Contrary to a popular misconception, most aircraft accidents are survivable. This fact has been documented by the NTSB, which analyzed Part 121 accidents in the U.S. between 1983 and 2000 involving at least one fatality or serious injury in which aircraft were substantially damaged. In the 568 such mishaps studied by the Board, 95.7 percent of the accident aircraft occupants lived.
Since the EPA crackdown on dumping sumped fuel on airport ramp surfaces, draining fuel has become a problem for aircraft operators. In some cases, the inconvenience has compromised safety, since some pilots skip this portion of the preflight examination or pour possibly contaminated fuel back into the tanks of the aircraft.
Back in June, the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) expressed relief with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision to propose a 12-month delay–until August 17 next year–for FBOs to submit amended oil-spill-prevention plans, and until Feb. 18, 2006, for FBOs to implement the plans.
The patient was killed and the three crewmembers injured when their Air Evac Lifeteam Bell 206 crashed April 20 about 30 miles northeast of Evansville, Ind. According to an FAA preliminary report, the engine quit in flight. It was not immediately known if weather, described as good visibility under an overcast, was a factor in the accident. Air Evac Lifeteam is based in West Plains, Mo., and currently has 39 bases in 12 states.
In a deal valued at more than $230 million, Bell has started to deliver 26 Bell 412EP medium twins and associated equipment to Pakistan. The OEM, which delivered nine of the aircraft during June, will hand over the rest during the next 10 months. The helicopters will be used primarily for personnel transport, emergency medical service and disaster relief.
At press time, Boeing was close to concluding a deal in which it will be selling its business-jet finance division. Boeing hopes to announce the buyer at its board meeting on May 3. The business, currently under the direction of Louis Seno, is expected to remain headquartered in Broomfield Hills, Mich. Financing for new BBJ transactions will stay with Boeing, but will be handled by the company’s offices in Renton, Wash.
Photos surface on the Internet occasionally that are too strong just to file away. The story these pictures tell is the collision on January 16 this year between a Beech Baron B55 and a Cessna 180K near Tehachapi, Calif. (NTSB ID LAX04 FA095A/B). The Baron pilot, cruise-climbing between 5,500 and 6,500 feet at the moment of impact with the Cessna’s right landing gear, survived the collision and was able to put down on a dirt strip.
Allied Capital, a Washington, D.C.-based business development firm, last month finalized a complex, controversial $81 million deal (including closing costs) to acquire the Mercury Air Centers (FBO) division of Los Angeles-based Mercury Air Group.
In one of its longest investigations into a general aviation accident, the NTSB released its final report last month on the Oct. 10, 2000, crash of a Canadian-registered Bombardier Challenger 604 during a manufacturer’s test flight at Wichita Mid-Continent Airport. The two pilots and flight engineer died as a result of injuries sustained from the accident.
Three Italian aviation officials and an air traffic controller have been sentenced to jail terms of between six and eight years after being convicted of manslaughter and negligence over the Oct. 8, 2001, fatal collision between a Cessna Citation CJ2 and a Scandinavian Airlines System McDonnell Douglas MD-87 at Milan Linate Airport.