowing foreign pilots up to 65 years old to fly into the United States as long as their co-pilots are no older than 59.

The US Congress is now considering legislation that would allow pilots between ages 60 and 65 in the cockpit if their co-pilots are younger than 60.

Read more details in the San Diego Union-Tribune’s Aging pilots seek to retire FAA ceiling, keep flying and MSNBC’s FAA considers raising pilots’ retirement age.


Aviation in Politics

Yesterday’s election is poised to effect almost everything, including aviation. Check out these headlines.

From Aero-News.Net, two election-related stories:

A broo-haha is developing regarding Bush officials traveling in private jets:  

In related news and in response to the recent crash involving Corey Lidle, The Christian Science Monitor asks the question: Should aviation guidelines be revised?

Cessna Mustang Fully Certified


It’s a new day for private jet owners!

A press release from Cessna Aircraft Company reported the Federal Aviation Administration has granted type certification (TC) to Cessna’s Citation Mustang, making it the world’s first fully certified, new-generation entry level business jet.

FAA type certification for the Mustang includes single-pilot operation, day/night operations, visual and instrument flight rules (VFR/IFR), and operations in reduced vertical separation minimum (RVSM) airspace.

The fully functional Garmin G1000 equipped Citation Mustang includes an integrated, dual-channel fail passive digital autopilot, and is the first aircraft with an integrated flight deck that is certified to take advantage of WAAS navigation features including WAAS LPV approaches that provide both lateral and vertical guidance. The Garmin G1000 avionics suite also includes a new feature called SafeTaxi(TM) that gives a graphical representation of the aircraft on the ground in the airport environment.

Cessna hopes the new certification will bring the benefits of jet ownership to more people than ever before.  

Comair Flight 5191

While we may never know for certain what led to the crash that killed 49 people in late August, several contributing factors are coming to light.

The FAA has assigned more staff to the airport in question, but Doug Church, spokesman for the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, said there has been a net loss of 1,081 controllers in the last three years, according to the FAA’s own figures. The numbers dropped from 15,386 in September 2003 to 14,305 in August 2006, due largely to a wave of retirements.