Aviation News, Headlines & Alerts
 
Category: <span>Air Safety</span>

FAA Administrator Huerta Calls for More Action


– As the busy summer flying season approaches, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta today met with leaders from the general aviation community to agree on actions to enhance safety and reduce accidents. The general aviation fatal accident rate has remained flat over the past five years and 149 fatal accidents already have occurred so far this fiscal year, killing 262 people.

“We cannot become complacent about safety,” Huerta said. “Together, we must improve the safety culture to drive the GA fatal accident rate lower.”

In the short term, the group agreed to raise awareness on the importance of basic airmanship and to promote a positive safety culture. The following organizations attended the meeting and are partnering with the FAA to reach out to the many diverse facets of the general aviation community: Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA), Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), Helicopter Association International (HAI), International Council of Air Shows (ICAS), National Agricultural Aviation Association (NAAA), National Air Transportation Association (NATA), National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the U.S. Parachute Association (USPA).

For the long term, Administrator Huerta called on the aviation community to install life-saving equipment (angle of attack indicators, inflatable restraints, two-axis autopilots) in older airplanes, to improve general aviation data, and to improve airman certification testing and training. To meet these goals, the general aviation community and the FAA agreed to work together to move forward as quickly as possible on three key initiatives:

Participate and invest in the General Aviation Joint Steering Committee (GAJSC): Industry participation is key to data analysis that leads to the development of voluntary safety enhancements. The group uses a data driven process modeled on the highly successful Commercial Aviation Safety Team (CAST). Sharing data through the Aviation Safety Information Analysis and Sharing (ASIAS) system and other voluntary programs will help educate and shape the safety culture of the GA community. The FAA plans to expand ASIAS to general aviation in the next few years. FAA and industry will work together to find incentives to increase voluntary reporting.

Support the overhaul of airmen testing and training standards: An industry and government working group is overhauling the standards by incorporating risk management and decision-making into flight training and testing.

Expedite the Part 23 certification process to reduce costs and install new technology in airplanes: An industry and government committee is working on streamlining certification for the installation of certain safety technologies.

FAA and Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Reach Agreement on Airport Safety Violations

WASHINGTON – The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) have reached a settlement agreement about aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF) violations from December 2010 to June 2012 at four New York area airports owned and operated by the PANYNJ — John F. Kennedy, Teterboro, LaGuardia, and Newark Liberty International.

“We expect all airports to comply with our safety regulations and to correct any deficiencies immediately,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “These violations were egregious, and they will not be tolerated.”

Under the agreement, the PANYNJ agrees to pay a $3.5 million fine within 30 days. If there is a violation of the settlement agreement, the FAA will impose an additional fine of $1.5 million and will assess an additional $27,500 daily for each violation. In addition to the fine, the PANYNJ has agreed to take the following actions, with FAA approval, to address the underlying problems that led to systemic noncompliance with ARFF requirements at the four airports:

  • The Port Authority will create a dedicated ARFF force to carry out airport-related ARFF functions with no collateral police officer duties.
  • The staff will report directly to the Department of Aviation and be operational no later than March 31, 2014.
  • The Port Authority will hire an ARFF fire chief and facility captains as soon as possible, but no later than March 31, 2014.
  • The Port Authority will submit a curriculum for training to the FAA on or before December 31, 2013, which includes at least 75 hours of initial ARFF training and 40 hours of annual recurrent firefighting training in addition to Part 139 training, pertaining to an airport’s operational and safety standards and providing for such things as firefighting and rescue.
  • The ARFF personnel will work a 12-hour shift.
  • The Port Authority will amend the airport certification manuals for the four airports to include: an organizational chart; a process to maintain ARFF training records; and a description of ARFF operations, including shift assignments, personnel training records management, and Department of Aviation oversight.
  • The Port Authority will conduct monthly internal audits of ARFF training and shift assignments and annual external audits to ensure that all ARFF personnel assigned to a shift are trained.

“We expect the Port Authority to have trained safety personnel to ensure the safety of the travelling public and airport personnel, just like we have at all airports in the United States,” said FAA Administrator Michael P. Huerta.

The FAA became aware of ARFF violations as a result of an annual airport certification safety inspection of JFK in December 2011. The FAA also discovered similar violations at Teterboro, which prompted a full review of training at LaGuardia, Newark Liberty International, and Stewart International Airports. The review of ARFF training revealed violations at LaGuardia and Newark, with no violations at Stewart.

