The most noteworthy accident event in the first quarter was the string of fatal Beechcraft Premier I crashes over a period of approximately three weeks, from February 20 to March 17. All three crashes, which killed nine people, involved Part 91 operations and occurred in VMC during takeoff or landing. The two accidents in the U.S. accounted for the only fatalities by U.S.-registered business jets in the first quarter of this year.
National Transportation Safety Board
Confronted with years of stubborn and static accident statistics for general aviation operations, the NTSB is taking more aggressive actions in an attempt to reduce the number of crashes. Last month, the independent safety agency issued five GA Safety Alerts, to be followed later this spring by a series of videos.
I really thought we had heard the end of the FAA’s one-level-of-safety mantra after Colgan Air Flight 3407, masquerading as a Continental Airlines codeshare, crashed in a fiery ball in a residential area just outside Buffalo, N.Y., one snowy February night four years ago.
General aviation accidents continue to occur for many of the same reasons. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued five specific recommendations aimed at pinpointing the most common hazards, while offering potential remedies.
If there is a drawback to the Internet, then it is the overwhelming amount of information being created and disseminated. Anyone interested in anything can find more articles, blogs, e-newsletters, YouTube videos, Facebook posts, Twitter tweets, Instagram photos, Pinterest pins etc. about any subject, more than one person could possibly consume in a lifetime. For those who work on aviation safety issues, this presents a problem.
Two days after the FAA cleared Boeing to fly 787 test missions over unpopulated areas, the company took prototype ZA005 on an “uneventful” flight over Washington state on Saturday. During the two-hour, 19-minute flight, 13 Boeing pilots and flight-test personnel used special equipment to observe and record details of the performance of the main and APU batteries during normal flight conditions.
In a February 7 news conference, NTSB chairman Deborah Hersman explained the latest findings on the battery problem that resulted in the grounding of the Boeing 787 fleet three weeks ago.
The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board has determined that several assumptions used in the Federal Aviation Administration’s application of nine special conditions in the certification of the lithium-ion battery system on the Boeing 787 proved incorrect, NTSB chairman Deborah Hersmann revealed Thursday during a media briefing at the board’s headquarters in Washington,
U.S.-registered business jets and turboprops experienced fewer nonfatal accidents in 2012 versus 2011, but N-numbered business jets incurred significantly more fatal accidents and fatalities last year than in 2011, recording the highest totals since 2008. Conversely, U.S.-registered turboprops incurred considerably fewer accidents and fatalities in the year-over-year comparison.
With the start of a new year comes time for reflection on the old year and my hopes for the new one. In aviation, the past year held many memorable moments; for a former NTSB member like myself who has been on site after many fatal crashes the best part was the continuing accident-free record for U.S. airline flights.