As an industry, aviation demands unwavering attention to procedure and regulations, and when those procedures are ignored and result in an accident, they garner the attention of NTSB member Robert Sumwalt and his colleagues. Last year pilot and air traffic controller professionalism landed on the Safety Board’s “Most Wanted” list for the first time, following a spate of concluded accident reports that indicated lapses in this area.
Aviation accidents and incidents
Aircraft Performance Group recently added in-flight analysis to its iPreFlight iPad app. Previous versions of the APG app require an Internet connection to perform runway analysis calculations. The advantage of performing a landing-distance assessment while airborne is that conditions at the destination sometimes change, and pilots need to calculate if the destination runway still meets legal and safety parameters.
The Transportation Safety Board (TSB) of Canada has updated its investigation of the May 28 midair collision between a Beechcraft Bonanza and a Piper PA-28 over the Washington, D.C. suburb of Summerduck, Va. The TSB is handling the investigation at the request of NTSB chairman Deborah Hersman to avoid any potential conflicts of interest because the two victims aboard the Bonanza were U.S. government employees.
The International Civil Aviation Organization has concluded that ambiguous or confusing ATC phraseology “is a frequent contributor to aircraft accidents and incidents.” In the recently released results of a phraseology study that it conducted, ICAO maintains that “a miscommunication could potentially lead to a dangerous situation without any of the involved stakeholders being aware,” especially in regions where English is not the native language.
The Indonesian National Transportation Safety Committee (NTSC) on August 1 released the preliminary details of what it knows about the flight of the Sukhoi Superjet that crashed near Jakarta on May 9, 2012, during a flight demonstration. The jet struck a cliff on Mount Salak at 6,100 feet, killing all 45 people on board.
The European Aviation Safety Agency’s 2011 safety report shows that while “the number of fatal accidents in scheduled operations remained high at 16, the related number of fatalities to passengers dropped from 658 in 2010 to 330 in 2011.” The 32 total accidents in 2011 did represent a higher number than last year (28) and a
Accidents involving N-numbered business jets operating outside the U.S. drove an increase in the total number of mishaps and fatalities in the first half of this year compared with the same period last year. According to preliminary figures compiled by AIN, there were 22 accidents, three of them fatal, in the first six months of this year versus 19, of which one was fatal, in the same period last year.
A Chinese-registered Embraer E190 regional jet returned to Hotan Airport (ZWTN), China on June 29 after six people attempted to hijack the aircraft.
The hijackers, reportedly carrying explosives, were subdued by passengers and crew in fight after they attempted to break down the cockpit door to gain entry.
British investigators are focusing on a fractured bevel gear vertical drive shaft as a contributing factor in the North Sea ditching of a Bond Offshore Eurocopter EC225LP Super Puma (G-REDW) 20 nm east of Aberdeen, Scotland, on May 10. The UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) issued a bulletin late last week on its preliminary findings.
Accidents involving U.S.-registered business jets while operating outside the U.S. drove an increase in both the numbers of fatal and non-fatal crashes in the first half of this year.