The FAA believes the settlement agreement provides the best long-term solution to ensure ARFF compliance, given the systemic nature of the PANYNJ airport problems.

FAA Delays Closure of 149 Air Traffic towers until June 15

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced today that it will delay the closures of all 149 federal contract air traffic control towers until June 15. Last month, the FAA announced it would eliminate funding for these towers as part of the agency’s required $637 million budget cuts under sequestration.

This additional time will allow the agency to attempt to resolve multiple legal challenges to the closure decisions. As part of the tower closure implementation process, the agency continues to consult with airports and operators and review appropriate risk mitigations. Extending the transition deadline will give the FAA and airports more time to execute the changes to the National Airspace System.
“This has been a complex process and we need to get this right,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Safety is our top priority. We will use this additional time to make sure communities and pilots understand the changes at their local airports.”

As of today, approximately 50 airport authorities and other stakeholders have indicated they may join the FAA’s non-Federal Contract Tower program and fund the tower operations themselves. This additional time will allow the FAA to help facilitate that transition.

“We will continue our outreach to the user community to answer any questions and address their concerns about these tower closures,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta.

On March 22, the FAA announced that it would stop federal funding for 149 contract towers across the country. A phased, four-week closure process was scheduled to begin this Sunday, April 7. That phased closure process will no longer occur. Instead, the FAA will stop funding all 149 towers on June 15 and will close the facilities unless the airports decide to continue operations as a nonfederal contract tower.

Knives to Fly Planes On April 25


Knives are back and flight attendants aren’t happy.

The TSA ban on knives is due to be lifted on April 25. The blade can be no longer than 2.36 inches. The coalition of Flight Attendant Unions lobbied in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, and Norfolk, Va, Chicago, Denver, Miami, New York LaGuardia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Boston against the ban. The arguments are the same as those for and against guns. (If no one carries them, we’re safe.
If everyone could carry them, we’d be armed against terrorists
.) They are handing out leaflets urging fliers to contact Congress and to sign a petition to White House.

You can sign the online petition here:
https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/keep-knives-plane-block-transportation-security-administration-policy-decision-accept-pre-911/SSzf8wmd

The family of flight attendant Sara Low, who died on Sept 11, has written an open letter protesting the decision to allow knives back on commercial aircraft, and urging concern for safety and “doing no harm.”

A Word about Safety, Brazil and Towers

In George’s Point of View

With aviation safety issues buzzing in the US because of the widespread tower closures, I was surprised to find US safety being held as a higher standard in a critique of Brazilian aviation by pilot Antônio Carlos Cruzeta.

His article at *http://paduim.blogspot.com/2013/02/relato-de-um-piloto-de-linha-aerea.html pillories the conditions of flying in Brazil, even compares the pilot to driving a luxury BMW in the middle of a safari in Africa.

But I cannot but wonder if even as this pilot pushes for progress in Brazil, we in the US are bound to be falling back. Will it take an aviation disaster here to wake up our government that we need to maintain our current standards of safety?

A Brazilian pilot can ask that question, and so can we. How can pilots continue to fly millions of passengers millions of flights in state-of-the-art planes when losing so many towers? And now there are lawsuits piling up as localities begin legal battles to keep their towers. Should tower support be withdrawn, leaving pilots to “fly by the seat of their pants?” What do US pilots think of this withdrawal of support? DO pilots consider towers extraneous?

Three hours or so from home the ride from Rio was unusually turbulent. Though I slept all the way to Houston this time, will I be so confident in the future? I worry for the state aviation safety as thousands of pilots converge flying to and from airports where tower support was once but is no longer.

Closures

*English translation here: http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fpaduim.blogspot.com%2F2013%2F02%2Frelato-de-um-piloto-de-linha-aerea.html

Fullerton California Procedures Review Seminar

Coinciding with the announced scheduled closure of the Fullerton Air Traffic Control Tower, a seminar of the “non-tower operations procedures review” is scheduled at Fullerton airport on Sunday, April 7, 2013 at 7:00 PM at the Aviation Facilities, Inc at 4119 West Commonwealth Avenue, Fullerton, CA 92833.

