In a program that started more than 10 years ago, the FAA is now in the final stages of its northeast airspace redesign project, which involves “a wholesale restructuring” of the cruising, departure and arrival routes and procedures in more than 31,000 sq mi of airspace encompassing 21 major airports in five states. The purpose of the redesign is to improve air traffic efficiency and reduce delays, particularly at LGA, EWR, JFK and PHL.
Every few years, a debate erupts about whether the phenomenon of ice bridging is real or something questionable that pilots discuss while hangar flying or warning of the dangers of flying in icing conditions. The issue recently resurfaced at an NTSB public meeting about the icing-related crash of a Cessna Citation 560 in Pueblo, Colo., on Feb. 16, 2005.
Seacor’s Aviation Division has signed an agreement to have Keystone Helicopters provide maintenance and completions for the more than 160 helicopters it operates in the northeastern U.S., Gulf of Mexico and Alaska.
Cessna Citation 550, Fort Yukon, Alaska, Sept. 30, 2005–The NTSB has concluded that the University of North Dakota icing research jet accident was caused by the pilot’s improper use of anti-icing equipment during cruise, which resulted in ice ingestion into both engines and the complete loss of power. Factors were the icing conditions, inadequate crew resource management and failure to use a checklist.
Eurocopter EC 120B, Gulf of Mexico, La., Feb. 12, 2007–The commercial pilot and his passenger were killed and the Era Helicopters EC 120B substantially damaged when it crashed into an offshore oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico. The pilot had announced on the radio that he was approaching for a landing. Personnel on the platform heard the helicopter approach and then felt the platform shake.
The FAA extended the deadline from this April 12 to April 30 next year for Part 121 regional and major airlines to equip automated external defibrillators (AED) with approved batteries. Despite several years’ notice, Phillips Medical, the primary manufacturer of AEDs for airliners, only recently applied for TSO C142 approval for its batteries.
As AIN went to press, the severity of the 2003 forest fire season was repeating, as feared, in Europe as well as in the western U.S. Blazes in forest and scrub land were causing havoc, particularly in France, Portugal, Spain and, on the eve of the Olympic Games, in Greece.
Malaysia’s deputy prime minister has acknowledged the need for the government to acquire helicopters configured to conduct search-and-rescue missions. Datuk Seri Najib Razak said in Kuala Lumpur, “We recognize the fact that we do not have dedicated SAR helicopters. Instead, we have utility helicopters that are used for multiple purposes.”
A new NASA study claims that man-made cirrus clouds formed by commercial jet engine exhaust might be responsible for increased surface temperatures detected in the U.S. between 1975 and 1994.
Climate data shows that cirrus cloud cover over the U.S. has increased by 1 percent per decade, and the report says the rise is likely due to commercial air traffic.
Senior Táxi Aéreo of Brazil plans to begin operating three AgustaWestland AW139 helicopters in an off-shore transport role beginning in May. It will mark the entrance of the medium-twin, with a passenger capacity of 15, in support of the Brazilian offshore oil and gas market. Senior Táxi Aéreo, based in Rio de Janeiro, operates a fleet of medium-size helicopters and is one of the leading operators in the Brazilian off-shore transport market.