Aerospace OEMs are increasingly turning to the Nadcap safety auditing program to verify the standards of manufacturing processes down the supply chain. Twenty-three major manufacturers, including leading business aviation players such as Cessna, Raytheon Aircraft, Airbus, Boeing, Honeywell, GE Aircraft Engines, Pratt & Whitney, Rolls-Royce, Sikorsky and Bell Helicopter, are now using the cooperative system.
News and information on safety procedures and concerns.
At the ICAO Assembly in Montreal–where all the world’s aviation representatives gathered last month to review outstanding issues–there was general agreement that the lack of uniform international rules for fractional operations should be resolved.
While FAA Administrator Marion Blakey said required navigation performance (RNP) is receiving broad support in the U.S. and abroad, she acknowledged there is no one-size-fits-all navigation concept. The question she posed is “How do we balance finite resources in terms of WAAS/LAAS?”
Norwegian authorities have rushed through new security requirements at the country’s smaller airports in response to a September 29 incident in which a man wielding an axe attacked pilots and passengers on a Dornier 228 operated by regional carrier Kato Airlines.
The NTSB wants the FAA to emphasize the need for pilots, particularly those in single-pilot Part 135 operations, to provide “timely emergency briefings.” The Safety Board’s recommendation follows its investigation into the July 13, 2003, fatal ditching of a scheduled Part 135 Cessna 402 in the water off the Bahamas after one engine failed at 3,500 feet msl.
Phoenix, Ariz.-based Amsafe Aviation has been selected to provide inflatable restraint systems for the pilot and copilot seats in the Adam A700 twin-engine very light jet currently in initial (non-conforming) flight-test and scheduled for certification next year. The restraints, installed as an integral part of each pilot’s lapbelt, are designed to inflate within milliseconds of a crash to protect against head and upper-body injuries.
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.
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.