Former DOT Inspector General Mary Schiavo’s law firm, Motley Rice LLC, has filed suit against Bombardier, General Electric, Honeywell, Northwest Airlines, KGS Electronics and Parker Hannifin on behalf of the families of the pilots who died in the crash of a Pinnacle Airlines Bombardier CRJ200 on Oct. 14, 2004, near Jefferson City, Mo.
The FAA on Tuesday issued a final rule amending Part 121 regulations governing drug and alcohol testing to clarify that “each person who performs a safety-sensitive function for a regulated employer by contract, including by subcontract at any tier, is subject to testing.” These amendments are necessary, the FAA said, because guidance has been conflicting for more than a decade “about which contractors were subject to drug and alcohol testing.
Investigations into two accidents involving Eurocopter AS 350A and AS 350B2 helicopters led the NTSB to determine that the hydraulic pump drive belt (P/N 704A33690004) prematurely failed in flight. Additionally, an inquiry into the FAA’s Service Difficulty Report database found that 43 failures and/or replacements of hydraulic pump drive belts with that part number occurred from February 1995 to the present.
Two recent accidents in icing conditions involving Cessna Caravans have prompted the NTSB to issue more recommendations for the high-wing turboprop single.
Twenty-nine-year-old Chana Daskal, the sole survivor of an Aug. 10, 2001 Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters crash, will receive $38 million under a settlement. Besides losing her husband in the accident, Daskal suffered severe burns and had both legs amputated.
A pilot has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter charges, following an accident in Hawaii last September that killed three passengers. Glen Lampton was flying a Heli USA AStar that crashed into the sea near Kauai’s Ke’e Beach. Two other passengers and Lampton survived uninjured. Lampton, who continues to work for Heli USA in a nonflying position, is also accused of reckless endangerment, providing a false statement and tampering with evidence.
The Helicopter Association International (HAI) has sent an urgent congressional alert to its members to contact their legislators about resolving continued delays in the FAA’s longstanding commitment to provide National Airspace System-quality communications and weather services in the Gulf of Mexico. According to HAI, more than 35,000 people live and work offshore, supported by nearly 650 helicopters.
At a public hearing yesterday, the NTSB singled out Part 91 operations in a special study on helicopter and fixed-wing EMS accidents. Between 1994 and 2004, the number of accidents doubled, with 83 since 1998. Main accident causes are CFIT, inadvertent operation into IMC and spatial disorientation or lack of situational awareness in night operations.
Excessive speed might have been a factor in Tuesday morning’s fatal crash of a Cessna Citation 560 at McClellan-Palomar Airport in Carlsbad, Calif. The twinjet, registered to Goship Air in Ketchum, Idaho, was tracked by radar with about a 200-knot groundspeed at around 300 feet on final approach. The crew of Citation N86CE, on a flight from Hailey, Idaho, canceled IFR services shortly before the crash.
Canada’s Transportation Safety Board has made recommendations in line with the growing concern from the FAA and NTSB about the safety of Cessna 208 Caravans in icing conditions.