FAA History: 1965

Monday, January 4, 1965: Under a rule effective this date, FAA required approved survivor lights on all life preservers and life rafts carried by U.S. air carriers and other large commercial aircraft flying more than 50 miles from shore, to assist in the rescue of passengers in the event of a night ditching. (See January 28, 1966.)
Friday, January 15, 1965:An FAA-sponsored study by the Coordinating Research Council of New York, reported all aviation fuels equally safe, and that no basis existed for the contention that kerosene offered more overall safety than JP-4 aviation fuel (a mixture of gasoline and kerosene). Despite this finding, TWA announced on January 21, 1965, that it was suspending use of JP-4. Earlier, on January 7, 1965, Pan American World Airways had announced that it would make kerosene its standard jet fuel because of public mistrust of JP-4. The Airways Club, a New York organization of frequent air travelers, had long urged banning JP-4 as a commercial jet fuel because of its alleged high volatility.
Monday, January 18, 1965:FAA released a study concluding that transport-aircraft fuel tanks could be designed to reduce the fire hazard of crash landings. Conducted for the agency by General Dynamics, the study involved tests in which experimental tanks survived crashes of up to 57Gs without rupturing. The study estimated that such tanks would increase wing weight and production costs by as little as one percent, and recommended consideration of fuel-containment principles during preliminary design of future aircraft.
Wednesday, January 27, 1965:The National Academy of Sciences’ Committee on Supersonic Transport Sonic Boom concluded that prototype development of a supersonic transport (SST) was “clearly warranted” by evidence from research, tests, and studies of sonic boom phenomena (see July 1, 1965). This finding was largely based on data collected by FAA in the Oklahoma City area (see February 3, 1964). On April 25, 1965, FAA made public a summary of its Oklahoma City sonic boom study, in which U.S. Air Force jets had subjected residents to 1,253 booms during daylight hours. Most boom intensities ranged between 1.0 and 2.0 pounds of overpressure per square foot, but adverse atmospheric influences caused approximately 11 percent to exceed the intended limit of 2.0 pounds of overpressure. FAA also released an interim report on the related test at White Sands, N.M., in which Air Force jets subjected 16 representative structures to 1,494 booms varying in intensity from 2.0 to 20.0 pounds of overpressure. The findings of the two tests included:
  • Sonic booms of less than 5 pounds of overpressure caused no discernible damage to structurally sound buildings; however, booms of this intensity probably triggered cracks in faultily constructed walls, breaks in cracked windows, and other damage in structurally unsound buildings.
  • Booms of the order of those expected to be generated by the U.S. supersonic transport (SST) had no measurable physiological effect on humans.
  • The subjective reaction of individuals to sonic boom would be the area of greatest concern for the U.S. SST program.
  • Fully 27 percent of the people polled in the Oklahoma City area during the closing weeks of testing declared they could not live with sonic boom; additionally, 40 percent of those polled were unconvinced that booms did not cause damage to buildings.
  • In releasing the information, Administrator Halaby stated his conclusion that a supersonic transport could be designed in terms of configuration, operating attitude, and flight paths so as to achieve public acceptance in the early 1970s. On March 8, 1969, the Federal government lost its appeal in a class action suit involving claims for property damage allegedly caused by the Oklahoma City tests. (See April 27, 1973.)
Thursday, February 25, 1965:The Douglas DC-9 made its maiden flight. On November 23, 1965 FAA type-certificated the aircraft, a twin-engine turbojet transport designed for short- to medium-haul market for operation with a two-man crew. The plane entered service with Delta on December 9.
Monday, February 1, 1965:FAA commissioned the first nonradar control tower to be constructed according to a standard design, adopted by FAA in 1962, at Lawton Municipal Airport, Lawton, OK. This was also the first control tower of standard design to be built entirely with FAA funds. The nonradar towers were freestanding and featured a control cab placed atop a pentagonal supporting steel structure that housed five floors of operating space beneath the cab floor. (See December 14, 1964, and June 30, 1967.)
Thursday, March 4, 1965:Under an amendment to a rule effective this date, FAA consolidated positive control of nearly all of the airspace in the contiguous 48 states between 24,000 and 60,000 feet into one area known as the continental positive control area. FAA had begun nationwide implementation of positive air traffic control in October 1962. (See October 15, 1960-March 1, 1961 and November 9, 1967.)
Saturday, March 6, 1965:A Navy Sikorsky SH-3A made the first helicopter nonstop flight across the North American continent, covering 2,116-miles in 15 hours 52 minutes. The helicopter flew from an aircraft carrier at San Diego, CA, to another carrier at Mayport, FL.