See Details

View More Details Available Here

Maintenance is Key to Aviation Safety

In George’s Point of View

Inevitably into my business life flows discussion of (aviation-oriented) sequestration, the closing of traffic control towers, and how this will inevitably lead to more aviation accidents.

Yes, I agree with Harrison Ford’s comment that accidents are going to happen. But that prediction leaves a lot unsaid.

Cutbacks in other places, cutbacks in maintenance budgets, in the number and quality of inspections and maintenance personnel are going to be just as lethal.

Turn on your mind’s eye and picture the air traffic situation as you would on the ground in your car. Suspended towers are like suspended traffic lights. Picture what would happen if intersections were eliminated, forcing traffic from smaller streets to the larger intersections that are already overburdened with traffic. Into this already overburdened traffic situation, maintenance shortfalls make the problem even worse.

You have older, poorly maintained vehicles in the flow of traffic, and they’re falling apart, causing crashes and pileups. On the ground, they cause disaster. More so, falling from the sky.

Maintenance is a complicated thing, because even the perfect man-made thing is subject to the laws of physics.

The most perfect plane would decay over time even if it were not flown. So of course, even the best maintained vehicles are subject to fatigue. And not everything is maintained to “perfect” standards. Believe me, I see this first-hand, as I fly.

When the first commercial planes were built, who would have guessed planes would be required to fly for so long, so continuously and over such distances. It’s miracle enough that a machine can get people off the ground at all, much less doing it continuously for twenty years.

As fleets age, you have rivets flying all over the place when there is metal fatigue. Especially with older planes, metal fatigue will be increasingly the cause of future plane crashes. There are two choices: 1) old planes will be automatically junked (unlikely to happen in our increasingly green society) or 2) extreme comprehensive and manditory testing must be put in to place. This testing-maintenance can not be cut back.

I don’t mean put in to place after an event. I mean in place to prevent an event. To be able to get the plane in the air in the first place, most components of plane have been studied to the breaking point already. That is the kind of knowledge that must be applied to maintenance schedules. Get those parts replaced well before they become the weakest link.

MAINTENANCE is where it is. You can see the decay on the inside, on the parts that don’t matter much for flight safety. The seats on a plane break apart. Window shades won’t close. They are stuck up there somewhere, and if you try and force them, they break. (Just think of what frailties develop in crucial components that the passenger can’t see.)

The metal on a plane degrades in the same way. (Engineers have a name and formula for it: Paris-Erdogan law.) If you sit on the wing of an airliner that you know is 20+ years old—such as the plane I was on yesterday from New York—and you encounter turbulence—as we did—any passenger stuck on that plane can’t help but look in disbelief at wings that are bobbling up and down and flexing like a preschooler’s teeter totter. Here’s the question you don’t want to ask yourself at 20,000 feet: are the wings going to stay put? Are they going to flex and flex and flex like a metal clothes hanger bending till it breaks? How do wings not come off the aging plane?

I’m not accepting of the fact that crashes will happen. That’s too easy to say. It is pure negligence to accept oncoming disaster and do nothing to avert it. We can’t just let it ride. The aviation industry must remain proactive, no matter the cost.

It’s like the poor horse in Central Park. The older he is, the more maintenance he requires to keep from collapsing as he pulls the buggies and sometimes heavy bodies of those in the carriage. He needs to be fed better, to have water more often, to have a pasture to enjoy, and other horses available where he can socialize. Though the needs of a living creature differ from those of a machine, it goes without saying that both will thrive better with love and care than without.

Maintenance is key. First-class maintenance. Constant, consistent, perpetual maintenance. It is not adequate to rely on the pilot alone to do his walk around of the aircraft prior to take off. Sure, the pilot should do his visual, but his walk should be preceded by the maintenance specialist. The experts must scrutinize, inspect, examine, and put the plane through its paces.

Especially the aging plane.

FAA Approves Boeing Certification plans

Although the Federal Aviation Administration approved Boeing Company’s certification plan for the redesigned 787 battery system, after thoroughly reviewing Boeing’s proposed modifications, the National Transportation Safety Board said Boeing didn’t inform investigators about what it planned to say in the March 15 briefing in Tokyo, which is “inconsistent with our expectations.”

On March 15, Boeing reps provided their own analysis and conclusions regarding the NTSB investigation but they apparently signed paperwork that “must refrain from providing opinions or analysis of the accident.”

The NTSB was not amused.

