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.
National Transportation Safety Board
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.”
The NTSB issued a number of recommendations on May 1–one urgent–to address the compliance and safety programs in place at and FAA oversight of operators owned by HoTH, including Hageland Aviation Services; Frontier Flying Service; and Era Aviation, which may do business as Ravn Alaska, Ravn Connect and Corvus Airlines. The Safety Board took the action in light of six recent accidents and one incident involving the carriers.
As I write, the whereabouts of the missing Boeing 777 operating as Malaysia Air Flight 370 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing remains unknown. The Prime Minister of Malaysia has announced that analysis of satellite data suggests the airplane crashed in the south Indian Ocean but no debris linked to the aircraft has been found.
In her last public talk as National Transportation Safety Board chairman on April 21, Deborah Hersman made a final pitch at the National Press Club for child safety restraints in commercial aircraft. The NTSB has been trying to convince the FAA to mandate the equipment for several decades, and Hersman used the 1979 crash of United Airlines Flight 232 in Sioux City, Iowa, to make her point. Although the accident claimed 111 lives, another 185 people on board survived. A number of small children were among the passengers that day.
The Greater Washington Business Aviation Association’s (GWBAA) 2014 safety standdown takes place May 1 at the NTSB training center in Ashburn, Va. The keynote speaker will be Greg Feith, a former member of the NTSB and an aviation safety and security expert. Planned topics include the ISBAO program, hangar safety systems and sleep apnea/fatigue.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued a number of recommendations to the FAA on April 2 related to flare cueing issues on the Boeing MD-11. The Board said the airliner made 13 hard landings between 1994 and 2010. It wants the FAA and Boeing to determine the effectiveness of new systems to assist MD-11 pilots in making timely and appropriate inputs during the landing flare. The NTSB expects to see a formal report to help determine how useful a new system might be.
National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) chairwoman Deborah Hersman announced Tuesday that she will depart the agency next month after nearly a decade of service. She was appointed to the board in 2004 by President George W. Bush and was named as chair by President Obama in 2009, serving as the agency’s face during many press conferences and hearings. She leaves to join the Illinois-based advocacy group National Safety Council, as president and CEO. Christopher Hart, currently NTSB vice chairman, will take over as acting chairman.
An administrative law judge with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) dismissed the $10,000 fine the FAA levied against Raphael Pirker for flying a small unmanned aircraft, casting doubt on the agency’s ability to regulate their commercial use.
The NTSB is engaging with the rotorcraft community to reduce accidents involving helicopters, agency chairman Deborah Hersman told Heli-Expo attendees yesterday. One of the NTSB’s “10 Most Wanted” safety recommendations for 2014 is to address the unique factors of helicopter operations, to promote industry safety.