One of the top priorities for the NBAA safety committee is to help pilots better understand the airport environment at unfamiliar landing locations. To assist cockpit crews, the safety committee recently rolled out a prototype of a new airport safety assessment tool to quantify airport risks around the world. The airport audit tool currently takes the form of a seven-page safety checklist for crews to use before their first arrival.
In response to the apparent shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) denied even the possibility that any airline risks the safety of its passengers, crew and aircraft for the sake of saving fuel by taking the most direct flight routings. “Airlines depend on governments and ATC authorities to advise which airspace is available for flight and they plan within those limits,” said IATA director general and CEO Tony Tyler on July 18.
A team of ICAO investigators is expected to be dispatched this week to assist in the search for what brought down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine on July 17. The Ukraine government officially requested the Montreal aviation organization’s help on July 18. Under ICAO’s Annex 13, the country where the accident happens is primarily responsible for conducting the investigation, unless, as in this case, that country requests additional assistance.
[Updated: 10.35 a.m. EDT, Friday, July 18]
This month marks a milestone for NASA’s Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS), the 35th anniversary of its monthly safety bulletin, Callback. Capt. Rex Hardy, a decorated U.S. naval aviator and test pilot, created the publication in 1979. His vision of a short, readable and informal format to present “lessons learned” (selected from the thousands of anonymous ASRS submissions by flight crews, air traffic controllers, mechanics and others) was an immediate success. Yesterday, current editor Don Purdy published Callback issue number 414.
Malaysian Airlines has confirmed that one of its Boeing 777s has crashed in eastern Ukraine, about 31 miles from the border with Russia. Flight MH17 was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur with 280 passengers and 15 crew on board. According to Ukrainian air traffic controllers, they lost contact with the aircraft at around 14.15 UTC almost 20 miles from the waypoint at Tamak.
DRS Technologies, part of the Finmeccanica group (Outside Exhibit 1), is promoting a flight data recorder that deploys upon impact in the event of a crash. The system has been used for many years in military aircraft and helicopters operating in the offshore industry, and has been put to the test many times. The need for a system for commercial aircraft that can be easily and quickly recovered has been brought into sharp focus following the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in March.
Israel’s Elbit Systems (Hall 1 Stand C14) and Nicarnica Aviation of Norway signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) at the Farnborough International Airshow yesterday to implement Nicarnica’s volcanic ash detection technology into Elbit’s enhanced vision system (EVS) cameras on commercial aircraft. The combination will help pilots avoid flying into contaminated areas while still maintaining safe operation in areas affected by volcanic eruptions.
The UK Parliament’s transport committee has released a report on offshore helicopter safety that indicates passenger culture can be intimidating and crash survivors feel uncomfortable about their relationship with investigators. The report touches on “troubling evidence about a macho bullying culture,” with reports that offshore workers concerned about helicopter safety were told they should leave the industry.
The NTSB says the probable cause of a Beechjet 400 overrun accident in September 2012 at Macon, Ga., was the pilot’s failure to maintain proper airspeed on final approach. Two of the three people on board received minor injuries. The aircraft touched down on a wet runway “at a speed 15 to 19 knots above the calculated Vref speed (based on radar data) of 108 knots with inadequate runway remaining to stop,” the final report said.