Denying it is re-evaluating safety aspects of the Mitsubishi MU-2 in response to requests by several Colorado legislators, the FAA said its investigation is the result of a “recent increase in the accident rate” of the turboprop twin. The latest accident, which killed the sole-occupant pilot, occurred on August 4 while the aircraft was on an IFR approach to Centennial Airport, Colo.
A 757 crew did not get the response they expected when they declared an “emergency” instead of “mayday.” According to an incident filed with NASA’s Aviation Safety Reporting System, the crew found that the word “emergency” didn’t get the desired results outside U.S. airspace. The crew diverted to an airport in South America and declared an emergency, but the non-English-speaking controllers didn’t recognize what that meant.
Deborah Hersman, sworn in last month as a member of the NTSB, has minimal aviation experience compared with the extensive background of John Goglia, the Safety Board member she replaced (see page 74). For the last five years and before joining
Commercial pilots with color-vision-deficiency waivers might face stricter screening in the future. Based on its recently completed investigation into a FedEx Boeing 727 that crashed short during an approach to Tallahassee Regional Airport, Fla., on July 26, 2002, the NTSB doesn’t believe that the FAA’s current certification standards are appropriate for detecting serious color-vision deficiencies.
John Goglia, a former member of the NTSB and an outspoken critic of the effects of poor maintenance on safety, has joined the Professional Aviation Maintenance Association (PAMA) as senior v-p of government and technical programs. Goglia was not reappointed to the NTSB last month after nine years with the agency.
The NTSB has recommended that the FAA issue a regulation similar to FAR 119.39 to apply to applicants for a Part 145 repair station certificate. The intent is for the FAA to prevent individuals who have been associated with a previously revoked repair station from continuing to operate through a new repair station.
Although the FAA warned business jet operators that there was no way it could extend a January 1 deadline for installation of emergency locator transmitters (ELTs), the agency apparently did not make an effort to enforce the rule after hundreds failed to comply on time.
To anyone who hit the silk more than 30 years ago, the name Switlik Parachute is well known as a preeminent maker of the lifesaving devices. Founded in 1920, Switlik Parachute is still in business in Trenton, N.J. But old habits die hard, and the company whose name still ends with “Parachute” actually hasn’t made one since 1968.
Within 6 Months
March 30, 2007: Mode-S Elementary (ELS) and Enhanced (EHS) Surveillance
Mode-S elementary (ELS) and enhanced (EHS) surveillance, including eight data downlinks, is scheduled for mandatory phasing in in European airspace by March 30, 2007, starting first in France, Germany and the UK (www.eurocontrol.int/mode_s/).
The number of accidents in all segments of civil aviation last year was less than in 2005, according to the NTSB, with general aviation recording the lowest number of accidents in the 40 years of record keeping. Major airlines continued to have the lowest accident rates in civil aviation. The number of air-taxi accidents has been steadily decreasing over the past 10 years, while the hours flown by these air carriers has increased steadily.