NATA Safety 1ST eToolkit, Issue 32

NATA Safety 1st eToolkit, Issue #32 is availalbe for download.

Part 139 Aircraft Familiarization, Is It Enough?

Part 139 ARFF training requires Aircraft Familiarization training to be conducted annually, but only on Part 139 aircraft. I work at an Index A airport (soon to be Index B) with Index C capabilities, Category 1. We familiarize with Saab 340, Dash 8, CRJ, B-1900, ERJ 135/145, and a few others.
We are the second busiest airport in the state, with many private, charter, and business aircraft servicing our airport. Everything from C-172 to BBJs, but we are not required to be familiar with these aircraft as far as Part 139 ARFF program goes.

Will you be prepared if a business jet goes down on or near your airport. Can you answer the questions from your mutual aid units. How many souls could possibly be on the aircraft? Where to cut into the aircraft, to name a few.

It is impossible to memorize all the aircraft that use your airfield, but I'm sure there are a few that are there often. Take the time to learn about the aircraft. Ask the flight crew to walk you around and ask them questions. If you have a aircraft maintenance facility on the field, ask a mechanic a few questions. There are books and software to help with is issue as well.

Aircraft manufactures are helpful, call them or send an email for information.

Here is a link to AAAE Aircraft Familiarization Area

Take your time to learn about the aircraft using your airfield. During the emergency is no the time to start searching for information.

Part 139 Safety Self-Inspection Program, Don't Just Go Through The Motions (Part 3, The Lighting Inspection

Airport Operations Safety continuing with the Part 139 Safety Self-Inspection Program series. We have covered the basics, setting up your program, pavement and safety areas.

In this post we will discuss Part 139.311(c) Lighting.

Each certificate holder must provide and maintain lighting systems for air carrier operations when the airport is open at night, during conditions below visual flight rules (VFR) minimums, or in Alaska, during periods in which a prominent unlighted object cannot be seen from a distance of 3 statute miles or the sun is more than six degrees below the horizon. These lighting systems must be authorized by the Administrator and consist of at least the following:
(1) Runway lighting that meets the specifications for takeoff and landing minimums, as authorized by the Administrator, for each runway.
(2) One of the following taxiway lighting systems:
(i) Centerline lights.
(ii) Centerline reflectors.
(iii) Edge lights.
(iv) Edge reflectors.
(3) An airport beacon.
(4) Approach lighting that meets the specifications for takeoff and landing minimums, as authorized by the Administrator, for each runway, unless provided and/or maintained by an entity other than the certificate holder.
(5) Obstruction marking and lighting, as appropriate, on each object within its authority that has been determined by the FAA to be an obstruction.
(d) Maintenance. Each certificate holder must properly maintain each marking, sign, or lighting system installed and operated on the airport. As used in this section, to “properly maintain” includes cleaning, replacing, or repairing any faded, missing, or nonfunctional item; keeping each item unobscured and clearly visible; and ensuring that each item provides an accurate reference to the user.
(e) Lighting interference. Each certificate holder must ensure that all lighting on the airport, including that for aprons, vehicle parking areas, roadways, fuel storage areas, and buildings, is adequately adjusted or shielded to prevent interference with air traffic control and aircraft operations.

AS you begin your daily self-inspection, you will proceed from the ramp/apron into a blue light illuminated taxiway. The lights can be up to 200ft apart, at intersection they will be much closer. At the airport I work at, they average 100ft in separation. In your ACM it will state the % of taxiway light that have to be illuminated, usually 85 to 90%. If you can not maintain that %, a NOTAM will be issued closing the area to Part 139 air carrier aircraft. If the airport will allow it, non Part 139 aircraft can use the area at there own discretion.

Your runways will have white edge lights, until the last 2000ft of an instrument runway, they will be amber. The amber lights are used as a caution zone, letting pilots, ARFF and Operations vehicles know the end of the runway is near. If you have visual runways at your airport, the edge lights will remain white for the entire length of the runway.
The runway may also have centerline and touchdown zone lights. The centerline lights start 75ft from the landing threshold, and extend full length of the runway. The lights are spaced 50ft from each other. Lights are white until the last 3000ft of the runway when they will alternate red and white for 2000ft. The remaining 1000ft they are all red.
Touchdown zone lights consist of 2 rows of transverse light bars located symmetrically about the runway centerline. Each light bar consists of 3 unidirectional lights facing the landing threshold. The rows of light bars extend to a distance of 3,000 feet, or one-half the runway length for runways less than 6,000 feet, from the threshold with the first light bars located 100 feet from the threshold. In Tab 6 of your approved ACM, they will be a % of lights that have to be in service, Normally 90% for centerline and touchdown zone lights, and 85% for edge lights. If that % can not be maintained a NOTAM will be used putting both centerline and touchdown zone lighting systems out of service.

Other lights you may find on your airfield:
Runway End lights are red, very important for aircraft, ARFF, Operations to know the end of the runway is near. At night and low visibility can be a factor to understanding your location on the runway, these lights can help.
Obstruction lights are also red, and should be reported when found inoperative.
Runway Guard Lights are positioned on taxiways, at the hold position for entering a runway. You may find these lights being called Wig Wags or SMGCS lights,providing a distinctive warning to anyone approaching the runway holding position that they are about to enter an active runway. These lights must be in position on all SMGCS routs. Land and Hold Short Operation Lights (LAHSO) maybe on intersecting runways, or taxiways allowing dual operations at your airport. The system we have has six or seven in-pavement unidirectional pulsing white lights across the hold position marking.
Approach light systems for the runways on your field will be determined by the runway category, ask your supervisor for the specifics on your runways.
There are other lighting systems, each airport is unique. Familiarize your self with all the system on your airfield.

AC No.: 150/5340-30A

The Inspection

Here are a few things to be looking for during your lighting inspection:

  1. Correct color and configuration
  2. No Confusing or deceptive condition
  3. Properly Maintained
  4. Installed Correctly
  5. Properly Oriented
  6. Operational At All Intensities
  7. Clearly Visable
  8. Clean
  9. No Faded/Missing/Nonfunctional
  10. Accurate

    Treat the inspection as if your Supervisor, Manager, or FAA Inspector is in the vehicle with you. I have seen so many times complacency take over an inspection. Complacency on the airfield is one of the most dangerous things there can be. Please take the inspection serious for the safety of your airfield and those utilizing it.

Don't Just Go Through The Motions!!

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