The NTSB last week issued a scathing report highly critical of both the FAA and the transport-helicopter industry for not embracing flight-data recorders.
National Transportation Safety Board
In response to a congressional inquiry, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has determined that the NTSB Training Center near Washington Dulles International Airport should either be made more cost-effective or vacated.
The DOT Inspector General office has given an unqualified, or “clean,” opinion of the financial statements of the NTSB following an outside private audit for FY 2006.
The NTSB has asked the FAA to require MD Helicopters to conduct tests to “enable the full analysis” of all critical loads for tension-torsion (T-T) straps installed in the notar anti-torque fan of MD 500N, 600N and 900 rotorcraft. The recommendations stem from the Safety Board’s ongoing investigations into two nonfatal accidents involving MD 900s in 2004.
On Tuesday, President Bush sent to the Senate the nomination to the NTSB of Robert L. Sumwalt III, a long-time aviation safety advocate and aviation department manager of South Carolina-based Scana. If confirmed, Sumwalt would occupy the seat vacated last August by Richard Healing and, with an accompanying reappointment, would continue until the end of 2011.
A history of maintenance issues is unfolding at Chalks Ocean Airways, according to a series of recently released NTSB factual reports about last December’s crash of one of the carrier’s Grumman Mallard G73s in Miami, Fla., following separation of the right wing after takeoff. “The right wing fracture surfaces that were examined exhibited evidence of overstress and fatigue,” said the Safety Board.
The NTSB is sending investigators to Brazil to assist in the investigation of the September 29 midair between a Boeing 737 and an Embraer Legacy 600. NTSB senior investigator William English will serve as the U.S. accredited representative, accompanied by two Safety Board investigators and representatives from the FAA and Boeing.
The NTSB is focusing its resources for general aviation accident investigation on four “broad GA safety issue areas,” Safety Board chairman Mark Rosenker said in a speech yesterday at the General Aviation Air Safety Investigators Advanced Technical Workshop in Wichita.
Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.) in a letter last Thursday asked President Bush to replace FAA Administrator Marion Blakey and NTSB chairman Mark Rosenker because they have not grounded the Mitsubishi MU-2.
The Independent Fixed Base Operators Association (IFBOA) announced that John Goglia has accepted the position as president of the recently formed FBO operators group. Goglia, an A&P mechanic who writes the Torqued column in AIN, served two terms as a member of the NTSB, owned and operated an FBO for 12 years and spent 20 years as an airline union flight safety representative.