The UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch cited pilot disorientation, combined with limited instrument flying experience, as the most likely cause of the March 1, 2003, crash of Agusta A109E G-PWER at Bour-nemouth, England. The accident took the lives of the ALTP-rated pilot and his passenger.
Aviation International News » August 2005
A recent report by the British Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) shows that the pilot of the Robinson R44 flying from a private strip in southern Scotland to Manchester, England, found that hills on his track were obscured by an area of low cloud. Recordings from his GPS showed that as he turned to avoid high ground he increased speed and entered a rapid descent.
At the end of last year, amid celebrations marking 40 years of flying police helicopters, the Hamburg police force took delivery of two new Eurocopter EC 135s to replace a pair of Bolkow BO 105s that had been flying with the city’s Police Helicopter Squadron for a quarter of a century.
Helicopter operators flying air medical operations have always had a keen interest in safety, but a spike in accident and fatality statistics in the last five years has intensified concern throughout the industry. Representatives from a number of helicopter EMS task forces gathered in Dallas recently to discuss procedures for improving the safety of their operations.
Try as they might, regional airlines just can’t seem to avoid the glare of public scrutiny. The latest controversy, involving the fatal crash of a Pinnacle Airlines CRJ200 on October 14 last year, has once again forced the industry to defend its safety record. This time, however, the airlines can’t blame the hubbub on the rantings of politicians or ex-DOT Inspectors General.
US Airways’ plans for new code-share partner Air Wisconsin finally crystallized last month, when the major airline loaded new schedules showing the Appleton, Wis.-based regional’s Bombardier CRJ200s on a host of routes from Philadelphia and Charlotte, N.C.
Houston’s ExpressJet reached a tentative four-year labor deal with representatives of its 1,200 flight attendants that, if ratified, promises a pay raise of up to 35 percent over four years, an improved 401(k) plan and better job security. Negotiations began in November. The flight attendants had until July 24 to vote on the new agreement.
Air New Zealand took delivery of its first 50-seat Bombardier Q300 turboprop during a ceremony held last month in Toronto. One of 17 Q300s Air New Zealand ordered in October last year, the Q300 will enter domestic service on August 15 with wholly owned subsidiary Air Nelson, flying to and from Nelson, Wellington, Napier and Hamilton. Air Nelson expects to take delivery of three Q300s by end of this year and the balance by mid-2007.
Republic Airways last month offered another 7.75 million shares of common stock to help fund a fleet expansion that will see it field 28 Embraer 170s for US Airways and another five for United Airlines. Republic Airways operating unit Republic Airlines, formed last year to fly the 70-seat jets for United, to earn its operating certificate imminently.
The DOT on July 15 issued Trans States Holdings’ GoJet unit tentative approval for a certificate of public convenience and necessity, bringing it a step closer to launching service as a United Express carrier. The new entity, established in December to fly 70-seat jets for United, would start flying by the end of this month with a pair of CRJ700s if all goes according to schedule.