Boeing has cut a familiar feature of Boeing 737s with its new-production aircraft. New 737s are no longer being built with the four eyebrow windows above the pilot and copilot positions.
The NTSB has asked the FAA to limit the number of times a pilot can fail a checkride and questioned whether the existing requirements of providing additional training after multiple failures is adequate. Additionally, the Safety Board wants the FAA to require Part 121 and 135 operators to improve their safety background checks of pilot applicants by obtaining all notices of failed checkrides before making a hiring decision.
The FAA recently issued revised guidance for daily preflight checks of cockpit voice recorders to ensure that the system is functioning properly. The new guidelines stem from NTSB recommendations made more than two years ago.
With the recent issuance of a probable cause, the NTSB has completed its investigation into the second of two cargo Falcon 20 accidents on the same day by the same operator–Grand Aire Express of Toledo, Ohio. The Safety Board is still investigating the November 30 crash of the company’s Hansa Jet that killed the two pilots, including the founder and president of Grand Aire.
The Flight Safety Foundation (FSF) is scheduled to announce a “human factors tool kit” project at its European Aviation Safety Seminar this month in Warsaw, Poland. The project aims to reduce human error, a causal factor in more than 85 percent of aviation accidents and incidents.
In addition to much healthier sales, GAMA had some other good news to share with attendees at its annual industry review and outlook meeting. Despite the high-profile accidents at the end of last year, the NTSB’s preliminary statistics on the number of general aviation accidents last year show a decline of about 8.7 percent. Fatal accidents were down 11.6 percent.
Word was circulating last month that the weight of the Quiet Technology hush kit fitted to the Gulfstream III that crashed on November 22 while landing at Houston to pick up former President Bush might have played a role in the accident.
A meeting late last month between the FAA’s top regulatory officials and business aviation interests will likely result in renewed emphasis on new and existing aviation safety programs rather than any sweeping regulatory changes. The meeting came in the aftermath of six fatal turbine business aircraft accidents since late October.
In the year before April 26, 2003, when Sino Swearingen’s number-one SJ30-2 prototype crashed after entering an uncommanded and unrecoverable right roll during high-speed flutter testing, company engineers were attempting to deal with lateral stability issues with the twinjet, according to the NTSB’s recently released factual report on the accident.
While the NTSB determined that “unnecessary and too aggressive” rudder inputs by the first officer broke the vertical stabilizer off American Airlines Flight 587, there was plenty of blame to spread among the airline, U.S. and French aviation regulators and Airbus Industrie, builder of the A300-605R that crashed into the community of Belle Harbor, N.Y., on Nov. 12, 2001.