If ever there was a time for rotorcraft to prove their worth, it was during these past five weeks assisting in the relief effort for victims of the Southeast Asia tsunami.
Eclipse Aviation’s fourth conforming flight-test aircraft, N505EA, which experienced a gear-up landing on September 4 at Albuquerque International Sunport, will be repaired and back in the air by the end of October, according to a company spokesman. The two pilots on board were not injured during the accident, which Eclipse said was caused by pilot error.
Addison, Texas-based Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America, which services the more than 400 MU-2s operating outside of Japan, expressed its approval and cooperation with the FAA’s safety evaluation of the twin turboprop. Further, the company has contracted former NTSB investigator Greg Feith to assist in the review.
The NTSB is asking the FAA to require Part 121 and 135 airlines to incorporate bounced landing recovery techniques in their flight manuals and to teach these techniques during initial and recurrent training.
A new chapter in civil aviation history began yesterday when the FAA issued the first airworthiness certificate for a commercial unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), the General Atomics Altair. The UAV, a high-altitude version of the U.S. military's Predator B, is designed to perform scientific and commercial research missions. The Altair has an 86-foot wingspan, a 52,000-foot ceiling and an endurance of 30 hours.
A University of North Dakota (UND) Citation II research jet made an emergency landing near Beaver, Alaska, on September 30 after both engines flamed out at 9,200 feet msl in clouds. Unable to accomplish an airstart, pilot Paul DeHardy “maneuvered the aircraft to a successful emergency landing 70 miles north of Fairbanks, Alaska.” None of the four crewmembers, one of whom is a researcher with Sikorsky Aircraft, sustained injuries.
The NTSB recovered roughly half of the fan disk, fan blades, parts of the engine cowling and thrust reverser, the engine spinner and pieces of the fan containment case from the GE CF34-3B1 turbofan that broke apart during a January 25 revenue flight of a Mesa Airlines Bombardier CRJ200 from Denver to Phoenix.
Responding to a request by Boeing, the FAA has extended the comment deadline from today to April 16 on its proposal amending digital flight data recorder (DFDR) regulations of Parts 121 and 135 to prohibit “filtering” of signals. During several accident investigations, the NTSB found that some DFDRs were filtering signals before they were recorded.
Initial findings from German aviation authorities on the crash of a Grob Aerospace SPn Utility Jet prototype say flutter might have played a role in the Nov. 29, 2006 accident. According to a report from the manufacturer, the German Federal Bureau of Air Accident Investigation said that parts of the twinjet’s tail control surfaces were found some 1,300 feet from the impact site, indicating the aircraft shed them in flight.
The NTSB recently released its preliminary report on a Falcon 20 that crashed September 1 during takeoff after encountering numerous birds. After rotating off the runway at Ohio's Lorain County Regional Airport, at an altitude of about 15 feet the USA Jet Airlines jet (N821AA) hit "a flock of birds [coming] from both sides of the runway," which "warmed in front of the aircraft," and birds were ingested into both engines.