Last month this column looked at safety management systems (SMS) and considered why the industry is embracing them. This month focus shifts to the key elements of such systems and their contribution to the industry’s livelihood.
Total business aviation accidents were down slightly in 2006, thanks mainly to a decrease of more than 17 percent in turboprop accidents, according to aviation safety analyst Robert E. Breiling Associates of Boca Raton, Fla. Total business aviation-related fatal accidents, on the other hand, were up in 2006 with 19.
The pilot flying a Cessna Caravan that crashed after takeoff on Oct. 6, 2005, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, violated operational requirements, according to the Canadian Transportation Safety Board’s final report. Among the violations were taking off at a weight greater than the legal maximum takeoff weight and exceeding the time allowed between wing contamination inspection and takeoff.
Pinnacle Airlines bought Manassas, Va.-based Colgan Air for $20 million last month. The deal gives Memphis-based Pinnacle, which has flown exclusively for Northwest Airlines during its entire existence, immediate access to code-share revenue from Colgan partners Continental Airlines, United Airlines and US Airways.
Two fatal bizjet accidents in the first two weeks of this year, already half the total for all of 2006, have claimed the lives of four pilots.
The NTSB determined today that the Feb. 16, 2005 crash of a Circuit City Cessna Citation 560 during the approach to Pueblo Memorial Airport, Colo., was caused because during the approach, as they flew through a cloud containing supercooled liquid droplets, the flight crew didn’t activate the deicing boots at the first sign of ice buildup (as specified in the AFM) and possibly not at all, and didn’t monitor airspeed, which led to a stall.
Last year the FAA said it would delay until this January its plan to limit “priority service” for aircraft registration in connection with international flights to allow only one request per aircraft (by N-number) in any three-month period due to agency staffing limitations, but now it has decided to back off.
The NTSB final report on the May 2005 crash of a Mitsubishi MU-2B found several causes, notably the pilot’s mishandling a partial power loss in the left engine due to his lack of recent flight experience and recurrent training. While flight logs provided by the family showed the pilot had more than 500 hours operating an MU-2, his last MU-2 flight before the accident flight was 14 years earlier. Four people were killed in the crash.
The FAA extended by 24 months–to Sept. 2, 2009–the date for affected regional and major airline operators to comply with new Part 25 fire safety requirements for thermal/acoustic insulation used in transport-category airplanes manufactured after September 2 this year.
The FAA is concerned that some noise-canceling headsets might prevent pilots from hearing audible alarms, abnormal engine noise or other mechanical sounds. The agency, in a January 1 Information for Operators (InFO 07001), said noise attenuation of headsets “may vary by make and model” and if these sounds cannot be detected “discontinue the use of noise-canceling headsets.”