Wednesday, March 17, 1965:FAA announced that it had joined with CAB, the Department of Labor, and the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare in a project to establish a national data bank for interagency exchange of information on civil aviation manpower resources. The undertaking had been prompted by Project Long Look (see September 30, 1964). On April 20, 1965, FAA outlined government-industry cooperative efforts to implement the Project Long Look recommendations, primarily by promoting youth interest in aviation careers and improving training opportunities and standards.
Saturday, March 20, 1965:FAA’s first regulation providing penalties for cheating and improper conduct in connection with airman tests and related records became effective. The new rule imposed an automatic one-year disqualification from receiving a certificate or rating as a sanction for cheating or other irregularities. Such misconduct might also result in the suspension or revocation of certificates or ratings already held.
Monday, March 1, 1965:Los Angeles Airways became the first helicopter air carrier certificated by FAA to conduct instrument flight rules (IFR) operations. This initial approval was limited to IFR departures from, and approaches to, Los Angeles International Airport. (In April 1950, CAA had authorized the same carrier to fly on instruments at night for periods up to 15 minutes when moving through “smog” in Southern California.)
Thursday, April 1, 1965:A British Overseas Airways Corporation BAC Super VC-l0 became the first British-built turbojet to cross the Atlantic (London to New York) on a scheduled passenger run since the Comet IV ceased transatlantic operations in 1961.
Tuesday, April 6, 1965:The British government disclosed it had abandoned the TSR-2 tactical-strike-reconnaissance jet program. The Ministry of Defence stated that the program’s cost “was out of all proportion to the aircraft’s military value.” The loss of technical experience resulting from this decision was perceived as a setback for development of the supersonic transport Concorde (see December 11, 1967).
Thursday, April 8, 1965:FAA demonstrated, with the manufacturer’s assistance, a McDonnell Aircraft Corporation 188 STOL (short takeoff and landing) aircraft at Dulles International Airport as part of the agency’s long-range study of interurban air transportation (see April 1966). The aircraft, a U.S. version of the Breguet 941, took off and landed at the 500-foot Dulles helistrip. Known as a blown-wing aircraft, the 188 had large propellers for high static thrust; the propeller slipstream covered the aircraft’s entire wing area. It employed highly deflected, full-span, triple-slotted flaps to produce the required lift for low takeoff and landing speeds as well as safe maneuverability. One commercial version of the aircraft could accommodate 55 passengers and take off with a maximum gross weight of 58,422 pounds.
Sunday, April 11, 1965:The Federal government terminated subsidies that had been paid to three certificated helicopter airlines, New York Airways, Los Angeles Airways, and Chicago Helicopter Airways. The action was followed by the demise of Chicago Helicopter Airways at the end of 1965.
Saturday, April 17, 1965:Homeowners of North Caldwell, NJ, flew war-surplus weather balloons over their homes to protest the noise created by low-flying aircraft using neighboring Caldwell-Wright Airport.
Wednesday, April 21, 1965:Administrator Halaby issued a statement of FAA’s long-range policies that included such basic principles as respect for the rights of airspace users and the general public. Among other points, the statement recognized a favorable balance of benefits versus cost as a guide in actions affecting the National Airspace System.
Wednesday, April 21, 1965:FAA eliminated the rule requiring a three-man crew on all transports with a takeoff weight over 80,000 pounds (see June 15, 1947), and substituted a rule that set forth workload criteria as the standard for determining the size of an air transport cockpit crew. On November 23, FAA type-certificated the Douglas DC-9 for operation with a two-man crew (see February 25, 1965). Earlier in the year, FAA had certificated the BAC 1-11, a British-made transport, for operations with a two-man crew. (See February 7, 1961 and November 20-29, 1966.)
Thursday, April 29, 1965:FAA established an Office of Audit, which was under the administrative direction of the Associate Administrator for Administration and reported directly to the FAA Administrator on substantive matters. The rapid evolution of the audit function from division to staff to office within a period of seven months reflected the growing emphasis placed by FAA on cost reduction and financial management.
Thursday, April 1, 1965:FAA reported that a new nongyroscopic blind flight instrument could prevent a significant number of accidents caused by disorientation, a conclusion based on evaluation in a Civil Aeromedical Research Institute aircraft.
April 29-May 10, 1965:The Miami Air Route Traffic Control Center provided air traffic control service for an emergency Air Force airlift to the Dominican Republic during U.S. intervention in civil conflict in that country. In 1,710 missions, the airlift carried 14,699 tons of cargo and 17,921 passengers.
Saturday, May 1, 1965:FAA completed transfer of the Europe, Africa, and Middle East Region headquarters from London to Brussels. At the same time, the agency consolidated various elements that had been located in Washington, DC, New York, and Paris with the regional headquarters group. (See April 1, 1963.)
