Although the U.S. remains the gold standard in aviation safety, a sharp rise in fatalities among on-demand air charter operations last year has raised a flag with the NTSB.
National Transportation Safety Board
The FAA relented and on April 24 made its entire birdstrike database available to the public.
The National Air Disaster Alliance/Foundation (NADA/F) has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to compel Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to order the FAA to implement safety recommendations from the NTSB concerning runway safety and flight-in-icing conditions.
Steven Chealander, the public face of the NTSB during press conferences following the February 12 crash of Continental Connection Flight 3407 on approach to Buffalo Niagara International Airport, has left the safety agency and joined Airbus Americas.
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.
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.