The Australian Transport Safety Bureau is trying to understand how a military air traffic controller allowed a Qantas-Link Boeing 717 inbound to Darwin carrying 115 passengers to fly through the altitude of a Qantas Boeing 737 that just departed that same airport with 155 people on board. Darwin is a joint-use military/civilian airport. The 717’s Tcas system alerted the crew to the other aircraft, which the pilot reported passed about 800 feet beneath him. That same captain said the other aircraft looked as if it had passed much closer to his 717 than 800 feet.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) wants to know how a male U.S. citizen boarded and flew aboard an Asiana Airlines flight from Seoul, South Korea, all the way to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) with a smoke grenade in his checked baggage.
The man, whose journey originated in Japan, was arrested at LAX wearing a bulletproof vest and flame-retardant pants as he tried to check in for a domestic flight to Boston Logan International Airport (BOS).
A Bell 407 crashed into a wooded area in the Pocono Mountains, about 90 miles north of Philadelphia, on October 10, killing two of the three people on board, including the pilot. The passenger in back, in critical condition, managed to use his cellphone after the accident to call for help. Weather sources said local visibilities in the crash area were approximately half-a-mile in fog.
The FBI’s National Aviation Safety Officer, Special Agent Troy Smith, was named the first recipient of the Eugene Cernan Safety Standdown Award at the October 10 Bombardier Safety Standdown annual banquet in Wichita. Smith, who began his FBI flying career while assigned to the San Francisco field office, told the audience, “Before I applied for the FBI’s top aviation safety job, I had no previous formal training in aviation safety.
In another example of the government’s pushback against laser threats to aviation, a federal grand jury in Jacksonville, Fla., indicted John Tyler Pennywitt on October 5. He was accused of shining a handheld laser pointer at a Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office helicopter on the night of June 3, 2012. Pennywitt was indicted under a section of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 that makes it a federal crime to aim a laser at an aircraft, or even into the path of an aircraft.
A Brazilian-registered Phenom 100 slid off the runway in the rain on October 10 at the conclusion of an instrument approach to Salgado Filho Airport (SBPA) in Porto Alegre, Brazil. None of the five people aboard were injured and the aircraft sustained only minor damage. Winds at the airport were gusting to 38 knots at the time of the incident.
American Airlines said October 12 it will add the same safety locking mechanism to the seats on 49 of the company’s Boeing 767s that were used to secure seats aboard the 48 Boeing 757s the airline grounded last week. The airline plans to continue flying the 767s each day and repairing them at night when they undergo regular maintenance. The work is expected to take another 10 days to complete.
In the first nine months of 2012, the number of accidents involving both U.S.-registered and non-U.S.-registered business jets increased over numbers recorded in the same period last year. According to figures compiled by AIN, the total number of nonfatal N-registered business jet mishaps increased slightly from 21 in the first three quarters of 2011 to 23 in the same period this year. Fatal accidents climbed from one event last year to four this year, and fatalities jumped from four last year to 17 this year.
A German-registered Learjet 24 piloted by an unlicensed aviator crashed September 15 near the Danish island airport Bornholm (EKRN) at the conclusion of an IFR flight from Strausberg Airport (EDAY), Germany. The daylight VFR accident seriously injured the pilot and passenger. The aircraft was destroyed and came to rest in a cornfield short of the runway. At press time, the pilot remained in a coma in a local hospital.
American Airlines officially grounded 47 of its fleet of 102 Boeing 757s last Thursday for faulty cabin seats. Earlier in the week, American said the carrier believed it had identified faulty clamps as the cause of seats breaking loose on as many as six of its 757s, some in flight.