The UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch reported last week that the cause of the March 16 accident in which an Airbus Helicopters EC135T2i crashed into a busy pub in Glasgow is still unknown. “[The] investigation to date has not identified any technical malfunction that might account for the accident.
Aviation accidents and incidents
Accidents in the first quarter involving U.S.-registered turbine business airplanes resulted in 15 fatalities, compared with 22 in the same period last year, even though the corporate jet segment did not reduce its number of fatal and nonfatal accidents. According to data assembled by AIN, five people were killed in two crashes involving N-numbered business jets in the first quarter versus seven in two accidents in the year-ago period–all under Part 91 operations.
“I’m telling you, our plane was like a pharmacy with wings.”
The NTSB’s recent safety alert #033 reminds pilots that without adequate preparation, robust monitoring and position cross-checking using all available resources, flight crews may misidentify a nearby airport that they see during the approach to their destination.
Five bodies were located in the fuselage of a Socata TBM 700 that crashed into a reservoir 25 miles south of Montrose, Colo., on March 21. The aircraft came to rest upside down in 60 or 70 feet of water and about three feet of silt, according to a crash area spokesperson, who said the aircraft had to be pulled ashore before the victims could be removed. An NTSB source said the pilot reported his aircraft spinning before the crash and that the aircraft’s tail separated before impact.
Malaysian authorities have concluded that Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 crashed in the southern Indian Ocean, far from any land mass that could have presented the crew with a chance to land, according to a statement issued Monday by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. New satellite data confirms the conclusion, said Razak during a media briefing in Kuala Lumpur.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Worldwide is holding its second massive open online course (MOOC) from April 7 to May 11 on human factors in aviation accidents. The free course is limited to 2,000 students and will cover “the mental and physical factors that contribute to aviation accidents,” according to the university. Students can view lectures and complete assignments on their own schedules and participate in live sessions and interact with other students on discussion boards and social media.
An administrative law judge with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) dismissed the $10,000 fine the FAA levied against Raphael Pirker for flying a small unmanned aircraft, casting doubt on the agency’s ability to regulate their commercial use.
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) report on the August 2012 runway overrun at St. John’s, Newfoundland, involving a Russian Ilyushin Il-76TD found a number of actions that culminated with the 140-ton aircraft rolling off the end of the airport’s 8,500-foot Runway 11. Despite the use of maximum reverse thrust, the aircraft departed the hard surface at approximately 40 knots and came to a stop 640 feet beyond the end of the runway. No injuries were reported to any of the 10 people on board.
Troubled by an increase in the number of helicopter accidents in the last several years, the FAA has launched the Rotorcraft Safety Initiative (RSI), an effort to curb helicopter fatal accidents.
From Oct. 1, 2012 to Sept. 30, 2013, the U.S. helicopter industry experienced 38 fatal helicopter crashes, a 100-percent increase over the same period in 2011-2012. These accidents resulted in 76 fatalities, 95 percent more than the same period the year before and the highest number of fatal accidents since 1994.