Singapore has established a program for pilots, air traffic controllers, mechanics and others to report aviation safety incidents confidentially and without fear of prosecution for inadvertent regulatory violations. Called Sincair (for Singapore confidential aviation incident reporting), the program is similar to the NASA-operated Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) in the U.S. and programs operating in the UK, Australia and Canada.
News and information on safety procedures and concerns.
The FAA has given its 2004 Excellence in Aviation Research Award to the Flight Safety Foundation (FSF) for publishing a manual on ditching for corporate, fractional, on-demand and commuter operators.
As I prepared to write this column the television and radio news programs were reporting on the recent spate of business aviation accidents. One of the widely reported accidents that caused considerable concern at the NTSB was the November 28 crash of the Challenger 601 in Montrose, Colo. In this accident the NTSB is investigating airplane performance issues, including the possibility of upper-surface wing ice contamination.
Foreign object damage could one day disappear, thanks to technology developed in the UK. A high-precision millimeter wave radar built by researchers at QinetiQ (pronounced ki•ne•tic) has demonstrated its ability to detect objects as small as a two-inch-long steel machine bolt as it lay on a runway surface 1.24 miles from the radar.
As a result of its ongoing investigation into the November 28 fatal takeoff accident of a Challenger 604 in Montrose, Colo., the NTSB has issued a special alert involving the detection and effects of ice accumulation on aircraft wings.
In response to numerous reports of lasers being pointed at aircraft, the FAA last month issued advisory circular (AC) 70-2 requesting all aircrews to report immediately incidents of unauthorized laser illumination to the appropriate ATC facility. The AC also requires air traffic controllers to notify pilots immediately about laser events.
Of 19 fatal accidents involving Part 135 jet operators from 1999 to the end of last year, 13 befell flights flown under FAR Part 91–that is, without paying passengers on board. That’s more than 68 percent. There have been only six fatal jet accidents involving paying passengers in the past six years–including air ambulance operators (but not including EMS helicopters).
FAA airport safety researchers have created a prototype taxiway screen that could help prevent runway incursions at airports with taxiways that pass well beyond the ends of runways. The screens “hide” aircraft on end-around taxiways from the view of pilots preparing to take off on active runways.
Per a request by House aviation subcommittee chairman Jerry Costello, the Government Accountability Office yesterday issued a report on runway safety, and the results don’t paint the FAA in the best of light.
In January, the Helicopter Association International (HAI) urged its members to press their Congressional representatives to support improved communications and weather services over the Gulf of Mexico.