Air Charter Safety Foundation president Bryan Burns said that an October 24 story in The Wall Street Journal has unfairly tarnished the safety record of business aircraft operations in the U.S. The article reported that 140 people have died in non-airline commercial aircraft crashes during the first 10 months of this year.
AINsafety » November 12, 2012
Accidents in recent years have brought glass panel training and operational excellence under the spotlight, and the industry continues to develop training and safe practices to keep up with the new technology.
The FAA, airlines and aviation labor unions have launched a partnership with the NTSB to share summarized safety information to help prevent accidents. The information to be shared through the Aviation Safety Information Analysis and Sharing (Asias) will help the NTSB determine if an accident is unique or an indication of systemic risks.
Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based FBO Banyan Air Service will be the launch customer for a new ground accident avoidance system. RampTrack by Wingspan Systems is supposed to help prevent ramp and hangar accidents by tracking aircraft on the ground and warning operators if they are at risk of striking a building, another aircraft, vehicle or person.
Using redundant sensors, intelligent software, visual and aural alarms, the system reduces the chance of hangar rash due to contact with toolboxes or ground tugs while relocating or taxiing aircraft.
While the new Runway 18/36 at Collin County Regional Airport (KTKI) took longer to build than anyone would have liked–about seven years from first concept to the first takeoff–the new 7,002-foot-long by 150-foot-wide surface was badly needed to replace the original runway built in 1979.
The $52 million project in McKinney, Texas, consumed nearly 53,000 tons of concrete and was constructed just east of the original surface, which now serves as a parallel taxiway. The runway was the Texas Department of Transportation’s largest ever aviation construction project.
The NTSB issued a number of recommendations on November 1–A12-64 and A12-65–in an attempt to prevent aircraft accident first responders from being injured by ejection seats or ballistic parachute recovery devices at crash scenes. The Board wants the FAA to identify the devices aboard an aircraft during every tri-year registration and also determine a method of making that information readily accessible to emergency crews. Recommendation A12-66 will also require STC-modified aircraft to report any new on-board devices.
The FAA plans to issue Airworthiness Directive FAA-2012-1111 to address wiring issues on the Beechjet 400A. The AD was prompted by a report that the wiring for the five-volt direct-current system is undersized and does not have adequate circuit protection for the smaller-gauge wire. This proposed AD would require installing an in-line fuse in the five-volt DC system for each of the five instrument lighting control power supplies.
New flight plan requirements developed for ICAO compatibility with digital ATM systems around the world take effect November 15. “The amendments to flight plan content go to the very core of flight plan processing,” said a Eurocontrol statement. The basic flight plan form and the field composition within the FPL message remain unchanged, but the content of some fields will change.
Ajit Singh, head of India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation, and members of the Association of Indian Commercial Pilots have begun another safety-focused battle of wills. The pilots have filed a petition in court claiming the minister overstepped his authority when his department increased the maximum number of hours pilots will be expected to fly in a single day, as well as the length of their maximum allowable duty day. The pilots claim Singh’s actions violate current Indian civil aviation rules.
NTSB officials recently arrived in Baghdad to train 22 students from the Iraqi civil aviation authority and air force. The training took place on October 14 through 18 at Iraq’s Aviation Training Institute in support of the country’s efforts to meet ICAO investigation standards. The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad sponsored the training.