The NTSB final report on the May 2005 crash of a Mitsubishi MU-2B found several causes, notably the pilot’s mishandling a partial power loss in the left engine due to his lack of recent flight experience and recurrent training. While flight logs provided by the family showed the pilot had more than 500 hours operating an MU-2, his last MU-2 flight before the accident flight was 14 years earlier. Four people were killed in the crash.
The FAA extended by 24 months–to Sept. 2, 2009–the date for affected regional and major airline operators to comply with new Part 25 fire safety requirements for thermal/acoustic insulation used in transport-category airplanes manufactured after September 2 this year.
The FAA is concerned that some noise-canceling headsets might prevent pilots from hearing audible alarms, abnormal engine noise or other mechanical sounds. The agency, in a January 1 Information for Operators (InFO 07001), said noise attenuation of headsets “may vary by make and model” and if these sounds cannot be detected “discontinue the use of noise-canceling headsets.”
Universal Weather & Aviation said it could take until the middle of this month before it can fully repair damage to its Paris Le Bourget FBO. The facility suffered extensive fire and smoke damage during an overnight blaze on January 3. The company established a temporary operations center and made other arrangements for passengers and crew.
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.