On November 1, a Bell LongRanger operated by Rotorcraft Leasing was taking off from oil-drilling platform High Island A442A in the Gulf of Mexico en route to another platform when the engine lost power and the pilot inflated the pontoons and landed in the water. The helicopter rolled inverted after touchdown, according to the NTSB. The pilot was seriously injured and the passenger suffered minor injuries.
News and information on safety procedures and concerns.
The FAA yesterday issued a final rule that prohibits Part 91K, 135 and 121 operators from taking off with “polished frost”–meaning frost buffed to make it smooth–on an aircraft’s wings, stabilizers and control surfaces. The new rule will take effect on Jan. 30, 2010. The FAA already prohibits major and regional air carriers from operating with polished frost.
When a veteran EMS helicopter pilot, probably thinking he was running out of options, decided to dive under a cloud deck to look for the ground, he crashed his Maryland State Police (MSP) Eurocopter Dauphin into terrain about 3.2 miles north of Andrews Air Force Base (ADW), killing all on board except for one of the two teenage traffic accident victims being transported to a nearby hospital.
In 2005 the International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST) was formed with the ambitious goal of reducing helicopter accidents 80 percent by 2016. The group was modeled after the Commercial Aviation Safety Team, which is credited with a significant accident rate reduction among fixed-wing carriers. It now appears the IHST’s work may be having a measurable impact.
FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt called on members of the Regional Airline Association (RAA) to participate in voluntary safety information programs such as FOQA (flight operational quality assurance) and ASAP (aviation safety action program) during the group’s fall meeting last month in Washington.
Canada’s Transportation Safety Board (TSB) last month released the final report on the landing accident of a Bombardier Global 5000 in Fox Harbour, Nova Scotia, on Nov. 11, 2007. Ten people were injured after the Global touched down short of the 4,885-foot runway.
New FAA regulations take effect on Thursday to separate air traffic in the Hudson River VFR corridor on the west side of Manhattan in New York City. These regulations are a result of the August 8 midair between a Piper Lance and a tour helicopter.
As the result of the crash of an aeromedical Cessna Citation 550 into Lake Michigan more than two years ago, the NTSB has recommended that the FAA require all Part 91K and Part 135 operators to incorporate upset recovery into their training syllabi.
Coincidental to the early taste of winter weather the Northeast received in mid-October, NBAA–in conjunction with local airport user groups and state business aviation associations–sponsored a pair of cold-weather operational seminars aimed at exploring the challenges and threats presented by in-flight and ground icing, as well as runway contamination.
• In January 2006, two pilots flying an American Eagle Saab 340 out of San Luis County Regional Airport in San Luis Obispo, Calif., nearly lost control after the autopilot shut off during icing conditions on climb-out. The Saab 340 lost 5,000 feet during the recovery.