I remember well that night 17 years ago when TWA Flight 800 exploded and crashed off the coast of Long Island, killing all aboard. I was settling down with some friends at my brother’s Manhattan apartment to watch a game between the Red Sox and their arch-rival Yankees when the game broadcast was interrupted by news that an airliner had crashed soon after takeoff from JFK International.
Aviation accidents and incidents
On average, 96 percent of unstabilized approaches do not result in a go-around, according to preliminary results from a go-around study being conducted by the Flight Safety Foundation’s international and European aviation committees. “Data and anecdotal information are showing there are increased exceedances in aircraft performance and rates of violation of air traffic control instructions,” the FSF noted.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) received a petition June 19 to reconsider its investigation of the July 17, 1996 crash of TWA 800, a Boeing 747 that exploded while climbing toward Paris shortly after takeoff from New York JFK International Airport. The petition was initiated by a group of people tied to a new documentary film called TWA800, due for release next month on the Epix cable channel.
Canada’s Transportation Safety Board (TSB) released a final report early this month on the June 2010 accident at Ottawa’s MacDonald-Cartier International Airport (CYOW) in which the pilots of a Trans States Airlines Embraer ERJ 145LR were unable to stop the aircraft on the airport’s 8,000-foot Runway 7 during landing. With 33 passengers and a crew of three–none of whom was injured–the aircraft made a smooth touchdown 1,740 feet beyond the threshold of a wet runway approximately eight knots too fast.
“A new informal agreement” by European transport ministers has “watered down” a proposal by the European Commission for better prevention of aviation incidents and accidents, according to a June 10 statement issued by the European Cockpit Association (ECA). The pilot professional association said key issues altered include provisions for non-punitive mandatory and voluntary reporting, as well as the obligations of EU member states to ensure adequate safety oversight.
A Bombardier Learjet 35A, unable to stop during its landing roll on 5,420-foot Runway 4/22 at Oregon’s McMinnville Municipal Airport (MMV), ran off the end of the pavement May 13, substantially damaging its wings and fuselage. The Part 91-operated aircraft was on a post-maintenance positioning flight with a three-member Evergreen International Aviation crew aboard. No one was injured in the accident.
Preliminary Report: Boeing Crashes Short of Runway
One of the unfortunate but unavoidable facts of aviation is that accidents happen. While investigators work to determine why, and attorneys debate over who is responsible, in nearly every case there is a tragic human element involved-families of victims, who suddenly have their lives torn apart. It is a situation no one wants to be in.
Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee’s preliminary report on the April 13 Lion Air accident in Bali appears to leave little doubt that pilot error was the primary cause, specifically a failure by the crew to follow standard instrument approach procedures.
A number of aircraft accident victims, who have never before spoken on camera and were the only survivors of an aircraft crash, are speaking now as part of a new documentary called, “Sole Survivor,” produced by Yellow Wing Productions. The film opened on a limited basis last week in Detroit and will run again in Minneapolis on May 23 as details of the world premiere are being finalized.