The pilot’s decision to rapidly maneuver the helicopter at a high density altitude near steeply sloping terrain was the cause of a fatal air-tour helicopter crash on Aug. 10, 2001, according to the NTSB’s final report. The pilot and five passengers were killed and one passenger was seriously injured when the Papillon Airways AS 350 hit terrain during an uncontrolled descent near Meadview, Ariz.
The S-92 medium-twin helicopter has become the first rotorcraft to be certified by the new European Aviation Safety Agency. Transport Canada certification is expected later this year summer and full icing certification later this year.
The National Air Transportation Association expressed relief with the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to propose a 12-month delay–until August 17 next year–for FBOs to submit amended oil-spill-prevention plans, and Feb. 18, 2006, for FBOs to implement the plans. Comments on the proposal, due by July 7, are expected to be overwhelmingly in favor of the delay. Initial compliance is scheduled for next month.
A 25-year-old Illinois man jumped to his death from a Papillon Airways Bell 206L while in cruise flight over the Grand Canyon on June 10. According to Papillon, the passenger called on June 9 and requested a window seat on a tour flight. A window seat wasn’t available, so the passenger called back the next day (June 10) and was told that he could get a window seat.
Deborah Hersman, sworn in last month as a member of the NTSB, has minimal aviation experience compared with the extensive background of John Goglia, the Safety Board member she replaced (see page 74). For the last five years and before joining
The Air Line Pilots Association welcomed the NTSB’s findings of pilot fatigue and color blindness as factors in the crash of the FedEx 727, but didn’t believe the Safety Board went far enough in its investigation.
Commercial pilots with color-vision-deficiency waivers might face stricter screening in the future. Based on its recently completed investigation into a FedEx Boeing 727 that crashed short during an approach to Tallahassee Regional Airport, Fla., on July 26, 2002, the NTSB doesn’t believe that the FAA’s current certification standards are appropriate for detecting serious color-vision deficiencies.
John Goglia, a former member of the NTSB and an outspoken critic of the effects of poor maintenance on safety, has joined the Professional Aviation Maintenance Association (PAMA) as senior v-p of government and technical programs. Goglia was not reappointed to the NTSB last month after nine years with the agency.
Angel Flight Northeast, one of six regional divisions of the national volunteer-pilot program, recently signed an agreement with the Homeland Security Department to join Mercy Medical Airlift (MMA) as a participant in the Homeland Security Emergency Air Transportation System (HSEATS). The MMA developed and administers the volunteer-pilot HSEATS program, which grew out of the outpouring of volunteer-pilot offerings immediately after 9/11.
Banking and oil heir Michael Huffington, who is suing Bombardier over a Global Express he first ordered in 1995 and later rejected after he learned the aircraft had been struck by lightning, has produced a consultant’s report hoping to bolster his lawsuit against Bombardier. That report claims that the GEX is far more likely to be hit by lightning and suffer serious damage than its competitors. Bombardier disputes the report.