A lack of professionalism, discipline and knowledge exhibited by the two pilots flying the Pinnacle Airlines Bombardier CRJ200 that crashed in Jefferson City, Mo., on Oct. 14, 2004, directly led to the tragedy that took their lives, the NTSB has determined after more than two years of investigation.
While the NTSB investigation into last month’s runway incursion at Denver International Airport continues, the pilot of one of the aircraft involved said blowing snow, which reduced visibility and covered the taxiway, caused disorientation, leading his Key Lime Air Metroliner to taxi onto an active runway. Pilots of a Frontier Airlines A319 that had been cleared to land saw the Metroliner while only 50 to 100 feet above the runway.
The five major fractional operators fell short of AIR’s projected pilot hiring levels last year, according to statistics prepared by the Atlanta-based aviation employment consultant. The major players–Avantair, CitationShares, Flexjet, Flight Options and NetJets–hired 674 new pilots, more than 300 shy of AIR’s January 2006 estimate that 1,000 pilots would be required.
The Airbus Corporate Jetliner family has just grown bigger, with the introduction of its newest member, the smaller A318 Elite. The Elite offers less range (up to 4,000 nm) and a shorter cabin than the Airbus 320. Airbus said Germany’s Lufthansa Technik will outfit the Elite with a choice of two cabin layouts seating up to 14 and 18 passengers, respectively, with seats clustered in several lounge areas throughout the cabin.
More details have emerged about the November 5 fatal crash of Citation N505K following a loss of control on takeoff at Hobby Airport in Houston. The 55-year-old owner-pilot and his 37-year-old maintenance technician were killed in the accident.
Three serious near collisions on runways in Boston, New York and Las Vegas this year have prompted the NTSB to again press for quicker action by the FAA to reduce such incidents. This issue has been on the Safety Board’s “most wanted” list since its inception in 1990.
The European Commission (EC) yesterday issued a major proposal to extend the tasks of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to rulemaking and control of air operations, pilot qualifications and licenses and oversight of third-country airlines operating in the European Union. The agency, created in 2002, currently certifies the airworthiness and environmental performance of aeronautical products, among other duties.
Boeing Business Jets announced yesterday at the Dubai Air Show that it is now offering the BBJ3, an executive version of its new 737-900ER. With five auxiliary fuel tanks, the BBJ3 will have a range of 4,765 nm. Its 1,120-sq-ft cabin is 35 percent more than that of a BBJ and 11 percent more than that of the BBJ2. The list price is $62.5 million, but it will be a while before deliveries can begin.
An ongoing investigation into the August 10 fatal crash of an S-76C+ in the Baltic Sea has led the NTSB to ask the FAA to take “urgent” action on several recommendations. Flight-data recordings show that the twin-turbine helicopter “pitched up and rolled to the left, followed by a series of rotations to the right before striking the water,” killing all 14 aboard.
Following the crash of a Sikorsky S-76 into the Gulf of Mexico, the two pilots and 10 passengers survived several hours in the water before being rescued, despite their injuries and problems with life-saving equipment. On September 6, at about 4 p.m., the Houston Helicopters S-76 ditched into the Gulf some 24 miles southeast of Sabine Pass, Texas, after a dual engine failure.