According to some statistics, the aviation accident rate in African is nine times worse than anywhere else on earth. But it is improving, partially because of increased focus on the region internationally, but also because of efforts like the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Safe Skies Africa (SSA) program that began in 1998. It is now focusing on increasing the number of African countries that meet international aviation safety standards, and that means training accident investigators.
The FAA’s Inspector General this week begins an audit to review how well the agency is protecting its own Voluntary Disclosure Reporting Program (VDRP) against misuse.
San Francisco International Airport’s (SFO) Runway 28 Left will be closed on weekends for runway and taxiway work through October 1. The work is expected to cut the airport’s normal arrival rate of 60 aircraft per hour almost in half between 10 p.m. Friday nights and 8 a.m. Mondays.
A new FAA Advisory Circular–Change 1 to AC 150/5220-26–updates vehicle requirements for the use of ADS-B with squitter output, soon to become necessary in ground vehicles on most major commercial airports using ASDE-X systems.
India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) expects to complete its second safety audit of that nation’s airlines by next month. The audits began with a look at Kingfisher Airlines and Air India Express because of ongoing labor issues at those airlines. The DGCA expects the first of these reports to be released soon.
A Southern Air Boeing 747-200 suffered the loss of all four engine-driven electrical generators while en route from Miami to Anchorage, Alaska, on September 12. The Boeing landed on Anchorage’s Runway 7 Left using the aircraft’s two emergency generators.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) was in Juneau, Alaska, on September 14 and 15 surveying air-taxi pilots about fatigue. An NIOSH researcher has been asking cockpit crewmembers around the state to share their experiences and fatigue remedies as part of a three-year study of Alaskan air-taxi pilots.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has recommended that the FAA require manufacturers to equip large airliners with onboard, externally mounted cameras to offer pilots a clear view of the airplane’s wingtips while taxiing. The September 5 recommendation is a first step toward ensuring clearance from other aircraft, vehicles and ground obstacles.
The second greatest shock to pilot Jim Huddleston and his co-captain after their Learjet 45 struck some trees during a night approach at Saratoga Springs (5B2) in July 2008 was that an almost obscure gray arrow symbol on the GPS Runway 5 approach plate apparently did not live up to expectations.