On April 1, the NTSB celebrated its 40th anniversary. On that date in 1967, the Bureau of Safety was removed from the Civil Aeronautics Board and became the new accident investigation agency. Each year, the agency’s staff of fewer than 400 employees investigates more than 2,000 accidents and incidents.
National Transportation Safety Board
NTSB chairman Mark Rosenker was busy stumping about issues related to GA safety last month. He spoke to a group of airport executives and FAA representatives at an airport technology seminar about the importance of runway incursion safety. He stressed that while aircraft separations in the air are based upon miles, on the ground space is measured in feet.
NTSB chairman Mark Rosenker said he believes runway incursions are still a major safety issue. In a speech to a group of airport executives and FAA representatives at an airport technology seminar in Atlantic City last Tuesday, he emphasized that while aircraft separation in the air is measured in miles (horizontally), on the ground it is measured in feet.
Deborah Hersman, sworn in last month as a member of the NTSB, has minimal aviation experience compared with the extensive background of John Goglia, the Safety Board member she replaced (see page 74). For the last five years and before joining
Commercial pilots with color-vision-deficiency waivers might face stricter screening in the future. Based on its recently completed investigation into a FedEx Boeing 727 that crashed short during an approach to Tallahassee Regional Airport, Fla., on July 26, 2002, the NTSB doesn’t believe that the FAA’s current certification standards are appropriate for detecting serious color-vision deficiencies.
John Goglia, a former member of the NTSB and an outspoken critic of the effects of poor maintenance on safety, has joined the Professional Aviation Maintenance Association (PAMA) as senior v-p of government and technical programs. Goglia was not reappointed to the NTSB last month after nine years with the agency.
The NTSB has recommended that the FAA issue a regulation similar to FAR 119.39 to apply to applicants for a Part 145 repair station certificate. The intent is for the FAA to prevent individuals who have been associated with a previously revoked repair station from continuing to operate through a new repair station.
The number of accidents in all segments of civil aviation last year was less than in 2005, according to the NTSB, with general aviation recording the lowest number of accidents in the 40 years of record keeping. Major airlines continued to have the lowest accident rates in civil aviation. The number of air-taxi accidents has been steadily decreasing over the past 10 years, while the hours flown by these air carriers has increased steadily.
Responding to an NTSB reiteration for cockpit voice recorder (CVR) installations in all new turbine-powered aircraft, the National Air Transportation Association said it cannot support the recommendations because there has been no cost-benefit analysis or assessment of the impact on small business.
On Tuesday, the NTSB issued a full dozen safety recommendations (A-07-18 to -29) to the FAA directed at air-tour operations, most of them specifically addressing such operations in Hawaii.
The general recommendations for all commercial air-tour operations include the requirement that all helicopters flying tours over water (regardless of the length of time) be amphibious or equipped with fixed or inflatable floats.