Thursday, May 13, 1965:FAA advised homeowners that radio-controlled garage doors could be hazardous to air navigation since a pilot might inadvertently “home in” on the radio signal emitted by the equipment. Effective September 7, 1965, the Federal Communications Commission barred the use of radio-controlled door openers operating within the frequencies reserved for radio navigation of aircraft.
Friday, May 14, 1965:The formation of a 12-member NASA-FAA Coordinating Board for the exchange of research and development information and for joint planning of related activities was announced. The aim of the Board was to strengthen the coordination, planning, and exchange of information between the two agencies.
Tuesday, May 18, 1965:FAA announced a plan to establish 18 area (or subregional) offices in the contiguous 48 states, as part of plans to decentralize FAA which had begun in 1961. Elements of the decentralization plan had been tested during Project FOCUS (see October 1, 1963). Under the plan, an area manager would head each of the 18 area offices, and would have line responsibility over four basic operating programs: air traffic, flight standards, airway facilities, and airports–programs that had previously been in the hands of the regional directors and the regional program division chiefs. FAA selected as area office headquarters sites: Boston, Cleveland, New York, and Washington in the Eastern Region; Atlanta, Memphis, and Miami in the Southern Region; Chicago, Kansas City, and Minneapolis in the Central Region; Albuquerque, Fort Worth, and Houston in the Southwest Region; Denver, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, and Seattle in the Western Region. In September 1965, nine area offices opened for business; all 18 offices were fully operational by the end of the following month. (See June 30, 1965.)
Tuesday, May 18, 1965:An FAA-DOD agreement effective this date provided for exchange of mobile flight facilities equipment and services between the Air Force and FAA in such circumstances as defense readiness, natural emergencies, and equipment outages affecting the aviation community.
Friday, May 21, 1965:The Interagency Air Cartographic Committee (IACC) was created to standardize Governmental aeronautical charts and thus avoid duplication. The committee was to be chaired by FAA with the Departments of Defense and Commerce as members.
Monday, May 24, 1965:FAA announced the start of the first field appraisal of prototype alphanumerics using automated air traffic control equipment. ARTS (advanced radar traffic control system–later changed to automated radar terminal system), the terminal prototype, would go through an 18-month evaluation at the Atlanta ATCT. SPAN (stored program alphanumerics), the en route prototype, would go through a 10-month evaluation at the Indianapolis ARTCC. These field tests were part of FAA’s program to replace an essentially manual air traffic control system with a semiautomated system. ARTS electronically tagged radar targets with luminous letters and numbers, indicating the identity and altitude of each target aircraft. The electronic tags moved with the corresponding aircraft blip across the controllers’ radarscopes. To be so tagged, an aircraft had to be equipped with a transponder. (See September 26, 1964, and February 1966.)
Wednesday, May 26, 1965:In the U.S. Army’s closely contested light observation helicopter competition, the Hughes Model 369 (YOH-6A) was announced the winner over two other entries, the Bell 206 (OH-4A) and the Fairchild-Hiller 1100 (OH-5A1). During 1964, FAA had type-certificated all three of these new turbine-powered light helicopters, which were expected to expand civil use of rotorcraft.
Saturday, May 1, 1965:Findings of Project Taper (turbulent air pilot environmental research), a joint FAA-NASA research effort, showed flight through turbulent air required improved instrumentation and pilot capabilities for longitudinal control, trimming, and control of oscillation. These findings were based on data collected by instrumented FAA jet aircraft flying through areas of known turbulence.
Monday, June 7, 1965:New rules governing the rapid evacuation of passengers from aircraft became effective this date. The new regulations required all carriers and commercial operators using aircraft with a seating capacity of more than 44 passengers to demonstrate, among other things, the ability under simulated emergency conditions to evacuate a full passenger load through only half of the airplane’s exits within two minutes. Operators were required to assign each crewmember specific emergency evacuation duties. The minimum number of flight attendants on an aircraft was raised according the following formula: one attendant for planes with 10-44 passenger seats; two for 45-99; three for 100-149; and four for more than 149 (see June 15, 1972). Operators were also required to brief passengers on the location of emergency exits and provide them with cards showing their operation. The new regulations also set emergency equipment requirements. Aircraft were required to be equipped by July 1, 1966, with battery-powered megaphones, increased emergency lighting capacity, larger emergency-exit signs, and ropes or approved equivalent devices at over-wing exits. (See September 20, 1967.)
Monday, June 7, 1965:FAA announced progress in the use of chemicals to remove snow, ice, and slush on runways. The agency found that a mixture of 75 percent tripotassium phosphate and 25 percent formamide was best for use at temperatures as low as -10 degrees.
Tuesday, June 8, 1965:Administrator Halaby dedicated the helipad atop FAA’s Headquarters building (FOB-l0A) at ceremonies attended by six former FAA/CAA administrators and William F. McKee, President Johnson’s nominee to succeed Halaby. The helipad was designed to serve Federal officials who might be called upon to make sudden trips during emergencies. The facility was not heavily used, and in 1984 was listed as closed until further notice.
