The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) has released a final report into the October 2012 spiral dive and crash of a Socata TBM700N shortly after reaching FL260 on departure from the Ottawa-area Carp Airport. “Given the high level of destruction and the fact that recorded data was limited to air traffic control recordings, it was not possible to conclude with any certainty why the aircraft entered the rapid descending turn,” said the January 10 report.
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 of January 9 there are 3,364 wide area augmentation system localizer performance with vertical guidance approach procedures serving 1,661 airports, according to the FAA. There are also 525 localizer performance approach procedures, as well as 5,824 LNav and 3,247 LNav/VNav procedures available.
The May 2013 yaw-induced control incident aboard a Sikorsky S-76 at the London-area Denham airfield was caused by the failure of a metal sealing ball inside the pedal damper trim actuator, according to a UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch report issued last week. During arrival, the Sikorsky’s autopilot disconnected on its own and caused the helicopter to begin yawing to the right, which the pilot attempted to correct before ultimately making a safe landing.
The government of Cyprus plans to reorganize its civil aviation department by privatizing the air traffic control function. The Mediterranean island will create a new self-funded ATC organization for the Nicosia flight information region. Eurocontrol provided strategic assistance to Cyprus in creating the new structure, which the government has labeled, “an independent, state-owned, private [ATC] company.”
The FAA’s plan to implement a new policy requiring screening of pilots for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) has been put on hold, pending FAA consultation with industry stakeholders, according to GA lobby groups. FAA Federal Air Surgeon Fred Tilton had planned to have aviation medical examiners begin requiring pilots with a body mass index of 40 or more to undergo mandatory OSA screening, with plans eventually to lower that threshold to 30.
Aviation “safety’s in a rut,” Dr. Tony Kern told attendees at the Bombardier Safety Standdown in Wichita this fall. The key to getting out of that rut, he said, is to make pilots realize they can’t rest on today’s safety record. Kern is the CEO of Convergent Performance, a Colorado-based human-performance consulting company, and the author of seven books on human performance.
Recognizing the value of crew monitoring and cross checking skills, the industry is poised to roll out the first edition of a comprehensive training guide to teach pilot monitoring skills. At the Bombardier Safety Standdown, NTSB member Robert Sumwalt characterized “a lack of good cross checking and pilot monitoring skills” as one of the greatest threats we face today.” A former USAir pilot, Sumwalt said 20 percent of the errors his old airline experienced and some two thirds of the undesired aircraft states would never have occurred if the crews had been properly monitoring the aircraft.
The number of fatal accidents involving turbine-powered business airplanes worldwide in the first nine months of this year held steady with the tally for the same period last year, although the number of people killed in U.S.-registered business jets dropped in the most recent nine months, according to preliminary figures compiled by AIN. For N-numbered business jets, 13 people were killed in four crashes in the first nine months of this year compared with 17 killed, also in four accidents, during the same period last year. All these accidents befell Part 91 operations.
ForeFlight (Booth N3404) announced enhancements to its popular ForeFlight Mobile iPad app and several collaborations with other aviation companies, all aimed at helping pilots to be more productive during flight planning and in the cockpit.
The independent Flight Safety Foundation (FSF) of Alexandria, Va., now has a member on the NBAA Safety Committee and NBAA plans to appoint a member to the FSF’s Business Advisory Committee, which addresses the concerns and challenges of corporate and business aviation. Peter Stein, chairman of the Business Advisory Committee, is the foundation’s representative on the Safety Committee. NBAA official has not yet announced who will be its representative on the FSF committee.