Using the successful 2008 industry/government partnership that spawned the Commercial Aviation Safety Team (Cast), the FAA announced plans on November 21 to organize a similar Air Carrier Training Steering Group to evaluate best practices and newly identified areas of air safety risk. FAA Administrator Michael Huerta asked industry participants at the meeting to provide him with the top five focus areas to improve airline training.
News and information on safety procedures and concerns.
Washington state resident and commercial pilot Paul Roessler was sentenced to four months home confinement on November 14 in U.S. District Court in Spokane, Wash., for being under the influence of alcohol while flying a Piper Seneca for a Seattle-based cargo operator. He was also sentenced to 240 hours of community service, two years probation, ordered to attend substance-abuse evaluation and counseling and pay a $1,500 fine.
San Francisco International Airport (SFO) management recently reviewed how well communications functioned after last summer’s crash of an Asiana Airlines Boeing 777. An independent audit found that the airport’s emergency communications notification system failed, as did the airport’s website. On-site firefighters also failed to inform local commanders of the presence of an occupant of the aircraft near its left wing.
Lockheed Martin (Stand 1975) is installing its WindTracer windshear and turbulence-detection system at Dubai International Airport (DXB), where it will be used to detect aircraft wake vortices, thus allowing for increased runway utilization. Two WindTracers have been installed this year and a third one is to follow in the first quarter of next year, Michael Margulis, WindTracer program director, told AIN. WindTracer is a long-range, 3-D-scanning pulsed doppler lidar-based system.
The flight-test of an experimental technology called Avoid, an infrared camera capable of detecting ash cloud particles before an aircraft might encounter them, has proved successful. Volcanic ash from Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano grounded aviation across much of northern Europe for a week in 2010.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau’s final report on the 2011 crash of a Eurocopter AS355F2 cites spatial disorientation as one of the reasons the pilot lost control of the helicopter and crashed into terrain, killing all three people aboard. The helicopter was being operated under visual flight rules in an area east of Lake Eyre in South Australia, the lowest point in the country at 50 feet below sea level.
The FAA has issued a safety alert for operators (SAFO)–13010–to outline current guidance and best practices for Part 133 external load operators using non-human external cargo (NHEC).
The Aircraft Accident Investigation Board of Norway issued its final report explaining how confusion between two aircraft with similar call signs resulted in a near-collision at Oslo Airport in October last year. The incident occurred as a Norwegian Air Shuttle Boeing 737-800 (NAX 741) executed a missed approach as another of the company’s aircraft (NAX 740) was taking off.
The Department of Transportation’s Office of the Inspector General (IG) this week will begin an audit of the FAA’s progress at reducing the fatal accident rate of helicopters operating as emergency medical service (HEMS) transports. The FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 required the FAA to take specific actions to reduce the HEMS accident rate, including short-term safety initiatives to promote the use of advanced technology, such as night vision equipment.