The National Transportation Safety Board issued four safety recommendations after its investigation into the January 27, 2009 loss-of-control crash of an Empire Airlines ATR 42-320 at Lubbock Airport (LBB), Texas. The NTSB said the flight crew failed to monitor and maintain a safe airspeed during an approach in icing conditions.
In its final report into the loss of an Air France Airbus A330 over the South Atlantic on June 1, 2009, French air accident investigation agency BEA (Bureau d’Enquetes et d’Analyses) has managed to explain most–but not all–of the pitch-up inputs by the pilot who was flying the aircraft at the time of the accident during the last minutes of Air France Flight 447.
France’s aviation accident investigation bureau (BEA) released its final report on the June 1, 2009 Air France Flight 447 Airbus A330 accident today.
A recent Aviation Maintenance Alerts published by the FAA highlights a problem that should never, ever come up in aerospace: a design that allows mechanics to install something opposite the way intended. In this case, according to AC 43-16A No. 407, mechanics installed the elevators on a Piaggio P.180 Avanti upside down. After doing so, the mechanics were even able to rig the elevators according to the aircraft maintenance manual (AMM) instructions. Although installed upside down, the twin-turboprop was able to fly, and it did. According to the FAA’s Alerts, “During flight, this reversed elevator installation greatly influenced elevator trim authority—additionally causing the airplane yoke to be in a noticeably different longitudinal position.” The Alerts goes on to note that Piaggio has added a note to the AMM, warning mechanics about this potential problem. The FAA added, “A very simple way to ensure the correct elevator is installed on the proper side is to verify the location of the static wicks—they must be on the upper surface of the elevator.”
What makes the T-6 series a better trainer than the old airplanes is that it is designed to help new pilots make a faster transition into jets. The PT6 engine has a power management unit (PMU) that makes it respond more like a jet engine than a turboprop; hopefully the only difference is that T-6 pilots still need to step on the right rudder during takeoff, although rudder trim is available and easily accessible on the Hotas. Naturally the HUD helps with the transition to jets, too, as does the modern avionics suite.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau has found the two pilots of a QantasLink Bombardier Dash 8-300 to be primarily responsible for an unstabilized approach that activated the twin turboprop’s stick shaker on final approach to Runway 16 Left at Sydney Airport [YSSY] in New South Wales in March 2011. The Bureau said both pilots got behind the required checklist duties for configuring the aircraft before commencing the approach.
The FAA this week opened a new website offering a parent toolkit that promotes the idea that kids on airplanes belong buckled into an approved child safety seat, not sitting on their parent’s lap.
Reports about the 2009 Air France Flight 447 accident released last summer by the French safety board (BEA) said the three experienced Airbus A330 pilots were unable to recognize they were operating at a too high angle of attack to sustain flight.
Safe Flight Instrument announced last month that its AutoPower autothrottle has been approved as an STC by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration for installation on the Hawker Beechcraft Hawker 900, 850, 800 and 750 jets. AutoPower will also be STCed for Cessna’s Citation X this summer by the Cessna Wichita Citation Service Center and will be offered as a retrofit on all Citation Xs.