Government officials continue to shine a spotlight on general aviation security. Testifying last week before the House Committee on Homeland Security, DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff said his department would soon unveil a plan to tighten security standards for general aviation aircraft (read: business airplanes) entering the country from overseas.
GDS Aero of Salem, Wis., has FAA-approved Falcon 2000/EX/EASy APU firewalls in stock for STC installation. According to the company, the firewalls offer substantially more resistance to stress cracking than the original equipment with no significant increase in weight. The company emphasizes that the firewalls are fully repairable for the life of the aircraft and its two-piece design significantly reduces labor time.
In the first half of this year business jet accidents decreased 31 percent from the same period last year, but fatal accidents were up from two to five, according to numbers released last month by Robert E. Breiling Associates of Boca Raton, Fla. As a result, business jet-related fatalities were up from six in the first half of last year to 14 in the first half of this year.
ARG/US is offering safety training to round out its portfolio of safety-related services. Three courses are available: safety manager training, a three-day course on how to run a safety-management system; on-scene investigation, a three-day course designed to teach operators how to handle accidents effectively; and an aviation auditing course designed to teach the skills necessary to conduct effective internal audits.
It seems every aviation-related publication I have read for almost a year has included an article about last September’s tragic midair in Brazil. The event certainly warrants widespread attention. However, the discussion so far has not dug deeply enough into the larger issue of what happens to the flight crew in the event of an accident, especially in a country where an accident investigation is a criminal investigation.
NTSB members are strongly dissatisfied with the way in which Board chairman Ellen Engleman Conners is attempting to curb their activities. Three Board members–Carol Carmody, Richard Healing and Deborah Hersman–sent a letter to the chairman late this summer expressing their concerns. The Board did not make the letter public, but AIN obtained a copy of it.
Even those business aviation operators who may never want to fly into Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport should be able to take advantage of NBAA’s “secure access” program. That’s because gaining entry into DCA is but one facet of the still-developing proposal.
Test pilots from NASA and Gulfstream this summer are flying
a GV equipped with a synthetic-vision system (SVS) intended to improve pilot situational awareness and prevent CFIT accidents. NASA is using the airplane to explore advanced vision and runway-incursion technologies that could one day be brought to civil aviation.
Business aviation experienced 25 accidents in the first six months of this year, down from 29 in the same period last year, according to data released last week by Robert Breiling Associates of Boca Raton, Fla. There were also fewer fatal accidents—eight accidents and 14 fatalities this year versus nine accidents and 23 fatalities in the same period last year.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is expected to issue fuel tank inerting rules in September in a bid to reduce the risk of explosions. In 1996, just such an explosion caused the in-flight break-up of a TWA Boeing 747, and the new FAA mandate will target both new and in-service airliners.