Two days after the FAA cleared Boeing to fly 787 test missions over unpopulated areas, the company took prototype ZA005 on an “uneventful” flight over Washington state on Saturday. During the two-hour, 19-minute flight, 13 Boeing pilots and flight-test personnel used special equipment to observe and record details of the performance of the main and APU batteries during normal flight conditions.
National Transportation Safety Board
In a February 7 news conference, NTSB chairman Deborah Hersman explained the latest findings on the battery problem that resulted in the grounding of the Boeing 787 fleet three weeks ago.
The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board has determined that several assumptions used in the Federal Aviation Administration’s application of nine special conditions in the certification of the lithium-ion battery system on the Boeing 787 proved incorrect, NTSB chairman Deborah Hersmann revealed Thursday during a media briefing at the board’s headquarters in Washington,
U.S.-registered business jets and turboprops experienced fewer nonfatal accidents in 2012 versus 2011, but N-numbered business jets incurred significantly more fatal accidents and fatalities last year than in 2011, recording the highest totals since 2008. Conversely, U.S.-registered turboprops incurred considerably fewer accidents and fatalities in the year-over-year comparison.
With the start of a new year comes time for reflection on the old year and my hopes for the new one. In aviation, the past year held many memorable moments; for a former NTSB member like myself who has been on site after many fatal crashes the best part was the continuing accident-free record for U.S. airline flights.
The damaged lithium-ion APU battery from the Japan Air Lines Boeing 787 that caught fire on January 7 while parked at Boston’s Logan Airport experienced an uncontrolled chemical reaction known as a “thermal runway” and short circuiting, but the cause and sequence of these events are still unknown, according to the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
In a report released Thursday, the NTSB reported that no lives were lost in U.S. airline accidents in 2011. The total number of deaths in aviation did rise, however, with most of those occurring in general aviation, where the number grew to 491 in 2011 from 476 the year before.
Aviation alphabet groups praised the appointment of Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ) to serve as the new chairman of the aviation subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure during the 113th Congress. The subcommittee has jurisdiction over civil aviation in the U.S., including most aspects of the FAA, TSA and NTSB.
Clearwater, Fla.-based fractional provider Avantair restarted operations on November 9, following a nearly three-week voluntary grounding of its approximately 60 Piaggio Avantis. The voluntary grounding was precipitated by a July 28 incident in which an Avantair-operated Avanti shed an elevator in flight and flew two subsequent legs before the crew noticed that the control surface was missing. “The Piaggio continued to fly normally for a few reasons, including its dual elevators, forward canards and high wings,” according to Avantair CEO Steve Santo.
The National Transportation Safety Board’s chairman Deborah Hersman and her fellow board members released the 2013 Most Wanted List of safety recommendations November 14 because, according to Hersman, “Transportation will be a big topic in the 113th Congress…We want to highlight our priorities and help assure safety has a seat at the table.” This year’s list includes an increased focus on improving airport surface safety, better detection of fires in all transportation modes and a continued look at the stubbornly st