National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) vice chairman Christopher Hart and a panel of industry and government experts shared “lessons learned from helicopter accidents” at a wide-ranging panel discussion at Heli-Expo yesterday. Topics discussed included maintenance, simulation and training and the advantages on-board video and data recorders provide in accident investigations.
Aviation accidents and incidents
The continuing investigation into the crash of an Airbus Helicopters EC135T2i in Glasgow, Scotland, on November 29 last year has yet to explain why pumps that would have transferred fuel from the aircraft’s main tanks to its supply tanks were not activated. An interim report by the UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) concluded that both of the aircraft’s fuel transfer pumps were found in the “off” position after the fatal crash.
The Helicopter Association International (HAI) will offer registered attendees no fewer than 44 educational seminars during the three-day event’s rotor safety challenge at next week’s Heli-Expo show in Anaheim, Calif. The event opens with NTSB-led sessions covering lessons learned from helicopter accidents in which investigators will look at the facts gathered through safety recommendations related to pilot training and helicopter maintenance.
The investigation into the EC135 fatal crash on November 29 in Glasgow, Scotland, is struggling to find any specific cause or telltale evidence. The investigators have determined that both of the helicopter’s engines flamed out, according to a special bulletin the Air Accidents Investigation Branch published on Friday. They now still have to understand why this happened with a functional fuel system and 25 gallons of fuel in the tanks.
Eyewitness Animations creates video representations of aircraft accidents based on recovered data. The goal is to present something close to what an eyewitness would have seen at the time. Aircraft accident animations offer investigators a chance to understand the dynamics of an accident or incident and determine whether a person or a product failed somewhere along the way. Company president Jack Suchocki, a former Eastern Airlines pilot, coined the term “forensic animation” to explain what his company does.
The NTSB is investigating the February 3 crash of a Twin Commander 690 that narrowly missed hitting the YMCA building in Bellevue, Tenn., 15 miles southwest of Nashville. The aircraft was reportedly making its second attempt to land at nearby John Tune Airport. Four people died in the accident.
Preliminary Accident: Premier I Crashes near Atlanta
U.S.-registered business jets experienced significantly fewer total accidents and fatalities last year versus 2012, but the number of fatalities in U.S. business turboprop accidents more than tripled year over year, according to preliminary statistics gathered by AIN.
U.S.-registered business jets experienced significantly fewer total accidents and fatalities last year versus 2012, but the number of fatalities in U.S. business turboprop accidents more than tripled year-over-year.
One man and his team think they may have an answer to the problem of over-reliance on automation by pilots who are insufficiently trained to handle an aircraft when the technology falters.