The FAA is falling behind in work to bolster air transport safety as required by the 2010 Airline Safety and FAA Extension Act, according to the Department of Transportation’s Inspector General (IG). Last week, in a letter to the FAA, the IG stated, “Effectively implementing the act’s requirements is key to improving safety in airline travel by raising standards in pilot training and performance, as well as advancing voluntary programs that yield critical safety information.”
An ATR 72 operated under the Alitalia network by Romanian carrier Carpatair was substantially damaged on February 2 when the crew lost control of the aircraft on landing at Rome Fiumicino Airport in Italy (LIRF). The wind at the time of the accident was approximately 90 degrees to Runway 16, gusting to 41 knots.
Four of the 50 people aboard were injured, two seriously.
The Aeronautical Information Manual’s (AIM) Change Two takes effect on March 7 and includes a number of updates. One describes the requirements for two independent navigation systems. It also clarifies the application of different technical standard orders and updates the guidance for standalone GPS approaches. The update adds guidance for using “T-Routes” and “Q-Routes,” as well as the ground based augmentation system (Gbas).
Russia’s Interstate Aviation Committee last week cited pilot error for the September 2012 crash of an Antonov An-28 in Kamchatka that killed 10 of the 14 people aboard, according to a February 6 report in the Moscow Times. Rescuers located the aircraft on the side of a 1,600-foot hill in the Pyatibratka Mountain region. Medical examiners had announced earlier that alcohol was found in the pilots’ blood and that a criminal investigation is under way.
Pilots who regularly fly into Quito, Ecuador, are ready to begin using the new international airport at Tababela Parish that opens for business on February 20, replacing the 1960s-era Mariscal Sucre (SEQU) facility. The old airport–at an elevation of 9,200 feet msl–was surrounded by mountains and tall buildings, which made for a chilling arrival experience, as this video posted on YouTube shows.
An Airports Authority of India official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AIN the schedule for that nation’s new GPS-augmented navigation system (Gagan) might be pushed back to the end of this year. The Gagan system is the only satellite-based augmentation system that has an enhanced algorithm specifically for the equatorial region.
The International Civil Aviation Organization now offers users an easy way to find any ICAO-produced publication from its new web portal store. In addition to a complete set of all the ICAO Annex publications, users can also purchase any of the popular flight information region or emergency response guides.
While the NTSB’s report on the Dec. 20, 2011, crash of a Socata TBM700 does not yet include a probable cause, the details seem to point to the instrument-rated private pilot’s losing control of the aircraft in icing conditions shortly after departure from the New York City-area Teterboro Airport (TEB). The airplane (N731CA) was destroyed when it hit the ground near Morristown Airport (MMU) in New Jersey, killing the owner-pilot and four others aboard.
The FAA recently published a notice to operators, training managers and inspectors of the importance of AC 120-109, to reinforce the importance of adequate flight crew training on the use of aircraft stick shakers and pushers. The increased emphasis was the result of a September 2010 Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) to stem the numbers of loss-of-control accidents due to pilot unfamiliarity with stick pushers, as well as flight into icing and wind-shear conditions.
The NTSB recently began using laser scanners as a replacement to standard camera photography to record important data at accident scenes. A camera records in two dimensions, but a laser scanner adds virtual reality by viewing evidence in three dimensions.