I’ve written periodically about FAA enforcement and what I consider to be abuses of the process, along with sanctions that are significantly disproportionate to the safety impact of the offenses charged.
National Transportation Safety Board
Asiana Airlines released a statement on June 24 closely following the NTSB’s finding of probable cause for the July 6, 2013 crash of Flight 214 at San Francisco International Airport. The South Korean airline said, “The NTSB made four training recommendations to Asiana, all of which Asiana has already implemented. We believe the NTSB has properly recognized the multiple factors that contributed to the accident, including the complexities of the autothrottle and autopilot systems, which the agency found were inadequately described by Boeing in its training and operational manuals.”
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is expected to announce the probable cause of last summer’s crash of an Asiana Boeing 777 at San Francisco International airport at a June 24 meeting. The doors to the NTSB’s board room at 429 l’Enfant Plaza SW, in Washington, D.C. open at 7:30 a.m. EST, with the meeting due to begin at 9:30 a.m. EST. The session can also be viewed online.
NTSB investigators located the cockpit voice and flight data recorders last night from the Gulfstream GIV-SP that crashed at about 9:40 p.m. on Saturday while taking off from Runway 11 at Bedford Hanscom Field near Boston under FAR Part 91 operating rules. All seven aboard were killed, including passengers Lewis Katz (co-owner of the Gulfstream), Anne Leeds, Marcella Dalsey and Susan Asbell, and the three crewmembers–chief pilot James McDowell, copilot Bauke “Mike” de Vries and flight attendant Teresa Benhoff.
Battle lines have formed in the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) review of the $10,000 fine the FAA charged Raphael Pirker for operating a small unmanned aircraft. Six parties filed “friend of the court” amicus briefs by the NTSB’s May 16 deadline, including a coalition of major news media organizations supporting Pirker’s position.
The National Transportation Safety Board on May 13 released the findings of its Special Investigation Report on the safety of agricultural aircraft operations, which can involve flying as low as 10 feet above the ground. That kind of flying presents risks from ground-based obstacles with scant room for error.
Having lost the first round of its attempt to fine Raphael Pirker for using a flying wing to take video, the FAA plans to issue a public notice reaffirming its authority to regulate the use of small unmanned aircraft. The agency is appealing a March ruling by a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) administrative law judge rejecting the $10,000 fine.
“Humans are not naturally good at monitoring highly reliable automated cockpit systems for extended periods of time,” said NTSB member Robert Sumwalt. “And what do we have in our airplanes today…highly reliable, highly automated systems.”
The NTSB has scheduled a May 13 meeting with agricultural industry leaders and federal regulators to discuss its special investigation report on the safety of agricultural aircraft operations. The Board will announce several new safety recommendations being issued to the FAA and the National Agricultural Aviation Research & Education Foundation. The meeting begins at 2 p.m. EST at NTSB headquarters inWashington, D.C.
Business aviation’s strong accident record is no reason for operators to rest on their laurels, NTSB member Robert Sumwalt reminded attendees at the recent FSF business aviation safety summit (BASS). Sumwalt, former manager of aviation for Scana and a retired US Airways pilot, is a man obsessed with the pursuit of improving aviation safety. He reminded the audience that leadership is about influencing others. “Your job as leaders in business aviation is to make sure accidents don’t happen on your watch. You must also be constantly trying to improve. You need a leadership obsession.”