Disaster

June 3, 2014 - 5:10am

The emergency lubrication system of the EC225 was modified last summer. EASA approved the changes, including replacing the air and glycol pressure switches, modifying the glycol pump and improving the system’s maintenance. The modification eliminates false alarms and cancels flight manual limitations. In other words, a crew can count on a 30-minute lubrication backup in the event of total loss of oil.

The modification approval went relatively unnoticed last year, as the focus last summer was on the shaft itself.

June 3, 2014 - 2:30am

The corporate and business aviation sectors have posted strong safety numbers, recording few accidents, but that is no reason for operators to become complacent. That was the message from NTSB member Robert Sumwalt at the Flight Safety Foundation/NBAA annual Business Aviation Safety Summit (Bass), held in late April in San Diego.

June 3, 2014 - 1:50am

The North Sea offshore industry held a brainstorming session in late April to examine the issues it faces with helicopter flights to and from oil and gas platforms. Although the organizers emphasized that most actions in the February CAA review (known as CAP 1145) relate to accident prevention, mitigation measures–such as emergency breathing systems (EBS) and passenger size restriction–cause the more urgent problems and accounted for a significant part of the discussion.

June 2, 2014 - 4:45pm

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada’s final report on the 2012 crash of a Cessna 208B Caravan concluded the stall-induced accident was the result of the pilot’s decision to depart Snow Lake, Manitoba, with the aircraft weighing 600 pounds more than its maximum allowable gross weight and with ice clinging to the wing and tail surfaces. The Cessna Caravan, operated by Gogal Air Services, left Snow Lake on Nov.

June 2, 2014 - 4:35pm

Following a number of recent helicopter accidents, Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) last month issued a notice of proposed rule-making aimed at improving the safety of helicopter external sling load and winching and rappelling operations. Winching and rappelling is generally associated with emergencies and, as a result, carries greater inherent risk than other helicopter operations, says the CASA. Such operations are also time-sensitive and are often conducted under challenging environmental conditions.

June 2, 2014 - 4:30pm

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) recently published its best-practices guide on aircraft cabin safety to offer suggestions on normal, abnormal and emergency policies and procedures that can be adapted to a variety of operational environments. The guide was created through interaction with aircraft manufacturers and a broad group of other stakeholders through an analysis of worldwide safety trends.

June 2, 2014 - 4:25pm

The FAA last week published guidelines detailing the prohibition of personal electronic devices such as smartphones, laptops and tablet computers, on the flight decks of Part 121 aircraft when the aircraft is in operation, unless those devices have been specifically approved for flight.

June 2, 2014 - 4:20pm

NTSB investigators are probing the May 31 fatal crash of a Gulfstream IV at Bedford-Hanscom Field Airport in Massachusetts. According to NTSB senior investigator Luke Schiada, the U.S.-registered aircraft (N121JM) crashed into a gully in a wooded area about 2,000 feet beyond the end of Hanscom’s Runway 11. It exploded and became engulfed in flames. All seven people on board–two pilots, a flight attendant and four passengers–were killed. An eyewitness told NTSB officials that the GIV, which was departing for Atlantic City, N.J., never got off the ground.

June 2, 2014 - 4:15pm

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada last week published a final report on the January 2012 crash of an Airbus Helicopters AS350B3 operated by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The pilot was killed after the engine failed while the helicopter was hovering at an altitude of 80 feet above the ground.

June 2, 2014 - 4:10pm

On Friday, an Indonesian volcano–Sangeang Api–sent plumes of ash as high as 65,000 feet. The ash quickly began drifting southeastward toward the Northern Territories of Australia. Darwin Airport was shut down and airlines Virgin Australia and JetStar canceled a number of flights that could have brought aircraft within the vicinity of those clouds. Authorities expect the ash to dissipate this week as it moves further east, although the volcano is still erupting.

 
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