The White House announced on Tuesday President Obama’s nomination of Deborah Hersman to chair the National Transportation Safety Board. On the Board since June 2004, Hersman has been the member on scene at 15 major transportation accidents, seven involving aircraft.
National Transportation Safety Board
Two Bell 407s, Flagstaff, Ariz., June 29, 2008–The NTSB determined the probable cause of the accident was the failure of both pilots to see and avoid the other on approach to the helipad at Flagstaff Medical Center (FMC). The daylight
VMC midair involved helicopters operated by Classic Helicopters and Air Methods.
The NTSB yesterday began to release all accident investigation public dockets to its public Web site in accordance with the NTSB Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Improvement plan. According to the Safety Board, this effort further brings the agency into compliance with legislative and executive mandates aimed at improving the U.S. government’s use of electronic media to foster a more open and transparent government.
Although the U.S. remains the gold standard in aviation safety, a sharp rise in fatalities among on-demand air charter operations last year has raised a flag with the NTSB.
The FAA relented and on April 24 made its entire birdstrike database available to the public.
The National Air Disaster Alliance/Foundation (NADA/F) has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to compel Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to order the FAA to implement safety recommendations from the NTSB concerning runway safety and flight-in-icing conditions.
Steven Chealander, the public face of the NTSB during press conferences following the February 12 crash of Continental Connection Flight 3407 on approach to Buffalo Niagara International Airport, has left the safety agency and joined Airbus Americas.
A FedEx MD-11 cargo aircraft crashed upon landing at Tokyo Narita International Airport early this morning, bursting into flames and killing the two American pilots. The flight originated in Guangzhou, China, and crashed at 6:49 a.m. local time in high winds. The airplane came to rest on its back after it hit the runway, bounded upward, turned over and slid several yards.
A trio of helicopter trade associations–the Association of Air Medical Services, the Helicopter Association International and the Air Medical Operators Association–is recommending the FAA mandate night vision goggles, enhanced vision systems, or IFR-only operations for all night flights of EMS helicopters. The recommendations overlap many key advisories the NTSB made in 2006.
The president of helicopter supply company Sunrise Helicopter has filed a petition to revise a 2008 NTSB report that held the company partially responsible for the January 2006 crash of a Eurocopter AS 350D.