Thank You For Attending the Corporate Aviation Accidents Webinar

Thank you for your continued support and attendance of our Aviation Symposium Webinar Series. During this webinar, LeClairRyan Partner Christa Hinckley and I discussed emergency planning, accident investigation process, tabletop drills and training exercises human resource issues – if the worst should happen.

If you happened to miss this webinar and would like to view/listen to the Presentation you can find it here. Please be on the look out for our next Webinar on Part 107 Waivers  next month!

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“Congress Kicks the FAA and our Webinar Down the Road…..Again!!”

The seemingly endless FAA reauthorization process looks like it will continue for yet another month.  At the beginning of May, it looked like the bill had finally generated enough momentum for easy passage in the Senate.  The House had already dropped its controversial plans for privatization of air traffic control and passed their version of the Reauthorization Act by a wide margin.  The Senate put their version of the bill on the calendar on May 8, and it appeared to be on an easy road to passage in June.

Unfortunately, the Senate never got around to taking up the measure.  According to a recent report, it appears that the Senate will now delay taking up their version of the bill  until the August work period.  Regrettably, sensing that this is a “must pass” bill, the Senate version is already starting to attract non-aviation provisions, such as controversial changes to the meal-and-rest-break rules for truck drivers.  To make matters even more complicated, Politico has reported that Senate Minority leader Schumer has been working to attach the AV START bill, which seeks to make it easier to use autonomous cars, to the FAA Reauthorization.  This may further delay matters and also will make it harder for the House and Senate conferees to reconcile the final version to send to the President.

Because of all of these delays, LeClair Ryan will be postponing its free webinar on the FAA Reauthorization until August 22, 2018.  Hopefully by then we will have an actual FAA Reauthorization Act that we can analyze in detail.

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Drones – The Supreme Court and Judge Kavanaugh…Plane-ly Spoken Weighs in!

What can drones tell us about Supreme Court Justice nominees?  It turns out, quite a bit.

Earlier this week, President Trump nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to fill the seat vacated by Justice Kennedy.  In his prepared remarks, Judge Kavanaugh stated that “a judge must be independent, and must interpret the law, not make the law.  A judge must interpret statutes as written . . . .”  In order to determine whether Judge Kavanaugh lives these words, or merely pays them lip service, we have to look at his opinions.   

CONTINUE READING . . .

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A Drone is Not a Toy…It’s an Airplane

The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has just released an important decision in the case of Taylor v. FAA, regarding regulation of unmanned aircraft operated for recreational purposes. 

CONTINUE READING . . .

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The EPIC Privacy Suit: Our Crystal Ball Called It!

Back in January of this year, we reported on oral argument before the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in the case of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) v. FAA.  EPIC was appealing the FAA’s refusal to promulgate privacy regulations as part of the small UAS rules.  According to EPIC, the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 required the FAA to consider privacy as part of the mandate to integrate UAS into the airspace.  The FAA countered this argument by claiming that Congress only intended the FAA to regulate the safety aspects of UAS operations, and that historically, the FAA has never regulated privacy or put limits on the use of cameras or other sensors placed on aircraft.

CONTINUE READING . . .

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The Aviation Symposium Webinar Series Presents: Corporate Aviation Accidents

“Breaking News….A corporate jet is reported to have crashed taking the lives of all seven on board. More details as we learn them.”

Whether your corporation owns, operates or leases aircrafts, an aircraft accident is a nightmare for any company. Compounded by the fact that the passengers are frequently, if not almost always, employees, including senior management, the loss of a corporate aircraft has profound impacts that go well beyond the event itself.

During this webinar, members of the LeClairRyan Aviation team will discuss:

  • Emergency planning
  • Tabletop drills and training exercises
  • Human resource issues – if the worst happens
  • The accident investigation process
  • Protecting the company whether you own, lease or chart their aircraft
  • What your broker/insurer can do to help you
  • Dealing with the media and protecting the brand
  • And a host of other subjects

Who should attend?

