Following recent crashes of EMS helicopters in Illinois and Iowa in December last year and this January, the FAA issued a revised Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin covering recommendations for rotorcraft flying into snowy or icy conditions.
Aviation accidents and incidents
A total of 290 air accidents were reported to Canada’s Transportation Safety Board (TSB) in 2012. This represented a 13-percent increase from the 2011 total of 257 but was comparable to the 2007-2011 average of 292. There were 42 fatal accidents with 63 fatalities in 2012. Of the 42 fatal accidents, 25 accidents involved fixed-wing airplanes (including 17 private and six commercial), seven fatal accidents involved helicopters (including five commercial) and eight fatal accidents involved ultralights.
The cause of the February 22 crash of a Eurocopter AS 350 operated by EagleMed is still under investigation. Two of three people on board–the pilot and a flight nurse–died in the 5:45 a.m. crash near Wiley Post Airport (PWA). Witnesses pulled the accident’s lone survivor from the wreckage before a fire destroyed the remainder of the machine, which was on an emergency medical mission.
Preliminary Report: Regional Jet Destroyed in Crash
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has confirmed that the February 20 crash of a Beech Premier IA at Thomson-McDuffie County Airport (HQU) in Georgia (30 miles west of Augusta) occurred as the jet attempted to go around and did not involve a runway overrun, as local officials had initially reported. Five of the seven people aboard the aircraft were killed. Both pilots survived, suffering serious injuries.
The FAA is falling behind in work to bolster air transport safety as required by the 2010 Airline Safety and FAA Extension Act, according to the Department of Transportation’s Inspector General (IG). Last week, in a letter to the FAA, the IG stated, “Effectively implementing the act’s requirements is key to improving safety in airline travel by raising standards in pilot training and performance, as well as advancing voluntary programs that yield critical safety information.”
The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board has determined that several assumptions used in the Federal Aviation Administration’s application of nine special conditions in the certification of the lithium-ion battery system on the Boeing 787 proved incorrect, NTSB chairman Deborah Hersmann revealed Thursday during a media briefing at the board’s headquarters in Washington,
A Bombardier CRJ200ER regional airliner crashed January 29 while on approach to Almaty Airport (UAAA) in Kazakhstan. The flight, operated by Scat Airlines, was inbound after a 770-mile flight from Kokshetau and crashed approximately three miles northeast of the airport in weather conditions reported as near zero-zero at the time of the accident. Kazakhstan’s airlines remain banned from European Union airspace and airports under an official safety blacklist.
U.S.-registered business jets and turboprops experienced fewer nonfatal accidents in 2012 versus 2011, but N-numbered business jets incurred significantly more fatal accidents and fatalities last year than in 2011, recording the highest totals since 2008. Conversely, U.S.-registered turboprops incurred considerably fewer accidents and fatalities in the year-over-year comparison.
With the start of a new year comes time for reflection on the old year and my hopes for the new one. In aviation, the past year held many memorable moments; for a former NTSB member like myself who has been on site after many fatal crashes the best part was the continuing accident-free record for U.S. airline flights.