The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has described the results of its 2013 annual safety report as “very positive for global aviation safety outcomes.” The report, released on April 10, showed the 2013 global accident rate to have declined to 2.8 per million departures last year versus 3.2 per million in 2012. The number of fatal accidents among scheduled air carriers, however, remained steady at nine last year. Fatalities plummeted 55 percent from 2012, to 173 from 388. Compared with a 2010 baseline, fatalities are down 74 percent.
Accidents in the first quarter involving U.S.-registered turbine business airplanes resulted in 15 fatalities, compared with 22 in the same period last year, even though the corporate jet segment did not reduce its number of fatal and nonfatal accidents. According to data assembled by AIN, five people were killed in two crashes involving N-numbered business jets in the first quarter versus seven in two accidents in the year-ago period–all under Part 91 operations.
U.S.-registered business jets experienced significantly fewer total accidents and fatalities last year versus 2012, but the number of fatalities in U.S. business turboprop accidents more than tripled year over year, according to preliminary statistics gathered by AIN.
Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker believes the only way to solve the growing ATC congestion problems in the Middle East is to develop a single air traffic management system similar to Eurocontrol’s Single European Sky concept. Qatar is among several countries in the region searching for a congestion solution to support regional airline expansion plans.
U.S.-registered business jets experienced significantly fewer total accidents and fatalities last year versus 2012, but the number of fatalities in U.S. business turboprop accidents more than tripled year-over-year.
The FAA is reissuing and revising a Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (SW-08-03R4) covering recommendations for rotorcraft powered by turboshaft engines flying into snowy or icy conditions. The SAIB describes procedures to reduce the probability of an uncommanded in-flight engine shutdown due to snow and/or ice ingestion and reminds operators that most helicopters are not approved/equipped for flight into icing conditions.
Even as researchers study ways to improve detection of in-flight icing and make airframes and engines more resistant to icing conditions, they continue to struggle to understand the icing phenomenon–especially the formation of ice crystals–according to speakers at a conference on the subject organized by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in Cologne, Germany recently. Ice-prevention techniques present their own challenges, which aircraft makers, airports and ground handlers are endeavoring to solve.
U.S.-registered business jets experienced a notable drop in nonfatal accidents in the first nine months versus the same time frame last year, according to preliminary figures compiled by AIN. The number of fatal accidents remained the same, but the number of fatalities fell slightly during the most recent nine-month period.
Aircraft departing from two U.S. airports have a quicker and more environmentally friendly option for de-icing than traditional glycol. At New York John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport and Wisconsin’s Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport (RHI), departing aircraft that require de-icing can roll into an open-ended hangar where targeted infrared (IR) waves remove frost, snow and ice with a minimum of glycol usage, increasing aircraft throughput and decreasing de-icing time and cost.
A new de-icing management system will soon become operational at Denver International Airport. Built by Saab, the Aerobahn system uses a multilateration system to allow aircraft operators to track congestion at the airport’s de-icing pads during winter ops. The system can schedule and sequence aircraft into centralized de-icing pads; track de-icing queue lengths and occupancy times; and automatically record de-icing process completions. The Saab system is operational at ATL, JFK, PHX and CLT, as well as 20 other major airports around the world.
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