The National Business Aviation Association presents Pilot Flying Safety Awards each year to member company pilots who have exemplary safety records. To be eligible for an award, a pilot must have flown corporate aircraft 1,500 hours without an accident, but the actual number of safe hours flown by many of the 2012 top pilots are above 20,000 hours.
The NBAA Corporate Business Flying Safety Awards have been awarded to a number of member companies, the oldest of which, Exxon Mobil, has flown 270,884 safe hours over the past 81 years. AIN spoke with James Johnson at top company ExxonMobil to find out more about its operations and its safety successes.
A Lao Airlines ATR 72-600 crashed in southern Laos near the Champasak provincial capital of Pakse on Wednesday. According to a statement issued by ATR, the airplane took off from the capital city Vientiane and crashed into the Mekong river. Reports from the official Laos news agency indicate the airplane hit the water some five miles short of its destination, Pakse International Airport.
The Pilatus PC-12/47E is the subject of a new FAA Airworthiness Directive that describes the unsafe condition as common grounding of both the pilot primary flight display (PFD) and the electronic standby instrument system (ESIS). If the common ground fails, both navigation systems could fail simultaneously, which could result in loss of control.
At Capitol Hill on Thursday, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (Natca) was joined by NBAA, ALPA, GAMA, NATA, HAI and Professional Aviation Safety Specialists (Pass) in a rally against the government shutdown. Heavy rain, as well as Capitol security, dampened attendance to about 150 people, who were supplied by Natca with matching signage and shirts.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has concluded that the improper installation of a fuselage crown skin panel during the manufacturing process was the probable cause of substantial damage to a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 during a rapid decompression incident in April 2011.
The FAA has upgraded Ukraine’s safety rating from Category 2 to Category 1 following an international aviation safety assessment of the country’s civil aviation authority in July. A Category 1 rating means Ukraine now complies with the highest level of ICAO safety standards and its air carriers can add flights and service to the U.S.. With the Category 2 rating, Ukrainian airlines were allowed to maintain existing service to the U.S. but could not establish new services.
In fact, no Ukrainian carrier currently provides service to the U.S.
Civil Air Navigation Services Organization (Canso) director general Jeff Poole has laid out proposals to transform air traffic management (ATM) performance in Africa. Speaking at a Canso conference in Abuja, Nigeria, on October 8, Poole highlighted two broad areas of focus in the region: improving runway safety and creating a world-class ATM system that allows aircraft to fly safely across African state borders seamlessly.
The U.S. government shutdown could have “grave repercussions on the [ATC] system,” Paul Rinaldi, president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (Natca), told an October 10 rally. “The furlough of thousands of aviation safety professionals is eliminating critical layers of redundancy and safety that keep the system operating safely and efficiently. The shutdown has also interrupted the flow of hiring, training and innovation,” he said.
The pilot of a helicopter operated by Panther Helicopters of Belle Chasse, La., was killed on October 9 when the aircraft he was flying crashed shortly after departing an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. Two of the three other people aboard were injured and flown to the LSU Medical Center in New Orleans for treatment. The type of helicopter involved and the circumstances of the crash were not known as of press time.