The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) claims that a shortage of full-performance level (FPL) controllers at the Chicago Tracon–the nation’s third-busiest approach control facility–has brought the level of safety below an “acceptable” level, and the union has asked the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to intervene.
News and information on safety procedures and concerns.
It took a flood in central Pennsylvania three decades ago to get NASA into the business of crash-testing airframes, and the siren call of the “final frontier” to get it out.
“The aviation industry should not allow concerns over security to detract from efforts to improve aviation safety,” said Stuart Matthews, president and CEO of Flight Safety Foundation, setting the tone of the 48th Corporate Aviation Safety Seminar held in late April in Hollywood, Fla.
The pilot of the Raytheon Beech Premier I that overran the runway at Herrera International Airport in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, on January 7 told the NTSB that after making a “normal approach and landing” the lift dump spoilers were activated, “but the system failed.” The airplane hit two vehicles, crossed a road and came to rest inverted. The two pilots and two passengers were not injured.
When EVAS Worldwide demonstrated its smoke-displacement system to potential customers more than three years ago, there were perhaps 150 units in service. Today sales have reached the 2,000 mark, according to the Ramsey, N.J. company.
• Failure of the pilots of two light piston twins to see and avoid each other in VMC caused a midair collision that killed 11 people aboard both airplanes, concluded the NTSB in its final report of the Aug. 9, 2000 accident. The collision, which occurred over Burlington Township, N.J., involved a Patuxent Airways Piper Navajo Chieftain and a Hortman Aviation Services Piper Seminole.
• About 400 Jet Commanders, Westwinds, Astras and Astra SP/SPXs are the subject of a proposed AD aimed at preventing cockpit fires resulting from a possibly defective oxygen shutoff valve that can create overheating in the system. Aviation authorities in Israel say they have reports of two incidents of fire in the cockpit of an 1124 and 1124A when the copilot turned on the system while the aircraft was taxiing.
Nearly 40,000 Kidde Aerospace halon fire extinguishers will have to be removed from service, under a proposed airworthiness directive. The FAA said the discharge time of the handheld units (part number 898052 and serial number of W-389653 or lower in units built between 1995 and 2002) exceeds the maximum allowable discharge time due to an allegedly crimped siphon tube.
An investigation into problems with the quality of flight-data recorder information has led the NTSB to recommend modifications to FDR processing systems on several regional jet models and to ask the FAA to survey all aircraft models with FDRs to ensure that all required information is being processed.
The FAA intends to implement major airspace changes in the Southwest U.S. on October 4. The Las Vegas four cornerpost plan integrates changes in standard routings in airspace controlled by the Albuquerque and Los Angeles Centers. The plan also includes changes to the Phoenix and Las Vegas Tracon airspace that serves Phoenix Sky Harbor International and Las Vegas McCarran International Airports.