Eighteen of 21 people aboard a tourist balloon ride died in Luxor, Egypt, on February 26 when the aircraft’s gas chamber exploded, sending the balloon falling nearly 1,000 feet to the ground. The crash is believed to have been the deadliest balloon accident in the world over the past 20 years. The local governor of Luxor province banned any further balloon flights until further notice.
AINsafety » March 4, 2013
A total of 290 air accidents were reported to Canada’s Transportation Safety Board (TSB) in 2012. This represented a 13-percent increase from the 2011 total of 257 but was comparable to the 2007-2011 average of 292. There were 42 fatal accidents with 63 fatalities in 2012. Of the 42 fatal accidents, 25 accidents involved fixed-wing airplanes (including 17 private and six commercial), seven fatal accidents involved helicopters (including five commercial) and eight fatal accidents involved ultralights.
New data released by the International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST) shows that the total number of civil helicopter accidents in the U.S. has declined since 2009. During the three-year period from 2007 to 2009, there were 466 helicopter accidents in the country. For the past three years, from 2010 through 2012, there were 411 U.S. accidents. However, the data also shows that the number of helicopter accidents involving personal/private flying increased during the same time period. Within the 2007-09 span, 21 percent of total U.S.
The cause of the February 22 crash of a Eurocopter AS 350 operated by EagleMed is still under investigation. Two of three people on board–the pilot and a flight nurse–died in the 5:45 a.m. crash near Wiley Post Airport (PWA). Witnesses pulled the accident’s lone survivor from the wreckage before a fire destroyed the remainder of the machine, which was on an emergency medical mission.
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) said that while the continent’s accident rate has remained more or less under control, the agency remains concerned about its ability to maintain the current level of safety when traffic is expected to nearly double by 2030.
Despite the first day of spring being just a few weeks away, encounters with icing at altitude still represent a very real problem. Responsibility for understanding the intricacies of ice formation, as well as how to exit an area of icing before a loss of aircraft control occurs, still falls on the cockpit crew. Here are some valuable icing resources that are easily accessed from any Internet connection that are worth bookmarking for next year’s season.
Sound training can make all the difference to the prospects of passengers and crew surviving when an aircraft has to ditch in water. In the latest edition of AIN sister publication Business Jet Traveler Mark Phelps looked at the difference that training with specialists such as Survival Systems USA can make.
The FAA is urging pilots to spend training time focusing on an updated Advisory Circular 70-2A, which deals with what the agency says is “a significant increase in the unauthorized laser illumination of aircraft.” The AC provides guidance to both aircrews and air traffic controllers about formal reporting of laser illumination incidents. Pointing a laser at an aircraft in the U.S.
U.S. government budget sequestration is expected to be a significant issue for the FAA going forward, according to John Duncan, deputy director of Flight Standards. Speaking at the Air Charter Safety Foundation’s Safety Symposium on February 27, he said the agency has had to look where cuts could be achieved without compromising safety. “We had to look at cuts in a number of areas,” Duncan told the group.
Most fliers can probably recite the safety briefing by heart on just about any airplane these days. Air New Zealand has created what it believes is an engaging pre-takeoff video to reacquaint passengers with needed safety information. The airline’s production used outdoorsman Bear Grylls. What do you think? Did the airline succeed?