The National Transportation Safety Board last week published nine specific recommendations to the FAA and the National Weather Service (NWS) that are intended to deliver more comprehensive pre-flight weather information to pilots. The recommendations are based on the findings of NTSB accident investigations involving aircraft encountering adverse surface wind, dense fog, icing, turbulence, and low-level wind shear. While this information currently exists, it is not always provided directly to pilots by NWS preflight weather forecasts.
Audiences at aviation conferences possess important industry insights, but pilots are often reluctant to share some of that information publicly. Recognizing that fact and attempting to overcome audience resistance, François Lassale, CEO of Morrison, Colo.-based Vortex FSM and master of ceremonies at the Flight Safety Foundation’s business aviation safety summit (BASS) in San Diego, used the “Poll Everywhere” online software to anonymously gather useful safety information from the BASS audience and instantly project the results for the group to view.
“Humans are not naturally good at monitoring highly reliable automated cockpit systems for extended periods of time,” said NTSB member Robert Sumwalt. “And what do we have in our airplanes today…highly reliable, highly automated systems.”
The NTSB has scheduled a May 13 meeting with agricultural industry leaders and federal regulators to discuss its special investigation report on the safety of agricultural aircraft operations. The Board will announce several new safety recommendations being issued to the FAA and the National Agricultural Aviation Research & Education Foundation. The meeting begins at 2 p.m. EST at NTSB headquarters inWashington, D.C.
A helicopter, of as yet unknown type, operated under contract to Lukoil Overseas, crashed into the Atlantic Ocean May 9 while it was en route to an oilrig off the coast of Ghana. Three people aboard the aircraft were killed in the crash, while another person is missing. Four others survived but all were injured, one critically. The helicopter was on its third flight of the day at the time of the accident.
Space Florida hosted a tightly controlled unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) flight demonstration on Sunday amid concern the FAA would pull the plug on the event, which served as a prelude to the Unmanned Systems 2014 conference this week in Orlando. With the exception of the media and participating UAS organizations, spectators were kept far removed from the launch area in a field at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.
The NTSB issued nine recommendations asking both the FAA and National Weather Service to provide more comprehensive preflight weather information to pilots. “Timely, detailed weather information is critical for enabling airmen to properly balance risks and make sound decisions when determining to fly,” the Safety Board said.
Satcom Direct and FlightSafety International are now offering cabin communication training for flight crews and maintenance technicians at FSI’s learning center in Teterboro, N.J. The curriculum delves into the inner workings of aircraft communications equipment, including how the satellite functions and instruction on the use of cabin Internet and voice systems for the flight crew. During the course, both flight crews and maintenance technicians will learn what steps to take when faced with an inoperative system while in flight or on the ground.
The Asian Business Aviation Association (AsBAA) wrapped up a four-stop roadshow–held last month in Shanghai, Singapore, Jakarta and Hong Kong–that provided free information sessions for Asian business aviation operators.
Honeywell Aerospace will be the exclusive hardware provider of domestic air-to-ground communication for AT&T’s planned in-flight connectivity services, which will bring faster Wi-Fi to passengers on airliners and business jets. With the new 4G LTE service, passengers will experience air-to-ground speeds significantly higher than today’s. Under terms of an agreement in principle with AT&T, Honeywell exclusively will build and deliver aircraft hardware needed to connect to AT&T’s planned air-to-ground system in the U.S.