While only one in five birdstrikes is ever reported, one unusual strike this past January 15, with an even more remarkable outcome, gained global attention and might bring advisories and eventually new certification and training standards to operators of all turbine-powered aircraft.
A court in Palermo, Sicily, has sentenced Capt. Shafik Al Gharbi and copilot Ali Kebaier Lassoued to 10 years in prison for failing to take adequate emergency measures before crash landing their Tuninter ATR 72 turboprop into the sea, leading to the death of 16 people on Aug. 6, 2005. Five other employees of the Tunisian domestic airline and charter company received sentences of between eight and nine years in jail.
Construcciones Aeronauticas SA CASA 212-200, Toksook Bay, Alaska, Nov. 1, 2008–The Arctic Transportation Services CASA 212 made a forced landing on the tundra when the captain was unable to maintain altitude after the right engine experienced a problem. The airplane was on a VFR approach to Toksook Bay, when the copilot added power. The right engine failed to respond, and the aircraft yawed right.
A botched emergency landing instigated by bad weather appears to have brought down a twin-engine Sikorsky S-92A carrying the 88-year-old Rev. Sun Myung Moon and 15 others. The medium-twin helicopter crashed 25 miles east of Seoul, South Korea, on Saturday. Three onboard sustained severe injuries, while Moon and six others received minor injuries.
TS Eliot may have written that “April is the cruelest month,” but he didn’t try to make a living operating helicopters. The opening weeks of this year were proof that January is no slouch either, its first weeks memorable as a nightmarish procession of helicopter hijackings, mishaps, disastrous crashes and, sadly, deaths.
Bombardier CRJ, Milwaukee, Wis., April 1, 2007–Climbing out from General Mitchell International Airport (MKE) Runway 19R at 6:45 a.m., the Air Wisconsin CRJ, Flight 3714, experienced uncommanded nose-down stabilizer trim. The captain was flying. At 1,000 feet, the pilots retracted the flaps and disengaged the autopilot.
Italian civil aviation authorities suspect fuel starvation or contamination for the crash of a Tunisian ATR 72 off the northern coast of Sicily on Saturday. The accident claimed at least 13 of the 39 occupants, three of which remain missing.
Emergency procedures training is offered by several business aviation OEMs and all of the major simulator training companies as part of their wide array of training products. But two smaller, independent companies–Stark Survival Training and Facts/AirCare–specialize in emergency procedures training, and their programs stand out among all of the offerings.
The runway at Midway Island remains open for emergency landings, thanks to $3.2 million from the DOT. The money will be used to upgrade navigational aids and maintain the runway until at least September 30, the end of the current fiscal year. The airfield was on the verge of closing January 6 when a Continental Airlines 777 with nearly 300 people aboard made an emergency landing at the former U.S.
A University of North Dakota (UND) Citation II research jet made an emergency landing near Beaver, Alaska, on September 30 after both engines flamed out at 9,200 feet msl in clouds. Unable to accomplish an airstart, pilot Paul DeHardy “maneuvered the aircraft to a successful emergency landing 70 miles north of Fairbanks, Alaska.” None of the four crewmembers, one of whom is a researcher with Sikorsky Aircraft, sustained injuries.