The NTSB has confirmed talk that the Board is “about to release” a report modifying some of its findings in the October 1994 crash of an American Eagle ATR 72 near Roselawn, Ind.
National Transportation Safety Board
The NTSB has expanded its online database to include synopses of accidents occurring from 1962 to the present. Previously, data for accidents before 1983 were not available online. The site now contains the synopsis of more than 90,000 accidents, including the five years of investigations conducted by the Safety Board’s predecessor agency, the Civil Aeronautics Board, before 1967.
The ongoing investigation into the fatal midair collision between an Air Force F-16 and a privately operated Cessna 172 near Bradenton, Fla., on Nov. 16, 2000, reveals “safety issues that warrant the FAA’s attention,” said the NTSB.
“Pilots in handcuffs is what we’re talking about,” said lawyer Kenneth Quinn at the Flight Safety Foundation European Aviation Safety Seminar held recently in Bucharest, Romania. Quinn moderated a two-hour discussion of criminalization and aviation safety, an apropos discussion as the industry becomes ever more vulnerable to attack in an increasingly litigious society.
General aviation fatalities dropped 30 percent last year, to 491 from 703 in 2006, according to the NTSB. But the total number of general aviation accidents was higher, climbing to 1,631 in 2007 from 1,518 in 2006. The total number of accidents includes 20 U.S.-registered aircraft mishaps that occurred outside the U.S., its territories or possessions.
Investigations of aircraft accidents–referred to in the past as “kicking tin”–are taking a decidedly high-tech turn, and NTSB chairman Marion Blakey predicted that crash probes are going to be driven increasingly by issues involving high-tech safety systems, integrated computer programs, high-grade materials and electronically generated data and data analysis.
The Air Charter Safety Foundation (ACSF) has already reviewed the 2007 preliminary aviation safety statistics released yesterday by the NTSB and found that the data reveals there were no fatal passenger-carrying accidents involving jets flown by on-demand air charter operators or fractional providers.
Cessna 650 Citation III, Caico Seco, Venezuela, Feb. 18, 2008–Citation N385EM reportedly was cruising at FL330 when it went into a dive and crashed, killing all three occupants. The NTSB has not published a report and told AIN that it did not plan to send investigators.
The NTSB has called the FAA’s response “unacceptable” to four out of six safety recommendations addressing human fatigue and duty-time limitations. The agency issued the report to coincide with National Sleep Awareness Week.
Yesterday, the newly formed Air Charter Safety Foundation (ACSF) concluded its inaugural Air Charter Safety Symposium, which was held at the NTSB Training Center in Ashburn, Va. The goal was to host 50 to 60 attendees, according to ACSF chairman and Priester Aviation chairman and CEO Charlie Priester, but more than 110 attendees filled the auditorium at the NTSB center.