Last week’s conference on aircraft tracking in Kuala Lumpur came just two months after the Malaysian Ministry of Communications and Multimedia requested help to determine the best methods for watching commercial aircraft in real time following the March 8 disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370. The preliminary report on the accident, issued last month, recommended that the International Civil Aviation Organization examine the safety benefits of introducing a standard for real-time tracking of commercial aircraft.
News and information on safety procedures and concerns.
Following a number of recent helicopter accidents, Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) last month issued a notice of proposed rule-making aimed at improving the safety of helicopter external sling load and winching and rappelling operations. Winching and rappelling is generally associated with emergencies and, as a result, carries greater inherent risk than other helicopter operations, says the CASA. Such operations are also time-sensitive and are often conducted under challenging environmental conditions.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) recently published its best-practices guide on aircraft cabin safety to offer suggestions on normal, abnormal and emergency policies and procedures that can be adapted to a variety of operational environments. The guide was created through interaction with aircraft manufacturers and a broad group of other stakeholders through an analysis of worldwide safety trends.
The FAA last week published guidelines detailing the prohibition of personal electronic devices such as smartphones, laptops and tablet computers, on the flight decks of Part 121 aircraft when the aircraft is in operation, unless those devices have been specifically approved for flight.
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.
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.