Since October last year there have been 132 incidents involving battery overheats or fires aboard aircraft, according to the FAA. Until the recent series of Boeing 787 incidents, most fires occurred in cargo containers or personal electronic devices carried in the cabin.
AINsafety » January 21, 2013
The UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch has begun its work to discover the causes of an accident in which an AgustaWestland AW109 Power helicopter crashed in central London on January 16, killing its pilot and the driver of a car. But British Prime Minister David Cameron has already ordered a wider review of the regulation of helicopter flights over the UK capital in the wake of the incident, in which the aircraft crashed just before 8 a.m.
The International Helicopter Safety Team’s continuing goal is to reduce the civil helicopter accident rate by 80 percent by 2016 and avoid another near-record week like it experienced in October 2012 when eight lives were lost in four separate accidents in just eight days.
The IHST believes a number of pilot behavior patterns cause the vast majority of accidents, including the need by some aviators to prove they have “the right stuff” to fly in all situations.
The number of aviation accidents in Brazil in 2012 rose by 5.6 percent to 168 from the previous year’s 159, as reported by the country’s Center for Investigation and Prevention of Aeronautical Accidents (Cenipa). Last year’s figures–designated as preliminary at this point by the agency–represent the highest accident totals since record keeping began in 2000.
Total accident numbers have been rising over the past decade. In 2002, for example, there were 61 accidents.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General (IG) issued a self-initiated report on Dec. 19, 2012, about the FAA’s en route automation modernization (Eram) program’s (flight) information security controls. Unfortunately, the IG did not make the report public online due to security requirements to protect the information crews might care about.
A Bell 206 crashed on January 2, killing the sole-occupant pilot, during an early-morning return to base in Delano, Calif. (DLO). The flight was operating in poor weather with minimal horizon available when it left DLO at 4:20 a.m. that morning on a job to protect local crops. The pilot decided to return to the airport when fog began to accumulate near the fields. A company helicopter following the accident aircraft told the NTSB the pilot became lost and disoriented on the return trip and crashed moments later.
In a report released Thursday, the NTSB reported that no lives were lost in U.S. airline accidents in 2011. The total number of deaths in aviation did rise, however, with most of those occurring in general aviation, where the number grew to 491 in 2011 from 476 the year before.
Banyan Air Service at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport (FXE) in Florida is offering cockpit crews the opportunity to experience the effects of smoke in the cockpit firsthand in its new emergency vision assurance system (EVAS) simulator. The EVAS simulator is a self-contained unit with one seat, theatrical smoke and a filtration system. Participants don a pair of goggles, then experience the situation as smoke invades the cockpit. Demos begin January 25.
The personal accident rate for employees at Jet Aviation’s St. Louis, Mo. FBO dropped significantly last year versus the numbers posted in 2011. “It’s half the number we experienced in 2011,” a company spokeswoman told AIN. “We’ve also gone 104 days in a row without an injury of any kind, an all-time record.”
A Pilatus PC-12 crashed on January 16 five miles northeast of Burlington-Almance Regional Airport (BUY) in North Carolina. The turboprop single crashed at about 6 a.m. local time and claimed the life of the pilot, the only person on board. Burlington Airport is 20 miles east of Greensboro. No details have been released yet about the possible cause.