Aviation accident statistician and former member of the NBAA board of directors Robert E. Breiling is this year’s recipient of the John P. “Jack” Doswell Award, granted annually for lifelong individual achievement in supporting business aviation.
Aviation accidents and incidents
Helicopter pilots need to take more ownership of a steadily increasing number of accidents, according to the International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST). In the seven-day period between October 10 and October 17 the industry reported four accidents that took the lives of seven people. Two accidents on the same day, October 10, claimed two lives, one in northeastern Pennsylvania and the other in central Louisiana.
Yesterday, Brazil’s Regional Federal Tribunal shortened the sentences of U.S. pilots Joe Lepore and Jan Paladino, who survived the midair of their Embraer Legacy 600 with a Gol Airlines Boeing 737 over the Amazon in September 2006. In May last year they were acquitted in absentia on all but one of six charges.
During the appeals hearing, the Legacy pilots’ sentences were reduced from four years and four months to three years, one month and 10 days. The judges also struck down the suspension of Lepore’s and Paladino’s pilot certificates.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has concluded that Gulfstream’s rush to complete an aggressive flight-test schedule for its new G650 was a key factor in the April 2, 2011, crash of a test aircraft at the Roswell International Air Center in New Mexico.
A Bell 407 crashed into a wooded area in the Pocono Mountains, about 90 miles north of Philadelphia, on October 10, killing two of the three people on board, including the pilot. The passenger in back, in critical condition, managed to use his cellphone after the accident to call for help. Weather sources said local visibilities in the crash area were approximately half-a-mile in fog.
On Monday, a Brazilian court will hear the appeal of U.S. pilots Joe Lepore and Jan Paladino, who survived the midair of their Embraer Legacy 600 with a Gol Airlines Boeing 737 over the Amazon in September 2006. After being detained in Brazil for more than two months after the accident, they returned home and, in May 2011, were acquitted in absentia on all but one of six charges.
A Boeing 727 was deliberately crashed and filmed–from both inside and outside–for the premiere episode of Curiosity, which airs Sunday on Discovery Channel. This was done to see what actually happens during an airplane crash and to examine the science behind passengers’ best chances for survival. Crash test dummies as well as sensors throughout the airplane were used to reveal the types of forces unleashed in a typical crash.
According to some statistics, the aviation accident rate in African is nine times worse than anywhere else on earth. But it is improving, partially because of increased focus on the region internationally, but also because of efforts like the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Safe Skies Africa (SSA) program that began in 1998. It is now focusing on increasing the number of African countries that meet international aviation safety standards, and that means training accident investigators.