A Broward County, Fla. jury has returned a $100 million verdict in favor of a 31-year-old pilot who was severely and permanently injured on Nov. 10, 2007, when the Piper Pawnee he had been flying on a banner-tow mission crashed on approach to North Perry Airport, Hollywood, Fla. (KHWO).
AINsafety » July 1, 2013
The Department of Transportation’s inspector general (IG) released an update last month on the FAA’s progress with the standard terminal automation replacement system (Stars), the program to modernize terminal ATC equipment. The IG report identified a number of problem areas slowing Stars implementation caused by early, as yet unresolved, hardware and software delays that have put the entire program in jeopardy.
The NTSB’s preliminary report on the June 6 crash of a Bell 206L-1 into an elementary school parking lot as it approached for landing near Manchester, Ky., said, “Several eyewitnesses reported clear weather and stated the helicopter was ‘spinning’ before impact.” The accident occurred at 2315 local time. Other witnesses contradicted earlier reports that mentioned dense fog in the area at the time and some saw the helicopter only just before impact.
At a UN-sponsored five-day aviation safety conference held in Kathmandu in May a number of safety priorities for flying in Nepal were identified. The conference was organized by the UN World Food Program’s aviation unit at the request of the Nepalese civil aviation authority.
The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) announced a two-year collaborative research agreement with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) on June 19 to carry out widespread fatigue damage assessment for the JAXA curved fuselage panel tests. The partnership is considered a cost-effective way to study widespread fatigue issues on an aircraft’s main pressure vessel. The tests are ultimately designed to improve air safety by creating evaluation technology capable of maintaining the structural integrity of new and aging civilian aircraft.
On June 27 construction concluded on an engineered materials arresting system (Emas) added to the new runway safety area (RSA) at the departure end of Boston Logan’s Runway 33L. The new crushable concrete system sits atop a 300-foot-wide concrete pier that extends nearly 500 feet into the water. The Emas itself covers an area 500 feet long and 170 feet wide.
The pilot escaped with minor injuries after his Beechcraft King Air 200 crashed on a four-lane road just short of Runway 16 at Chicago Executive Airport (KPWK), Wheeling, Ill., on June 26. No one on the ground was injured. The King Air narrowly missed striking a number of nearby apartment buildings and was substantially damaged when the right wing struck a tree. There was no fire.
Construction began recently on the south satellite control tower building at Chicago O’Hare International Airport. The facility is to monitor traffic that will primarily use the airport’s new Runway 28L/10R, which is to open in the fall of 2015. The top of the tower-cab antennas will rise 219 feet agl, with the controller’s-eye-view inside the cab set at 194 feet agl. The $28 million facility is expected to operate from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), working with the Changi Airport Group, has introduced a number of new procedures on June 19 to ensure safe operations at Singapore’s Changi International Airport (WSSS). The efforts are specific to operations during low-visibility conditions resulting from recent severe haze caused by fires set to clear land in Sumatra. An extra one or two miles of separation will be added between arrivals, and the airport will keep runway lights on during daytime operations.
The Department of Transportation’s inspector general (IG) believes the formula the FAA uses to determine the number of inspectors required to maintain system safety is flawed, despite the facts that 4,000 FAA safety inspectors are employed nationwide, and that the agency has an enviable Part 121 safety record.