Ellen Saracini, widow of 9/11 United Airlines Flight 175 captain Victor Saracini, told AIN she does not believe that the airline her late husband flew for is doing all it can to prevent another 9/11-like cockpit takeover. Saracini was invited to Chicago on September 4 to discuss (with United vice president of corporate safety Michael Quiello) the company’s use of secondary cockpit barriers to prevent a potential breach. United Airlines currently maintains the largest fleet of aircraft already equipped with secondary barriers.
Aviation accidents and incidents
While the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch is still probing the Eurocopter Super Puma fatal accident that killed four in August, the country’s CAA, its Norwegian counterpart and the European Aviation Safety Agency have launched a wider safety review of North Sea helicopter operations.
The International Civil Aviation Organization’s 2013 annual safety report on commercial aviation concludes that although Africa accounts for only 5 percent of accidents recorded last year, that region’s accidents account for 45 percent of the fatalities, more than any other area ICAO reviewed.
In 2012, five accidents in Africa claimed 167 lives. In Asia, also a focal point for safety concerns, 23 accidents claimed 161 lives.
The pilots of the UPS Airbus A300-600F that crashed on approach to Runway 18 at Birmingham Shuttlesworth International Airport (KBHM) in Alabama on August 14 received a cockpit warning that they were descending too fast. The “sink rate, sink rate” warning, which was captured on the cockpit voice recorder recovered on August 15, was given 16 seconds before impact. Three seconds later one of the pilots was heard telling the other that the runway was in sight, according to NTSB member Robert Sumwalt.
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada will conduct an independent external review of the investigation processes used by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) and publish a report of the results. The review, to begin with an initial visit by the TSB team this month, is intended to provide an independent and objective assessment of the ATSB’s investigation methodology and processes.
The NTSB will offer a two-day training seminar on October 24-25 about the most effective methods of managing emergency communications following a major aircraft accident or incident. The training, aimed at aviation communication professionals from airports, airlines, charter and private business jet operators, will take place at the NTSB’s Training Center in Ashburn, Va. (near Washington, D.C.).
The key topic of aviation safety, which preceded LABACE 2013 with the Bombardier Safety Standdown, will follow it on August 17, as Brazil’s CENIPA has organized a full-day National Symposium on the Prevention of Aeronautic Accidents, for 600 participants from all facets of the aviation community. The event will include simultaneous translation and will take place at the Transamêrica Hotel.
Preliminary Report: King Air Pilot Escapes Road Landing
Beechcraft King Air 200, Chicago Executive Airport (KPWK), Ill., June 26, 2013–The sole-occupant pilot of a King Air 200 was not injured when the aircraft landed on a four-lane highway short of the approach end of Runway 16 at KPWK. The King Air narrowly missed striking apartment buildings, and no one on the ground was injured. The aircraft was substantially damaged when the right wing struck a tree. There was no fire.
Responding to a mandate from Congress to study the FAA’s oversight of cockpit smoke mitigation, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has found that dense, continuous smoke occurs so infrequently that it was not practical for the GAO to reach a conclusion about the effectiveness of the FAA’s actions.
According to the watchdog agency, the NTSB and the FAA identified no accidents or incidents between 2002 and 2012 involving dense, continuous smoke in the cockpit.
The U.S. business jet fleet worldwide recorded significantly fewer nonfatal accidents and fatalities in the first six months of this year compared with the same period last year. According to figures compiled by AIN, N-numbered business jets incurred seven accidents in the first half of this year versus 22 during the same time last year.