The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued a number of recommendations to the FAA on April 2 related to flare cueing issues on the Boeing MD-11. The Board said the airliner made 13 hard landings between 1994 and 2010. It wants the FAA and Boeing to determine the effectiveness of new systems to assist MD-11 pilots in making timely and appropriate inputs during the landing flare. The NTSB expects to see a formal report to help determine how useful a new system might be.
Last week the NTSB released a letter it received in mid-March from South Korea’s Aviation and Railway Accident Investigation Board (KARAIB) claiming that the pilots of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 were not totally responsible for the accident last July at San Francisco International Airport that killed three people and destroyed a Boeing 777.
The UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch reported last week that the cause of the March 16 accident in which an Airbus Helicopters EC135T2i crashed into a busy pub in Glasgow is still unknown. “[The] investigation to date has not identified any technical malfunction that might account for the accident.
The Air Line Pilots Association said in an April 4 statement that it “is unacceptable that the location of the aircraft [MH370] is unknown.
Amazon paid an FAA penalty of $91,000 last week for shipping a package via FedEx on Sept. 16, 2013, containing a flammable liquid adhesive considered to be a hazardous material. Amazon offered the shipment without the requisite shipping papers or emergency response information and did not mark, label or properly package the shipment. Amazon also failed to train its employees properly in preparing hazmat packages for shipment by air.
After the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) submitted a petition for exemption for the third-class medical requirement for private or recreational pilots on March 20, 2012, more than 14,000 comments overwhelmingly in support of the exemption were submitted to the FAA. However, the agency failed to act on the exemption request, and now Congress is exerting pressure on the FAA to expand the third-class medical exemption, which currently applies to sport pilots.
The Grand Forks, N.D., Sheriff’s Department announced in late March that it has received FAA authorization to fly unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) throughout its jurisdiction at night, making it the first law enforcement agency in the U.S. to gain such authorization.
Accidents in the first quarter involving U.S.-registered turbine business airplanes resulted in 15 fatalities, compared with 22 in the same period last year, even though the corporate jet segment did not reduce its number of fatal and nonfatal accidents. According to data assembled by AIN, five people were killed in two crashes involving N-numbered business jets in the first quarter versus seven in two accidents in the year-ago period–all under Part 91 operations.
While Asiana Airlines acknowledged the culpability of its pilots in the loss of airspeed that ultimately caused the July 6 crash of one of the carrier’s Boeing 777-200ERs on approach to San Francisco International Airport, it also blamed the design of the airplane itself, describing as “inadequate” the warning system to alert the flight crew that the autothrottle had stopped maintaining airspeed.