  • Senior management
  • Risk managers
  • Human resource personnel
  • Aviation department members, including pilots, mechanics, etc.
  • Public affairs personnel
  • Financial management personnel
  • Insurance brokers
  • And anyone in the company whose responsibilities touch aviation

Please join us for this complementary webinar on July 17 from 1-2:30 PM ET. You can register here and if you have any questions or concerns, please contact kristina.repko@leclairryan.com

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UPDATE: FAA Reauthorization Webinar Postponed!

“Congress Kicks the FAA and our Webinar Down the Road…..Again!!”

The seemingly endless FAA reauthorization process looks like it will continue for yet another month.  At the beginning of May, it looked like the bill had finally generated enough momentum for easy passage in the Senate.  The House had already dropped its controversial plans for privatization of air traffic control and passed their version of the Reauthorization Act by a wide margin.  The Senate put their version of the bill on the calendar on May 8, and it appeared to be on an easy road to passage in June.

Unfortunately, the Senate never got around to taking up the measure.  According to a recent report, it appears that the Senate will now delay taking up their version of the bill  until the July work period.  Regrettably, sensing that this is a “must pass” bill, the Senate version is already starting to attract non-aviation provisions, such as controversial changes to the meal-and-rest-break rules for truck drivers.  To make matters even more complicated, Politico has reported that Senate Minority leader Schumer has been working to attach the AV START bill, which seeks to make it easier to use autonomous cars, to the FAA reauthorization.  This may further delay matters and also will make it harder for the House and Senate conferees to reconcile the final version to send to the President.

Because of all of these delays, LeClair Ryan will be postponing its free webinar on the FAA Reauthorization until July 26, 2018.  Hopefully by then we will have an actual FAA Reauthorization Act that we can analyze in detail.

FAA v. FCC On Drone Enforcement

Whenever issues impacting aviation safety arise, the public’s attention naturally turns to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to see what its response will be.  A number of other federal agencies, however, play important roles in ensuring the safe functioning of the National Airspace System.  The Department of Homeland Security oversees anti-terrorism and security, the Department of Transportation ensures that hazardous materials are not carried on aircraft, and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ensures that command, control, and communications systems work in harmony with other devices that use the electromagnetic spectrum.

An FCC notice of proposed penalty of over $2.8 million issued against HobbyKing earlier this month shows just how seriously these other agencies take their responsibilities.  HobbyKing makes, among other things, a system used in drone racing that transmits video signals from a drone back to the controller.

CONTINUE READING . . .

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Pipeline Accidents and NTSB Investigations Webinar

We want to thank you for joining in for the Webinar on we hosted on June 13th. While this webinar was not specifically aviation related, we wanted to share it with our readers here at Plane-ly Spoken because it involves the NTSB, which is a frequently covered topic on this blog, and the protocols some of our readers will benefit from when dealing with pipeline accident investigations.

During this webinar we also explained how to navigate NTSB investigations to minimize the impact on your company. If you happened to miss it and would like to learn more, please follow this link to the recording and PowerPoint slides. We also have a brand new Pipeline Brochure available to you on our LeClairRyan Aviation Symposium App.

If you have any questions, please contact ask.aviation@leclairryan.com.

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National Academies of Sciences to FAA: “You’re Being Too Conservative!!”

According to a new Report from the National Academies of Sciences, the FAA’s commercial drone rules are too strict and the FAA’s zero tolerance policy towards commercial air accidents is stifling development of the industry. This report comes on the heels of recent 95-page report by the US Government Accountability Office criticizing UAS policy as being based largely on guesswork over the risks to the airspace, rather than hard facts.

The GAO’s Report noted that, while the FAA has collected over 6,000 reports of UAS sightings near manned aircraft or airports. These reports are almost entirely unverified, as the pilots can rarely make a positive identification of the make or model of aircraft, and, due to the small size of the vehicles, the sightings cannot be backed up by radar.  As a result, the GAO argues that the FAA’s restrictions on commercial UAS flight cannot amount to more than an educated “best guess” as to the magnitude of the risk and the likely harm in the event of an accident.

CONTINUE READING . . .