A FedEx MD-11 cargo aircraft crashed upon landing at Tokyo Narita International Airport early this morning, bursting into flames and killing the two American pilots. The flight originated in Guangzhou, China, and crashed at 6:49 a.m. local time in high winds. The airplane came to rest on its back after it hit the runway, bounded upward, turned over and slid several yards.
National Transportation Safety Board
A trio of helicopter trade associations–the Association of Air Medical Services, the Helicopter Association International and the Air Medical Operators Association–is recommending the FAA mandate night vision goggles, enhanced vision systems, or IFR-only operations for all night flights of EMS helicopters. The recommendations overlap many key advisories the NTSB made in 2006.
The president of helicopter supply company Sunrise Helicopter has filed a petition to revise a 2008 NTSB report that held the company partially responsible for the January 2006 crash of a Eurocopter AS 350D.
At the conclusion of four days of National Transportation Safety Board public hearings on the safety of helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) operations earlier this month, board member Robert Sumwalt summed up what several witnesses had already conceded: “There is no single magic bullet.”
The NTSB member who has served as the board’s on-scene spokesman for the investigation into the February 12 crash of a Colgan Air Q400 outside Buffalo has just announced his resignation from the board, effective at the end of this month.
A Safety Board member since January 3, 2007, Steven Chealander has accepted a position with Airbus in Miami as Airbus Americas vice president of technical training.
The NTSB’s chief administrative law judge dismissed an FAA emergency order of revocation of a New Jersey A&P’s mechanic certificate, Inspection Authorization and commercial pilot certificate following an investigation resulting from a nose-gear collapse on a 1947 Beech Bonanza. “This case is just another example of the FAA’s abuse of prosecutorial discretion,” said attorney Gregory Winton, who represented the mechanic.
The official Brazilian report on the September 2006 midair between an Embraer Legacy and a Boeing 737 is a “missed opportunity for the Brazilian aviation authorities to restore trust and safety in the national aviation system,” according to a statement by the International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers’ Associations (Ifatca).
An NTSB safety alert issued late last month urges pilots to activate leading-edge de-ice boots as soon their airplane enters icing conditions, “unless the aircraft flight manual or the pilot’s operating handbook specifically directs not to activate them.” According to NTSB acting chairman Mark Rosenker, “This Safety Alert is intended to increase the visibility of airplane icing issues and address procedures taught regarding the accumulation of
Concerned by mounting losses in emergency medical services (EMS) flights, the NTSB has added the safety of such flights to its 2009 Most Wanted List of Safety Improvements.
Due to a high number of fatal aeromedical accidents over the past year, the NTSB yesterday announced it will hold a public hearing on the safety of helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) operations. The three-day hearing will begin on February 3 at the NTSB’s headquarters in Washington, D.C.