With accidents decreasing by 8.7 percent and fatal accidents dropping by 11.6 percent, last year was the safest year for U.S. general aviation since the end of World War II.
“We do many things for the industry throughout the year, but this is the one that makes me the most proud,” said James Hoblyn, v-p of Bombardier’s business aircraft division, during his opening remarks at the 2005 Safety Standdown held recently in Wichita. This year marked the Standdown’s ninth year, and the sixth year since it was opened to corporate pilots outside of Bombardier. “Safety Standdown continues to grow in size and reputation.
Bizliner operators would be required to incorporate technology to meet reduced levels of flammability exposure in fuel tanks, under FAA proposed rulemaking. The requirements would apply to new airframe designs, as well as some 3,200 U.S.-registered Airbus and Boeing airplanes in operation. In-service aircraft would have seven years from the rule’s effective date to comply. Comments on the proposal are due by March 23 next year.
Arinc plans to eliminate guesswork from the aircraft weight-and-balance equation. The Annapolis, Md.-based transportation communications and systems engineering specialist has received a patent for new weight-and-balance technology that it says will precisely, unobtrusively and automatically weigh passengers and their carry-on items before boarding.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America, which services the MU-2 fleet outside Japan, expressed its approval and cooperation with the FAA’s safety evaluation of MU-2s and has hired former NTSB investigator Greg Feith to assist the agency in its review.
The chief of the NTSB’s French counterpart is concerned that an increasing number of aircraft are flying under flags of convenience.
The number of fatalities in turbine business airplane accidents increased nearly 80 percent (mostly due to crashes involving turboprops) in the first nine months of this year, compared with the same period last year, according to statistics compiled by safety analyst Robert E. Breiling Associates of Boca Raton, Fla.
A single report of a miswired APU fire-extinguishing bottle on a Citation X (C750) has prompted a proposed AD to require placing identification sleeves on the positive and negative terminals of APU and main engine fire-extinguishing bottle wiring and reconnecting the wires to the correct terminal studs on Citation 500s, 550s, S550s, 560s, 560XLs and 750s.
The comment period on the FAA’s proposed upgrades to cockpit voice and flight data recorders has been extended to June 28, the result of a request by the Aerospace Industries Association and the agency’s expectations that it will receive additional extension requests “based on the lack of comments” to date. At press time, the regulatory docket showed that about 40 comments have been submitted.
Watch for the NTSB soon to release recommendations intended to improve the safety of EMS helicopter operations.