On November 30, ATEC was notified that the FAA removed the 400 hour limit on distance education in Order 8900.1. This revision brings both internal and external guidance on this issue into conformity.
The council maintains, as it did in its comments to Draft Advisory Circular 147-3B, that distance learning instruction should not be limited by the number hours, but rather by subject matter and the technology available to ensure material is properly conveyed. The agency responded to ATEC’s pragmatic approach by removing the 400 hour limitation on distance learning instruction from the final language in the Advisory Circular.
Not to lose momentum, ATEC submitted a letter requesting the removal of the hours of instruction limitation from internal guidance as well. The FAA again responded favorably by removing the language from Order 8900.1. Agency personnel confirmed that part 147 inspectors would be immediately notified of revision.
ATEC’s success on this issue is a direct result of member engagement and persistence in advocating for ATEC members and the aviation community at large.
On Nov. 19, the Federal Register published the FAA's intention to extend the comment period for its proposed update to 14 CFR part 147. The move came in response to a request from 14 aviation and education groups, led by ATEC, submitted in late October.
"[The final rule will impact] not only the hundreds of institutions that educate our workforce, but also the thousands of businesses that rely on AMTS graduates to keep aircraft in flight," the coalition explained in its extension request. "With the additional time requested, the aviation industry and its partners in technical education will help the agency develop a rule that supports schools, aids students at the beginning of a rewarding career and serves an important and growing industry."
Comments are now due by Feb. 1, 2016. While the agency opted against providing the 90 additional days requested by the aviation community and its technical education allies, AMTS must fully utilize the time available to ensure robust guidance is provided to regulators.
Now that the deadline is set, the council and its allies can focus on substantive comments. Members are encouraged to review the proposal (see ATEC's side-by-side comparison) and submit feedback to email@example.com.
On Sept. 27, Brian Haggerty died in a motorcycle accident on the island of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands. He was 52.
Brian’s long and distinguished aviation career began in the military. He served in the U.S. Army as a Blackhawk Helicopter mechanic, crew chief, technical inspector and squad leader. His many tours of duty included the first gulf war and earned him numerous individual and unit citations and decorations.
Upon his retirement from active service in 2001 as a sergeant first class, Haggerty worked in a variety of civil aviation and defense contracting roles before landing at Helicopter Association International (HAI) as deputy director of flight operations. During his tenure at HAI, Haggerty proved an invaluable ally to the ATEC community. He provided coordination, resources and assistance across a broad range of topics and was particularly helpful with veterans’ transition issues. He left HAI in 2015 to pursue his “semi-retirement” dream of island life. He had purchased and was operating an automobile repair shop on St. Croix.
“Brian was a great supporter of ATEC and the organization’s initiatives,” said Amy Kienast, the council’s vice president and chair of its conference committee. “He had a chance to participate in two annual conferences and was excited to serve as liaison between ATEC and HAI. He will be missed by the AMTS family and the aviation community.”
As Haggerty’s family copes with this sudden loss, ATEC members can help. In lieu of flowers, the Haggerty family has asked for contributions to a college fund established for his son, Troy. For more information and to support the Troy Haggerty College Fund please visit: https://www.youcaring.com/troy-haggerty-455463.
Upon hearing the news of Haggerty’s passing, ATEC President Ryan Goertzen remembered him as a true friend and advocate for the council: “Brian's passion for aviation and support of ATEC fostered our initial relationship with HAI. With his help, that bond grew so significantly that the board now holds its fall industry day at HAI's headquarters just outside Washington, D.C. Brian was a fixture at council events and provided leading insight to our educational community. His energetic spirt and willingness to help others will be greatly missed.”
Service and interment arrangements are being made at Arlington National Cemetery. For schedule information, visit: http://www.arlingtoncemetery.mil/Funerals.
Stay tuned for updates on everything ATEC members need to know as well as ways that you can help the council and the AMTS community.