The Pilatus PC-12/47E is the subject of a new FAA Airworthiness Directive that describes the unsafe condition as common grounding of both the pilot primary flight display (PFD) and the electronic standby instrument system (ESIS). If the common ground fails, both navigation systems could fail simultaneously, which could result in loss of control.
At Capitol Hill on Thursday, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (Natca) was joined by NBAA, ALPA, GAMA, NATA, HAI and Professional Aviation Safety Specialists (Pass) in a rally against the government shutdown. Heavy rain, as well as Capitol security, dampened attendance to about 150 people, who were supplied by Natca with matching signage and shirts.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has concluded that the improper installation of a fuselage crown skin panel during the manufacturing process was the probable cause of substantial damage to a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 during a rapid decompression incident in April 2011.
The FAA has upgraded Ukraine’s safety rating from Category 2 to Category 1 following an international aviation safety assessment of the country’s civil aviation authority in July. A Category 1 rating means Ukraine now complies with the highest level of ICAO safety standards and its air carriers can add flights and service to the U.S.. With the Category 2 rating, Ukrainian airlines were allowed to maintain existing service to the U.S. but could not establish new services.
In fact, no Ukrainian carrier currently provides service to the U.S.
Civil Air Navigation Services Organization (Canso) director general Jeff Poole has laid out proposals to transform air traffic management (ATM) performance in Africa. Speaking at a Canso conference in Abuja, Nigeria, on October 8, Poole highlighted two broad areas of focus in the region: improving runway safety and creating a world-class ATM system that allows aircraft to fly safely across African state borders seamlessly.
The U.S. government shutdown could have “grave repercussions on the [ATC] system,” Paul Rinaldi, president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (Natca), told an October 10 rally. “The furlough of thousands of aviation safety professionals is eliminating critical layers of redundancy and safety that keep the system operating safely and efficiently. The shutdown has also interrupted the flow of hiring, training and innovation,” he said.
The pilot of a helicopter operated by Panther Helicopters of Belle Chasse, La., was killed on October 9 when the aircraft he was flying crashed shortly after departing an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. Two of the three other people aboard were injured and flown to the LSU Medical Center in New Orleans for treatment. The type of helicopter involved and the circumstances of the crash were not known as of press time.
On July 10 the European Commission updated its list of airlines subject to an operating ban or operational restrictions within the European Union. Following safety improvements in its home nation, Philippine Airlines became the first airline from that Southeast Asian country to be removed from the so-called blacklist and allowed back into European skies (having been banned in 2010). Venezuelan airline Conviasa, banned last year, also was removed from the list.
Some opponents of Nigeria’s aviation minister, Stella Oduah, have called for her resignation after her comments following the October 3 crash of an Embraer EMB-120 Brasilia in Lagos (see story below). Oduah is reported to have referred to the crash as an “act of God,” adding, “We do not pray for accidents but it is inevitable…We do everything to ensure that we do not have accidents.”
Nigeria’s Accident Investigation Bureau said Friday that an initial review of the cockpit voice recorder of the Embraer EMB-120 Brasilia that crashed on takeoff October 3 at Lagos confirmed an automated cockpit voice warning alerting the crew to a possible problem before liftoff. The system called out “takeoff flaps, auto-feather,” indicating that one engine might not have been producing takeoff power. At this time it is unclear whether the warnings were made before the aircraft reached V1 rotation speed.