When Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, suggested yesterday that the FAA’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions were “tangential” to other agency objectives, Daniel Elwell, assistant administrator for the FAA office of aviation policy, planning and environment, politely begged to differ.
Eurocopter EC 135P2, Oxon Hill, Md., Jan. 10, 2005–The NTSB blamed the pilot’s failure to identify and arrest the descent of the LifeNet helicopter, which resulted in controlled flight into terrain. Contributing factors were the dark night conditions, limited outside visual references and the lack of an operable radar altimeter.
Bell 206L-1 LongRanger, Venice, La., Dec. 29, 2007–One of the passengers of the Air Logistics LongRanger was killed and the pilot and the two other passengers injured when the helicopter crashed after a loss of control in the Gulf of Mexico.
Hawker Beechcraft Beech 99, Moline, Ill. Feb. 18, 2008–The Suburban Air Freight cargo airplane had an in-flight fire in the wiring behind the instrument panel, causing minor damage. The pilot put out the blaze with a fire extinguisher and was not injured.
The Los Angeles board of airport commissioners awarded a $2.15 million contract to Jacobs Consultancy for a three-year study to evaluate air pollution emissions and their impact on surrounding communities. The study begins in June and includes installation of 11 air-monitoring stations in the LAX area and collection of data for 12 months.
While the term space weather may at first invoke visions of Capt. Kirk and his starship Enterprise encountering ion storms, it is in reality something which affects radio communications, satellite transmissions and signals intelligence. And because HF radio is particularly susceptible, it often forces airlines and any other aircraft operating on polar routes to switch to different tracks, and sometimes make unscheduled fuel stops.
Airbus in late February successfully tested an emissions-free fuel cell in flight. The hydrogen- and oxygen-based fuel cell system generated up to 20 kilowatts of electrical power on an A320 test aircraft, and the output was used to power the aircraft’s electric motor pump for the back-up hydraulic circuit that operates the aircraft’s ailerons.
A 1975 Cessna Citation I (N113SH) that crashed March 4 while taking off from Oklahoma City Wiley Post Airport is reported to have encountered a flock of birds before the accident. Three passengers and two pilots died when the twinjet crashed four miles from the airport.
Warning that the number of very light jets (VLJ) in European airspace is about to soar, Eurocontrol is considering a requirement for turbine-powered airplanes weighing less than 12,500 pounds to carry traffic alert and collision avoidance systems (TCAS). Officials say that adding VLJs into Europe’s increasingly crowded mix of airliners and large business jets could be a prescription for disaster.
Eurocopter AS 350B2, Kamarang, Guyana, Feb. 6, 2005–The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) determined that the cause of the Canadian-registered AS 350 accident was a flight control malfunction and the pilot’s inability to control the helicopter before it hit the ground. Although the TSB did not determine the cause of
the malfunction, the agency said it was probably a loss of hydraulic pressure.