The pilots of an Air India Airbus A320 were suspended after an April 12 incident in which they landed their aircraft without an ATC clearance on a closed runway in Mumbai. Two local air traffic controllers were also suspended for not taking action when they realized the incident was happening. In a preliminary report, India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation said the primary reason for the incident was that the pilots had selected the wrong tower frequency and proceeded inbound despite the lack of any radio contact.
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.
A de Havilland Canada DHC-6-300 Twin Otter crashed on takeoff from Sam Neua Airport (VLSN) in Laos on April 17. Five of 16 people aboard the aircraft sustained injuries and the aircraft was destroyed. The aircraft failed to clear trees at the end of the airport’s 3,700-foot runway and crashed in a nearby canal, shearing off the left wing.
The FAA has proposed a $4 million fine against UPS for operating four aircraft that were not airworthy. The FAA alleges that in 2008 the cargo carrier failed to follow FAA-approved procedures to accomplish structural repairs on two DC-8s and a pair of MD-11s. The agency further alleges that UPS then used the four aircraft on 400 flights between October 2009 and June 2010. These violations stem from UPS’s failure to comply with the terms of an earlier consent agreement in which it agreed to inspect all aircraft in its fleet and compare actual repairs with maintenance records.
An MD369A helicopter pilot was seriously injured April 2 during a hard landing on private property in Darby, Mont. The three passengers aboard received minor injuries. The rotorcraft was destroyed when its engine failed to respond to throttle inputs at 10 feet above the ground. The tail rotor, tailboom and all main rotor blades separated from the helicopter on impact.
As Ethiopian Airlines and other Boeing 787 customers prepared to return their Dreamliners to service with battery system modification kits, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) conducted an exhaustive, two-day investigative hearing into the design and certification of the lithium-ion batteries implicated in the airplane’s grounding. Sixteen witnesses testified and answered questions during the hearing on April 23 and 24 at the Board’s Washington, D.C., headquarters.
Japanese authorities on Friday followed the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration in formally approving Boeing’s modifications to the 787’s battery system.
The FAA will begin publishing instrument approaches that use larger circling-approach airspace dimensions on May 2, addressing industry safety groups’ assertions that the radii were “insufficient to contain large, jet transport airplanes during the circle-to-land maneuver,” according to NBAA.
Indonesian authorities are piecing together information from the wreckage of the Lion Air Boeing 737-800 that crashed in shallow water and broke into pieces just short of Runway 9 at Denpasar-Ngurah Rai Bali International Airport (WADD) on April 13. The accident occurred at 3:15 p.m. local time as the aircraft completed a non-precision approach after a 536-mile domestic flight from Badung Airport (WICC). None of the 108 people aboard was killed, although many were taken to hospital with minor injuries.
Loss of control in flight related to the inability to recognize an upset and controlled flight into terrain remain the primary causes of accidents involving transport aircraft.
An Alabama circuit court has demanded that Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport’s board of directors release information related to the March 22 accident that killed a 10-year-old boy and injured his mother and two younger brothers. The accident occurred when a flight information sign (Mufid) in a newly renovated concourse broke lose from its mountings and fell forward, trapping the four people.