Although Congress passed a continuing resolution in late September that was to keep the FAA operating until October 31, the political firefight over contract ATC towers continued unabated at press time.
Hudson River mid-air collision
Piper PA-31T1, Graham, Texas, Nov 12, 2001–The NTSB determined the probable cause was the pilot’s failure to discontinue the approach after encountering IMC, resulting in controlled flight into terrain. Contributing factors were the dark night condition, low ceilings and reduced visibility.
• Failure of the pilots of two light piston twins to see and avoid each other in VMC caused a midair collision that killed 11 people aboard both airplanes, concluded the NTSB in its final report of the Aug. 9, 2000 accident. The collision, which occurred over Burlington Township, N.J., involved a Patuxent Airways Piper Navajo Chieftain and a Hortman Aviation Services Piper Seminole.
Cessna 402C, Vieques, Puerto Rico, July 8, 2000–“One main landing gear tire, wheel and brake assembly, the left wing lower skin from the area above the wing flap, the left wing baggage compartment door, the right nose baggage compartment door, the cabin floor cover and some items from the U.S.
The NTSB issued its preliminary report recently on the mid-air collision between two news helicopters covering a car chase in Phoenix on July 27 in which four people aboard the two helicopters died. According to the Safety Board, the crash occurred while the suspect stopped his vehicle, abandoned it and acquired another vehicle.
Twenty-two months after the crash of a Cessna 208B Caravan Cargomaster following its night takeoff from Mobile, Ala., NTSB investigators still appear no closer to discovering the cause of the accident, although theories abound.
An International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standard requiring demonstrated language proficiency for air traffic controllers and pilots operating internationally is set to take effect on March 5, but the International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations (IAOPA) has asked ICAO for a delay.
When a Challenger 600 operated by Platinum Jet Management overran the runway during an aborted takeoff at Teterboro Airport in February, crossed a busy highway and crashed into a warehouse, there was a collective sigh of relief when all eight passengers and the crew emerged with non-life-threatening injuries.
While the NTSB ruled that the chartered Challenger 600 that overran a runway at Teterboro Airport (TEB) on Feb. 2, 2005, was loaded improperly, the accident also shone a spotlight on the murky issue of operational control of such flights.
When New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle, 34, and his flight instructor, Tyler Stranger, 26, crashed their Cirrus SR20 into an east side Manhattan high-rise on October 11, the resultant outcry predictably called for more restrictions against general aviation.