Wednesday, June 9, 1965:FAA conducted a one-day national symposium on aircraft noise in New York City. The symposium, attended by all segments of the aviation community, considered current and proposed programs to alleviate aircraft noise and related problems.
Thursday, June 10, 1965:A British European Airways Trident I landing in London made the first automatic touchdown by a scheduled commercial airliner carrying fare-paying passengers. (See December 8, 1964, and July 7, 1967.)
Thursday, June 10, 1965:FAA’s Pacific Region established an area office on each of five Hawaiian Islands having FAA activities: Oahu, Kauai, Molokai, Hawaii, and Maui. Because of FAA’s withdrawal from Canton Island, however, the area office there was disestablished. On July 1, the agency ceased operations for Canton and relinquished responsibility for the island to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. (See October 1, 1963, and June 17, 1966.)
Saturday, June 26, 1965:The new Houston air route traffic control center assumed the functions of the New Orleans center and some of the responsibilities of the San Antonio Center. The remainder of San Antonio’s control area was transferred to Houston on July 10. The personnel of the two defunct centers were reassigned.
Tuesday, June 29, 1965:FAA established an Office of Congressional Liaison. Since August 31, 1962, congressional liaison responsibilities had been a function of the Office of General Aviation Affairs. (See August 31, 1962.)
Wednesday, June 30, 1965:During fiscal year 1965, which ended on this date, FAA established seven area offices in the Europe, Africa, and Middle East Region: Beirut, Frankfurt, London, Paris, Rome, Lagos, and New York. (See October 1, 1963 and May 1, 1965.) Also during fiscal 1965, FAA transferred five FAA-operated intermediate landing fields to local sponsors to be turned into public airports. The one remaining FAA-operated intermediate field in the contiguous United States was at Hanksville, Ut. The state of Utah assumed operation of that facility on June 23, 1974. Among other actions in this fiscal year, FAA compiled a list of nearly 500 “safe haven” airports for air carrier fleet dispersal in the event of a national emergency. The Office of Emergency Planning (subsequently renamed Office of Emergency Preparedness) aided the project, and FAA coordinated the list with the Air Force to insure the integration of military and civil dispersal plans. FAA also developed a special-purpose vehicle for measuring surface-friction characteristics of airport runways as part of a program to improve the stopping capability of civil transport aircraft under adverse runway conditions.
Thursday, July 1, 1965:General William F. McKee (USAF, Ret.) became the third FAA Administrator, succeeding Najeeb E. Halaby (see March 3, 1961). President Johnson had announced his selection of McKee on April 27, but did not submit his name for Senate confirmation until Congress passed special legislation exempting the general from a provision of the Federal Aviation Act that required the Administrator to be a civilian. This legislation cleared Congress on June 22, after prolonged debate. Johnson formally nominated McKee on June 23, and the Senate confirmed the nomination on June 30. Born in Chilhowie, VA, in 1906, “Bozo” McKee graduated from West Point in 1929. He began his career with the U.S. Army Coast Artillery Corps, but transferred in 1942 to the Army Air Forces. McKee received his first star in 1945. The following year, he was appointed Chief of Staff of the Air Transport Command. In 1947, when the Air Force became a separate service, McKee became Assistant Vice Chief of Staff, Air Force, a position held for six years. He was serving as Commander of the Air Force Logistics Command when selected for the Vice Chief of Staff post, the second highest military position in the Air Force. At the time he received his fourth star, he was the only Air Force officer to have attained that rank without holding an aeronautical rating. Upon his retirement from the military in 1964, he joined the National Aeronautics and Space Administration as Assistant Administrator for Management Development. The selection of McKee to head FAA was linked to the need for an experienced executive to oversee the development of the U.S. supersonic transport (see July 1, 1965, entry on this topic, below). He served as Administrator for three years and one month (see July 31, 1968).
Thursday, July 1, 1965:David D. Thomas became FAA’s Deputy Administrator. Thomas was FAA’s Associate Administrator for Programs when President Johnson selected him for the new post. He succeeded Lt. Gen. Harold W. Grant (see February 21, 1962), who had resigned the previous day. (Grant was barred from serving under Gen. McKee, because the Federal Aviation Act prohibited the filling of the Deputy Administrator’s post with a military officer on active duty, a retired regular officer, or a former regular officer if the Administrator himself is a former regular officer.) A career civil servant, Thomas began his Federal service in 1938 as an air traffic controller with the Civil Aeronautics Authority in the Pittsburgh air route traffic control center. After a number of other field assignments, Thomas came to CAA headquarters in 1946, serving successively as Deputy Chief of the International Services Office, Chief of CAA’s Planning Staff, and Deputy Director, Office of Federal Airways. Following the breakup of the Office of Federal Airways in 1956, he was elevated to Director, Office of Air Traffic Control. With the creation of FAA in 1958, he became Director, Bureau of Air Traffic Management. In 1961, after an FAA administrative reorganization, he became Director, Air Traffic Service, the position he was holding when selected, in 1963, to be Associate Administrator for Programs. Thomas served as Acting Administrator between the tenures of Administrators McKee and Shaffer (see July 31, 1968, and March 24, 1969). He then continued as Deputy Administrator until retiring from Federal service on February 15, 1970.
