Examination of wreckage from the March 12 crash of a Cougar Helicopters S-92 prompted manufacturer Sikorsky to recommend the grounding of all S-92s last Friday unless their titanium main gearbox oil bowl mounting studs had already been replaced with steel ones.
The TSA has established a stakeholder liaison position dedicated to addressing concerns about recent security measures, including the Large Aircraft Security Program proposal, a security directive that would require additional screenings for general aviation pilots at commercial airports and “Operation Playbook.” Juan Barnes has been tapped to fill the new role.
Acting FAA administrator Lynne Osmus has appointed new personnel following last year’s departure of associate administrator for aviation safety Nicolas Sabatini and director of Flight Standards Service James Ballough. Osmus appointed Peggy Gilligan the new associate administrator for aviation safety and moved John Allen from deputy director to director of Flight Standards Service.
The FAA published a revised Airworthiness Directive today for Boeing 777-200s and -300s equipped with Rolls-Royce Trent 800 engines. The new AD adds further procedures to prevent ice buildup that can clog fuel lines.
The FAA yesterday reached a settlement with Southwest Airlines that reduces the civil penalty it proposed to levy against the carrier on March 6 last year from $10.2 million to $7.5 million. The agency proposed the penalty after it found that Southwest operated 46 airplanes on 59,791 flights without performing mandatory inspections for fuselage fatigue cracking.
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.
At the conclusion of three-and-a-half days of NTSB public hearings on the safety of helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) operations early last month, Board member Robert Sumwalt summed up what several witnesses had already conceded, “There is no single magic bullet.”
Building on business aviation’s International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO) introduced in 2002, business aviation groups from around the world have developed a Safety Management System Tool Kit (SMS TK) to help operators respond to global standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
In a report titled “An Overview of Human Factors in Aviation Maintenance,” the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) concludes, “The errors of maintenance technicians are the visible manifestation of problems with roots deep in the organization. Yet until recently, maintenance personnel were overlooked by the human factors profession.
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.