The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is engaging with the rotorcraft community to reduce accidents involving helicopters, NTSB chairman Deborah Hersman told attendees at the second-day general session here at Heli-Expo.
National Transportation Safety Board
National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) vice chairman Christopher Hart and a panel of industry and government experts shared “lessons learned from helicopter accidents” at a wide-ranging panel discussion at Heli-Expo yesterday. Topics discussed included maintenance, simulation and training and the advantages on-board video and data recorders provide in accident investigations.
Fresh pressure is being placed on the FAA to revise and finalize its 2010 notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that would mandate the installation of helicopter terrain avoidance and warning systems (HTAWS) and radar altimeters on all U.S. emergency medical service (EMS) helicopters. The NPRM drew a firestorm of criticism from affected stakeholders for favoring high-cost solutions over less expensive, and some argued, more effective safety technology such as night-vision goggles (NVGs).
Incorrect data in aviation records is serious in the extreme. Aviation depends on data entry to record everything from student pilot training to air carrier compliance with airworthiness directives to scores of information on every aspect of defeating gravity safely. For that reason, air safety relies in large part on records, the accuracy of which is critical.
The number of fatal accidents involving turbine-powered business airplanes worldwide in the first nine months of this year held steady with the tally for the same period last year, although the number of people killed in U.S.-registered business jets dropped in the most recent nine months, according to preliminary figures compiled by AIN. For N-numbered business jets, 13 people were killed in four crashes in the first nine months of this year compared with 17 killed, also in four accidents, during the same period last year. All these accidents befell Part 91 operations.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) plans to convene a two-day investigative hearing on December 10 and 11 to discuss the ongoing investigation of the crash of an Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 at San Francisco International Airport last July. The meeting will focus on pilot awareness in highly automated aircraft, emergency response and cabin safety.
NTSB chairman Deborah Hersman and vice chairman Christopher Hart have been renominated by the White House to new terms as members of the agency. In addition, the Obama Administration has also nominated Hersman to her third term as chairman.
Bombardier’s annual Safety Standdown, organized by the manufacturer’s business aviation flight operations team, begins in Wichita on September 30. The standdown is designed to foster a safety culture through better communication. Military aviation uses the standdown concept–essentially grounding a particular squadron or fleet–when a significant high-risk safety issue emerges.
The NTSB will offer a two-day training seminar on October 24-25 about the most effective methods of managing emergency communications following a major aircraft accident or incident. The training, aimed at aviation communication professionals from airports, airlines, charter and private business jet operators, will take place at the NTSB’s Training Center in Ashburn, Va. (near Washington, D.C.).
The U.S. business jet fleet worldwide recorded significantly fewer nonfatal accidents and fatalities in the first six months of this year compared with the same period last year. According to figures compiled by AIN, N-numbered business jets incurred seven accidents in the first half of this year versus 22 during the same time last year.