Transportation Department Inspector General Kenneth Mead last month called for renewed emphasis to reduce the general aviation accident rate, noting that the number of fatalities and accidents has remained fairly constant over the past few years.
Aviation accidents and incidents
Former DOT Inspector General Mary Schiavo’s latest crusade against the aerospace establishment has placed Bombardier, General Electric, Honeywell, Northwest Airlines, KGS Electronics and Parker Hannifin at the center of a lawsuit filed on behalf of the families of the crew who died in the crash of a Pinnacle Airlines Bombardier CRJ200 on Oct. 14, 2004, outside Jefferson City, Mo.
A NetJets Citation 560 sustained substantial damage, according to the NTSB, when its right wing contacted Runway 36 during landing at Lakeland Airport in Minocqua-Woodruff, Wis., on January 5. The twinjet subsequently went off the runway and hit a snowbank, but the two pilots and five passengers on board were not injured.
In its January 10 final report on the fatal crash of a Cessna Caravan more than three years ago, the NTSB said there was “no evidence of an in-flight collision or breakup.” The Safety Board modified its factual report, which previously contained language that suggested the possibility of an in-flight collision, perhaps with a nearby FedEx DC-10, before it lost control and crashed on Oct. 23, 2002, killing the sole-occupant pilot.
Last year the U.S. business jet fleet experienced fewer fatalities compared with 2004, according to aviation safety analyst Robert E. Breiling Associates of Boca Raton, Fla. The Part 91 corporate executive segment’s previous two-year nonfatal streak, however, came to an end early last year, with the crash of a Circuit City Citation 560 on February 16. That accident took the lives of both pilots and the six passengers.
The NTSB last month issued its final report on the Oct. 19, 2004, crash of a Corporate Airlines Jetstream 32 at Kirksville, Mo.
Over the last 10 years business aviation safety has improved immensely. During the same period, the entire aviation industry has been subject to a number of equipment, avionics and procedural requirements designed to reduce accidents.
“Chunks of slush” slid off the taxiing Bombardier Challenger 600 just before
it crashed on takeoff from Montrose Regional Airport in Montrose, Colo., on Nov. 28, 2004, reported NBC Sports chairman Dick Ebersol, who survived the crash of the Air Castle chartered jet.
When the GAMA executive board was in Washington, D.C., for the industry briefing earlier this year, acting NTSB chairman Mark Rosenker assured GAMA members that the Safety Board “has its eye on the GA ball.”
The UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch has launched a formal investigation into the factors leading to the February 5 overrun of a German-registered Challenger 604, D-ABCD, at London Luton Airport. Operated by Cirrus Aviation, a Lufthansa partner carrier, the flight originated from Geneva and was carrying three crew and one passenger. There were no injuries to the occupants and no significant damage to the aircraft.