Thursday, July 1, 1965:President Johnson announced that the supersonic transport (SST) development program would move into Phase IIC, an 18-month detailed design phase costing approximately $220 million. The President’s decision, which was made known during General William F. McKee’s swearing-in as FAA Administrator, was based on the recommendations of the President’s Advisory Committee on Supersonic Transport. The decision postponed prototype development and fabrication for at least 18 months, prolonging the program’s competitive phase by retaining the two airframe competitors (Boeing and Lockheed) and the two engine competitors (General Electric and Pratt & Whitney) selected in 1964. Unlike the previous design phases, however, Phase IIC was not purely a “paper” competition. The airframe manufacturers would construct full-scale mock-ups, and the engine manufacturers would build and test full-scale demonstrator engines. The President enumerated four primary objectives of the new competitive design phase: (1) to provide a sound foundation for realistic estimates of operating performance and production costs; (2) to take advantage of the flight experience of the SR-71, the XB-70, and the variable swept-wing F-111; (3) to reduce developmental risks and developmental costs, while retaining the capacity to accelerate the program in its later phases; (4) and to provide a better basis for judgment as to the manner in which the program should proceed after the 18-month period. The President asked Congress for $140 million to initiate the 18-month program. (See May 20, 1964, and December 31, 1966.)
Thursday, July 1, 1965:A new communications system linking virtually every non-Communist airline in the world went into operation. Known as the Electronic Switching System, it was connected to the interline teletype transmission systems of major U.S. airlines and foreign carriers serving the United States. All interline teletype communications involving reservations and internal administrative messages automatically were directed to a computer in Chicago, which scanned the messages for correctness and electronically forwarded them to the proper airline.
Saturday, July 17, 1965:A 16-year absence of air service between the United States and any part of the Communist bloc by United States or Communist-bloc airlines ended this date when Pan American World Airways began serving Prague, Czechoslovakia.
Saturday, July 24, 1965:FAA announced Project GAPE, a General Aviation Pilot Education program aimed at reducing general aviation accidents by upgrading pilot knowledge and proficiency. The program, developed in cooperation with the Flight Safety Foundation, disseminated letters and safety kits to aircraft operators, published accident summaries, bulletins, and special studies, and conducted a vigorous publicity campaign through radio, television, and printed media.
Monday, August 2, 1965:FAA and the Department of Commerce signed a formal agreement on this date updating all FAA and U.S. Weather Bureau working arrangements in the areas of aviation weather services and meteorological communications. (See September 15, 1950.)
Wednesday, August 4, 1965:In a letter to Senator A. S. “Mike” Monroney (D-OK), FAA Administrator William F. McKee revealed an FAA decision not to incorporate emergency arresting systems for large air carrier aircraft into the National Airspace System. Development of arresting gear devices had first been explored by the Airways Modernization Board in 1958. FAA continued this work and, in 1962, demonstrated the technical feasibility of arresting large transport aircraft on airport runways by means of a tail hook and a cross-runway cable connected to an arresting engine. The issue of whether this emergency gear should be mandatory at large air carrier airports came into sharp focus in April 1964, when three airliners at two New York airports skidded off slippery runways in one 12-hour period. In May 1964, FAA officials opened discussions with aviation industry representatives on arresting gear, and in July the agency formed a committee to work with the air transport industry in studying the question. The committee’s recommendation that the arresting system be integrated into the National Airspace System was reinforced in January 1965 by the results of an FAA-sponsored study conducted by the Flight Safety Foundation. The study concluded that 17 of 87 accidents in the past five years could have been prevented by an emergency arresting system, and forecast 55 jet transport accidents resulting from runway overshoots on takeoff or landing over the next 10 years. In the end, however, FAA decided that the system could not be justified on a cost-versus-benefit basis, a judgment supported by virtually all elements of the aviation industry except the Air Line Pilots Association. The estimated cost of equipping 65 major jetports with two emergency arresting systems and retrofitting all four-engine air carrier jet aircraft with tail hooks was about $47 million. FAA held that this money would buy more safety if spent in such other ways as developing better brakes, removing water from runways through drying and blowing techniques, or eliminating aircraft hydroplaning on runways by grooving or ribbing the pavement (see April 23, 1967). Meanwhile, FAA relied on a new wet-runway rule to reduce potential landing hazards (see January 15, 1966).
