The French BEA accident investigation branch determined that the pilot’s failure to de-ice before departure led to the takeoff crash of a Beechcraft Premier in France on March 4 last year that killed the pilot and one passenger. This was one of four Premier accidents last year that took a total of 11 lives.
Accidents, Safety, Security and Training
News about significant aircraft accidents and information from accident reports; information on safety procedures and concerns; crew, passenger, aircraft and airport security issues; and news about simulators and training procedures.
NBAA launched a weather subcommittee, which will focus on improvements in aviation weather information and flight safety, yesterday at the Friends & Partners of Aviation Weather forum in Washington, D.C. Among those on hand for the launch were FAA NextGen assistant administrator Ed Bolton, National Weather Service aviation branch manager Cyndie Abelman, FAA Air Traffic Organization senior meteorologist Kevin Johnston, NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen and NBAA weather subcommittee chairman Dr. Bruce Carmichael.
The number of fatalities from business jet accidents worldwide in this year’s first half has already exceeded the total number for all of last year, according to statistics gathered by AIN. In the first six months of this year, 29 people died in seven crashes of U.S.- and non-U.S.-registered business jets compared with 23 people killed in eight mishaps in all of 2013.
The pilot of an MBB-Kawasaki (Eurocopter) BK117B2 flying a trauma recovery mission at 5,000 feet agl in South Australia last year saw a number of hydraulic fluctuations on the helicopter’s system indicators just before the aircraft experienced an uncommanded and violent pitch up. That excursion was followed closely by a left roll and descent, according to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB).
An Australian company has created a cockpit lighting system that might also solve the persistent issue of pilot spatial disorientation.
With current technology a pilot must first recognize disorientation using the attitude indicator and other supporting flight instruments. The Go Light, which has received provisional patent approval, is a system of cockpit lights that gives pilots a constant reference point of the horizon in their peripheral vision.
The number of U.S. helicopter accidents dropped 17 percent during the first six months of this year compared with the same period last year, according to data from the United States Helicopter Safety Team (USHST). From January through the end of June this year, there were 62 civil helicopter accidents compared with 75 during the same period last year. During the first six months of this year, nine helicopter accidents resulted in 15 fatalities, compared with 18 fatal accidents that resulted in 41 fatalities during last year’s first half.
One of the top priorities for the NBAA safety committee is to help pilots better understand the airport environment at unfamiliar landing locations. To assist cockpit crews, the safety committee recently rolled out a prototype of a new airport safety assessment tool to quantify airport risks around the world. The airport audit tool currently takes the form of a seven-page safety checklist for crews to use before their first arrival.
In response to the apparent shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) denied even the possibility that any airline risks the safety of its passengers, crew and aircraft for the sake of saving fuel by taking the most direct flight routings. “Airlines depend on governments and ATC authorities to advise which airspace is available for flight and they plan within those limits,” said IATA director general and CEO Tony Tyler on July 18.
Southampton recently became the first airport in the UK to use the Bird Control Group’s handheld Aerolaser to disturb and repel birds from runways. The laser technology simulates a physical danger to the birds, provoking them to fly away to protect themselves. The laser is calibrated for use in daylight and incorporates a safety feature to prevent its shining at aircraft or the control tower.
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