A string of poor decisions by the pilot of a Eurocopter AS350 being flown on an emergency medical mission preceded the Aug. 26, 2011, crash of the aircraft, according to the NTSB’s report on the accident. Four people–the pilot, a patient, flight nurse and paramedic–were killed in the accident at 6.41 p.m. in Mosby, Mo. after the commercial pilot first ran the helicopter out of fuel and then failed to establish an autorotation.
AINsafety » April 15, 2013
While most aviation safety sources have identified loss of control (LOC) as the leading cause of accidents in the past few years, controlled flight into terrain (CFIT) “is making a strong comeback,” according to Flight Safety Foundation fellow Jim Burin.
A remotely controlled ATC tower constructed by Saab for Norway’s Avinor air navigation service has passed the site acceptance tests that will eventually allow for a smoother fit into the Sesar air traffic management system, Europe’s version of NextGen, once final testing of the facility’s operations is completed.
One drawback to traditional round taxiway lights is the difficulty pilots often face in determining the precise location of the edge of the taxiway surface using those lights. The technology behind blue taxiway lighting has changed little over the past 50 years, until a recent test of a new kind of lighting fixture began at Ohio’s Cleveland Hopkins Airport (CLE) in February. This involves the new Pavement Edge Light Safety System (Pelss) from Lumin Aerospace.
The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) is fighting back against U.S. government cuts slated to slash funding for the Federal Flight Deck Officer (FFDO) program, which trains pilots how to safely carry weapons aboard Part 121 aircraft.
“It is beyond belief that, at the same time the administration’s budget proposal [presented on April 10] recognizes the value of risk-based aviation security, it proposes to eliminate funding for this well established and extremely effective program,” said ALPA president Lee Moak in a statement last week.
Despite reports that the H7N9 avian flu has been responsible for 10 deaths out of 28 reported cases in China, international medical authorities don’t yet believe the virus is a concern for flight crews or airline passengers traveling to Asia, or at least not enough for the World Health Organization (WHO) to recommend any travel or trade restrictions. All cases have occurred in regions of eastern China–Anhui, Jiangsu and Zhejiang, with 13 in Shanghai. None appears to have been transmitted from person-to-person, only to people who have been in contact with infected poultry.
The runway edge lights on four of the seven active runways at Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) went dark on April 11 in the middle of an evening traffic rush. The runways affected were 22 Right, 32 Right and both 27 Left and Right, causing air traffic delays and flight cancellations. Some lights went out completely while others flickered for nearly an hour. A spokesman for the City of Chicago’s Department of Aviation said the cause of the outage is unknown.
Two German police-operated helicopters returning from a training mission collided near the ground in Berlin while landing on March 21. Both were Eurocopter models, one an AS332L1 Super Puma and the other an EC155B1. The pilot of the Super Puma lost ground reference in blowing snow and struck the smaller helicopter, killing the pilot of the EC155. Seven people on the ground were also injured–four seriously–mostly by flying debris. The two helicopters were participating in a police exercise being held near Berlin’s downtown Olympic Stadium.
Regarding the effects of sequestration on Flight Service Stations, contractor Lockheed Martin had this to say: “As we anticipated, it is taking time for our customers [the FAA] to determine how they will implement sequestration’s required cuts. We’re working closely with them as they explore a host of potential scenarios, although we still do not know exactly how our employees or many of our programs, including general aviation, will be affected.”
This video of the November 2011 gear-up landing of a LOT Airlines Boeing 767 demonstrates the teamwork of everyone on the ground and inside the aircraft, and makes a review of the incident worth five minutes of every pilot’s time.