Triggered by the loss of an Air France Airbus A330 in June 2009 in the Atlantic and compounded by the loss of a Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 in the Indian Ocean in March, representatives of ICAO member states and of the aviation industry agreed on a set of near-term priority actions and a framework for medium- and long-term objectives, at a special meeting on global aircraft tracking at ICAO in Montreal on May 14.
It’s not every airport that lists wandering herds of caribou as one of its operational hazards, but then again, not every airport is located 600 miles north of the Arctic Circle like the evocatively named Deadhorse Airport in Prudhoe Bay, on Alaska’s Northern shore. In operation since 1970 to provide service to the largest oil field in North America, the airport–believed to have been named for an old trucking company rather than an equine carcass–has for the last two decades had its aviation fuel service provided by Colville Inc.
Last week’s conference on aircraft tracking in Kuala Lumpur came just two months after the Malaysian Ministry of Communications and Multimedia requested help to determine the best methods for watching commercial aircraft in real time following the March 8 disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370. The preliminary report on the accident, issued last month, recommended that the International Civil Aviation Organization examine the safety benefits of introducing a standard for real-time tracking of commercial aircraft.
The FAA last week published guidelines detailing the prohibition of personal electronic devices such as smartphones, laptops and tablet computers, on the flight decks of Part 121 aircraft when the aircraft is in operation, unless those devices have been specifically approved for flight.
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada last week published a final report on the January 2012 crash of an Airbus Helicopters AS350B3 operated by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The pilot was killed after the engine failed while the helicopter was hovering at an altitude of 80 feet above the ground.
The pilot of a Beechcraft King Air B200 reported engine problems shortly before the aircraft crashed onto a sandbar in southwestern Uruguay on May 27. Five of the nine people on board, including the pilot, were killed. The cause has not yet been determined.
Delta Air Lines plans to establish a new pilot hiring protocol at wholly owned Minneapolis-based regional subsidiary Endeavor Air that effectively matches the standards at the mainline and guarantees every new Endeavor pilot a future hiring “commitment” at Delta without the need to go through another interview process, the airlines announced Monday.
Raphael Pirker cast a long shadow over the Unmanned Systems 2014 conference. Pirker’s challenge of an FAA fine for allegedly flying his Ritewing Zephyr recklessly at the University of Virginia came up repeatedly during the annual conference the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) stages, this year in Orlando.
Morale among industry visitors to last month’s 14th annual European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) seemed conclusively higher than it has been for much of the past half dozen or so years, blighted as they have been by a stilted recovery from the financial crisis of 2008.
As of the middle of May, the FAA had yet to determine if it will renew its mandatory VFR helicopter route along the north shore of New York’s Long Island. The controversial North Shore Route was established for voluntary compliance in 2008 as a response to residential noise complaints and political prodding from elected officials, including U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y), who pressed then Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and the FAA to make it mandatory.