Rockwell Collins announced at the LABACE show that the Vector SMS available to its Arinc Direct customers has been approved by Bermuda’s Department of Civil Aviation to meet its requirement for safety management systems. The Vector program integrates with the Arinc Direct flight operation system, enabling users to identify risks and hazards, which can then be addressed through guidance or advisories. “Safety management systems are becoming a standard throughout the aviation industry worldwide,” said Bob Richard, staff vice president, Arinc Direct for Rockwell Collins (Booth 4002).
The FAA on August 8 banned all U.S. airlines and commercial operators, as well as anyone flying with an FAA-issued pilot certificate, from operating within Iraqi airspace at any altitude in response to ground fighting between Iraqi security forces and militants. The ban remains in force until further notice.
The pilot and sole occupant of a Bell 206B died when he apparently lost situational awareness and control of his aircraft in rain and smoke conditions shortly after takeoff from a remote lake in southeast Manitoba. This conclusion came from a recently released Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) final report into the July 2013 accident.
Wichita-based emergency medical transport operator EagleMed achieved Level 3 of the FAA’s safety management system on July 7. EagleMed president Larry Bugg said, “We are committed to every practice and principle of SMS and are determined to achieve SMS Level 4 status, which represents the pinnacle of aviation safety.” EagleMed is one of two FAA Part 135 certificate holders in the FAA’s Central Region to achieve Level 3 status.
I’ve written periodically about FAA enforcement and what I consider to be abuses of the process, along with sanctions that are significantly disproportionate to the safety impact of the offenses charged.
As the aviation sector awaits the FAA’s final rule on the safety management systems (SMS) process, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has looked more closely at the status of SMS implementation, as well as at some of the key challenges the FAA and industry face in completing that implementation. The agency’s air traffic organization is currently the only FAA group that has completed the SMS implementation process, although five other agency organizations are finalizing their efforts.
The FAA has extended the expiration date of the final rule requiring civil helicopter pilots to use the New York North Shore Helicopter Route when flying VFR along the north shore of Long Island. The current rule was scheduled to expire on August 6 this year but the FAA extended it for two more years to preserve the current operating environment while it determines whether use of the route should be permanently mandatory.
One hundred International Civil Aviation Organization member states and nine international organizations agreed on April 7 to adopt new protocols to the 1963 Tokyo Convention related to offenses committed aboard aircraft. ICAO said the agreement was reached after four years of work focused on the increased frequency of incidents involving disruptive and unruly passengers on scheduled commercial flights.
Crownair Aviation at Montgomery Field in San Diego, Calif., has selected Baldwin Aviation Safety & Compliance of Hilton Head, S.C., to develop its IS-BAO-based safety management systems. The FBO/MRO employs 35 people and, according to the company, it has made it a strategic goal to further develop its positive safety culture. “We look forward to working with Baldwin Aviation to achieve this goal,” said David Ryan, the company’s president and CEO.
Top FAA regulators justified the new omnibus helicopter safety rule at February’s Heli-Expo convention. John Duncan, director of FAA flight standards, and Kim Smith, manager of the rotorcraft directorate, said the new rule is necessary in light of a recent surge in helicopter accidents, and they are confident that it will contribute to a significant reduction in the accident rate.
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