Helicopter EMS operator Mont-Blanc Hélicoptères (MBH), a defeated bidder in a recent tender by a group of hospitals in central France, is suing the group on technical grounds, alleging some of the requirements are irrelevant. In particular, the stipulation for an autopilot compromises safety, according to MBH managing director Yannick Métairie, who dismisses the autopilot as a “hazardous” system.
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.
Unwritten rules of professionalism demand that pilots and responsible media do not launch into publicly discussing suspected but unproven factors in an aircraft accident until the NTSB has issued its verdict on the probable cause.
The FAA is investigating an incident last week in which a chartered Learjet 60 left the runway while landing at Friedman Memorial Airport in Hailey, Idaho. After rolling for approximately 1,000 feet along the milled asphalt shoulder and packed dirt next to the 7,500-foot runway, the jet regained the runway and came to a stop, destroying two runway lights in the process. There was minor damage to the aircraft, which was able to taxi under its own power; no injuries to passengers or crew were reported.
Mid Atlantic Sim Center, a newly formed helicopter training organization in Iceland, has signed an agreement with simulator manufacturer Indra for Europe’s first level-D full-flight simulator for the Airbus Helicopters AS350. Plans call for the FAA-/EASA-certified device, convertible between the B2 and B3 models, to be operational at the company’s new facility in Reykjavik in the first quarter of 2016.
At its annual Flight Attendants/Flight Technicians Conference, held last week in West Palm Beach, Fla., NBAA recognized the 42 recipients of the 2014 Flight Attendants/Flight Technicians Scholarship. The association established the program to help business aviation flight attendants/flight technicians develop their careers. Member companies such as AirCare, FlightSafety International, MedAire and Universal Weather & Aviation donate monetary and training awards for the scholarships. NBAA’s flight attendants committee chooses the recipients.
The UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) investigation into the fire on board a Boeing 787 operated by Ethiopian Airlines at London Heathrow Airport on July 12, 2013, discovered improper wiring of the lithium metal battery that powered the aircraft’s Honeywell 406AFN fixed emergency locator transmitter (ELT). According to an AAIB special bulletin published last week, the investigation concluded that the battery had been incorrectly wired to the ELT during the manufacturing process.
The North Sea Helicopter Safety Steering Group (HSSG) expects the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) will approve a new emergency breathing system for helicopter passengers at the end of this month. The first batch of approved equipment is expected to arrive early next month, allowing training–both in classroom sessions and online–to begin in mid-July. Passengers on offshore flights in the North Sea will need to know how to inspect the equipment and conduct a buddy check.
With NTSB officials acknowledging that control locks are one area of focus in their investigation of the May 31 crash of a Gulfstream IV at Bedford-Hanscom Field Airport near Boston, several active GIV pilots have shared their own standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the equipment with AIN.
An Airbus A320 on approach to Gold Coast Airport in Queensland, Australia, on March 31 descended to just 500 feet above the ground before either of the two pilots realized they had mis-set the aircraft altimeter. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) reported that 15 minutes before beginning their descent, the crew received the altimeter setting from the ATIS and transferred the information to the cockpit takeoff and landing data card.
An Israel Aircraft Industries Westwind II was destroyed when it crashed into a field shortly after takeoff from Huntsville International Airport in Alabama on June 18. Witnesses said the airplane climbed to an altitude of approximately 100 feet before banking sharply right and crashing. All three occupants aboard perished in the accident.