Tuesday, August 10, 1965:San Francisco-Oakland Helicopter Airlines initiated the first scheduled air cushion vehicle (hovercraft) service in the United States between Oakland and San Francisco. The service began a year-long test authorized by the Civil Aeronautics Board to determine the feasibility of using air-cushion vehicles in ferrying passengers in metropolitan areas. (See November 1967.)
Monday, August 16, 1965:A series of three Boeing 727 accidents within three months began as a United Air Lines flight crashed into Lake Michigan for undetermined reasons, killing all 30 people aboard. On November 8, an American 727 crashed in Kentucky on approach to Greater Cincinnati Airport, killing 58 of the 62 people aboard. CAB later determined the probable cause was the crew’s failure to properly monitor the altimeters. On November 11, a United 727 crash landed at Salt Lake City. All 91 occupants survived the impact, but 43 died of the effects of postcrash flames and smoke (see September 20, 1967). CAB later cited the probable cause as the pilot’s failure to arrest an excessive descent rate. On November 12, FAA declared it could find no pattern in the mishaps and hence it would be premature to ground the 727, about 190 of which were in operation.
Wednesday, August 25, 1965:A Curtiss-Wright X-19, an experimental vertical takeoff and landing aircraft, one of two X-19 prototypes developed by Curtiss-Wright, crashed during its first extended test flight, at FAA’s National Aviation Facilities Experimental Center. It had first flown on June 26, 1964.
Monday, August 30, 1965:CAB assumed responsibility for a factfinding investigation of nonfatal aircraft accidents involving air-taxi operators and other commercial operators of small aircraft. By this action, CAB withdrew a delegation of this function made to FAA on December 31, 1958. FAA continued to conduct under a CAB delegation of authority factfinding investigations of nonfatal accidents involving noncommercial fixed-wing aircraft with a maximum takeoff weight of 12,500 pounds or less.
Tuesday, August 31, 1965:The world’s largest cargo plane, the Aero Spacelines B-377SG Super Guppy completed its maiden flight. A converted Boeing 377 Stratocruiser with a capacity of 49,790 cubic feet, the Super Guppy was under contract to NASA for use in hauling rockets and other space equipment.
Wednesday, September 1, 1965:An inspector or other authorized flight examiner conducting a flight test is an observer, and normally not considered to be the pilot in command, according to a rule effective this date.
Friday, September 3, 1965:After withholding Federal funds from the Port of New York Authority (PNYA) for two years, FAA announced resumption of annual grants under the Federal-aid airport program (FAAP). In August 1963, FAA had notified the PNYA of the tentative allocation of $4.3 million in FAAP matching funds for lengthening the runways at La Guardia Airport, one of New York City’s three major airports, on the condition that PNYA develop a plan for improving airport facilities for general aviation in the metropolitan New York area. PNYA did not submit such a plan acceptable to FAA. Eventually, the differences between the two agencies narrowed down to the continued operation (desired by FAA) of Teterboro, a general aviation airport in northeastern New Jersey which PYNA owned and operated at a loss. When Pan American World Airways leased this airport from the Port Authority and agreed to keep it in operation, FAA considered all outstanding issues between itself and PNYA resolved.
Tuesday, September 7, 1965:FAA presented its first type certificate for a Japanese-made aircraft to the Nihon Aeroplane Manufacturing Company, Ltd., for its NAMC YS-11, a twin-turboprop short/medium-range transport with a maximum seating capacity of 59 passengers. The YS-11 had first flown in August 1962, and had received its Japanese type certificate on August 25, 1964. (See March 14, 1955.)
Wednesday, September 15, 1965:Deputy Administrator for Supersonic Transport Development Gordon Bain resigned from FAA effective this date. Brig. Gen. Jewell C. Maxwell (USAF) was assigned to replace Bain with the new title Director of Supersonic Transport Development. The new designation entailed no change in responsibilities or organizational relationship. (See July 29, 1963, and April 6, 1970.)
Saturday, September 18, 1965:FAA required distance-measuring equipment on turbine-engine aircraft and pressurized piston-engine aircraft when operated by foreign air carriers within the contiguous United States after December 31, 1966. The agency required other foreign air carrier aircraft having a maximum certificated takeoff weight of more than 12,500 pounds to have this equipment after December 31, 1967. All foreign civil aircraft not engaged in air carrier operations were required to have this equipment after December 31, 1966, when flying at or above 24,000 feet. (See July 1, 1963.)
Sunday, September 26, 1965:A rule effective this date required biennial requalification of all flight instructors. It also required instructors to assume additional responsibilities for the supervision of student-pilot solo flight operations.
