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.
The so-called “smart cabin automated dimming system” (Scads) marks the latest stage in evolution of the electrically dimmable E-Shade smart window from InspecTech of Fort Lauderdale.
Midcoast Aviation has expanded its capability to assist aircraft operators at their home bases to supplement in-house maintenance staff. “We have been providing this select service to customers by request for years,” said Morris Smith, director of technical services. “Because operators have found the service so beneficial it just made sense to expand and let all our customers know mobile maintenance teams are available to come to them.
US Aviation in Denton, Texas, is the first FBO in the U.S. to install stainless steel-lined fuel tanks in its fuel farm. Traditional fuel storage tanks use an epoxy inner liner, and this liner “has a tendency to break down,” according to Jeff Soules, the FBO’s senior v-p and general manager. Benefits of the stainless-steel liners include no initial startup problems or chips, flaking or biological disintegration of the epoxy, he said.
President Obama has nominated Mark Rosekind, an aviation fatigue specialist and former head of NASA’s fatigue research program, to fill a vacancy on the NTSB. He is currently president and chief scientist for Alertness Solutions, a company he founded.
InspecTech Aero Service (Booth No. 3706) has unveiled the new Smart Cabin Automated Dimming System (SCADS) for its I-Shade.
Aviation insurance giant USAIG, in collaboration with Alertness Solutions, is launching Z-Coach, a science-based fatigue management program.
The FAA yesterday issued a Safety Alert for Operators (SAFO) that addresses pilot fatigue countermeasures in Part 121 and 135 short-haul operations, though the information is also pertinent to Part 91, 91K fractional and 135 on-demand charter operators.