Bell 206L, New York, June 14, 2005–Bell 206L N78TD was substantially damaged when it crashed in the East River during takeoff from the Port Authority Downtown Manhattan/Wall Street Heliport. The commercial pilot and five passengers sustained minor injuries, while one passenger was seriously injured. VMC prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local commercial sightseeing flight conducted under Part 91.
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 Inspector General (IG) of the Transportation Department has found that managers at the Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) Tracon systematically covered up operational errors for seven years, thereby jeopardizing air traffic safety.
The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) has unveiled a program to help air charter companies improve safety. Modeled after the ground service safety program the association launched last year, the initiative for Part 135 on-demand operators is designed to reduce the number of accidents and eventually to lower insurance rates and deductibles.
Bristow Helicopters subsidiary Aviashelf has achieved the first certification of a HUMS (health and usage monitoring system) fitted to a Mil Mi-8, by the Russian Federal Aviation Authority.
The United Nations sprays a synthetic compound on its helicopter landing sites that apparently reduces the threat of “brown-outs” in dusty conditions.
Heli-Dyne Systems has sold a new Bell 206BIII JetRanger to Duke University for use as an environmental observation platform.
Dr. Roni Avissar, chairman of the university’sdepartment of civil and environmental engineering, plans to use the helicopter to study air pollution and climate change.
American Eurocopter’s training center at Grand Prairie, Texas, has won FAA Part 141 approval to offer training on night vision goggles (NVGs). The package provides initial and recurrent training, including lessons in unusual attitude recovery and how to deal with spatial disorientation, during both NVG and night urban flying.
The UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch cited pilot disorientation, combined with limited instrument flying experience, as the most likely cause of the March 1, 2003, crash of Agusta A109E G-PWER at Bour-nemouth, England. The accident took the lives of the ALTP-rated pilot and his passenger.
A recent report by the British Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) shows that the pilot of the Robinson R44 flying from a private strip in southern Scotland to Manchester, England, found that hills on his track were obscured by an area of low cloud. Recordings from his GPS showed that as he turned to avoid high ground he increased speed and entered a rapid descent.
Helicopter operators flying air medical operations have always had a keen interest in safety, but a spike in accident and fatality statistics in the last five years has intensified concern throughout the industry. Representatives from a number of helicopter EMS task forces gathered in Dallas recently to discuss procedures for improving the safety of their operations.