The number of fatal accidents involving turbine-powered business airplanes worldwide in the first nine months of this year held steady with the tally for the same period last year, although the number of people killed in U.S.-registered business jets dropped in the most recent nine months, according to preliminary figures compiled by AIN. For N-numbered business jets, 13 people were killed in four crashes in the first nine months of this year compared with 17 killed, also in four accidents, during the same period last year. All these accidents befell Part 91 operations.
Aviation accidents and incidents
The preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) into the September 29 Citation CJ2 crash at Santa Monica revealed few answers to the real questions on investigators’ minds, like possible causes of the fatal accident.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) plans to convene a two-day investigative hearing on December 10 and 11 to discuss the ongoing investigation of the crash of an Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 at San Francisco International Airport last July. The meeting will focus on pilot awareness in highly automated aircraft, emergency response and cabin safety.
Continuing its practice of using aviation industry experts to help create focused online instructional programs, global business aviation safety training provider TrainingPort.net (Booth No. C10836) yesterday announced it has reached several agreements to expand its flight department management training offerings.
The FAA this month will issue a rule requiring a new approach to stall training for airline pilots that runs counter to previous guidance. According to Dr Jeff Schroeder, the agency’s chief scientific and technical officer, the new approach will, “take a lot of work to undo previous training because some pilots are ‘spring-loaded’ to the previous technique.”
Some opponents of Nigeria’s aviation minister, Stella Oduah, have called for her resignation after her comments following the October 3 crash of an Embraer EMB-120 Brasilia in Lagos (see story below). Oduah is reported to have referred to the crash as an “act of God,” adding, “We do not pray for accidents but it is inevitable…We do everything to ensure that we do not have accidents.”
Spatial disorientation is the likely reason the pilot of a privately owned Robinson R44 helicopter lost control of the aircraft and crashed near southern Quebec’s Saint-Ferdinand Aerodrome in August 2011, according to the accident report issued by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB). The private pilot and the three passengers aboard, all members of the pilot’s family, were killed in the nighttime accident.
The fatal crash of a CHC Scotia-operated Eurocopter AS332L2 Super Puma on August 23 off the Shetland Islands in the UK has created an outcry among passengers and is puzzling experts. Investigators have found no evidence of technical failure so far, nor have they hinted at human factors. Meanwhile, a pilot based in the North Sea noted that the helicopter seriously deviated from the expected course, two nautical miles from its destination, Sumburgh Airport.
According to the FAA, a Cessna 525A Citation CJ2 veered off the right side of Runway 21 after landing at Santa Monica (Calif.) Airport at 6:20 p.m. PDT last night. The twinjet struck a hangar and was destroyed by fire. At press time, the FAA and NTSB did not “have information on the number of people aboard or their conditions,” though local news has reported that the sole-occupant pilot perished in the crash.
Ellen Saracini, widow of 9/11 United Airlines Flight 175 captain Victor Saracini, told AIN she does not believe that the airline her late husband flew for is doing all it can to prevent another 9/11-like cockpit takeover. Saracini was invited to Chicago on September 4 to discuss (with United vice president of corporate safety Michael Quiello) the company’s use of secondary cockpit barriers to prevent a potential breach. United Airlines currently maintains the largest fleet of aircraft already equipped with secondary barriers.