The House aviation subcommittee yesterday held a hearing on aircraft icing to address issues brought to light by the NTSB’s recent “Most Wanted” list of “unacceptably slow” progress on icing rulemaking.
National Transportation Safety Board
In a strongly worded statement issued here yesterday, two senior executives from Columbia Helicopters (Booth No. 3707) vociferously denied what they called “unfounded allegations” that the company had tampered with evidence from the fatal crash of a Carson Helicopters Sikorsky S-61N in 2008. They also denied that fuel-control units (FCUs) aboard that aircraft and serviced by Columbia played any role in the crash’s cause.
The National Transportation Safety Board today held an annual review of its “most wanted” list of transportation safety improvements.
NTSB sitting member Deborah Hersman was sworn in as the 12th chairman of the NTSB at the end of July, taking over from acting chairman Mark Rosenker, who had held the position of chairman or acting chairman since 2005. Days later, former member Christopher Hart returned to the Board for another term. Meanwhile, at press time, international fatigue expert Mark Rosekind was awaiting Senate confirmation to join the NTSB.
The Air Charter Safety Foundation (ACSF) late last week released its first accident and incident review of the Part 135 on-demand air charter industry. According to ACSF, the new safety report takes a comprehensive look at the factors surrounding charter incidents and accidents between 2004 and last year.
“There will be some truth-telling,” declared new NTSB chair Deborah Hersman on Tuesday as she began her opening address at the FAA International Runway Safety Summit held this week in Washington, D.C. As part of that telling, she noted that in July 2000 the NTSB issued six recommendations to the FAA to amend various ATC procedures that, in the NTSB’s judgment, unnecessarily added to the risks associated with airport surface operations.
The NTSB issued another set of recommendations regarding helicopter emergency medical service (EMS) operations, this time highlighting concerns with FAA oversight of public aircraft operators. These recommendations stem from a fatal accident on September 27 last year involving a Maryland State Police Eurocopter AS 365N1 operated as a public medical evacuation (see page 56).
President Obama has nominated Mark Rosekind, an aviation fatigue specialist and former head of NASA’s fatigue research program, to fill a vacancy on the NTSB. He is currently president and chief scientist for Alertness Solutions, a company he founded.
Deborah Hersman was sworn in as the 12th chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board at the end of July, taking over from acting chairman Mark Rosenker. On June 18 President Obama nominated Hersman for the two-year term of chairman and she was confirmed by the Senate on July 24. She was also confirmed as a board member for her second five-year term, which runs through the end of 2013.
On Tuesday, the NTSB issued 19 recommendations for helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS), addressing pilot training; safety management systems; collection and analysis of flight, weather and safety data; flight data monitoring; development of a low-altitude airspace infrastructure; and the use of dual pilots, autopilots and night vision goggles.