Wednesday, September 1, 1965:The Texas cities of Dallas and Fort Worth agreed on a site for a regional airport, culminating more than a decade of disagreement and negotiation over this issue. The site chosen had been recommended by a consulting firm called into the dispute by a Civil Aeronautics Board examiner. It contained 18,000 acres lying approximately equidistant from the two cities, but overlapping part of Fort Worth’s Greater Southwest International Airport. The agreement was a victory for the regional airport concept advocated by FAA and the Civil Aeronautics Board (see May 2, 1961, and February 2, 1967). Construction began on the Dallas-Fort Worth Regional Airport in December 1968 (see January 13, 1974).
Friday, October 1, 1965:FAA created the position of Associate Administrator for Personnel and Training. The new associate administrator reported directly to the FAA Administrator; previously, the head of the agency’s personnel and training functions reported to the Associate Administrator for Administration. (See January 19, 1968.)
Friday, October 1, 1965:As part of the agency’s continuing decentralization program, FAA placed the Aeronautical Center in Oklahoma City under a director reporting directly to the FAA Administrator. A similar change on October 22 placed the National Aviation Facilities Experimental Center in Atlantic City, NJ, under a director reporting the Administrator. Both centers had previously been headed by a manager, and had been under the jurisdiction of various offices or services in Washington.
Friday, October 8, 1965:In two separate but related rulemaking actions, FAA authorized increased industry participation in the certification of aeronautical products. One rule permitted FAA to delegate authority to qualified manufacturers in certification of helicopters, small turbine engines, and aeronautical parts. Previously, delegation procedures were permitted only in the certification of airplanes and gliders weighing 12,500 pounds or less, small piston engines, and propellers manufactured for use with these engines (see September 29, 1950). The other rule provided for the establishment of Designated Alteration Stations by qualified manufacturers, air carriers, commercial operators of large aircraft, and domestic repair stations. FAA authorized the stations to: issue supplemental type certificates for already type-certificated products; issue experimental airworthiness certificates for aircraft they altered; and amend standard airworthiness certificates for such aircraft. In June 1966, FAA made the first issuance of a “Designated Alteration Station” authorization to the American Airlines repair station in Tulsa, OK.
Friday, October 15, 1965:FAA established a comprehensive new air traffic controller health program. The previous practice had been to examine only terminal controllers, under standards originally designed for airman certification. Under the new program, every controller and flight service specialist would receive an annual physical examination, including a chest X-ray, electrocardiogram, audiogram, measurement of intraocular tension, and psychological screening. Psychophysiological data generated by these examinations would be used to formulate administrative policies on selection, employment, and retirement.
Thursday, October 21, 1965:Effective this date, FAA clarified its regulations governing the issuance of limited operations medical certificates. The previous language of the rule had led some applicants to believe that they had a right to attempt to demonstrate their ability to fly safely regardless of the nature of their limiting deficiency. The new wording made it clear that certain diseases and disabilities could not be compensated for under any circumstances.
Friday, October 22, 1965:The Air Force-operated USAF/USN Central NOTAM (Notice to Airmen) Facility (CNF) began operations in FAA Headquarters Building, Washington, D.C., after moving from Tinker AFB, OK. The military NOTAM facility was co-located with the FAA-operated civil NOTAM system (National Flight Data Center), and the two were eventually consolidated into a single National NOTAM System managed by FAA.
Monday, November 1, 1965:FAA announced that it had recovered the entire cost of developing a low-cost, light-weight transponder for general aviation use. The Wilcox Electric Company made the repayment in accordance with a special clause in the 1960 contract under which the equipment was developed. This represented perhaps the first time that a Federal civilian agency had recovered the entire cost of developing a device produced under government contract by a private manufacturer and sold to the public. The money was deposited into the U.S. Treasury’s general fund.
November 9-10, 1965:New York’s La Guardia and John F. Kennedy airports were forced to shut down when the overloading of a switch at an electrical generating plant in Ontario, Canada, set off a chain reaction that caused a massive power failure in the northeast, blacking out for 13 hours or longer an 80,000-square-mile area. The power failure hit during the evening rush hour, but several factors combined to head off disaster: clear weather, a moonlit night, and the fact that FAA’s air route traffic control centers in the blacked out area continued to operate. Relying on secondary commercial suppliers, the ARTCCs guided aircraft to Newark, Philadelphia, Washington, and other airports not affected by the failure.
Prior to the blackout, the agency had believed that a standby engine generator was not as desirable as a second source of commercial power when two or more such sources were available, for the simultaneous loss of multiple sources was considered highly improbable. The power failure, however, demonstrated the need for generators at individual facilities. On March 2, 1966, FAA announced a program to install standby engine generators to power essential services at 50 airports in the contiguous United States. The 50 airports, chosen on the basis of their activity and location, would receive standby engine generators capable of powering a control tower, airport surveillance radar, approach-light system, instrument landing system, and runway lights on the primary runway.
