This month marks a milestone for NASA’s Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS), the 35th anniversary of its monthly safety bulletin, Callback. Capt. Rex Hardy, a decorated U.S. naval aviator and test pilot, created the publication in 1979. His vision of a short, readable and informal format to present “lessons learned” (selected from the thousands of anonymous ASRS submissions by flight crews, air traffic controllers, mechanics and others) was an immediate success. Yesterday, current editor Don Purdy published Callback issue number 414.
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.
Malaysian Airlines has confirmed that one of its Boeing 777s has crashed in eastern Ukraine, about 31 miles from the border with Russia. Flight MH17 was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur with 280 passengers and 15 crew on board. According to Ukrainian air traffic controllers, they lost contact with the aircraft at around 14.15 UTC almost 20 miles from the waypoint at Tamak.
Satcom Direct has added dedicated classrooms as part of the cabin communications lab where it provides training in conjunction with FlightSafety. Satcom Direct has worked with the FlightSafety learning center in Savannah, Ga., since 2012 to develop and deliver training classes on satcom technology for Gulfstream operators. The training is delivered in partnership with Gulfstream’s Total Technical Training (TTT) program.
CAE, the Montreal-based training solution provider, announced on the eve of the Farnborough Airshow winning four defense contracts valued together at approximately $110 million. The contracts are for a T-6C ground-based training system for the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF); a visual system upgrade on German air force Eurofighter simulators; an image generator for a T-501Q simulator ordered by Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI); and a KC-135 boom operator weapon systems trainer (BOWST) for an undisclosed international customer.
The UK Parliament’s transport committee has released a report on offshore helicopter safety that indicates passenger culture can be intimidating and crash survivors feel uncomfortable about their relationship with investigators. The report touches on “troubling evidence about a macho bullying culture,” with reports that offshore workers concerned about helicopter safety were told they should leave the industry.
Textron subsidiaries Bell Helicopter and TRU Simulation + Training announced an agreement today for TRU to complete the design, development, manufacturing, installation, testing and certification of the Bell 525 Relentless level-D full-motion flight simulator. The simulator for the new “super-medium” twin-engine helicopter will employ TRU’s ultra-high-definition visual system with 240-degree horizontal by 80-degree vertical field of view.
The NTSB says the probable cause of a Beechjet 400 overrun accident in September 2012 at Macon, Ga., was the pilot’s failure to maintain proper airspeed on final approach. Two of the three people on board received minor injuries. The aircraft touched down on a wet runway “at a speed 15 to 19 knots above the calculated Vref speed (based on radar data) of 108 knots with inadequate runway remaining to stop,” the final report said.
The Dutch government’s safety board wants to publicize the existence of false glideslope indications that could cause the aircraft, when coupled to the autopilot, to pitch up rather than down. The insights were gathered during an investigation into a pitch-up incident on a Boeing 737 in which the incident “digressed” until the aircraft’s stick shaker activated.
The board wants pilots to understand the dangerous information these false glideslope signals can send to an aircraft’s autopilot that might cause the system to operate in a manner opposite to what the cockpit crew expects.
The FAA published notice of proposed rulemaking 2014-0391 in the Federal Register last week to amend qualifications standards for some flight simulation training devices (FSTDs), specifically those capable of reproducing extended flight envelope and adverse weather event training.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) reported last month that with 5.5 million flight hours recorded on turbofan engines between 2008 and 2012, only 280 powerplant incidents were recorded, or about one every 20,000 flight hours. Of those 280 occurrences, 98 percent could be classified as low risk; four were classified as medium risk, two as high risk and one as a very high risk. None, however, resulted in any injuries to passengers or crew.