As Ethiopian Airlines and other Boeing 787 customers prepared to return their Dreamliners to service with battery system modification kits, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) conducted an exhaustive, two-day investigative hearing into the design and certification of the lithium-ion batteries implicated in the airplane’s grounding. Sixteen witnesses testified and answered questions during the hearing on April 23 and 24 at the Board’s Washington, D.C., headquarters.
News and information on safety procedures and concerns.
The FAA will begin publishing instrument approaches that use larger circling-approach airspace dimensions on May 2, addressing industry safety groups’ assertions that the radii were “insufficient to contain large, jet transport airplanes during the circle-to-land maneuver,” according to NBAA.
Indonesian authorities are piecing together information from the wreckage of the Lion Air Boeing 737-800 that crashed in shallow water and broke into pieces just short of Runway 9 at Denpasar-Ngurah Rai Bali International Airport (WADD) on April 13. The accident occurred at 3:15 p.m. local time as the aircraft completed a non-precision approach after a 536-mile domestic flight from Badung Airport (WICC). None of the 108 people aboard was killed, although many were taken to hospital with minor injuries.
Loss of control in flight related to the inability to recognize an upset and controlled flight into terrain remain the primary causes of accidents involving transport aircraft.
An Alabama circuit court has demanded that Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport’s board of directors release information related to the March 22 accident that killed a 10-year-old boy and injured his mother and two younger brothers. The accident occurred when a flight information sign (Mufid) in a newly renovated concourse broke lose from its mountings and fell forward, trapping the four people.
Although the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of the Inspector General (IG) believes the FAA has made progress on safety issues, it says the agency must expand and enhance the reliability of its key data sources. A DOT report issued last week says, for example, that the FAA faces challenges with establishing an effective risk-based oversight system for repair stations and aircraft manufacturers.
Concerned that some pilots of turbine-powered aircraft may not be paying enough attention to their aircraft’s need for fuel-system ice inhibitors as outlined in the aircraft flight manual (AFM), the FAA has issued Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (SAIB) CE 13-29 to remind crews that these inhibitors must be added to ensure safe aircraft operations.
For 2012, the International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST) reported 148 rotorcraft accidents in the U.S. The 39 fatalities from those events were spread among three of the most consistently difficult sectors of helicopter operations: police; personal/private; and instructional/training flights.
In a recent letter, IHST member Lee Roskop said that the numbers simply reaffirm the uncomfortable reality that pilot lapses in judgment and decision making lead to most accidents.
A BuraqAir Boeing 737 was struck by gunfire April 17 while on final approach to Runway 9 at Libya’s Tripoli International Airport (HLLT). The bullet caused minor damage when it struck a water tank in the aircraft’s forward lavatory. None of the 155 people aboard was reported injured. The flight arrived from Benghazi International Airport (HLLB).
A Beechcraft 1900 on an April 7 ferry flight from Namibia is missing and assumed lost in the South Atlantic Ocean near Sao Tome off the southwest corner of Africa. Neither the pilot, the sole occupant of the aircraft, nor any portions of the airframe have been recovered. Weather at the time of the accident was reported as heavy rain, with lightning and high winds.