The aviation industry is not as safe as it likes to believe, according to former NTSB board member John Goglia. “Everyone these days tells you [our aviation system] is much safer than before, but that’s driving a lot of complacency, which is the exact opposite of what we need today,” he told AIN. “We should be stepping up the pace of our safety efforts and be even more vigilant.”
AINsafety » May 20, 2013
Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee’s preliminary report on the April 13 Lion Air accident in Bali appears to leave little doubt that pilot error was the primary cause, specifically a failure by the crew to follow standard instrument approach procedures.
The new FODetect foreign object debris (FOD) detection systems went operational last week at Tel Aviv’s Ben-Gurion International Airport (LLBG). The equipment, developed by Israeli company Xsight Systems, was certified after an evaluation process and soft launch on Ben Gurion’s primary Runway 8/26.
The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) began a month-long test last week aimed at better predicting when and where thunderstorms might tear their way across Colorado’s Front Range and adjacent Great Plains region. The research uses high-altitude aircraft to improve storm lead times, especially in the crucial six- to 24-hour window before storm formation.
The Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) is to examine the FAA’s Runway Safety Program in the light of a steadily increasing number of runway incursions and evaluate the agency’s progress in implementing initiatives to prevent further incursions.
Prevention of runway incursions and ground collisions has been on the NTSB’s “Most Wanted Transportation Safety Improvements List” since 1990.
A European Union-funded research project is testing new air-to-ground communications infrastructure to help manage peak workload during a flight, while reducing stress and therefore the risk of accidents. The resulting tools will be included in a new-generation cockpit being designed in part by Wessling, Germany-based TriaGnoSys. The project also hopes to allow reduced crew operations in a limited number of well defined conditions, such as long-haul flights or with an incapacitated crewmember.
Canada’s Transportation Safety Board (TSB) wants to see small-aircraft commercial operators equip their fleets with lightweight data recorders, and the agency is pressing Transport Canada to work with industry to make it happen. The new TSB recommendation was part of a recently released accident report that was unable to pin down the reason a de Havilland Canada Twin Otter broke up in flight over the Yukon in March 2011.
The Gulfstream G650’s systems make it a complex aircraft not simply in the cockpit, but in the cabin as well. To help prepare cabin crews for any eventuality aft of the cockpit door, Flight Safety’s Savannah Learning Center in Georgia inaugurated a six-hour cabin system-training course last week. G650 topics include the cabin management system, seat and galley equipment operations, communications and water and waste system training. The training provider also announced similar programs for the G450 and G550.
A number of aircraft accident victims, who have never before spoken on camera and were the only survivors of an aircraft crash, are speaking now as part of a new documentary called, “Sole Survivor,” produced by Yellow Wing Productions. The film opened on a limited basis last week in Detroit and will run again in Minneapolis on May 23 as details of the world premiere are being finalized.
Student pilot Michael Graham pleaded guilty in a North Carolina U.S. District Court on May 6 to falsifying statements in connection with his submission of an FAA medical form to obtain his student pilot certificate. According to an FAA statement, Graham did not disclose his criminal or medical history or current medications on his application for an airman medical certificate, which an aviation medical examiner subsequently approved. The FAA was notified after his flight instructor became concerned about Graham’s behavior.