One of the unfortunate but unavoidable facts of aviation is that accidents happen. While investigators work to determine why, and attorneys debate over who is responsible, in nearly every case there is a tragic human element involved-families of victims, who suddenly have their lives torn apart. It is a situation no one wants to be in.
Aviation accidents and incidents
Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee’s preliminary report on the April 13 Lion Air accident in Bali appears to leave little doubt that pilot error was the primary cause, specifically a failure by the crew to follow standard instrument approach procedures.
A number of aircraft accident victims, who have never before spoken on camera and were the only survivors of an aircraft crash, are speaking now as part of a new documentary called, “Sole Survivor,” produced by Yellow Wing Productions. The film opened on a limited basis last week in Detroit and will run again in Minneapolis on May 23 as details of the world premiere are being finalized.
When the Transportation Department inspector general conducted a self-initiated audit of the FAA Wildlife Hazard Mitigation Program last year, the office concluded that the agency’s oversight and enforcement activities were not sufficient to ensure that airports fully adhere to p
Two Air India pilots and a pair of flight attendants have been suspended from duty pending an investigation into an April 13 incident in which both pilots left the flight deck of the Airbus A321 at the same time for 40 minutes of rest in the cabin. The pilots left two flight attendants in the cockpit to monitor the aircraft. The pilots returned to the cockpit only after one of the flight attendants mistakenly turned off the autopilot.
The most noteworthy accident event in the first quarter was the string of fatal Beechcraft Premier I crashes over a period of approximately three weeks, from February 20 to March 17. All three crashes, which killed nine people, involved Part 91 operations and occurred in VMC during takeoff or landing. The two accidents in the U.S. accounted for the only fatalities by U.S.-registered business jets in the first quarter of this year.
A string of poor decisions by the pilot of a Eurocopter AS350 being flown on an emergency medical mission preceded the Aug. 26, 2011, crash of the aircraft, according to the NTSB’s report on the accident. Four people–the pilot, a patient, flight nurse and paramedic–were killed in the accident at 6.41 p.m. in Mosby, Mo. after the commercial pilot first ran the helicopter out of fuel and then failed to establish an autorotation.
While most aviation safety sources have identified loss of control (LOC) as the leading cause of accidents in the past few years, controlled flight into terrain (CFIT) “is making a strong comeback,” according to Flight Safety Foundation fellow Jim Burin.
In the first quarter of this year, seven people died in two fatal accidents involving Part 91-operated U.S.-registered business jets compared with 14 fatalities in three Part 91 business jet accidents in the first quarter of last year, according to preliminary data gathered from various AIN sources. Both of the fatal U.S. business jet accidents in the first quarter befell privately operated Hawker Beechcraft Premier Is.