Boeing plans to demonstrate that the system will meet FAA requirements but they are also concerned with damage control.

The certification plan is the first step in the process to evaluate the 787’s return to flight and requires Boeing to conduct extensive testing and analysis to demonstrate compliance with the applicable safety regulations and special conditions.

The Jan. 7 fire in Boston was composed of three-inch flames on the front of the connector’s battery box.

Aviation Oriented Jobs Projections

Food for Sequestration thoughts:

  • Closing small airports.
  • Cut FAA Funding.
  • Cut 168 contractor-staffed air traffic control towers nationwide on April 1
  • Cut 21 (more) towers by Sept. 30.
  • Cut passenger and cargo capacity.
  • Cut Up to 132,000 aviation jobs.
  • Cut $80 billion a year from the nation’s gross domestic product
  • Cut two billion pounds of freight capacity

Aviation Jobs are still in demand, but expect inevitable cuts especially with new hires.

American Airlines advertising vacancies for 1,500 flight attendants and got 22,000 applications. US Airways got about 20,000 applications for 420 vacancies. Delta announced an opening for some four hundred flight attendants. Over 50,000 people applied for the job. According to AVjobs, a flight attendant makes between $14.50 and $20.49 per hour. An A & P Mechanic makes between $16.47 and $30 per hour. A mechanical engineer makes between $45,000 and $90,000 per year. A member of the flight crew makes between $24,000.00 and $100,000 per year. *


United Airlines Extends SF International Maintenance Op Center Lease
United Airlines is now committed for ten years to the San Francisco Airport area. UA and the San Francisco Airport Commission signed a ten year extension on the airline’s existing Maintenance Operations Center at San Francisco International Airport. The 130-acre San Francisco Maintenance Operations Center employs about 3,500 maintenance workers. According to United’s senior VP of tech, “The lease extension on our San Francisco Maintenance Operations Center benefits our people, our customers and the Bay Area. United’s investment underscores our commitment to San Francisco, the Maintenance Operations Center and its role in supporting the industry’s premier trans-Pacific hub.”

In George’s Point of View

I agree with Harrison Ford.

Harrison Ford said “Accidents are going to happen.”

Accidents have been happening all along. Expect more of them.

*Data from AV Jobs

Dana Air Suspended-Unsuspended

March 16, 2013, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority announced Dana Air’s temporary suspension again. Dana Air had been suspended last June after the MD-83 crash. In January flights were restored.

After a March 16 flight in Abuja had safety issues, leading to a recently grounded flight, Dana Air was again (briefly) suspended.

Pilots Ignore ATC Directions, Hear Audio

On March 11, 2013, an Air Canada Embraer ERJ-190 en route from Edmonton to Toronto,ON was on approach when ATC informed the pilots to abort the landing. Ground radar indicated something moving on the runway. Pilots continued to make the landing, and ignored ATC.

Mechanics working on a Sunwing Boeing had left a van running and in gear, which subsequently rolled without a driver across the runway. At some point, the van impacted the Sunwing 737.

In George’s Point of View


While we can’t make assumptions, apparently the pilots saw the van safely flew over it and made a secure landing.

However, there are a lot of errors here that could have been disaster. We are glad no one was injured. Safety first, everyone!

  • The maintenance crew for failing to secure their vehicle.
  • ATC for not using the call sign, even if it was evident to them who they were speaking to.
  • Pilots for ignoring ATC even if they saw the “threat” because there could have been an additional alert

That said, of course we are glad no one was injured.

Click Triangle below to hear audio

[sc_embed_player fileurl=”http://airflightdisaster.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Air-Canada-178-Ignores-Go-Around.mp3″]

NTSB: Pilots Manage Risks to Ensure Safety

Good decision-making and risk management practices can help prevent accidents
The problem
Although few pilots knowingly accept severe risks, accidents can also result when several risks of marginal severity are not identified or are ineffectively managed by the pilot and compound into a dangerous situation. Accidents also result when the pilot does not accurately perceive situations that involve high levels of risk.
Ineffective risk management or poor aeronautical decision-making can be associated with almost any type of fatal accident across all general aviation (GA) sectors.

See Full Alert

NTSB: Mechanics: Manage Risks to Ensure Safety

Carefully follow maintenance and inspection procedures to help prevent aircraft accidents
The problem
Mistakes made while performing aircraft maintenance and inspection procedures have led to in-flight emergencies and fatal accidents.
System or component failures are among the most common defining events for fatal accidents across various sectors of general aviation (GA)

See Full Alert

NTSB: Is Your Aircraft Talking to You? Listen!

