Internal evaluation programs and safety training account for a majority of the deficiencies highlighted in the 2013 audit report from Argus International based on its involvement with customers’ implementation of safety management systems (SMS) and their day-to-day operations. All aspects of the flight operation are reviewed during each audit, including the organization’s safety management system. The report is a summary of audit results and how they compare with the Argus Platinum and IS-BAO standards.
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.
An FAA evaluation team will travel to Nigeria on March 31 to conduct an international air safety assessment (IASA) to determine if that country will maintain its category-one safety certification. The recertification is an important part of Nigeria’s aviation strategy because it allows direct access to U.S. airspace by carriers from that country. The enhanced safety rating also directly affects the insurance premiums Nigerian airlines pay, considered to be one of the greatest operating costs for those carriers.
The FAA published an update last week to the 13-year-old JO 7110.113D order governing procedures for issuing departure clearance using the pre-departure clearance (PDC) system available through the electronic control tower datalink system (TDLS). The change resulted from the agency and user community jointly identifying several inconsistencies in the process, as well as misunderstandings about how the process is understood by those receiving clearances.
Women make for safer helicopter pilots than their male counterparts, according to the U.S. Army. Just 10 percent of Army pilots are women, and they account for only 3 percent of all accidents. The Russian military has seen a similar trend, according to a story posted on March 3 at StrategyPage.com.
The FAA wants to fine Whirlybird Helicopters $55,125 for allegedly violating DOT drug and alcohol testing regulations. The agency said Whirlybird failed to conduct pre-employment drug tests on eight employees before hiring them to perform safety-sensitive functions on the company’s helicopters. The agency also alleges three of these employees were not in Whirlybird’s random testing pool as required by DOT regulations. The company has 30 days to appeal the penalty.
Don Bateman, corporate fellow and chief engineer technologist for flight safety systems and technology at Honeywell Aerospace, was recognized March 4 with the 2013 Elmer A. Sperry Award for Enhancing the Art of Transportation. Bateman was honored for his development of Honeywell’s ground proximity warning system (GPWS).
Cristina Gonzalez, a master of science in safety science at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, is looking for input on her final graduate research project on the standardization of English in international aviation. She has set up an anonymous survey to learn more about how the English language proficiency requirement fits into the world of aviation today.
The FAA proposed an airworthiness directive last week on the autothrottle computers installed on the Boeing 737-600/700/700C/800/900 to correct a glitch that in 2009 allowed a faulty radar altimeter aboard a Turkish Airlines 737 to tell the autothrottles to revert to idle thrust while the aircraft was still on final approach. The aircraft crashed in Amsterdam, killing nine people and injuring 117.
Business aviation operators are lacking in safety management system (SMS) internal evaluation programs and safety training, according to the 2013 SMS Audit Result report released yesterday by aviation services company Argus. The report highlights recurring deficiencies found in SMS implementation and execution, it said.
“A view into the industry-wide aperture helps aviation operators focus their efforts on common deficiency areas cited by auditors,” Argus noted. “Operators can then use this information to improve their own SMS implementation and execution efforts.”
NBAA joined a coalition of aviation groups this week in calling for the Senate to pass legislation that would require the FAA to get industry input before implementing mandatory testing of pilots and air traffic controllers for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) before receiving a medical certificate. The U.S. House of Representatives passed an identical bill on February 11 by voice vote.