Kanata, Canada-based First Air said it fired two Boeing 737 pilots last week after an incident in which the crew allowed the aircraft to stray from its programmed flight plan on a March 31 trip between Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, and Iqaluit. Initial reports claim the pilots might not have followed the company’s standard operating procedures and mis-programmed the aircraft’s flight management system. The aircraft, carrying 19 passengers and four crewmembers, arrived safely at its destination, 20 minutes late.
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.
As I write this from my seat on a Boeing 777 bound for China, I realize I no longer have the same degree of nonchalance I had on previous long-haul flights. I am aware the airplane, one of the most modern jetliners in the sky, is functioning exactly as intended, the comforting whoosh of its powerful engines omnipresent as it courses smoothly through the air above the Arctic Circle, yet in the back of my mind, thoughts drift to another triple-seven, also China-bound, which more than a month after its disappearance still has given investigators little clue as to where it actually ended up and why.
Early next year, FlightSafety International will provide Embraer Legacy 650 training at its learning center at Paris Le Bourget Airport. The factory-authorized program will include initial, recurrent and update training for pilots, maintenance technicians and flight attendants who operate and support the Brazilian-built twinjet. The program will feature a FlightSafety-built level-D-qualified full-motion flight simulator.
The European Commission has lifted flight restrictions into Europe imposed on all operators from Swaziland, as well as for Cebu Pacific in the Philippines and Kazakhstan’s Air Astana with the latest revision of the EU air safety list, or so-called blacklist. The EC said it based its decisions on various sources and hearings before the EU Air Safety Committee, which met from March 25 to 27.
Jon Beatty, the former president and CEO of International Aero Engines, will take over as the new president and CEO at the Flight Safety Foundation, effective April 21. Along with his recent experience with IAE, he held executive positions at Pratt & Whitney, BF Goodrich and AlliedSignal Aerospace. “He brings an international executive perspective that will be instrumental in moving the foundation into its next chapter as the leading voice of aviation safety around the world,” said FSF board of governors chairman David McMillan.
The ATC phrases “climb via” and “descend via” were officially added to the pilot/controller glossary on April 3, indicating the FAA now expects pilots to understand and comply with the new abbreviated IFR clearances. Pilots can expect to hear these instructions when operating on standard instrument departures (SIDs) and standard terminal arrival routes (Stars) when ATC changes a procedure’s altitude restriction for some reason.
Dr. David Byers, developer of the Synthetic Air Traffic Advisory System (Satas), which uses off-the-shelf technology to create a virtual control tower, demonstrated the system at last week’s Sun ’n’ Fun show in Lakeland, Fla. Satas combines a SharpEye radar unit, developed by DeTect of Panama City, Fla., for marine applications, with the airfield radar system from SRI of Rockledge, Fla., which makes ground security radars. Together, the systems identify and track aircraft flying in the area, all without the need for any transponders on board the aircraft.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued a number of recommendations to the FAA on April 2 related to flare cueing issues on the Boeing MD-11. The Board said the airliner made 13 hard landings between 1994 and 2010. It wants the FAA and Boeing to determine the effectiveness of new systems to assist MD-11 pilots in making timely and appropriate inputs during the landing flare. The NTSB expects to see a formal report to help determine how useful a new system might be.
Last week the NTSB released a letter it received in mid-March from South Korea’s Aviation and Railway Accident Investigation Board (KARAIB) claiming that the pilots of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 were not totally responsible for the accident last July at San Francisco International Airport that killed three people and destroyed a Boeing 777.
A Finnish-registered Bombardier Challenger 300 climbing toward St. Petersburg, Russia, experienced an uncommanded pitch-up that injured two of the six people on board. The aircraft had just departed Moscow Sheremetyevo (UUEE) Airport for a charter flight on Dec. 23, 2010 and quickly returned to Moscow, where the injured were taken to hospital.