Pay attention to signs of potential mechanical problems
The problem
Some pilots do not pay adequate attention to indications of aircraft mechanical problems, which can lead to in-flight emergencies and accidents.
Powerplant system or component failure is the third-most common defining event for fatal accidents in the personal flying sector of general aviation (GA). Nonpowerplant system or component failure also ranks high on the list.

See Full Alert

NTSB: Reduced Visual References Require Vigilance

Historically, about two-thirds of all general aviation (GA) accidents that occur in reduced-visibility weather conditions are fatal.1 These accidents typically involve pilot spatial disorientation or controlled flight into terrain.
Even in visual weather conditions, flights at night over areas with limited ground lighting (which provides few visual ground references) can be challenging.
See Full Alert

NTSB: Prevent Aerodynamic Stalls at Low Altitude

Avoid this often deadly scenario through timely recognition and appropriate responses.

Many stall accidents that occur in VMC result when a pilot is momentarily distracted from the primary task of flying, such as while maneuvering in the airport traffic pattern, during an emergency, or when fixating on ground objects.

See Full Alert

NTSB Issues 5 Alerts


March 12, 2013
WASHINGTON – Today the National Transportation Safety Board issued five Safety Alerts that focus on the most frequent types of general aviation accidents.

“Because we investigate each of the 1,500 GA accidents that occur in the United States every year, we see the same types of accidents over and over again,” said NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman. “What’s especially tragic is that so many of these accidents are entirely preventable.”

Each year, about 475 pilots and passengers are killed and hundreds more are seriously injured in GA accidents in the United States, which is why GA Safety is on the NTSB’s Most Wanted List.

A Safety Alert is a brief information sheet that pinpoints a particular safety hazard and offers practical remedies to address the issue. Three of the Safety Alerts focus on topics related to some of the most common defining events for fatal GA accidents. These include low-altitude stalls, spatial disorientation and controlled flight into terrain, and mechanical problems. The other two Safety Alerts address risk mitigation.

The five Safety Alerts issued today are:

• Is Your Aircraft Talking to You? Listen!
• Reduced Visual References Require Vigilance
• Avoid Aerodynamic Stalls at Low Altitude
• Mechanics: Manage Risks to Ensure Safety
• Pilots: Manage Risks to Ensure Safety

The NTSB is creating five short videos – one for each Safety Alert – which will be rolled out this spring. The videos will feature regional air safety investigators sharing their experiences and observations of the many accident investigations they conducted as well as advice on how pilots and mechanics can avoid mistakes that can have such tragic consequences.

“GA is essentially an airline or maintenance operation of one, which puts the responsibility for sound decision making on one person’s shoulders,” Hersman said. “We are promoting and distributing the alerts to reach pilots and mechanics who can benefit from these lifesaving messages.”

IATA Says Last year was the safest in aviation history

In a speech at the AVSEC World in New York, the director of IATA, International Air Transport Association, Tony Tyler, said “The industry’s 2012 record safety performance was the best in history. Each day approximately 100,000 flights arrive safely at their destination.3 billion passengers flew in 2012. There were six crashes and 75 accidents, with the lowest accident rate on record in the west.”

The rate is not the same all over the world, however.

In S. Africa, a plane is ten times more likely to crash than in Latin America.

The speech is located here: http://ht.ly/io0S4

Safety recommendations

AVIATION
NTSB releases safety recommendations to Hawker Beechcraft Corporation addressing fatigue cracks of nose landing gear end caps on Beechcraft 1900D airplanes

February 14, 2013
The National Transportation Safety Board makes the following recommendations to Hawker Beechcraft Corporation:

Determine the fatigue life (life limit) of the Beechcraft 1900D nose landing gear (NLG) end cap with the longitudinal grain direction both aligned and not aligned with the longitudinal axis of the NLG. (A-13-004)

Develop and implement a replacement program for all Beechcraft 1900D nose landing gear end caps based on the fatigue life determined in Safety Recommendation A-13-004. (A-13-005)

Revise the Beechcraft 1900D nose landing gear end cap repetitive inspection procedure and time interval to ensure that fatigue cracks are detected prior to failure and issue updated guidance to operators regarding the inspections. (A-13-006)

FAA Issues Battery Statement. And Me Too…Attention, Boeing…

My experts are telling me that it looks like Boeing is all alone on these 787 battery fires. The FAA issued 31 ‘Special Conditions’ (you can read that to mean that the FAA gave Boeing a whole lot of slack) but this battery problem is not getting a free ride, or any favors.

