The FAA is falling behind in work to bolster air transport safety as required by the 2010 Airline Safety and FAA Extension Act, according to the Department of Transportation’s Inspector General (IG). Last week, in a letter to the FAA, the IG stated, “Effectively implementing the act’s requirements is key to improving safety in airline travel by raising standards in pilot training and performance, as well as advancing voluntary programs that yield critical safety information.”
Russia’s Interstate Aviation Committee last week cited pilot error for the September 2012 crash of an Antonov An-28 in Kamchatka that killed 10 of the 14 people aboard, according to a February 6 report in the Moscow Times. Rescuers located the aircraft on the side of a 1,600-foot hill in the Pyatibratka Mountain region. Medical examiners had announced earlier that alcohol was found in the pilots’ blood and that a criminal investigation is under way.
The International Civil Aviation Organization now offers users an easy way to find any ICAO-produced publication from its new web portal store. In addition to a complete set of all the ICAO Annex publications, users can also purchase any of the popular flight information region or emergency response guides.
The Federal Aviation Administration has given Boeing permission to conduct test flights of its 787 airliner to gather data about the performance of its lithium-ion battery and electrical system in flight.
JDA Aviation Solutions (JDA) and Group & Wang Associates (G&W) of Washington, D.C., and Beijing have allied to help aviation companies improve safety and quality management and comply with the U.S. and PRC civil aviation regulations and certification requirements.
The FAA proposed two civil penalties totaling $633,000 against Bridgeton, Mo.-based Trans States Airlines last month for alleged maintenance violations involving two Embraer ERJ145s.
In the first case, the FAA alleges Trans States improperly installed replacement radio altimeter antenna cables on two airplanes and then operated the noncompliant airplanes on 268 revenue flights. Inspectors found the new cables lying unsecured to the airframe inside each aircraft’s large aft wing-to-fuselage fairing rather than mounted to the walls. The violation would carry a fine of $322,000.
Prompted by a scathing audit report by the Transportation Department inspector general about the ineffective implementation of its wildlife hazard plans, the FAA is analyzing comments it received on three draft advisory circulars. One of the ACs is new, but the other two are revisions of existing ACs.
U.S.-registered business jets and turboprops experienced fewer nonfatal accidents in 2012 versus 2011, but N-numbered business jets incurred significantly more fatal accidents and fatalities last year than in 2011, recording the highest totals since 2008. Conversely, U.S.-registered turboprops incurred considerably fewer accidents and fatalities in the year-over-year comparison.
With the start of a new year comes time for reflection on the old year and my hopes for the new one. In aviation, the past year held many memorable moments; for a former NTSB member like myself who has been on site after many fatal crashes the best part was the continuing accident-free record for U.S. airline flights.
NBAA has warned the FAA of the “specter of additional oversight and regulation of business aircraft operations” stemming from the agency’s proposal to allow Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) oversight of aircraft cabin workplace safety issues.