NTSB acting chairman Mark Rosenker said the FAA’s airport movement area safety system (AMASS) is not adequate to prevent serious runway collisions. Citing several recent near-collisions at Boston and New York airports where AMASS allegedly did not perform, Rosenker noted that the situations were instead resolved by flight crew actions sometimes bordering on the heroic–and luck.
“The MU-2B turboprop does not need yet another certification review,” according to AOPA. Reacting to congressional pressure, the FAA is “rushing to fix a problem that has not even been quantified.” The issue stems from two recent accidents involving MU-2Bs at Denver Centennial Airport. That led to a demand from Colorado lawmakers that the FAA investigate the safety of the twin turboprop.
The Department of Civil Aviation of Brazil is investigating the September 16 crash of a 1997 CitationJet following an apparent loss of control during the initial takeoff climb from Rio de Janeiro International Airport, killing the two pilots on board. IMC prevailed during the positioning flight to nearby Jacarepagua Airport. The airplane, S/N 525-0175 and registered as PT-WLX, was owned by JCA Holdings e Participacoes, a Brazilian company.
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is inviting European operators to comment on its proposed operations and licensing regulations. Alexandria, Va.-based Helicopter Association International has posted a series of 15 questions on its Web site (www.rotor.com), and will coordinate operator feedback with the International Federation of Helicopter Associations (IFHA) and European Helicopter Association.
Sikorsky plans to make Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning Systems (EGPWS) standard equipment on all future production S-76s and S-92s. A Sikor-sky and Honeywell team originally developed EGPWS for helicopter applications using the S-76, and after FAA approval in 2001 it was listed as an option for the model.
Eurocopter has developed its own concept of a modular helicopter to meet what it believes are the security requirements of the new generation of EU members. A basic “green” version is equipped with mission packs for one of a wide range of airborne tasks.
A cocktail of prescription drugs was found in the body of the pilot of a King Air that crashed on April 4, 2003, at 9:35 a.m. in Leominster, Mass. The NTSB factual report, just released, revealed that post-mortem tests showed he had morphine, antidepressants desipramine and imipramine and anticonvulsant carbamazepine in his system. A combination of the drugs could cause drowsiness and lack of coordination.
Working on reducing high-frequency cabin noise produced by air passing over the fuselage skin, UK-based Ultra Electronics and QinetiQ found what a spokesman described as “a fantastic solution to the wrong problem.” After flight tests of new-generation hybrid active/passive cabin shell mounts, researchers concluded that the system works extremely well, reducing noise transmitted through the mounts by as much as 30 dBA.
Dassault plans to introduce an exceptionally quiet cabin in its new Falcon 7X business jet. The company announced at EBACE in May that it expects to create a cabin with noise levels in the 52-dB range, about four decibels less than in the Falcon 900EX. Normal cabin conversation is typically conducted in the 55- to 70-dB range.
Pilot-in-command Lowell Lawson, 67, and copilot James Robinson were killed June 13 when their King Air 200 crashed on a Part 135 positioning flight from its home base at Summerville Airport, W. Va., to pick up passengers at Greenbriar Valley Airport in Lewisburg, about 30 miles southeast. The aircraft wreckage was located about 15 miles west of Greenbriar on or near Big Mountain, where the terrain rises to more than 3,900 feet msl.