The Transportation Safety Board of Canada last week published a final report on the January 2012 crash of an Airbus Helicopters AS350B3 operated by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The pilot was killed after the engine failed while the helicopter was hovering at an altitude of 80 feet above the ground.
News and information on safety procedures and concerns.
On Friday, an Indonesian volcano–Sangeang Api–sent plumes of ash as high as 65,000 feet. The ash quickly began drifting southeastward toward the Northern Territories of Australia. Darwin Airport was shut down and airlines Virgin Australia and JetStar canceled a number of flights that could have brought aircraft within the vicinity of those clouds. Authorities expect the ash to dissipate this week as it moves further east, although the volcano is still erupting.
The pilot of a Beechcraft King Air B200 reported engine problems shortly before the aircraft crashed onto a sandbar in southwestern Uruguay on May 27. Five of the nine people on board, including the pilot, were killed. The cause has not yet been determined.
Chile’s aviation authority has suspended the air operator certificate of local airline PAL after it failed a safety audit. The only reason given by the agency was “the airline’s failure to satisfy unspecified technical requirements laid down in its AOC that could put its safety and security at risk if not resolved.” PAL operates a fleet of Boeing 737-300s.
Airborne medical specialist MedAire (Booth 6543) has released a new series of improved airborne medical kits that were developed by the company’s medical products review board. The latest kits draw on the experience from more than 100,000 inflight medical events. The new range was created with ease-of-access and ease-of-use as key features for both crew and passengers.
Executive charter operator DC Aviation (Booth 4859) has again passed the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) with a very positive assessment, the Stuttgart, Germany-based company announced this week. In February, five auditorsreviewed more than 1,000 standardsand processesat DC Aviation. The areas covered aviation lawand regulations, technology and safety and quality management and flight operations. Many new questions had to be answered as part of the audit, according to DC Aviation.
The Flight Safety Foundation (FSF) has a new president and CEO, Jon Beatty, who until recently held the same positions with International Aero Engines. He comes to the aviation safety advocate with solid manufacturing industry experience, having begun his career as a quality engineer with Sikorsky. He was confirmed in his post in April and is now heading up FSF’s efforts to promote further advances in flight safety.
Air transport industry groups and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) have agreed a framework for developing a binding mandate for aircraft tracking. At a two-day meeting that concluded on May 13 at ICAO’s Montreal headquarters, participants agreed to encourage voluntary expansion of flight monitoring by airlines ahead of an initial set of proposed new requirements being submitted to the United Aviation body by the end of September.
The NTSB issued nine recommendations asking both the FAA and National Weather Service to provide more comprehensive preflight weather information to pilots. “Timely, detailed weather information is critical for enabling airmen to properly balance risks and make sound decisions when determining to fly,” the Safety Board said.
France’s civil aviation authority, the DGAC, has approved the idea of training medical personnel to serve as the HEMS “technical crewmembers” required by the EASA’s IR-OPS regulation. Beginning October 8, a technical crewmember will be required on some HEMS flights that thus far have been conducted by a single pilot. Operators’ reactions vary from wariness to strong support, but one pilot union vigorously opposes the move.