Accidents, Safety, Security and Training » Safety

News and information on safety procedures and concerns.

February 3, 2009 - 10:50am

Four days of NTSB public hearings on helicopter EMS safety began today in Washington, D.C., amid calls by the agency and the industry itself for reform. Last month, the NTSB determined the probable cause of four recent fatal helicopter EMS crashes. Three of the four involved inadvertent flight into night instrument meteorological conditions (IMC), while one was attributed to loss of control during low and slow flight.

January 29, 2009 - 3:59am

As airports across the U.S. wage their annual struggle against winter weather, business aviation operators may soon find themselves familiar with a new de-icing method. Forced-air de-icers, which use high-volume, low-pressure air to help strip contamination from flying surfaces, have been used to augment the effect of glycol on airliners at major airports for years, but the business aircraft community has been slow to embrace them.

January 29, 2009 - 3:47am

Pilots should “activate boots as soon as the airplane enters icing conditions,” according to a safety alert released in December by the NTSB. The alert (SA-014) is yet another attempt by the Board to persuade pilots that there is no such thing as ice bridging and that pilots should not wait for ice to build to one-quarter to one-half-inch thickness before inflating boots in icing conditions.

January 28, 2009 - 10:23am

The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) says requiring foam fire suppression systems to be installed in Group II hangars is financially “impractical and not justifiable.” Group II hangars cover more than 12,000 sq ft and their main doors are up to 28 feet high.

January 27, 2009 - 10:15am

The Association of Air Medical Services (AAMS) is recommending the FAA mandate night vision goggles, enhanced vision systems or IFR-only operations for all night flights of EMS helicopters. The recommendations come on the heels of nine fatal helicopter EMS (HEMS) accidents since December 2007 and one week before the NTSB is scheduled to hold what promises to be highly charged public hearings related to those accidents and overall HEMS safety.

January 27, 2009 - 9:04am

The FAA has issued a revision of Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin NM-08-27 to warn operators of transport-category aircraft that organic salt runway de-icer fluids could cause “possible brake failure during high-speed aborted takeoff or dragged brake during normal takeoff (and subsequent overheat, once airborne).” The revised SAIB, NM-08-27R1, notifies operators that organic salt runway

January 20, 2009 - 9:56am

Not surprisingly, there is no “magic bullet” solution to the spate of fatal helicopter emergency medical service (HEMS) crashes over the last two years. Rather, investigation documents, released by the NTSB late last week, reveal a complex mosaic of multi-level human and technology failures behind nine of these crashes in the past two years.

January 13, 2009 - 10:46am

The official Brazilian report on the September 2006 midair between an Embraer Legacy and a Boeing 737 is a “missed opportunity for the Brazilian aviation authorities to restore trust and safety in the national aviation system,” according to a statement by the International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers’ Associations (Ifatca).

January 13, 2009 - 10:44am

Despite reports indicating declining flight hours for 2008, the number of business aircraft accidents increased from 2007, according to year-end statistics compiled by Boca Raton, Fla.-based aviation safety analyst Robert E. Breiling Associates. The totals show a rise in the number of business aviation accidents from 55 in 2007 to 69 in 2008, while the number of fatal accidents rose correspondingly from 17 to 24.

December 30, 2008 - 4:43am

The UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) has issued four safety recommendations in response to an incident in which a burst tire on a Bombardier Global Express caused “extensive damage” to the flight control system.

 
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