When the FAA amended aircraft stall training last year to emphasize reducing angle of attack over the long-used procedure of limiting altitude loss above all else, training organizations across the U.S. were required to update their curriculums to reflect those changes.
News and information on safety procedures and concerns.
A Learjet 35A operating as a medical evacuation flight crashed November 19 shortly after it took off from Runway 9R at Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport. All four people aboard were killed. About a minute after departure, the crew told ATC they needed to return to the airport and shortly thereafter transmitted a “Mayday” call. The aircraft hit the water about three miles northeast of the Florida airport.
Like those in the U.S., European airlines are rolling out guidelines to allow passengers to use portable electronic devices (PED) during all phases of flight. The European Aviation Safety Agency is also looking for a long-term solution that will allow passengers to make telephone calls from their mobile devices as well. If approved, the ability to make cellphone calls would be allowed only on European carriers.
Using the successful 2008 industry/government partnership that spawned the Commercial Aviation Safety Team (Cast), the FAA announced plans on November 21 to organize a similar Air Carrier Training Steering Group to evaluate best practices and newly identified areas of air safety risk. FAA Administrator Michael Huerta asked industry participants at the meeting to provide him with the top five focus areas to improve airline training.
Washington state resident and commercial pilot Paul Roessler was sentenced to four months home confinement on November 14 in U.S. District Court in Spokane, Wash., for being under the influence of alcohol while flying a Piper Seneca for a Seattle-based cargo operator. He was also sentenced to 240 hours of community service, two years probation, ordered to attend substance-abuse evaluation and counseling and pay a $1,500 fine.
San Francisco International Airport (SFO) management recently reviewed how well communications functioned after last summer’s crash of an Asiana Airlines Boeing 777. An independent audit found that the airport’s emergency communications notification system failed, as did the airport’s website. On-site firefighters also failed to inform local commanders of the presence of an occupant of the aircraft near its left wing.
Lockheed Martin (Stand 1975) is installing its WindTracer windshear and turbulence-detection system at Dubai International Airport (DXB), where it will be used to detect aircraft wake vortices, thus allowing for increased runway utilization. Two WindTracers have been installed this year and a third one is to follow in the first quarter of next year, Michael Margulis, WindTracer program director, told AIN. WindTracer is a long-range, 3-D-scanning pulsed doppler lidar-based system.
The flight-test of an experimental technology called Avoid, an infrared camera capable of detecting ash cloud particles before an aircraft might encounter them, has proved successful. Volcanic ash from Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano grounded aviation across much of northern Europe for a week in 2010.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau’s final report on the 2011 crash of a Eurocopter AS355F2 cites spatial disorientation as one of the reasons the pilot lost control of the helicopter and crashed into terrain, killing all three people aboard. The helicopter was being operated under visual flight rules in an area east of Lake Eyre in South Australia, the lowest point in the country at 50 feet below sea level.