Concerns over the safety oversight of financially struggling Kingfisher Airlines continue, even as the fleet–once 64 aircraft strong–has now shrunk to six A320s and five ATR 72s. The fleet reduction, driven largely by non-payment of leases, comes as a portion of the company’s pilots took strike action on August 18 to protest more than six months of back wages owed them by Kingfisher.
AINsafety » September 3, 2012
U.S. regulators and industry representatives are jointly addressing inconsistencies in the way that federal aviation regulations are interpreted locally through the new Consistency of Regulatory Interpretation Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC).
Two deteriorated locknuts were largely to blame for last year’s P-51 crash at the National Championship Air Races in Reno, Nev., according to an August 27 report by the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB). The accident killed the pilot and 10 spectators, injuring 60 others. The report said the bad locknuts allowed the trim-tab attachment screws to loosen, initiating a crack in one.
While Chinese airspace is becoming more flexible for general aviation operators, the pace of improvements is still slow. At the August 23 opening of the China Low-Altitude Economy Summit in Shenyang, a Chinese air traffic control official told the China Daily newspaper, “A series of reforms to the airspace will be coming over the next five to 10 years to help stimulate the fledgling general aviation industry.” Unfortunately, the official was speaking only about altitudes below 1,000 meters (3,280 feet).
The FAA plans to decommission the remaining 29 direction finders (DF) in Alaska unless the aviation industry raises specific objections. DF, first used before World War II, performs one simple function: telling its operator which direction a transmitted radio signal is strongest. A skilled DF operator could pinpoint the location of a lost aircraft. DF steers, as they’re called, have saved thousands of lives over the past 80 years. But now, replaced by more accurate technologies such as GPS and ADS-B, DF is seldom used.
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) announced on August 23 that new cracks have been identified in the Airbus A380 airliner. These cracks are located in areas different from those found earlier this year. The new cracks appeared on an inboard wing bracket, and the EASA believes they could cause the failed part to separate from the aircraft in flight.
Now that the Pilots Bill of Rights is law, the FAA has updated Notice 8900.195 to reflect the requirement to provide certain written notifications to airmen who are the subject of an investigation relating to a certificate suspension, revocation or modification action or the approval or denial of a certificate. The new law also means the FAA must hand over copies of some ATC materials–transcripts, radar data and recordings–to allow these airmen to build a better defense.
Drew Henderson, a former airline pilot and now a graduate student at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, is searching for active airline pilots around Washington D.C. to take part in a short research study to help develop new cockpit display standards.The study involves a short, laptop-based flight simulation and a questionnaire.Contact him at email@example.com or (703) 400-8049.
With fall approaching in the northern hemisphere, the FAA has issued Notice 8900.196, a revised document offering updates to the agency’s deicing program for the coming winter flying season. The update includes holdover times as well as a list of deicing and anti-icing fluids.