The U.S. government shutdown could have “grave repercussions on the [ATC] system,” Paul Rinaldi, president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (Natca), told an October 10 rally. “The furlough of thousands of aviation safety professionals is eliminating critical layers of redundancy and safety that keep the system operating safely and efficiently. The shutdown has also interrupted the flow of hiring, training and innovation,” he said.
The pilot of a helicopter operated by Panther Helicopters of Belle Chasse, La., was killed on October 9 when the aircraft he was flying crashed shortly after departing an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. Two of the three other people aboard were injured and flown to the LSU Medical Center in New Orleans for treatment. The type of helicopter involved and the circumstances of the crash were not known as of press time.
On July 10 the European Commission updated its list of airlines subject to an operating ban or operational restrictions within the European Union. Following safety improvements in its home nation, Philippine Airlines became the first airline from that Southeast Asian country to be removed from the so-called blacklist and allowed back into European skies (having been banned in 2010). Venezuelan airline Conviasa, banned last year, also was removed from the list.
Some opponents of Nigeria’s aviation minister, Stella Oduah, have called for her resignation after her comments following the October 3 crash of an Embraer EMB-120 Brasilia in Lagos (see story below). Oduah is reported to have referred to the crash as an “act of God,” adding, “We do not pray for accidents but it is inevitable…We do everything to ensure that we do not have accidents.”
Nigeria’s Accident Investigation Bureau said Friday that an initial review of the cockpit voice recorder of the Embraer EMB-120 Brasilia that crashed on takeoff October 3 at Lagos confirmed an automated cockpit voice warning alerting the crew to a possible problem before liftoff. The system called out “takeoff flaps, auto-feather,” indicating that one engine might not have been producing takeoff power. At this time it is unclear whether the warnings were made before the aircraft reached V1 rotation speed.
The European Parliament’s approval of controversial new harmonized flight and duty time limitation (FTL) for pilots last Wednesday came only a week after its own Transport and Tourism (Tran) committee voted against its adoption. The development concludes more than five years of work led by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
Aerospace insurer Global Aerospace is partnering with Calspan to bring upset recovery training to Global’s SM4 Safety program. Under the deal, the companies have designed a program to provide a comprehensive upset recovery training course to qualified Global Aerospace customers. According to Global Aerospace, “loss of control in flight is indisputably one of the leading causes of aircraft crashes and crash-related fatalities.
Elliott Aviation is pursuing STCs for Aircell’s new ATG 2000 broadband system in the Hawker 800/850/900, Phenom 300, King Air 350 and King Air B200/B200GT. It hopes to have the approval in hand by next year’s first quarter. The Aircell ATG 2000 is a cabin broadband wireless system aimed at midsize and light jets and turboprops. It allows passengers to connect to the Internet on their laptops, smartphones and tablets.
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.
Ljubljana, Slovenia-based business aircraft management and charter firm Elit’Avia appointed Puja Mahajan as its new COO. In her new role, Mahajan will manage Elit’Avia’s growth strategy, ensure safety across all operations and “deliver top-notch client services.” Most recently, she was director of business aircraft flight operations at Bombardier Aerospace, where, among other accomplishments, she ran the award-winning Safety Standdown Program for five years.