News and information on safety procedures and concerns.
Details of an FAA investigation released last week uncovered enough evidence to conclude that the competency of any airmen examined by designated pilot examiner (DPE) Bruce Kalashian in the agency’s Fresno, Calif., flight standards district office (FSDO) between January 2012 and January 2014 should be considered in doubt. “As a result of the evidence obtained during the investigation, the FAA has determined that these airmen will require reexamination of their competency pursuant with 49 U.S.C.
The Aireon Aircraft Locating and Emergency Response Tracking (Aireon Alert) network, a free service expected to be rolled out in 2017, will allow rescue agencies to request the location and last flight track of any 1090 MHz ADS-B-equipped aircraft anywhere in the world, including remote or oceanic regions not covered by ATC surveillance.
The International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST) recently reorganized a number of resource documents to help helicopter pilots maintain currency. One guide, which is focused on autorotations, evolved after the FAA discovered a need to raise awareness of the risks inherent in conducting these maneuvers in the training environment, particularly the 180-degree autorotation. The guide was also designed to recommend procedures to help reduce those risks.
The U.S. Department of Interior announced via the Federal Register on September 23 that it is considering new rules to reduce the risk of injury or property damage at offshore oil-platform helidecks. The rules, which will be issued by the Bureau of Safety and Environment Enforcement, focus on new safety standards for the design, construction and maintenance of helidecks, as well as the storage and handling of aviation fuel. The public can comment until November 24.
NASA’s October 1 crash test of a former-U.S. Marine helicopter at the Langley Research Center’s Landing and Impact Facility was designed to test three energy-absorbing composite subfloor concepts. The tests are designed to improve protection for occupants from injuries sustained during a real accident. Forty cameras installed in the cabin recorded how 13 crash dummies reacted to the accident.
Hal Tom, Jr. was indicted on September 23 by the U.S. District Court in Oxford, Miss., for knowingly and willfully operating a Cessna 182 on a flight from Texas to New Jersey without a valid airman’s certificate. During the flight, Tom ran the aircraft out of fuel and crashed near Clarksdale, Miss., damaging the aircraft’s right wing. After improperly refueling the aircraft, Tom continued the flight to New Jersey despite the damage to the aircraft’s right wing.
An Airbus Helicopters EC130 crashed on October 2 just after transmitting a mayday at about 9:30 a.m. local time near Bart in eastern France. Seven people were on board the light single, registered in Switzerland and owned by Heli-Lausanne. Five died and the other two were severely injured. The EC130 had taken off from Lausanne and crashed in a back yard, close to Montbéliard Airport. French accident investigators are in charge of the probe.
Thomas Haderli, a Swiss pilot, is writing a thesis on crew resource management, which includes an anonymous survey, for the University of Applied Sciences in Zurich. Haderli encourages any pilot to take the survey, which he says will take just 10 minutes to complete.
The Step Change in Safety organization, which represents a number of players in the North Sea oil-and-gas industry, is reporting progress in the implementation of the safety improvement measures required by the UK CAA in its CAP 1145 review. To improve survivability in the event of a ditching, helicopters are being equipped with a better emergency breathing system (EBS) and more attention is being focused on the shape and size of passengers in relation to the size of emergency escape windows.