The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has confirmed that the February 20 crash of a Beech Premier IA at Thomson-McDuffie County Airport (HQU) in Georgia (30 miles west of Augusta) occurred as the jet attempted to go around and did not involve a runway overrun, as local officials had initially reported. Five of the seven people aboard the aircraft were killed. Both pilots survived, suffering serious injuries.
AINsafety » February 25, 2013
Methods for ensuring pilot competence are high on the list of necessary requirements to improve global pilot training, which has been an industry hot button since the crashes of Continental 3407 and Air France 447. “Graduation from a flight training program does not end a pilot’s learning nor does [earning] a license or rating necessarily demonstrate a pilot’s true level of competence,” said Robert Barnes, president of the International Association of Flight Training Professionals (IAFTP).
A recent research study concluded that 1 in every 60 passengers who climb aboard a regional airliner will strike his head on the cabin entryway, while 1 in every 141 will sustain some sort of head injury when he does. Regional airliner doorways are typically much shorter than those employed on larger transport-category aircraft.
Many cockpit crewmembers believe the ingestion of ice crystals by a jet engine is essentially harmless if the engine’s igniters are turned on. However, aeronautical engineers generally do not agree, citing incidents when mixing ice with standard intake air resulted in a noticeable reduction in engine power output and, at its worst, a complete engine flameout. Ice formation inside an engine compartment can also lead to indicator anomalies that may not shut down the engine, but may lead to air data system failures.
According to the Transportation Trades Department (TTD) of the AFL-CIO union, 70 percent of airline maintenance is conducted by outside contractors, and some of the most comprehensive work on transport aircraft “should be conducted only by Part 145 certified repair stations,” according to TTD president Edward Wytkind.
The FAA is planning to reduce expenditures by approximately $600 million for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2013 should sequestration cuts take place March 1.
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) conducted a fresh audit of the aviation safety system run by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) in what regulators there hope will lead to an upgrade of that nation’s Category 2 safety status to Category 1. Such an upgrade would spearhead the move to allow Philippine airlines to operate to the U.S. and Europe. The FAA downgraded the Philippines to Category 2 over safety concerns in 2009, with Europe blacklisting the carriers in 2010.
Timothy Hershman, a Kona, Hawaii, resident, was indicted by a federal grand jury last week for falsely reporting a potential hijacking aboard an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 en route to Seattle from Kona. Hershman called the FBI office in Honolulu January 17 and reported a hijacker might be aboard the aircraft, which caused the Oregon Air National Guard to scramble two F-16s to escort the aircraft to a safe arrival at Seattle, where the hoax was discovered.
A pair of California Highway Patrol helicopter pilots saved the life of a hiker who was being stalked by a mountain lion just before sunset in the hills about 50 miles northeast of Sacramento. The hiker called for help after trying to scare the cat away by throwing rocks and shouting at the big animal. When the CHP arrived they found the cat standing face-to-face about 20 feet away from the hiker. The pilots flew low over the cat and scared it off, allowing for the hiker’s rescue.
Eastern Michigan University senior Robert Chapin is conducting a survey on air rage as part of a research fellowship. After digesting nearly everything that’s been written on the topic since 2001, Chapin realized no one had ever surveyed airline pilots on the topic. If you’d like to take part in the survey, visit his research survey site.