FAA Order JO 7110.65 is the manual–some call it the “ATC bible”–that air traffic controllers turn to for guidance about ATC procedures and phraseology. Last week, the Agency updated a few procedures to reflect a change in thinking about speeds and aircraft separation.
PSA Flight 182
The NTSB is investigating a near-midair between a United Airlines Boeing 777 and a Cessna 182 over San Francisco on March 27. United Flight 889 was taking off from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and climbing per ATC to 3,000 feet. As the aircraft was climbing through 1,100 feet msl, the tower controller reported traffic at the 1 o’clock position, which was followed immediately by a TCAS traffic alert.
Bell 222, Aurora, Ill., Oct. 15, 2008–The crash of the medevac helicopter into a radio tower was caused by the pilot’s failure to maintain clearance from the 734-foot-tall lighted structure due to inadequate preflight planning and a flight route too low to clear the tower, according to the NTSB. The helicopter was destroyed in the collision and ensuing fire, killing the pilot, flight paramedic, flight nurse and infant patient.
Operational threat identification and risk mitigation remain a primary concern for those who operate internationally. NTSB senior air safety inspector Roger Cox, the lead investigator on the Gol Airlines/ExcelAire Legacy midair, used the accident as an example of why international operators should take the time to fully understand what may be asked of them in less than normal situations in another country.