The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) is “deeply concerned” that language the FAA uses in the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for Part 121 airline hour-of-service (fatigue) regulations mischaracterizes Part 135 operations.
The FAA today proposed new pilot duty-time limitations and rest requirements for Part 121 carriers that stand to profoundly alter scheduling practices and hiring needs across the U.S. airline industry.
Bell 206L-3, Abilene, Texas, March 29, 2009–The NTSB determined the fatigue crack in the trailing edge of a main rotor blade was caused by interconnected porosity and resulting corrosion resulting from an undetected manufacturing defect. During a post-flight inspection following a flight in turbulence, the pilot noted the crack in the blade.
The FAA has become sufficiently concerned about maintenance technician fatigue to take proactive measures to educate the maintenance community. The agency’s maintenance fatigue Web site (https://hfskyway.faa.gov/HFSkyway/FatigueTool.aspx) provides information on fatigue issues and tools to help technicians and management address fatigue risk.
With the swearing in of Mark Rosekind and Earl Weener as members of the NTSB on June 30, the investigative body reached its full complement of five for the first time since President Obama took office in January 2009.
With military aircraft are working harder and longer, the task of managing their service life safely and cost efficiently is becoming ever more critical. This has prompted Ultra Electronics Controls to conceive the ASIS aircraft structural integrity system, providing an innovative approach to monitoring and maintaining them.
While it seems that most of the focus on fatigue issues is on pilots, the FAA is concerned about maintenance technician fatigue and has taken steps to educate the maintenance community. One excellent resource is the agency’s maintenance fatigue Web site, which offers information on fatigue issues and tools to help technicians and company leadership manage fatigue risk.
Loss of engine power during landing approach due to a fatigue fracture in a power turbine blade caused the fatal helicopter crash, according to the Board. N67GE, operated by Island Express Helicopters, was landing on Santa Catalina Island at the end of a Part 135 flight from Long Beach when witnesses heard a “pop” sound and saw flames emanating from the back of the engine. The helicopter then crashed and was consumed by fire.
Yesterday the NTSB released the finding of the cause of the May 24, 2008, Island Express helicopter accident in Two Harbors, Avalon, on Catalina Island, in California. The Eurocopter AS350D collided with terrain while landing after a flight from the Queensway Bay Heliport, Long Beach, Calif.