The Air Charter Association of North America (Acana) and Air Charter Safety Foundation (ACSF) have teamed to raise standards for the air charter industry, to include Part 135 and 121 operators and air charter brokers. The two associations are collaborating on the development and implementation of best practices “that will lead the air charter industry,” said Acana chairman and co-founder Scott Bickford.
Canada’s Transportation Safety Board (TSB) has found that the fatally injured pilot and sole occupant of a Gemini Helicopters Robinson R44 that crashed on Jan. 27, 2013, near Fox Creek, Alberta, after an in-flight break-up “was under the influence of alcohol” and made “inappropriate control inputs that caused the main rotor blade to make contact with the fuselage.” The TSB also noted the failure of the R44’s emergency locator transmitter in the final report.
The NTSB’s preliminary report, issued last week, on the June 18 crash of an Israel Aerospace Industries Westwind II at Huntsville International Airport in Alabama revealed few clues about what caused the aircraft to bank steeply to the right just after takeoff and crash into an open field near the airport.
The helicopter industry in Asia has taken a first step toward tackling unfavorable safety statistics in the region with the creation of the Asean helicopter safety team (AHEST). The new group, representing the 10 countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and China, held its inaugural steering committee meeting last month. Airbus Helicopters Southeast Asia hosted the gathering in Singapore, attended by 15 participants representing manufacturers, operators, regulators and customers.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) last week denied a 2013 petition to re-examine the causes of the July 1996 accident in which TWA Flight 800 exploded and crashed into the Atlantic Ocean soon after takeoff from New York John F. Kennedy International Airport. A group called The TWA 800 Project filed the petition, claiming that a “detonation or high-velocity explosion” (possibly a missile) brought down the Boeing 747.
The FAA last month released Safety Info for Operators document 14009 to explain a new data-gathering system on implementation of safety enhancements to Part 121 air carriers. The informational notice says all data gathered is only for the evaluation of industry-wide safety-related issues and is not intended to reflect regulatory compliance.
The FAA published the document as part of its support for the Commercial Aviation Safety Team (Cast), of which the agency is a participant along with air carriers, manufacturers and aviation labor organizations.
A Fokker 50 freighter bound for Mogadishu, Somalia, crashed July 2 shortly after takeoff from Runway 6 at Nairobi-Jomo Kenyatta Airport in Kenya. The twin turboprop came down in a residential area just over a mile northeast of the airport at approximately 4:15 a.m. All four crewmembers on board were killed in the accident. No casualties were reported on the ground. The aircraft was believed to have been carrying a narcotic plant called Khat.
A preliminary report into a February 20 elevator disconnect incident on a Virgin Australia ATR 72 showed that maintenance technicians at Sydney Airport initially misdiagnosed the extent of the damage that occurred during that February arrival. The twin turboprop was later cleared to re-enter service and flew 13 more trips before severe damage to the tail was discovered in the area where the horizontal and vertical stabilizers were joined.
The European Commission is conducting a user survey of an aviation safety initiative focused on possibly revising EC regulation 216/2008 related to common civil aviation rules and the role of the European Aviation Safety Agency. This online survey asks for informed opinions and suggestions to help identify strengths and weaknesses in the current EU aviation safety system, as well as possibilities for improving safety, competitiveness, environmental protection and the quality of air services.
The FAA used International Civil Aviation Organization standards during a recent inspection to determine that Serbia’s aviation safety rating should be upgraded to Category 1 from Category 2. Serbia’s safety rating had been at Category 2 since 2006, indicating the country either lacked laws or regulations to oversee air carriers in accordance with minimum international standards, or that its civil aviation authority was deficient in one or more areas, such as technical expertise, trained personnel, record-keeping or inspection procedures.