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Regulations Should be a Four-letter Word; or, Should the FAA be a Four-letter Word?

J VanDomelen

J VanDomelen

Posted Feb 27, 2011
1 Comment

The mil/aero community, especially those members working in the aviation and avionics segment, is increasingly consumed with learning more and ensuring compliance with current standards and regulations. For many, regulatory compliance and all that it entails are terribly stressful and wrought with bureaucracy, various “hoops” through which to jump, and threats of excessive fines and jail time.

Not surprisingly, mil/aero professionals are proactively seeking knowledgeable assistance with their efforts to ensure federal regulatory compliance, especially concerning the FAA’s DO-178 and DO-254 standards.

Given strapped budgets today, most are exhaustively searching for complimentary advice that, at the same time, holds value equivalent to very costly and/or legal assistance. So, where are mil/aero pros going for guidance? Industry.

Mil/aero industry vendors have become trusted resources for various topics, including associated standards, regulations, and requirements. (Some vendors can be heavily biased or sales-focused, but they are the minority, are often quickly apparent, and can be avoided. I urge everyone to not miss out on tremendous resources due to one unsavory experience.)

I was just reading an industry publication that mentioned the mil/aero market’s “increasing awareness and desire to comply with DO-254, which requires assistance from the tools vendors… Tools vendors are helping device manufacturers with difficult problems….” The mil/aero executive singled out “Mentor Graphics in Wilsonville, Ore., and Aldec Inc. in Henderson, Nev., [as] vendors that are helping device manufacturers with DO-254 compliance.”

Flash forward one day, and a relevant invitation arrives in my e-mail inbox for: “DO-254 Compliance Overview Training” by instructor Tammy Reeve of Patmos Engineering Services Inc., to be held March 16 and 17 in El Segundo, Calif. Reeve is an FAA Designated Engineering Representative (DER). I have seen her speak a few times. There’s no marketing or sales pitch included, just much-need information from an experienced professional—precisely what this geek wants and needs.

Cockpit of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner

This two-day training class is offered and supported by Mentor Graphics. Mentor Graphics personnel will be on hand to ensure all goes smoothly and all questions are answered, I’m certain, but I’ve never experienced a marketing/sales pitch at such an event; rather, I’ve sought out Mentor product managers to field questions I had, and they’re always readily accessible. This particular event is not free, but stay tuned—this geek is testing out and will report on available free resources.

More information on the two-day event, priced at $1800, can be found online at

Military, Milaero, Aerospace, Mentor, Altec Inc., Mentor Graphics,, Mil-Aero, 787, Engineer, DO-178, FAA, Boeing, Geek, DO-254 Compliance Overview Training, DO-254, Dreamliner, Software, Tammy Reeve, Wilsonville

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[...] example, people interested in learning more about the DO-254 standard (RTCA/DO-254, Design Assurance Guidance for Airborne Electronic Hardware, a document [...]

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