An administrative law judge with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) dismissed the $10,000 fine the FAA levied against Raphael Pirker for flying a small unmanned aircraft, casting doubt on the agency’s ability to regulate their commercial use.
Aviation accidents and incidents
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) report on the August 2012 runway overrun at St. John’s, Newfoundland, involving a Russian Ilyushin Il-76TD found a number of actions that culminated with the 140-ton aircraft rolling off the end of the airport’s 8,500-foot Runway 11. Despite the use of maximum reverse thrust, the aircraft departed the hard surface at approximately 40 knots and came to a stop 640 feet beyond the end of the runway. No injuries were reported to any of the 10 people on board.
Troubled by an increase in the number of helicopter accidents in the last several years, the FAA has launched the Rotorcraft Safety Initiative (RSI), an effort to curb helicopter fatal accidents.
From Oct. 1, 2012 to Sept. 30, 2013, the U.S. helicopter industry experienced 38 fatal helicopter crashes, a 100-percent increase over the same period in 2011-2012. These accidents resulted in 76 fatalities, 95 percent more than the same period the year before and the highest number of fatal accidents since 1994.
The NTSB is engaging with the rotorcraft community to reduce accidents involving helicopters, agency chairman Deborah Hersman told Heli-Expo attendees yesterday. One of the NTSB’s “10 Most Wanted” safety recommendations for 2014 is to address the unique factors of helicopter operations, to promote industry safety.
National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) vice chairman Christopher Hart and a panel of industry and government experts shared “lessons learned from helicopter accidents” at a wide-ranging panel discussion at Heli-Expo yesterday. Topics discussed included maintenance, simulation and training and the advantages on-board video and data recorders provide in accident investigations.
The continuing investigation into the crash of an Airbus Helicopters EC135T2i in Glasgow, Scotland, on November 29 last year has yet to explain why pumps that would have transferred fuel from the aircraft’s main tanks to its supply tanks were not activated. An interim report by the UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) concluded that both of the aircraft’s fuel transfer pumps were found in the “off” position after the fatal crash.
The Helicopter Association International (HAI) will offer registered attendees no fewer than 44 educational seminars during the three-day event’s rotor safety challenge at next week’s Heli-Expo show in Anaheim, Calif. The event opens with NTSB-led sessions covering lessons learned from helicopter accidents in which investigators will look at the facts gathered through safety recommendations related to pilot training and helicopter maintenance.
The investigation into the EC135 fatal crash on November 29 in Glasgow, Scotland, is struggling to find any specific cause or telltale evidence. The investigators have determined that both of the helicopter’s engines flamed out, according to a special bulletin the Air Accidents Investigation Branch published on Friday. They now still have to understand why this happened with a functional fuel system and 25 gallons of fuel in the tanks.
Eyewitness Animations creates video representations of aircraft accidents based on recovered data. The goal is to present something close to what an eyewitness would have seen at the time. Aircraft accident animations offer investigators a chance to understand the dynamics of an accident or incident and determine whether a person or a product failed somewhere along the way. Company president Jack Suchocki, a former Eastern Airlines pilot, coined the term “forensic animation” to explain what his company does.
The NTSB is investigating the February 3 crash of a Twin Commander 690 that narrowly missed hitting the YMCA building in Bellevue, Tenn., 15 miles southwest of Nashville. The aircraft was reportedly making its second attempt to land at nearby John Tune Airport. Four people died in the accident.
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