The EASA has certified the redesigned vertical bevel gear shaft for the Airbus Helicopters EC225, which has suffered in-flight failures and a nine-month grounding in 2012 and 2013. Manufacturing of the redesigned gear shaft is under way for production aircraft and for retrofits, and installations for both applications are slated to begin in the second half of this year.
Accidents, Safety, Security and Training
News about significant aircraft accidents and information from accident reports; information on safety procedures and concerns; crew, passenger, aircraft and airport security issues; and news about simulators and training procedures.
Bombardier’s Safety Standdown program this year will focus on “attention control,” more commonly known as cockpit distractions. “Distraction is an increasingly significant risk to aviation safety that permeates every aspect of aircraft operation,” event organizers said. Safety Standdown and its network of experts will address this issue at the seminars in São Paulo, Brazil, on August 11 and in Wichita from October 6 to 9, as well as online. There is no charge to attend Safety Standdown seminars, but seating is limited and people who want to attend must register in advance.
The Flight Safety Foundation (FSF) and NBAA released the 2014 version of their duty/rest guidelines for business aviation at last week’s FSF Business Aviation Safety Seminar (BASS) in San Diego. The new guidelines update the original 1997 document and were drawn up “principally to consider scientific advances [in sleep research] in the intervening 17 years and to identify how those advances should influence today’s recommended practices for duty and rest scheduling.”
Pilots and New York Tracon sector air traffic controllers recently began using the new GPS-X RWY 6 instrument approach to Teterboro (TEB) when that airport’s RWY 6 ILS is out of service. The approach was created to provide better traffic separation between TEB arrivals and traffic landing RWY 29 at nearby Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR).
The FAA last week proposed a $547,500 civil penalty against Hawaiian Airlines for operating a Boeing 767-300 “more than 5,000 times” when the aircraft was not in compliance with a July 2000 airworthiness directive (AD). The AD required inspections of certain engine thrust reverser components to prevent a portion of the device from separating in flight and causing a rapid decompression of the aircraft. It also mandated initial and repetitive inspections of the components to detect damage and wear, and to take corrective actions if necessary.
FAA’s new airport bulletin 14-02 encourages airport operators to review their driver’s training programs in light of several accidents in non-movement areas involving food service trucks, airplane tugs and baggage tow vehicles. These accidents have resulted in both fatalities and significant damage to aircraft.
The NTSB last week released a preliminary report on the April 9 accident involving an Airbus AS350 B3 helicopter that crashed shortly after takeoff from an Albuquerque, N.M. hospital helipad. The pilot reported he did complete all pre-takeoff hydraulic checks and that after liftoff he commanded a slight left turn. The helicopter, however, kept turning and entered a spin. The pilot said the pedals were jammed or locked in the neutral position.
In the wake of the early March disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, the International Civil Aviation Organization announced a special meeting in May of government and industry experts on the global tracking of airline flights. The goal is to increase current momentum on deliberations over the specific aircraft- and satellite-based capabilities needed to permit global implementation of worldwide flight tracking.
The Greater Washington Business Aviation Association’s (GWBAA) 2014 safety standdown takes place May 1 at the NTSB training center in Ashburn, Va. The keynote speaker will be Greg Feith, a former member of the NTSB and an aviation safety and security expert. Planned topics include the ISBAO program, hangar safety systems and sleep apnea/fatigue.
Engine failure is the initial focus in the crash of a Bell 206B Friday morning, shortly after takeoff from Coffs Harbour, on the east coast of Australia. The helicopter struck the ground with enough force to rip the rear rotor from the aircraft. The pilot and single passenger received only minor injuries. There was no post-crash fire.