A temporary flight restriction (TFR), outlined in FDC Notam 4/2985, will be in place on January 28 from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. local for aircraft flying into or out of the Washington, D.C. area. The Notam, issued as part of security measures for U.S. President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address, defines the affected area as the boundaries of the current D.C. flight restricted Zone (FRZ) and will prohibit general aviation operations at Washington Reagan National Airport (DCA), Washington Executive/Hyde Field (W32), Potomac Airfield (VKX) and College Park Airport (CGS).
AINsafety » January 27, 2014
The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is stepping up efforts to improve helicopter operational safety after adding this to its Most Wanted list of goals for increased awareness and advocacy.
In a January 14 statement, the NTSB said that between January 2003 and May 2013 there were 1,470 helicopter accidents, resulting in 477 fatalities and 274 serious injuries. The Board is concerned that helicopter accidents will continue to happen unless a concerted effort is made to improve the safety of rotary-wing operations.
The FAA has updated its air traffic controller handbook–JO7110.652–in an effort to prevent aircraft from flying too close together when operating on or near a busy hub airport. The update addresses arrivals and departures using both intersecting and non-intersecting runways. The effort evolved in response to a number of close calls that brought departing aircraft into close proximity with an arrival that had executed an unplanned go-around near the airport.
The FAA plans to clarify, but not change, its Part 25.1329h design considerations for manufacturers of aircraft low-speed alerting and protection devices.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) recently reported a simple cause for last year’s close call between a Fairchild SA-227 cargo airplane and a Bell 47G helicopter at the non-tower Ballina/Byron Gateway Airport in New South Wales: the volume of the helicopter’s receiver was turned down.
Recently released feed from five of Aspen-Pitkin County Airport’s video cameras shows the January 5 approach and eventual crash of a Bombardier Challenger 601-3R. The infrared videos show the aircraft bouncing high into the air after touchdown, followed by a pronounced nose-over maneuver from which the aircraft never recovered. The copilot was killed in the crash.
Some of the strikes by air traffic controllers in Europe originally scheduled for this week have been postponed, according to Eurocontrol. The Air Traffic Controllers European Unions Coordination union consortium organized the strikes to protest a number of Single European Sky proposals to alter current ATC safety and financial goals.
The FAA notified Ethiopian aviation officials last week that their country had passed the agency’s five-day-long safety audit, allowing that African nation to retain its Category 1 safety status. The FAA allows foreign-carrier flights to the U.S. only from countries that pass audits measured against ICAO standards. Ethiopian Airlines currently flies to Washington, D.C., and plans to inaugurate service to two other, as yet unnamed, U.S. cities.
A recent safety video posted on the International Helicopter Safety Team website demonstrates some of the risks inherent in flying large helicopters within an urban environment. The video shows the close quarters to which the pilot was restricted in lifting and delivering an air conditioning unit from a residential street to the top of a nearby building.
AeronomX is sponsoring a series of twice-monthly conference calls as a forum for business aviation safety officers to share notes and ideas about their safety management systems (SMS). The calls begin at 11:30 a.m. EST on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month with a current SMS topic followed by a short discussion. The remainder of the call is open to any topic raised by anyone on the phone.