The National Transportation Safety Board last week published nine specific recommendations to the FAA and the National Weather Service (NWS) that are intended to deliver more comprehensive pre-flight weather information to pilots. The recommendations are based on the findings of NTSB accident investigations involving aircraft encountering adverse surface wind, dense fog, icing, turbulence, and low-level wind shear. While this information currently exists, it is not always provided directly to pilots by NWS preflight weather forecasts.
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 FAA does not require a letter of authorization to fly a localizer performance with vertical guidance (LPV) approach within the U.S. However, guidance for flying in other parts of the world–such as in Europe where the number of LPV approaches is growing–is not nearly as clear and straightforward.
Jon Beatty began his tenure as the Flight Safety Foundation’s new CEO last month, replacing Kevin Hiatt, who has joined the International Air Transportation Association. Aircraft go-arounds remain one of the top concerns for the FSF and its new leader.
Audiences at aviation conferences possess important industry insights, but pilots are often reluctant to share some of that information publicly. Recognizing that fact and attempting to overcome audience resistance, François Lassale, CEO of Morrison, Colo.-based Vortex FSM and master of ceremonies at the Flight Safety Foundation’s business aviation safety summit (BASS) in San Diego, used the “Poll Everywhere” online software to anonymously gather useful safety information from the BASS audience and instantly project the results for the group to view.
“Humans are not naturally good at monitoring highly reliable automated cockpit systems for extended periods of time,” said NTSB member Robert Sumwalt. “And what do we have in our airplanes today…highly reliable, highly automated systems.”
Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Spectrum Health returned its Aero Med EMS helicopters to normal flight operations on May 6 after voluntarily grounding them May 2. The aircraft were grounded after company personnel discovered an incomplete FAA training document. Aero Med said that although the required training was indeed completed, the required paperwork was not. Spectrum Health said its Aero Med helicopter service averages two calls each day, 365 days each year.
The NTSB has scheduled a May 13 meeting with agricultural industry leaders and federal regulators to discuss its special investigation report on the safety of agricultural aircraft operations. The Board will announce several new safety recommendations being issued to the FAA and the National Agricultural Aviation Research & Education Foundation. The meeting begins at 2 p.m. EST at NTSB headquarters inWashington, D.C.
The FAA notified the industry last month that a number of unapproved parts may have found their way into the maintenance and repair system when they were advertised on the Internet under the caption “65,000 military and commercial aircraft parts for sale.” An FAA investigation said Western Metal Products originally manufactured the parts under a licensing agreement with Boeing. The agreement between the two companies, however, ended in 2007.
A helicopter, of as yet unknown type, operated under contract to Lukoil Overseas, crashed into the Atlantic Ocean May 9 while it was en route to an oilrig off the coast of Ghana. Three people aboard the aircraft were killed in the crash, while another person is missing. Four others survived but all were injured, one critically. The helicopter was on its third flight of the day at the time of the accident.
With the Malaysian airliner disappearance still unsolved, the Flight Safety Foundation (FSF) has called for an international symposium on the current state of technology and the need to incorporate aircraft monitoring and communications systems to enhance location tracking.