Bell 206B JetRanger, Gentry, Ark., Feb. 21, 2005–An Air Evac Lifeteam JetRanger crashed shortly after takeoff while transporting a patient to a hospital in Springdale, Ark. The helicopter was substantially damaged, the patient was killed and the three crewmembers were seriously injured. The sky was clear and visibility was 10 miles.
Chelton Flight Systems this month expects to issue a software revision to operators flying with the company’s FlightLogic synthetic-vision EFIS to fix a known anomaly that the FAA has said could provide misleading guidance under certain circumstances.
Cessna Citation 550 Bravo, Bethany, Okla., May 20, 2002–Citation N13VP was substantially damaged when it hit a perimeter fence and road during a runway overrun after an aborted takeoff at the Wiley Post Airport. The ATP-rated pilot and four passengers were not injured. One passenger sustained minor injuries. VMC prevailed and an IFR flight plan was filed for the Part 91 business flight.
Spokane, Wash.-based Rocket Engineering is developing the Turbine P/Baron in parallel with the Royal Turbine Duke program. The Baron conversion, which fits two PT6A-21 turboprops and Hartzell four-blade full-feathering-reversing metal props to the light twin, costs about $700,000 (airframe additional). The company plans to have an STC in about 12 to 18 months.
Just two months after being unveiled at the NBAA Convention, the Spectrum 33 twinjet made a 10-minute first flight this past Saturday afternoon. At a light weight of 5,375 pounds, the Spectrum 33 prototype took off from Spanish Fork Airport, Utah, using about 750 feet of runway.
Bell 407, Kalispell, Mont., Nov. 2, 2006–Departing Kalispell Regional Medical Center, the EMS helicopter lost power shortly after takeoff after the flight paramedic pointed out to the pilot an engine “chip light.” The pilot turned back to the hospital helipad but had to make an emergency autorotation landing when the engine quit. The three occupants were not injured, but the tailboom was damaged.
NASA’s Langley Research Center in Virginia is addressing runway and taxiway incursion threats by testing a variety of new technologies, one of the most interesting of which is a miniature head-up display that the pilot wears on his head and positions in front of the eye.
The statistics tell the story. Over the last four years, there have been 1,475 runway-incursion incidents at controlled airports in the U.S., an average of one a day. Data from other countries are not readily available, but experts say incursions are on the rise worldwide. While the Federal Aviation Administration has focused primarily on pilot education initiatives to warn of the dangers of incursions, avionics makers have other ideas.
The European Aviation Safety Agency and the Direction Générale de l’Aviation Civile of France have issued approvals for limited use of Honeywell’s runway awareness and advisory system (RAAS) in Europe. The EASA STC covers RAAS installation on the Learjet 31, 35, 36, 55 and 60, while the French authority approved the system for the Boeing 777.
Bell 206-L1 LongRanger, Gentry, Ark., Feb. 21, 2005–The NTSB attributed the EMS accident to the pilot’s improper decision to maneuver in an environment conducive to a loss of tail-rotor effectiveness and his failure to properly execute an autorotation. The prevailing crosswind was a contributing factor.