SAFETY is the top priority. Make no mistake. The sooner the Dreamliner and its battery is grounded, the sooner the fix will be found and it will be safe to fly again. Well. While you’re at it fixing the battery problem, get that team of pilots who fly this thing to go over all areas of failure thus far, including the engines. Look at ALL of these…

  • Nov 6 2010: Boeing flight Texas: electrical problems in the aft electronics bay which disabled the primary flight displays in the cockpit.
  • Nov 6 2011: ANA Flight Okayama forced to deploy the landing gear using the alternate extension backup system, after an active warning light, which said that the wheels were not properly down.
  • July 28 2012: Boeing Flight Charleston: contained engine failure during a taxi test at Charleston International Airport PRE Delivery Taxi test. Debris fell from engine
  • Dec 4, 2012: United over Mississippi: “multiple messages” regarding flight-system errors, and diverted to New Orleans (KMSY). The problems occurred when one of the plane’s generators failed. Power was supplied to the aircraft with the five functioning generators.
  • Jan 7, 2013: JAL Boston: fire was discovered in a battery and electrical compartment of the aircraft.
  • Jan 8, 2013: JAL Boston: 40 gallons of fuel had spilled from one of its wing tanks at the gate. The plane was contacted before takeoff and it returned to the terminal without incident. Probably a case of overfilling the tank.
  • Jan 9, 2013: ANA Yamaguchi: Brake problems
  • Jan 16, 2013: ANA Takamatsu: instrument indications of smoke in the forward electrical compartment. No fire was found.

Boeing? Are you listening? I fly everywhere, all over the world but at the moment, I’m not comfortable getting on this great plane that I really want to love for future travel. I’m am confident you can do it, even if all of these wrinkles are going to mean you need to bring in the really big iron. We need all the finders and fixers on this! The world has places to go and things to do, and you’re holding their safety in the palm of your hand.

The Emergency Airworthiness Directive has been issued. Issued Jan 16, 2013
and here is their announcement:

As a result of an in-flight, Boeing 787 battery incident earlier today in Japan, the FAA will issue an emergency airworthiness directive (AD) to address a potential battery fire risk in the 787 and require operators to temporarily cease operations. Before further flight, operators of U.S.-registered, Boeing 787 aircraft must demonstrate to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that the batteries are safe.
The FAA will work with the manufacturer and carriers to develop a corrective action plan to allow the U.S. 787 fleet to resume operations as quickly and safely as possible.
The in-flight Japanese battery incident followed an earlier 787 battery incident that occurred on the ground in Boston on January 7, 2013. The AD is prompted by this second incident involving a lithium ion battery. The battery failures resulted in release of flammable electrolytes, heat damage, and smoke on two Model 787 airplanes. The root cause of these failures is currently under investigation. These conditions, if not corrected, could result in damage to critical systems and structures, and the potential for fire in the electrical compartment.

Last Friday, the FAA announced a comprehensive review of the 787’s critical systems with the possibility of further action pending new data and information. In addition to the continuing review of the aircraft’s design, manufacture and assembly, the agency also will validate that 787 batteries and the battery system on the aircraft are in compliance with the special condition the agency issued as part of the aircraft’s certification.

United Airlines is currently the only U.S. airline operating the 787, with six airplanes in service. When the FAA issues an airworthiness directive, it also alerts the international aviation community to the action so other civil aviation authorities can take parallel action to cover the fleets operating in their own countries.

See Directive:

Dana Air Returns to the Sky


Dana Air is returning to “service” six months after killing 153 in the notorious crash on Sunday, 3 June 2012. Dana Air Flight 992 crashed into two Lagos buildings. Poor maintenance and bad aviation safety practices led that Dana Air MD-83 to a dual engine failure that killed 153 aboard, 10 on the ground and caused many other injuries (on the ground.)

We might ask why Dana Air is returning to so-called service when it had the highest number of aviation fatalities in 2012 and the world’s highest McDonnell Douglas MD-83 death toll.

