Hawker Beechcraft Beechjet 400A, Sarasota, Fla., July 12, 2004–According to the NTSB, the double engine flameout of the Flight Options Beechjet was caused by high-altitude ice crystals that accreted on the compressor vanes and were ingested into the high-pressure compressor when the power levers were retarded, causing compressor surges and flameouts.
Eurocopter BK 117C1, Whittier, Alaska, Dec. 3, 2007–The commercial pilot, paramedic and patient are missing after the crash of the EMS helicopter into the ocean three miles from Whittier. The body of the flight nurse was found. The helicopter, which has not been located, was operated by Evergreen Alaska Helicopters, under contract to Lifeguard. Weather was IMC and the pilot was giving position reports every 10 minutes.
Bombardier Global 5000, Caribbean, Dec. 12, 2007–A Global 5000 landed short of the runway at Vance W. Armory Airport on Nevis and was damaged by hitting the airport perimeter fence. No one was injured. The airplane is registered to First Southeast Aviation of Tampa, Fla.
Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), chairman of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, wants to know whether the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has plans to regulate heat-trapping global warming emissions from America’s aviation sector.
The FAA has approved eight valve-regulated sealed lead acid batteries
under Technical Standard Order C173 for Concorde Battery.
The TSO-approved models are Concorde’s RG-121 Series and RG-122 Series, emergency batteries for lighting, standby, avionics, fadec and backup power. Parts conforming to TSO C173 are approved for design and production.
Eurocopter delivered the first two EC 225 medium twins in China to the Ministry of Communications in Zhuhai late last year. The China Rescue and Salvage Bureau will operate the helicopters on search-and-rescue missions.
New regulations limiting–and in some cases prohibiting–the transport of certain types of batteries on passenger aircraft are directed at the airlines, but business jet operators throughout the U.S. are addressing the issue with similar policies and recommendations following an increase in the number of aviation incidents involving overheated batteries and battery-powered devices.
The Helicopter Association International has approached Congress advocating a significant improvement in the low-altitude air-traffic infrastructure in the Gulf of Mexico. In the short term, HAI is promoting an immediate investment by the FAA in currently available, proven VHF communications and automated weather technologies to support the 5,000 to 9,000 flights that operate daily to and from more than 3,800 offshore platforms in the region.
Last October and November, a procession of UPS Boeing 767s experimented with a new type of approach to their home base at Louisville International Airport (SDF), Ky. The technique is called the continuous descent approach (CDA). The results of the test flights were released earlier this year and could lead to steeper approach paths nationwide in the name of noise abatement and fuel economy.
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.