The FAA has issued a Safety Alert For Operators (SAFO) regarding the functional testing of helicopter hydraulic systems before flight. According to FAA accident investigators, some operators are not testing the helicopter hydraulic systems in accordance with the rotorcraft flight manual (RFM) or published and approved guidelines.
A Fokker 100 flown by Air France subsidiary Régional Compagnie Aérienne Européenne crashed immediately after takeoff on January 25 in Pau, southwest France. All four crewmembers and 50 passengers in the 100-seat jet evacuated safely, but one person on the ground was killed. The accident occurred at 11:28 a.m. local time, as the aircraft was departing for Paris Charles de Gaulle airport.
Following last year’s NTSB recommendation that turbine-powered helicopters carry terrain awareness and warning systems (TAWS), Air Logistics has decided to upgrade its newer medium and heavy twin-engine helicopters operating in the Gulf of Mexico with Honeywell’s enhanced ground proximity warning system (EGPWS).
The Swiss Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau blamed insufficient pilot proficiency and repeated interference of a passenger occupying the cockpit right seat as the main causes of the crash of a Spanish Citation I/SP near Zurich Airport in April 2003. In the final report on the accident, examiners emphasized that a pilot flying a fast aircraft single-pilot must be particularly rigorous and systematic in structuring flight procedures.
After a Hendrick Motorsports King Air 200 crashed into Bull Mountain on Oct. 24, 2004, while attempting a missed approach at Martinsville/Blue Ridge Airport in Virginia, Nascar race team flight departments took a fresh look at the safety of their operations.
Manufacturers of very light jets (VLJs) will be affected by new Advisory Circular 23.1419-2D, which provides guidance in meeting Part 23 requirements for obtaining approval to fly into icing conditions. Comments on a draft of the circular are due by March 6. The advisory will supersede all previous policies related to ice-protection systems on Part 23 airplanes, as well as an advisory circular on contaminated-tailplane stalls.
The NTSB said that after an uncontrolled descent incident involving King Air B200 N777AJ, a test of the oxygen system showed it worked. The crew told the Safety Board they were unable to obtain oxygen after depressurizing the aircraft when they noticed cracking of the windshield. The crew became unconscious and the airplane descended from FL 270 to below 10,000 feet before they recovered and regained control of the aircraft.
Germany’s Federal Bureau of Air Accident Investigation (BFU) has provided some initial findings from its inquiry into the crash of Grob Aerospace’s second SPn jet prototype on November 29 last year. The early conclusions show that the investigators now have a fairly clear idea of how the accident happened, but they are not yet completely sure why it happened.
One of three crewmembers was injured when their Challenger SE (special edition corporate version of the CRJ200 regional jet) crashed and burned February 13 while attempting to take off in a snowstorm from Moscow’s Vnukovo Airport on a ferry flight to Berlin for engine repairs. Moscow-based Fort Aero operated the aircraft, carrying U.S. registration N168CK.
Responding to a request from Boeing, the FAA has extended the comment deadline from February 13 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.