Should they really be offering flights when they have not explained away the cause of the Dana Air Crash? Perhaps they will keep flying until their remaining five McDonnell Douglas MD-83 have crashed, people grow more sense than to choose Dana Air on flights between Lagos and Abuja or LENDERS and LEASEHOLDERS choose to write better safety controls in their contracts.

NCAR Beta


Funded from NASA’s Applied Sciences Program, the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and several partners developed an 8-hour convective weather forecast based on fuzzy logic and cloud top and moisture level input from the two Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES) that cover a large portion of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

Storms and turbulence, are noted in deep magenta (closest to the value of 1.0). Visitors to the site can then click on any of the eight hourly forecasts that follow, or play all of the pictures together in movie mode.

See NCAR Atmos News

The NCAR beta site is live here:
http://www.rap.ucar.edu/projects/ocn/realtime_sys/global_extrap/

Wildlife Feedback Wanted

The FAA is looking for comments regarding minimum acceptable standards for the conduct and preparation of Wildlife Hazard Site Visits, Hazard Assessments and Hazard Management Plans on the following document:

For more information, visit Clarification of Wildlife Hazard Management Requirements for Non-Certificated Federally Obligated Airports in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems (NPIAS)

The purpose of this notice is to clarify the FAA’s interpretation of 49 U.S.C. 47107(a) (19) and the corollary Grant Assurance No. 19, relating to airport operations and maintenance. The FAA proposes to require sponsors of federally obligated, non-certificated airports that, after the effective date of this Federal Register Notice, accept a new airport development grant funded under the Airport Improvement Program, or accept a transfer of land under the Surplus Property Act for airport purposes to identify and mitigate wildlife hazards at their airports. These actions will take the form of initial Wildlife Hazard Site Visits (WHSVs) or Wildlife Hazard Assessments (WHAs), depending on the size of the airport, potentially followed by more detailed Wildlife Hazard Management Plans (WHMPs).
The purpose of a WHSV is for the sponsor to identify any immediate hazards and for the FAA to determine whether a more comprehensive WHA is necessary.

For More information, see APHIS below:
Airport Wildlife Hazards Program

More News today (an overview of a few items we’re not covering right now)

For various reasons including that we have already covered these or don’t have room or time, this is more news:

  • The NTSB is probing the Manhattan Township, Illinois crash that killed Larry Allan Diffley, head of Bemidji Aviation
  • The pilot that was killed in a plane crash in Yuma on November 24 was Denise Jeanette McCracken
  • The investigation into the Greensburg crash (that killed pilot Donald Horan, Horan’s 44-year-old wife Barbara, 45-year-old Stephen Butz and his 42-year-old wife, Denise) is expected to take over six months.
  • Local police and media believed a November 30 Chicago plane crash set to be a real crash
  • NTSB report is out on the crash that killed pilot Tom Steeper on his way from Houston to Oklahoma on November 26, when the plane crashed in southern Cherokee County.
  • Preliminary reports are out for the Rochester,MN; Mekoryuk AK; and Bolivar, Mo non-fatal crashes in December; and the fatal crashes in Apollo Beach, FL; Blair, NE; Clutier, IA; Childress, TX; Scio, OR; Wells, TX; Corona, CA; San Andreas, CA; Great Guana Cay, Bahamas;
  • Bosnian and Herzegovinan authorities are re-opening the investigation of the February 26th 2004 plane crash that killed Macedonia President Boris Trajkovski.
  • Kevin Barry Jnr, who suffered extensive fractures and a brain injury in a Cessna crash on July 5 2007 is settling in Irish High Court for €1.7m against Lancton Taverns Ltd, SCD House, Waterloo Road, Dublin, and its director David Courtney.
  • The South African Defence Force confirms that six crew members and five passengers died in a plane crash.
  • Knox County Regional Airport in Owls Head is taking new safety measures after the Nov. 16 crash that killed U of Maine students and alumnus.
  • Joshua Marlow, sole survivor of the July South Dakota firefighting crash was promoted from tech sergeant to master sergeant.
  • Failure of one of a Boeing 787’s six electrical generators failed, causing the pilot of United Houston-Newark Flight 1146 to divert his 174 passengers and 10 crew safely to New Orleans.
  • United Express Regional Jet made an emergency landing at Grand Junction Regional Airport
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