The FAA on August 8 banned all U.S. airlines and commercial operators, as well as anyone flying with an FAA-issued pilot certificate, from operating within Iraqi airspace at any altitude in response to ground fighting between Iraqi security forces and militants. The ban remains in force until further notice.
News and information on safety procedures and concerns.
The governments of Australia, Malaysia and China jointly announced that Australia has awarded a contract to a private company to continue the search of the southern Indian Ocean sea floor for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. The company plans to use two ships towing deep-water vehicles to conduct the search, which is expected to take up to 12 months.
The right-seat pilot monitoring the Feb. 20, 2013, flight of a Beechcraft Premier IA told NTSB investigators he had no idea why the pilot flying initiated a go-around after what he perceived to be a normal nighttime VFR landing at Thomson-McDuffie County Airport in Georgia. The only unusual element the non-flying pilot recalled was the illumination of an “anti skid fail” light after the landing gear was lowered on final approach.
Helicopter operators have voiced concerns about Australia’s new flight-crew licensing law (CASR Part 61), claiming few people understand the regulation’s content or impact because the rules are badly written and too complex. Already postponed once, Part 61 is scheduled to take effect on September 1 this year. In a letter to Australian prime minister Warren Truss, Australian Helicopter Industry Association (AHIA) president Peter Crook requested the new rules again be put on hold to give operators time to propose revisions.
South Carolina’s Horry County Department of Airports (HCDA) today begins rehabilitation of Runway 18/36 at Myrtle Beach International Airport (MYR). The department offered guidance for airport users last week on what to expect during the work, which is scheduled to continue through next spring. The airport operator said the goal is to keep the airport’s single runway operational as much as possible during peak operating hours, while it realizes delays and diversions will become necessary when the runway does become unusable.
On the ground roll for a touch-and-go landing during a training flight at Prestwick, Scotland, a takeoff configuration warning sounded on an Airbus A320, prompting the captain to abort the takeoff. The UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch said that although the aircraft stopped on the runway remaining, the crew did not realize the aircraft had suffered nosewheel damage during the maneuver and hence began another takeoff, with the first officer acting as the pilot flying.
In an attempt to reduce the number of Indian airline captains leaving the country to fly for foreign carriers, India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGAC) has begun combing pilot records for compliance errors. The DGAC requires that all pilots leaving their Indian airline positions in order to join foreign airlines must give a full six-month notice before flying anywhere else. The DGAC says pilots found to be in violation of the six-month rule could be subject to certificate revocation.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration issued safety regulations July 31 for transporting lithium batteries by air, a move intended to harmonize existing U.S. rules with international standards. The Air Line Pilots Association praised the action as recognition of the serious risk unregulated shipments of lithium batteries pose to all who depend on air transportation.
The General Aviation Joint Steering Committee Safety Assessment Team (SAT) is recommending the use of angle-of-attack indicators for general aviation aircraft. The recommendation emerged from a recently completed study of 2,472 accidents that occurred between 2001 and 2010. The SAT determined that the use of AoA-based systems by the GA community is an effective method for reducing loss-of-control accidents in the approach and landing phase of flight.
The FAA said last week that it plans to levy a $12 million fine against Southwest Airlines for failing to follow proper maintenance procedures on 44 of its Boeing 737s. Although Aviation Technical Service in Everett, Wash., performed the work incorrectly, the airline was deemed to be ultimately responsible for ensuring that maintenance is completed correctly.