Lufthansa Technik (LHT) is studying ways to reduce the loads imposed on a bizliner’s interior walls and their structural attachments by a sudden drop in cabin pressure. The solution appears to lie in installing large cutouts in the walls and floor.
Raising commonality in the way different companies operate the same helicopter type will be among the subjects of the safety review launched by North Sea operators Bristow, Avincis and CHC.
The International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST) reformulated its safety goal, from reducing the number of helicopter accidents at a global level by 80 percent between 2006 and 2016 to “Zero tolerance, zero accidents,” John Black, co-chairman of the Ehest (the European chapter of the IHST), said at the EASA Rotorcraft Symposium.
“We won’t attain the IHST’s initial objective but we have to keep the momentum,” Michel Masson, Ehest secretary, told AIN. “We needed an ambitious target, an aspiration, a quest that would motivate all players and gather energies”.
Humans’ attempts to interact with cockpit automation have provided fodder for pilot anecdotes for years, and the recently released Operational Use of Flight Path Management Systems offers a precise roadmap for where the industry needs to focus. The 34-member research team responsible for compiling the report comprises members of the Performance-based Aviation Rulemaking Committee’s (PARC) flight-deck automation working group, which evolved not long after the 1995 American Airlines accident in Cali, Colombia.
The widow of a Blue Hawaiian pilot killed in the crash of a company Eurocopter EC130B4 in November 2011 has filed a suit against the air-tour operator and the helicopter’s manufacturer, citing product defects. Pilot Nathan Cline and four passengers were killed when the helicopter crashed on Molokai during a sightseeing flight. Witnesses at an elementary school near the crash site reported heavy rain squalls at the time of the accident.
The Eurocopter EC135 light twin helicopter is facing more trouble after the EASA issued an emergency airworthiness directive on December 19 referring to a manufacturer alert service bulletin that requires a one-time check of fuel probes and, possibly, cleaning and replacement. The issue, discovered by Bond Air Services, appears to be that the probes are indicating a fuel level higher than actual. Investigations showed that the incorrect signals that the probes transmit to the indicator may also inhibit the amber “fuel caution” light.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is partly shifting responsibility for compliance with its operational safety audits (IOSA) to airlines themselves under the new enhanced version of the program (E-IOSA). According to Giancarlo Buono, IATA’s regional director for safety and flight operations in Europe, the E-IOSA process will require operators to continuously monitor their own compliance with the IOSA standards, but IATA itself will still conduct the current biennial “snapshot” audits.
The European Cockpit Association (ECA) praised as “a strong commitment to safety” last week’s decision by the European Parliament and its transport committee to develop a new incident-reporting system. The airline pilot’s union said the new legislation ensures a “just culture” with better protection of the safety incident data, the reporter and all the people involved, while also creating a comprehensive framework for collecting, storing and analyzing relevant safety incident data.
The Russian parliament was presented with legislation last week to allow Russian airlines to begin hiring foreign pilots to meet an expected shortfall in experienced crews. Currently only Russian citizens may fly Russian airliners. The move comes just a month after the crash of a Boeing 737 at Kazan Airport, 450 miles southeast of Moscow, in which it appears the pilots lost control of the aircraft, killing all 50 people on board. Shortcomings in crew qualifications have already been cited as possible factors in that accident.
IATA says air carriers that participate in its operational safety audits (IOSA) had a 62 percent better accident rate than non-IOSA airlines through November 2013. Worldwide, about 65 percent of all commercial flights operate under the IOSA umbrella, including those of 149 airlines that are not IATA members, representing nearly 84 percent of the world’s air traffic. In Africa, which has the highest accident rate by region, only 14 percent of accidents involved IOSA-compliant operators.