Russian accident investigators appear to be focusing on possible failures in the thrust reversers and/or brakes of a Red Wings Airlines Tupolev Tu-204 airliner that crashed into a Moscow highway after overshooting a runway at Vnukovo Airport on December 29. The aircraft was on a ferry flight from Pardubice in the Czech Republic with no passengers. Five of the eight crewmembers on board were killed, including the captain, first officer, flight engineer and two flight attendants.
AINsafety » January 7, 2013
The Indonesian National Transportation Safety Committee’s recent final accident report on the May 9, 2012 crash of a Sukhoi Superjet 100 appears to leave little doubt the accident that killed all 45 people aboard was to the result of pilot error.
The crash of a U.S.-registered Learjet in Mexico last month raised operational control issues because Mexican officials initially indicated that the aircraft was conducting a Part 135 trip at the time of the accident. The pilot-in-command’s U.S. pilot certificate specifically restricted him from such operations. However, Starwood Management, the aircraft’s owner, claimed the aircraft was operating legally under Part 91 rules.
Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill (D) has urged FAA Administrator Michael Huerta to reconsider rules restricting the use of portable electronic devices in aircraft. In a letter sent just before the Christmas break she said that it’s time the agency accepts that its regulations cause unnecessary inconvenience to travelers and are not rational.
Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has extended until at least Feb. 15, 2013 its decision to force Barrier Aviation to cease all operations with its 34 aircraft. The CASA initially suspended the airline’s operations for five days on Dec. 23, 2012. The suspension follows a safety audit of the operator that revealed a range of maintenance-related deficiencies.
A recently reposted YouTube video has provided a stark reminder to cockpit crews that airport rescue service response times are not consistent around the world. The 2007 video was shot at Okinawa in Japan during a fire that destroyed a China Airlines Boeing 737 as it sat at the gate. A ground worker can be seen approaching the inferno with a fire extinguisher before fire trucks arrived.
The air operator certificate of India’s Kingfisher Airlines officially expired at midnight on December 31. The cash-strapped airline suspended operations on Oct. 1, 2012, and has failed to fully pay pilots, mechanics, customer-service reps and creditors for some eight months.
Although damage to a pair of Airbus aircraft on the ground at Hollywood/Fort Lauderdale Airport on December 31 was minimal, Spirit’s initial review of the incident did point out some ground-control problems. Spirit’s A320, taxiing to the gate after arrival, struck a parked US Airways A320. ATC never informed the Spirit crew about the obstacle, most likely because not even the controllers were aware of just how close the parked aircraft was to the active taxiway.
Russian air traffic management officials have confirmed that the Moscow area’s new, long-awaited ATC center at Vnukovo Airport will not be commissioned for two more years. The delay is the result of extended testing of new ATC software. The software is currently running alongside an ATC system created in the 1970s to be certain it operates as planned. Construction of the ATC facility began three years ago.
Leading a Civil Air Patrol (CAP) delegation of 20 representatives on Friday, Maj. Gen. Chuck Carr rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange. The event honored the CAP’s emergency search-and-rescue services for downed aircraft and missing people, as well as the disaster relief the group provides to communities around the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The CAP will celebrate its 72nd year of service later this year.