Eurocopter AS 350BA, Kapaau, Hawaii, July 12, 2005–The NTSB blamed the crash of the AS 350 on the in-flight separation of the tail-rotor system as a result of a loss of clamp force and fatigue fracturing of the attachment nut plates, likely due to a tail-rotor blade strike during a landing. This resulted in an imbalance and a high-frequency vibration that induced fatigue in the nut plates and caused one bolt to back out.
Beech King Air B200, Hondo, Texas, Sept. 5, 2006–The Safety Board attributed the King Air accident to the airplane’s running over an unmarked pothole in the taxiway while taxiing for departure from Hondo Municipal Airport (HDO). A contributing factor was the rain obscuring the pothole.
Pilatus PC-12, South Bend, Ind., Dec. 14, 2004–The NTSB blamed the crash of PC-12 N922RG on the failure of the fuel control unit bellows, which resulted in a significant loss of engine power. The pilot made a forced landing on a roadway after, he said, the engine “abruptly and smoothly rolled back” shortly after takeoff from South Bend Regional Airport. The airplane’s wingtip hit two utility poles during rollout.
Beech King Air C90, Windsor Locks, Conn., June 23, 2006–The nonflying pilot’s improper procedure, resulting in his inadvertent retraction of the landing gear while the airplane was on the ground, was the cause of the accident, the NTSB concluded. The FAA King Air, N20, had landed and was doing a touch-and-go at Bradley International Airport when the nonflying pilot asked the pilot flying if he wanted flaps up.
Agusta A119, Mancos, Colo., June 30, 2005–The NTSB determined that the crash of the EMS A119 was caused by the loss of engine power for undetermined reasons and by the pilot’s inability to autorotate. A factor was the helicopter’s low altitude when power was lost. The A119 had arrived to pick up an injured logger. When it was about 220 feet above tree level, it “dropped straight down,” according to a fireman at the scene.
Cessna Citation 560, Pueblo, Colo., Feb. 16, 2005–The failure of the crew to activate the de-icing boots of the Circuit City Citation on approach to Pueblo in icing conditions and failure to maintain airspeed caused the crash of the airplane, the NTSB concluded. (See page 1 for full article.)
The September 29 midair collision between an Embraer Legacy and a Gol Airlines 737 over the Amazon was a baptism by fire for Bill Voss, who took over as president of the Flight Safety Foundation (FSF) a couple of days later.
New taxi into position and hold (TIPH) guidance for pilots became effective February 5. It includes new ATC procedures and phraseology to improve runway safety.
Because of “undesirable” events involving TIPH, the FAA convened a safety risk management panel consisting of representatives from the agency’s Air Traffic Service and Flight Standards Service, as well as certain specialists, including experts in aviation human factors.
It took the FAA more than three years to finalize its rules affecting the commercial air-tour industry and only 14 days after their publication for the NTSB to issue a recommendation asking the agency to change the rules and require floats on all helicopters used in commercial air-tour operations over water, “regardless of the amount of time over water.” The final rule, published on February 13, states that helicopters need not be equipped wit
The NTSB concluded that the forced landing of a University of North Dakota Citation 550 research jet on Sept. 30, 2005, in Fort Yukon, Alaska, was caused by the pilot’s “improper use of anti-icing,” which resulted in ice ingestion into both engines and the complete loss of power. No one was seriously injured.