In February 2011 the FAA issued an Airworthiness Directive calling for removal of chemical oxygen generators from airplane lavatories, or emptying the generator and restowing the masks. (By the way, no one told the passengers that there was no longer any supplemental oxygen supply in the bathrooms.) While security wasn’t mentioned in the AD, apparently there was a safety problem. Or as the FAA so confoundingly put it in the new final rule, which rescinds the 2011 AD, “This AD was prompted by reports that the current design of the oxygen generators presents a hazard that could jeopardize flight safety. We are issuing this AD to eliminate a hazard that could jeopardize flight safety and to ensure that all lavatories have a supplemental oxygen supply.”
A licensed aircraft maintenance engineer has received a 10-year prison sentence from an Athens, Greece, court for allegedly not resetting a cockpit switch following maintenance on a Helios Airways Boeing 737-300. The aircraft subsequently collided with a mountain near Athens in 2005 after the airplane’s oxygen supply failed and the pilots and most of the passengers fell unconscious. “
One of the pillars of modern aviation safety, cockpit resource management was introduced to commercial aviation more than two decades ago. Among other things, CRM was meant to draw the curtain on the era of the submissive copilot and flight engineer cowed by an overbearing “gear up, shut up” captain.
American Eagle executives planned to meet with FAA officials last month to discuss the Dallas-based airline’s alleged violations of hazardous-materials regulations. The FAA alleges that on one occasion in 2000 American Eagle transported an oxygen generator as cargo aboard a passenger flight. It also claims that Eagle improperly offered oxygen generators to Federal Express for shipment by air on seven separate occasions.
The NTSB issued a scathing indictment of the FAA’s oversight of contract maintenance providers, essentially validating a DOT inspector general’s report that again exposed one of the lesser known practices of the U.S. airline industry. The latest report, made public in late February, again pointed to lax FAA scrutiny of a third-party maintenance contractor as one of the main contributors to the January 2003 crash of Air Midwest Flight 5481.
Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.), whose district includes Wichita, used the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) annual industry review and market outlook briefing to tout his “Promotion Responsibility for Our U.S. Aviation Act of 2005” bill.
It has been 10 years since the ValuJet DC-9 accident in the Everglades that cost the lives of 110 people and a considerable amount of money. The cost to the aviation industry was also high as a result of additional requirements imposed on the existing aircraft fleet.