Jet Aviation Dubai recently redelivered its first successful controller pilot datalink communications and automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast out upgrade on a Gulfstream G550 for an undisclosed customer in the region. “This particular upgrade was technologically challenging and logistically complicated,” said Wajahat Ali Khan, director of safety and maintenance at Jet Aviation Dubai.
Helicopter EMS operator Mont-Blanc Hélicoptères (MBH), a defeated bidder in a recent tender by a group of hospitals in central France, is suing the group on technical grounds, alleging some of the requirements are irrelevant. In particular, the stipulation for an autopilot compromises safety, according to MBH managing director Yannick Métairie, who dismisses the autopilot as a “hazardous” system.
President Obama has nominated NTSB vice-chairman Christopher Hart to become chairman of the Board. The position was vacated when former chair Deborah Hersman left the NTSB on April 25, at which time Hart became acting chairman.
The NTSB last week distributed 27 safety recommendations before issuing its findings on the probable cause of the July 6, 2013 crash of an Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 just short of Runway 28L at San Francisco International Airport.
The U.S. Helicopter Safety Team warned rotorcraft pilots to be extra cautious while flying next month because July typically sees more fatal accidents than any other month of the year, usually three or four accidents, representing approximately 13 percent of the annual total. The industry normally records approximately 20 fatal accidents during the rest of the year. The helicopter safety team believes the reasons for these July accidents vary, although the following three primary causes appear to stand out: collisions with wires or trees, mechanical problems and poor weather.
Canada’s Transportation Safety Board (TSB) said in a June 20 report that it was unable to determine the reason why a de Havilland Canada DHC-6-300 Twin Otter operated by Kenn Borek Air flew into terrain on January 23 last year during a VFR flight from South Pole Station to Terra Nova Bay. All three people on board perished in the crash. The flight was initially considered overdue after the crew failed to make a required position report.
A female passenger died and three flight attendants were injured on June 24 when unidentified gunmen fired on a Pakistan International Airlines Airbus A310 flying at approximately 5,000 feet and carrying 170 passengers. Reports say between four and eight bullets pierced the aircraft’s cabin as it overflew Badhber in the Peshawar region on approach to the local airport.
Asiana Airlines released a statement on June 24 closely following the NTSB’s finding of probable cause for the July 6, 2013 crash of Flight 214 at San Francisco International Airport. The South Korean airline said, “The NTSB made four training recommendations to Asiana, all of which Asiana has already implemented. We believe the NTSB has properly recognized the multiple factors that contributed to the accident, including the complexities of the autothrottle and autopilot systems, which the agency found were inadequately described by Boeing in its training and operational manuals.”
French air traffic controllers called off their work stoppages three days early on June 25 just as Belgian controllers launched a series of two-hour strikes that ran through June 26. The Association of European Airlines said in a statement, “The reason for this social unrest is linked to the self-interest of the unions, which refuse to accept much needed efficiency improvements to their working practices.” Nearly 400 flights in Europe were affected by the strikes on Wednesday alone.
Two pilots of a Boeing 757 were reported to be temporarily blinded on June 25 as their cockpit was hit with a green laser while the aircraft was descending into Omsk in southern Siberia. The pilots believed the laser was aimed upward from a city street about three miles from the airport. The aircraft landed safely, with no permanent injuries to anyone aboard.