NTSB accident reports give us the cold, hard facts behind an accident, but those facts don’t always help us understand the “why” behind a crash. No matter the type of aircraft, operators want to know what it all means to them and how their crews fly.
Aviation accidents and incidents
The FAA has issued a final rule that raises minimum flight hours required by first officers for U.S. air carriers flying under Part 121 regulations to 1,500, from the current 250.
The NTSB is investigating what caused the fatal crash of a de Havilland Canada DHC-3 Otter floatplane shortly after takeoff on Sunday from Soldotna Airport in Alaska. Parts of the wreckage of the Rediske Air aircraft, including the engine and propeller, have been recovered, and sent to a laboratory for analysis. The accident, Alaska’s worst in more than a decade, killed all 10 people on board, including the pilot/air-taxi company co-owner.
The flight data recorder (FDR) recovered from the Asiana Airlines Boeing 777-200ER that crash landed at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday indicates that the airplane slowed to 103 knots—or 34 knots below the airspeed identified as appropriate for landing—some three seconds before its tail section hit the sea wall at the threshold of Runway 28L.
There are still too many close calls between aircraft during go-around maneuvers at major airports (five in the past seven years), according to the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board. On July 1, the Board recommended the FAA modify ATC procedures to do a better job of accommodating those events safely.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has informed India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) that it will conduct an independent safety audit of air transport oversight on the subcontinent in August. India has asked for an extension of the date.
The notice follows a report published in March by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) that identified significant safety concerns overlooked by India while overseeing its airlines (air operators, charters and general aviation).
I remember well that night 17 years ago when TWA Flight 800 exploded and crashed off the coast of Long Island, killing all aboard. I was settling down with some friends at my brother’s Manhattan apartment to watch a game between the Red Sox and their arch-rival Yankees when the game broadcast was interrupted by news that an airliner had crashed soon after takeoff from JFK International.
On average, 96 percent of unstabilized approaches do not result in a go-around, according to preliminary results from a go-around study being conducted by the Flight Safety Foundation’s international and European aviation committees. “Data and anecdotal information are showing there are increased exceedances in aircraft performance and rates of violation of air traffic control instructions,” the FSF noted.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) received a petition June 19 to reconsider its investigation of the July 17, 1996 crash of TWA 800, a Boeing 747 that exploded while climbing toward Paris shortly after takeoff from New York JFK International Airport. The petition was initiated by a group of people tied to a new documentary film called TWA800, due for release next month on the Epix cable channel.
Canada’s Transportation Safety Board (TSB) released a final report early this month on the June 2010 accident at Ottawa’s MacDonald-Cartier International Airport (CYOW) in which the pilots of a Trans States Airlines Embraer ERJ 145LR were unable to stop the aircraft on the airport’s 8,000-foot Runway 7 during landing. With 33 passengers and a crew of three–none of whom was injured–the aircraft made a smooth touchdown 1,740 feet beyond the threshold of a wet runway approximately eight knots too fast.