Luckily for my passengers, aircraft and me, the only times I’ve experienced a runway excursion have been during training. On each occasion, the results were predictable, even in the most sophisticated aircraft simulator. A loss of directional control sends the aircraft sliding across shamrock-green video scenery and careening harmlessly through runway lights and signs, trees and anything else in the way.
News and information on safety procedures and concerns.
If all goes well with a new $250,000-per-year research program the FAA is launching next month, pilots flying specially equipped rotorcraft will be able to take advantage of lower IFR approach minimums and new flight corridors to Manhattan heliports within the next few years.
Ask any flight department manager his top operational priority and the number-one answer is running a safe operation. But today, we still face a dilemma that’s been with us for decades. Dr. Jerome Berlin, a consulting aviation psychologist says, “Twenty-five years ago, we started to see changes to the causes of accidents.
Since the early days of powered flight, aircraft performance has been a mainstay of the pilot-training process. By the time pilots reach the left seat of a turbine-powered airplane they understand how their aircraft perform, or at least they believe they do.
The National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI) is joining Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, Fla., in a safety study of spin-training experience by flight instructors. The FAA does not require spin training except for flight instructors, but the “quality and depth of that training can vary widely,” said NAFI executive director Rusty Sachs.
An AD issued last month requires operators of certain Gulfstream IV-SP series to install software and hardware updates to their Honeywell Primus Epic avionics to correct an EFIS display blanking problem. The FAA said it received a report that all four EFIS screens went blank simultaneously for about 74 seconds in flight. Two similar incidents occurred on the ground, according to the agency.
Operators of all U.S.-registered Challenger 600s, 601s and 604s and Canadair Regional Jets, which are derived from the business jet, must incorporate flight manual revisions to ensure that before takeoff the “wing leading edge and upper wing surface are completely free of ice, frost, snow or slush,” under a new AD. The FAA directive (AD 2005-04-07) followed an identical AD from Transport Canada.
The NTSB has asked the FAA to limit the number of times a pilot can fail a checkride and questioned whether the existing requirements of providing additional training after multiple failures is adequate. Additionally, the Safety Board wants the FAA to require Part 121 and 135 operators to improve their safety background checks of pilot applicants by obtaining all notices of failed checkrides before making a hiring decision.
The Flight Safety Foundation (FSF) is scheduled to announce a “human factors tool kit” project at its European Aviation Safety Seminar this month in Warsaw, Poland. The project aims to reduce human error, a causal factor in more than 85 percent of aviation accidents and incidents.
In addition to much healthier sales, GAMA had some other good news to share with attendees at its annual industry review and outlook meeting. Despite the high-profile accidents at the end of last year, the NTSB’s preliminary statistics on the number of general aviation accidents last year show a decline of about 8.7 percent. Fatal accidents were down 11.6 percent.