Dr. Tony Kern challenged this year’s Safety Standdown audience in Wichita to stay ahead of the leadership curve. “Want to focus on safety over the next ten years?” he asked. “Find the right people and figure out how to hold on to them. Competition for recruiting and selecting well qualified pilots will increase…If you don’t stay in step you’ll get the leftovers.”
AINsafety » October 29, 2012
Because runway incursions are on everyone’s radar (they have been on the NTSB’s “most wanted transportation safety improvements list” since 1990), the Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General plans to look more closely at how the FAA is managing the airport surface detection equipment–model X (ASDE-X) program. ASDE-X provides detailed information to air traffic controllers, but not directly to pilots, about aircraft runway and taxiway operations.
The busy North Sea oil and gas rig transportation sector lost nearly a third of its capacity on October 23, after CHC Helicopter suspended all flight operations using the Eurocopter EC 225. The ban, pending further investigation, came after a company Super Puma ditched in the North Sea off the coast of Scotland the day before. CHC competitors Bond and Bristow also grounded their Super Pumas after the incident.
The aircraft suffered a cracked gearbox shaft, according to the UK’s Air Accident Investigation Branch.
Helicopter pilots need to take more ownership of a steadily increasing number of accidents, according to the International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST). In the seven-day period between October 10 and October 17 the industry reported four accidents that took the lives of seven people. Two accidents on the same day, October 10, claimed two lives, one in northeastern Pennsylvania and the other in central Louisiana.
The FAA will implement new wake turbulence standards on at 1100Z on November 1 starting at Memphis International Airport. Other U.S. airports are expected to see the new standards applied during 2013-2014 under the joint FAA/Eurocontrol RECAT program (revising wake turbulence categories to gain capacity).
The NTSB has issued 10 safety recommendations in the wake of its investigation into the April 2, 2011 crash of the G650 test aircraft. Five of the October 23 recommendations were intended for the FAA, two for Gulfstream Aerospace and the remaining three for the Flight Test Safety Committee. The Board recommends developing flight-test operating guidance for manufacturers.
The FAA wants to penalize US Airways $354,500 for operating a Boeing 757 on 916 revenue flights between August 3 and Dec. 3, 2010, when it was not in compliance with Federal Aviation Regulations. The FAA alleges that US Airways removed and replaced a leaking engine fuel pump on the aircraft on Aug. 3, 2010, and that the carrier failed to carry out FAA-required tests and inspections before returning the aircraft to revenue service. US Airways has 30 days to respond to the agency.
The FAA is adopting a new Airworthiness Directive–2012-CE-026-AD–for 35 Hawker Beechcraft C90GTi King Air twin turboprops. This AD was prompted by reports of incorrect gauge wires used in certain wiring bundles for the cockpit electrical power for backlighting and instrument panel components. This AD requires replacing the incorrect wiring bundles, inspecting associated wiring bundles and components for heat damage, and taking all necessary corrective actions. The new AD becomes effective Nov. 27, 2012.
According to a report by Russia’s RT News service, accident investigators found alcohol in the blood streams of both pilots aboard the Antonov An-28 that crashed on the Kamchatka Peninsula on September 12, killing 10 of 14 people aboard. RT News reported that forensic tests found the captain to have been “lightly intoxicated,” while his copilot was “moderately intoxicated” at the time of the accident. Investigators are attempting to determine why the crew was allowed to board the aircraft while under the influence of alcohol.
Two Bush Intercontinental Airport employees were arrested October 19 for attempting to smuggle heroin at the airport. The men, one an Express Jet employee and the other a DAL Global Services worker, are accused of using both their airport knowledge and their security credentials to bring nearly 15 kilos of the narcotic (13 of which was a sham heroin substance) onto the field and attempt to sell it to an undercover DHS special agent. The pair is also accused of smuggling $100,000 in U.S. currency and numerous fraudulent documents. Each man faces up to 10 years in prison.