Marsha Mills was not an aviation artist, but as the exclusive artist for the First Flight Centennial Foundation, she’s quickly becoming one.
No one has kept the Flyer aloft for more than a minute, not even the Wright brothers. So the crowd clapped politely after watching this latest crash. “C’mon, it’s all ones and zeroes. You can’t do any harm,” teased Microsoft executive Bruce Williams as he invited all comers, including the ample security force, at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport to drop to their bellies and swivel their hips on the Flyer simulator.
The NTSB is stressing the importance of altitude awareness and preflight planning after identifying “a noticeable number” of controlled flight into terrain accidents during night VFR conditions. The Safety Board noted in a safety alert that many of the general aviation pilots involved were in contact with ATC and receiving radar service at the time of the accidents, but they appear to have been unaware of the danger.
After last year, when the total number of U.S.-registered turbine business airplanes involved in serious accidents decreased significantly from 2001, the accident picture improved little in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period last year, according to safety analyst Robert E. Breiling Associates of Boca Raton, Fla.
If all flights took place in flawless conditions, in ideal weather and with perfectly designed aircraft that are maintained to impossibly impeccable standards and flown by only the most skilled of pilots, there would still be accidents.
None of the 34 accidents that befell FAR Part 121 scheduled airlines last year resulted in fatalities, according to NTSB preliminary statistics. In 2001 there were some 266 fatalities involving U.S. airlines (excluding another 265 resulting from the 9/11 hijackings). There were 58 air-taxi accidents last year, down from 72 in 2001, resulting in 33 fatalities compared with 60 in 2001.
The total number of U.S.-registered turbine airplanes involved in serious accidents last year decreased significantly from 2001, a year that saw business aviation accidents increase over 2000. Last year there were 41 nonfatal accidents, 19 fatal accidents and 47 fatalities compared with 44 nonfatal accidents and 24 fatal accidents that killed 80 passengers and crew in 2001, according to safety analyst Robert E.
It doesn’t have any airplanes. In fact, it doesn’t even have a name yet. But Matt Andersson has nevertheless announced the intent of his company, Aviation Development Holdings, to launch “a clean-sheet, breakthrough regional airline jet service, independent and decoupled from the major airlines.”
It was late on an autumn night as I swung the car into the rough lane that leads to our house. A few feet beyond the mailbox post, the headlights caught something in the grass. At first it could have been a rabbit standing tall, but closer inspection revealed it to be a magnificent bird, most likely a Peregrine falcon but possibly a gyrfalcon, and it had chosen our lane as a resting place on its migratory route.
A few months ago AIN published an article that highlighted not only my NTSB career but also some of what I have done with a good portion of my working career. Not long after that article was published, AIN editor Nigel Moll called to ask whether I would be interested in writing a monthly column on various subjects of interest to both the pilot and maintenance communities.