Eurocopter EC 120B, Gulf of Mexico, La., Feb. 12, 2007–The commercial pilot and his passenger were killed and the Era Helicopters EC 120B substantially damaged when it crashed into an offshore oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico. The pilot had announced on the radio that he was approaching for a landing. Personnel on the platform heard the helicopter approach and then felt the platform shake.
Piaggio Avanti, Eagle, Colo., Jan. 15, 2007–Landing at Eagle County Regional Airport, the ATP-certified pilot of Piaggio N17PA reduced power, but before going into reverse, the airplane swerved. The pilot applied rudder, but the right tire blew out and he lost directional control. The Avanti veered off the right side of the runway and hit a snow bank, crushing the left wingtip and fracturing the canard surface.
Embraer E170, Cleveland, Ohio, Feb. 18, 2007–The Shuttle America Embraer was substantially damaged when it hit a localizer antenna and a fence after overrunning snow-covered Runway 28 when landing at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. The 74 people on board, including the captain, first officer and two flight attendants, were not injured.
Socata TBM 700, North Dartmouth, Mass., Feb. 2, 2007–Making an IFR missed approach to New Bedford Regional Airport (EWB) in Massachusetts at night, TBM N944CA crashed in Dartmouth, one mile west of the airport, killing all three people on board.
Raytheon Beech King Air 200, Belgrade, Mont., Feb. 6, 2007–The EMS flight was on an IFR flight plan, en route to Gallatin Field, Belgrade, to pick up a patient. BZN was VFR and the pilot requested a visual approach to Runway 12. After he was cleared for the approach, ATC lost contact.
Bombardier Learjet 35A, Columbus, Ohio, Jan. 10, 2007–Descending through FL200, the captain of the Airnet Systems cargo flight intentionally attempted an aileron roll and lost control. The Learjet “oversped,” said the captain, producing “excessive g loads.” The airplane recovered, but there was substantial damage
Using a new Web-based tool, operators who typically fly below Class A airspace can now obtain icing forecasts up to 12 hours in advance of their flight. The FAA tool provides a color weather map and a flight route display of icing potential from 3,000 to 18,000 feet. The user can select forecast times from three-, six-, nine-, and 12-hour intervals to help plan their routes.
Citing insufficient evidence, an NTSB law judge dismissed FAA allegations that charter operator Air East did not comply with several ADs and that some personnel were not properly qualified. The charges precipitated an emergency revocation of Air East’s Part 135 certificate on March 8, grounding the Farmingdale, N.Y. charter operator.
The accident picture in the first quarter of this year compared with the same period last year showed mixed results, according to statistics compiled by Robert E. Breiling Associates of Boca Raton, Fla. There were two fatal accidents involving jet operations in the first three months of last year, compared with no fatal accidents in the January-through-March timeframe this year.
The family of the late Missouri Gov. Mel Carnahan–who died in the October 2000 crash of a Cessna 335 along with an aide and his son, Randy, who was at the controls–has asked that a trial be held to consider punitive damages. A jury previously ordered the manufacturer of the aircraft’s vacuum pumps to pay the family $4 million, but the judge reduced the amount to $2.4 million.