The following year, FAA began planning a similar program for the air route traffic control centers. Over the past three years, ARTCCs had suffered more than 1,300 power failures lasting long enough to impair the operational use of critical equipment. Recognizing that power loss would be a potentially more serious safety threat in the future due to increased reliance on automation, FAA planned to equip all 20 centers in the contiguous U.S. with adequate auxiliary power sources and uninterruptible power units. (See June 27, 1969.)
November 14-17, 1965:In a flight sponsored by Rockwell-Standard, a Boeing B-707 became the first aircraft to girdle the globe going north to south, covering 26,230 miles in 62 hours 28 minutes. Beginning in Honolulu, the flight flew over the North Pole, made stops at London, Lisbon, and Buenos Aires, flew over the South Pole, and returned to Honolulu by way of Christchurch, New Zealand.
Monday, November 15, 1965:The United States served a formal notice of denunciation of the Warsaw Convention, effective six months later, because of the inability to substantially raise the liability limit above the approximately $16,600 per international passenger set by the 11-year-old Hague Protocol to the Convention. The United States stated that it would withdraw the notice if there were reasonable prospects for ICAO to amend the convention to raise the liability limit to at least $100,000, and if the international carriers worked out an interim agreement for a liability limit of $75,000, with strict liability. Although a 1966 ICAO meeting failed to reach an agreement on an acceptable limit, the International Air Transport Association, in consultation with U.S. officials, reached an interim agreement with international carriers providing for a liability limit of $75,000 per passenger. The U.S. Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) approved the interim agreement on May 13, 1966, and the United States withdrew its notice of termination. Participation in the agreement was mandated by the U.S. CAB in permit and certificate conditions, and later generalized by regulation (14 CFR 203). Subsequent attempts to raise the Warsaw liability limit by a new Protocol were unsuccessful. In 1996, the U.S. Department of Transportation approved three agreements, proposed by the International Air Transport Association and Air Transport Association, under which carriers agreed to waive the Warsaw passenger liability limits in their entirety. Widespread implementation of these agreements was anticipated in early 1997.
Sunday, November 21, 1965:FAA renamed the Civil Aeromedical Research Institute (CARI) the Civil Aeromedical Institute (CAMI). (See October 21, 1962.)
Thursday, December 16, 1965:Under a rule effective this date, FAA required pilots flying large aircraft (12,500 pounds or more) to hold a type rating for that aircraft. Previously, the agency required only pilots in command of large aircraft carrying passengers or freight for remuneration to hold such a type rating. The new rule also required pilots in command of small turbojet aircraft to be type rated for such aircraft after March 31, 1966. The purpose of the rule was to insure that pilots were fully qualified to serve in command of aircraft that handled differently from those in which they had acquired their flying experience.
Friday, December 31, 1965:Effective this date, FAA required scheduled helicopter air carriers to assign individual emergency evacuation duties to their crewmembers. The new regulations also included rules on drinking on helicopter airlines similar to those already in effect for fixed-wing airlines: passengers were prohibited from drinking alcoholic beverages unless served by the carrier, and carriers were prohibited from allowing persons who appeared intoxicated to board flights or to be served alcoholic beverages on board.
Wednesday, December 1, 1965:FAA published three studies concerning human circadian rhythms (biological rhythms with a period of about 24 hours, linked to mental and physical efficiency). The studies were based primarily on biomedical assessments of human subjects aboard a series of intercontinental flights. The subjects selected had daily work and sleep habits representative of the adult male population. The flights traveled across multiple time zones from east to west and from west to east, as well as from north to south within the same time zone. Subjects on all the flights displayed subjective fatigue. Those traveling east-west or west-east experienced shifts of circadian periodicity that required various periods for readjustment. The east-west travelers displayed a significant impairment of psychological performance not shown by those on the other flights.
Calendar Year 1965:Forty-two million people, or 38 percent of the adult population of the United States, had flown in a commercial aircraft, according to a survey made during 1965 by the Gallup Organization for Trans World Airline. In 1962, a similar TWA-sponsored survey had shown that 33 percent of the adult population had flown in a commercial aircraft. (See June 1970.)
Primary Sources:
Dated items along the left margin of the FAA History Pages were compiled from the series of FAA’s ‘Historical Chronology’ PDF files. For a list and links to uploaded copies of these PDF files, see aiReform’s ‘FAA History’ main page (link above).
Additional content has been compiled from Wikipedia and other sources; these items are presented along the right margin, and include significant accidents, Whistleblower case actions, various news items, ATC technology developments, links to related material, comments, etc. Further content will be added at a later date.