Later this month, the FAA plans to begin testing a new lighting system at Boston Logan Airport that will warn arriving pilots when their runway is occupied by another aircraft. Called the enhanced final approach runway occupancy signal (eFaros), the new system flashes the existing precision approach path indicator lights to indicate the runway is not safe for landing long before the aircraft is committed to touchdown.
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 UK and Nepal signed a memorandum of understanding last week to cooperate in improving Nepal’s aviation safety record. All Nepalese airlines have been banned from operating within European Union airspace since last December. UK authorities will provide support in areas such as pilot training. A 2012 Sita Air accident claimed the lives of seven British citizens. A report by the European Commission on the state of Nepalese aviation safety is not expected before November this year.
For the second year in a row, the aviation unit of Florida’s Marion County Sheriff’s Office hosted a safety training session for law enforcement, emergency medical, firefighting and electronic newsgathering operations from around the state. The May 21 event drew more than 70 attendees from 23 different organizations and focused on the United States National Grid, combatting complacency and formation flying. During the training session attendees practiced joint search-and-rescue efforts by identifying coordinates using the national grid.
UK manufacturer Aveillant last week unveiled a 3-D radar system capable of watching aircraft continuously to distances of 40 nm from the antenna. Since the new system’s antenna does not rotate it is capable of direct contact with the aircraft at all times. It then measures distance and altitude by tracking the target’s Doppler shift and reports back with speed, altitude and direction-of-flight information. The first demonstration of the system is scheduled for the fourth quarter of this year.
The FAA has reminded operators that continued operations within reduced vertical separation minimum airspace require aircraft maintenance in accordance with RVSM maintenance guidelines. The agency is concerned that many operators bring aircraft in for maintenance and fail to adequately document compliance with RVSM standards.
Foodborne illness is a growing concern in the U.S., and one that flight departments and FBOs should take seriously. According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are approximately 48 million cases each year in the U.S., 128,000 of them severe enough to require hospitalization, 3,000 of them fatal. Travel medical services provider MedAire notes that gastrointestinal illness accounts for the largest percentage of calls from its private aviation customers, with 77 percent of them regarding passengers.
The pilots of the Gulfstream IV-SP that crashed on Saturday while taking off from Runway 11 at Bedford Hanscom Field near Boston reported “control problems” after reaching rotation speed, according to preliminary cockpit voice recorder information released by the NTSB on Tuesday evening. All seven people aboard–three crewmembers and four passengers–died in the runway overrun accident.
FlightSafety International cut the ribbon on the major expansion and renovation project at its Teterboro, N.J learning center yesterday. The expansion increased floor space by 50 percent and refurbished the entire facility, including a new lobby area and café.
NetJets’ repair stations achieved a new safety milestone yesterday, entering Level III of the FAA’s safety management system (SMS) program. As such, NetJets is the first repair station in the U.S. to achieve this safety level.
Australian minerals institute AusIMM awarded its Jim Torlach Health and Safety Award to the Flight Safety Foundation for its Basic Aviation Risk Standard (Bars) program, which was designed to audit aircraft operations that are used extensively for carrying mining company personnel. The institute noted the Bars program raised the level of minimum acceptable standards for aircraft operations worldwide. Bars consists of four components: risk-based international aviation standard, auditing program, aviation safety training programs and global safety data analysis program.