In its report on a 2011 incident in which a Sikorsky S-92 nearly crashed off the Canadian coast, the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) of Canada implicates the pilots’ poor understanding of automation, insufficient basic flying skills and a misleading flight manual, which it says caused an inadvertent, vertiginous descent.
The UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) has released a further update on its investigation into the August 23 ditching of a Eurocopter AS332L2 Super Puma off the Shetlands islands. The latest document reveals that during the approach the pilot’s attention was drawn several times to a too-low-height warning.
On April 9, the NTSB held a public meeting to discuss the crash of a LifeNet helicopter in Mosby, Mo., on Aug. 26, 2011. The Eurocopter AS350B2 ran out of fuel, according to the NTSB, and the pilot failed “to successfully enter an autorotation when the engine lost power due to fuel exhaustion.” What the pilot did not do, the Board explained, is move the cyclic control aft when the engine failed.
FOCUS on…AUTOROTATION TRAINING “Infrequent autorotation training is dangerous,” said Chad Oakley, chief pilot at the Bell Academy, yesterday at a Heli-Expo training session called, “Autorotations, Reality Exposed.” Other participants at the one-hour session–pilots, instructors, and representatives from the FAA, NTSB, OEMs, and several fleet operators–agreed.
The newly renamed G280 (formerly G250) is on schedule to enter service later this year, after certification by the Civil Aviation Authority of Israel (CAAI), then EASA and the FAA. The first production G280 was delivered to Gulfstream’s completion center in Dallas in early August for interior outfitting and paint.
Canadaπs Transportation Safety Board (TSB) issued its final report February 9 on the fatal 2009 accident of a Cougar Helicopters Sikorsky S-92A off Newfoundland that killed 17. The helicopter crashed while attempting to ditch after its main gearbox lubrication system failed due to two cracked oil filter bowl mounting studs.
German aerospace research center DLR is testing sidesticks that provide force feedback and, on a more innovative note, touch cues to reduce crew workload. The pilot can feel stops or vibrations if the aircraft approaches a pre-defined limit.
The FAA recently issued a Safety Alert for Operators (SAFO 09011) to provide guidance for Part 121 and 135 operators about the importance of using a constant angle of descent when conducting nonprecision instrument approaches. It issued the alert because a Part 121 operator conducting a nonprecision approach at night in IMC failed to control the descent rate and subsequently crashed short of the runway.
A little known FAA policy statement, dated June 1 of this year, stands to dramatically change the helicopter industry as we know it. Helicopter pilots and manufacturers have long known the unique capabilities of rotorcraft, but have always been obligated to follow regulations and policies set forth and to operate in airspace designed for the much more prevalent fixed-wing aircraft.
Tom Macdonald, the Osprey V-22 chief test pilot, received the Iven C. Kincheloe Award from the Society of Experimental Test Pilots. The award, established in memory of Kincheloe, who died in 1958 in the course of flight-testing an F-104 Starfighter, is presented annually for outstanding flight-test accomplishments.
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