From: Peter Ladkin <ladkin@TechFak.Uni-Bielefeld.DE> Date: 23 Aug 96 13:45:07 Followups: 1 2
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Things are getting a little better in Cyberspace. I just read an article in the International Herald Tribune: [begin quoted article] U.S. Orders Planes to Stay Farther Behind Jumbos WASHINGTON (WP) - The Federal Aviation Administration has ordered dozens of smaller regional and business aircraft to fly greater distances behind jumbo jets when landing to avoid air disturbances that flow from the wings of the large planes. The new rules might cause delays at some airports. In addition to a 6-mile(9.6-kilometer) mandatory separation between smaller aircraft and the biggest jets, such as the Boeing 747, these aircraft must also maintain a 5-mile separation between themselves and the Boeing 757. [end quoted article] I thought that this couldn't be saying quite what was going on, because I believe the Air Traffic Controller's Handbook talks about separation between Heavy, Large and Small aircraft, not between types, and furthermore there's no `requirement' in the FAR, or even advice in the AIM, for separation that discriminates aircraft by type. So I looked at the FAA WWW site, and in 5 minutes of surfing, found FSAT 96-12/FSGA 96-07, which redefines the classification of aircraft into Heavy/Large/Small. New is H: \geq 255000lbs; L: \geq 41000lbs & < 255000lbs; S: <41000lbs. "This action moves 55 aircraft into the small category that were previously classified as large. [...] THe SF-340 and ATR-42 will be exempt from the small category and will be classified as large aircraft for separation purposes. On-going studies may exempt other aircraft in the future." I'm pleased that I can now get accurate information on newsworthy topics direct from the (pardon me, fellas) horse's mouth. But I continue to regret that the news services feel the need to rework the FAA's notice to make it (in my view) more imprecise before distributing it. It's a trivial exercise to rework the news story above to reflect the contents of the FSAT accurately, without using up more column space. Peter.