NTSB recommendations issued last month call on the FAA to step up its oversight of Part 135 operators to ensure that improper record-keeping practices are identified and corrected “before accidents occur.” Additionally, the FAA should establish “specific criteria” regarding the number of accidents or incidents that would trigger increased FAA oversight of a particular operator.
The Gulfstream G350, FAA certified in November, has received validation by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), enabling operators to register the business jet in any of the 25 European Union countries. The first G350 is scheduled to enter service this fall.
The first three months of this year saw a significant increase in fatalities involving business jets and turboprops compared with the same period last year, according to figures compiled by safety analyst Robert E. Breiling Associates of Boca Raton, Fla. In the first quarter of this year, the U.S.-registered fleet of turbine-powered business airplanes experienced 22 accidents, including five fatal ones that killed 24 passengers and crew.
With accidents decreasing by 8.7 percent and fatal accidents dropping by 11.6 percent, last year was the safest year for U.S. general aviation since the end of World War II.
Cessna received certification for its Citation Sovereign from both the European Aviation Safety Agency and the JAA, enabling the twinjet to be certified and registered in 25 nations adhering to EASA regulations and the 10 countries still following JAA procedures. Cessna also claimed the Sovereign received the first-ever EASA type certification data sheet for noise. The Sovereign received FAA certification in June last year.
A Government Accountability Office (GAO) study of five foreign ATC service providers contends that since “commercialization,” they have maintained safety, controlled costs and improved efficiency. The National Air Traffic Controllers Association emphasized that controllers in Cleveland alone handle more operations annually than all of Canada’s controllers handle. It is difficult to compare the U.S.
Beech King Air 300, Daytona Beach, Fla., April 14, 2004–The pilot’s inadequate management of the airplane’s fuel system, resulting in fuel starvation, a loss of engine power, a forced landing and damage to the airplane was the probable cause of the accident.
Learjet 25, Amarillo, Texas, July 1, 2005–Landing at Amarillo International Airport with a 17-knot crosswind, the 7,300-hour captain was unable to maintain directional control of the Air America Jet Charter Learjet. The airplane struck a runway distance marker and ran off the runway to the left. The left wingtip tank fuel load was 200 to 300 pounds heavier than the load in the right wingtip.
Beech 99, Neihart, Mont., Aug. 17, 2004–The NTSB determined the cause of the Alpine Air Beech 99 cargo flight crash was the pilot’s failure to maintain adequate terrain clearance during cruise, which resulted in the airplane’s hitting mountainous terrain. Dark night conditions and mountainous terrain were contributing factors. Before the accident, the pilot told ATC he was VFR and level at 8,500 feet msl.
Cessna CitationJet CJ2 525A, Newnan, Ga., July 15, 2005–The NTSB said the CitationJet’s collision with a localizer antenna was caused by the pilot’s delay in aborting the landing and his failure to maintain obstacle clearance. The Safety Board listed as contributing factors hydroplaning and the localizer antenna.