The National Transportation Safety Board on May 13 released the findings of its Special Investigation Report on the safety of agricultural aircraft operations, which can involve flying as low as 10 feet above the ground. That kind of flying presents risks from ground-based obstacles with scant room for error.
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.
The International Civil Aviation Organization on May 14 agreed to work toward tracking airline flights, no matter their global location or destination. The specially convened ICAO meeting in Montreal on May 13 and 14 also established a framework for medium- and long-term future tracking efforts.
Aviation data provider Argus has highlighted deficiencies in safety management system audits in its latest Prism analysis of some SMS audit results from both private and commercial flight operations. Each audit looked for evidence of effective and efficient operations, as well as best SMS practices in line with ISBAO or FAA AC 120-92A standards. The report was created to highlight recurring deficiencies in those SMS audits.
Special ATC procedures for next month’s U.S. Open golf tournament at Southern Pines, N.C., take effect beginning June 7 for Moore County (SOP) Airport, Raleigh Executive Jetport at Sanford-Lee County (TTA) Airport, Richmond County (RCZ) Airport, Laurinburg-Maxton (MEB) Airport and Fayetteville Regional (FAY) Airport.
Procedures will be in effect from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. daily to maintain safety and minimize ATC delays.
A partnership between FlightSafety International and Gulfstream has created two science-based flight-crew training courses. One focuses on rejected takeoffs, while a second course reviews the physics of energy management during the aircraft descent.
NTSB and FAA investigators are initially crediting the traffic alert and collision avoidance system (Tcas) with preventing an April 25 midair between United Airlines and US Airways Boeing 757s while both airliners were under the control of Honolulu ATC center. Both aircraft were flying at FL300 when the Tcas aboard the United aircraft warned the crew to descend. The aircraft reportedly came within 2.2 nm laterally of one another.
Two Fokker 100s were involved in accidents on May 10. The first, operated by Iran Aseman Airlines, was damaged in a landing accident at Zahedan Airport (ZAH) in Iran when the aircraft’s left main landing gear failed to extend before it touched down on Runway 35. In the other, an IRS Airlines Fokker 100 operating a post-C-check ferry flight sustained substantial damage during a forced landing in the Ganla area of Niger. That airplane’s right main landing gear and nose gear collapsed during landing. Injuries in both accidents were not reported.
The Department of Transportation’s recent requirement for first officers to have 1,500 hours is taking its toll on air service to some parts of the U.S, a Regional Airline Association spokesman said during a recent hearing on air service to small communities before the U.S. House aviation subcommittee. Brian Bedford, president and CEO of Republic Airways, urged the FAA and Congress to work together to fix the pilot supply challenges created by the new qualification issue by allowing structured credit for more of the logged flight hours required for an air transport pilot certificate.
Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff signed a new law last week that more clearly prioritizes the aviation accident investigation process. First proposed after the Congressional investigation of the 2006 Gol/Legacy Amazon midair, Law 12970/2014 establishes mechanisms to protect information sources, especially voluntary testimony, from court use (though cockpit recordings can be used); makes airlines or owners responsible for wreckage and its removal; and clarifies investigative responsibilities.
The Kenya Airports Authority collaborated with the National Birdstrike Committee of Kenya to organize the third annual East African Wildlife Symposium, which runs from May 28-30 in Kisumu, Kenya. The event was created to share information about wildlife hazards in the region and reduce the overall number of wildlife strikes by aircraft in East Africa. This year’s theme is “Wildlife Hazards, Land Use and Aviation Safety: Impact, Challenges and Opportunities for Synergy.”