Israel Aircraft Industries 1124 Westwind, Tocumen, Panama, July 2, 2004–Westwind N280AT, operated by Air Trek as a Part 135 air ambulance flight, crashed into a building shortly after takeoff from the Tocumen International Airport. The airplane was destroyed and all six occupants were killed. A seventh person on the ground was also killed. VMC prevailed, and an IFR flight plan had been filed.
Gates Learjet 35A, New Castle, St. Kitts and Nevis, July 13, 2004–Learjet N829CA, en route VFR from St. Maarten, hit the perimeter fence on approach to Runway 10 at Vance W. Amory Airport, New Castle, St. Kitts and Nevis, sustaining substantial damage. Both wings were damaged, and the left engine partly dislodged from the fuselage and the left fuel tank ruptured. Weather was unknown and there were no injuries.
Learjet 55, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., July 19, 2004–Learjet N55LF overran Runway 31 during its landing roll at the Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport, in VMC. Neither the ATP pilot nor the commercial copilot was injured, but the airplane was substantially damaged. Repositioning the aircraft from Fort Lauderdale International, the crew was expecting to land on Runway 13, but it was closed and the tower told them to land on Runway 31.
The House Appropriations Committee has added a directive to a report on FAA funding for Fiscal Year 2005 that would require the agency to ensure that pilots continue to get the best possible flight briefing and en route information services without user fees.
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) assembly is expected to take action later this month on legal guidance for member states to protect safety-data-
collection systems while allowing for proper administration of justice.
The guidance would help nations protect from unwarranted use information collected under systems such as flight operational quality assurance programs and line operations safety audit programs.
Contrary to a popular misconception, most aircraft accidents are survivable. This fact has been documented by the NTSB, which analyzed Part 121 accidents in the U.S. between 1983 and 2000 involving at least one fatality or serious injury in which aircraft were substantially damaged. In the 568 such mishaps studied by the Board, 95.7 percent of the accident aircraft occupants lived.
Since the EPA crackdown on dumping sumped fuel on airport ramp surfaces, draining fuel has become a problem for aircraft operators. In some cases, the inconvenience has compromised safety, since some pilots skip this portion of the preflight examination or pour possibly contaminated fuel back into the tanks of the aircraft.
Back in June, the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) expressed relief with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision to propose a 12-month delay–until August 17 next year–for FBOs to submit amended oil-spill-prevention plans, and until Feb. 18, 2006, for FBOs to implement the plans.
The patient was killed and the three crewmembers injured when their Air Evac Lifeteam Bell 206 crashed April 20 about 30 miles northeast of Evansville, Ind. According to an FAA preliminary report, the engine quit in flight. It was not immediately known if weather, described as good visibility under an overcast, was a factor in the accident. Air Evac Lifeteam is based in West Plains, Mo., and currently has 39 bases in 12 states.
In a deal valued at more than $230 million, Bell has started to deliver 26 Bell 412EP medium twins and associated equipment to Pakistan. The OEM, which delivered nine of the aircraft during June, will hand over the rest during the next 10 months. The helicopters will be used primarily for personnel transport, emergency medical service and disaster relief.